View Full Version : appreciate them while they're here

09-04-2009, 08:58 PM
As some of you may remember, my MIL is staying with us a few weeks while my FIL undergoes pretty heavy chemo and stem cell treatment in Wichita. He had three sessions of chemo a day for a week, then a few days rest, now they're infusing stem cells back into him they harvested prior to the chemo treatment. He's doing pretty well, apparently. We talk to him most everyday, but no visitors until his immune system recovers a bit.

My MIL is losing her memory. I don't know how my FIL deals with it (or at least, did before his chemo started) on a daily basis. The same questions repeatedly. After more than a week, she still asks how to turn the outside light on when she lets her little dog out at night... Did she take her pills? Where did she leave them? Which door is the bathroom? It's a challenge for us, but she seems happy most of the time, and I guess that's the important thing. It's hard seeing this vibrant personality withering away. She remembers enough to know she has memory problems, and she is so concerned she is a "bother" to us. She's not a bother, she's family. We've picked on each other ever since I came into the family, and she has mentioned through the years that she'll know she's in bad shape if I ever stop picking on her. Do you realize how hard it is to bug someone when your heart's just not in it? I try, and she throws a zinger occasionally, but it's just not the same.

Enjoy your older generation of family while they're here. And if you're the older generation in your family, enjoy your kids/grandkids, nieces/nephews while you can. She is way to young to be having these problems, and they just started out of nowhere.

09-04-2009, 09:39 PM
I know how you feel, first and foremost I wish your FIL all the best and a speedy and full recovery. 3 years ago my mother lost the battle with that terrible disease. My father really took it hard and has been on a slow downward spiral ever since.I put him in a small manufactured home here on the ranch he still as his independence and he will be 83 on the 15th. He too is forgetful and looses things in plain sight his hearing is going and he is loosing his sight. He gets around with the help of a cane. My dad is my hero and to see this man who was larger than life slowly deteriorate is almost to much to bear. I know that our time together is getting shorter and it passes so fast. I am thankful for every second. I know the place that your in. Your not alone.Stay strong.

Partyshack BBQ
09-04-2009, 10:37 PM
It is tough, we went through something similar with my grandmother on my mom's side. Alztheimers was really hard to deal with. We just smiled and gave mi maw a kiss and helped her with what she needed. The first time when she asked me my name was really tough. I was only 15 at the time.

09-04-2009, 10:41 PM
Lazy, I am sorry to hear about both your family members. Have you had an evaluation done on your mother in law? There may be things that can be done to mitigate the situation.

He too is forgetful and looses things in plain sight his hearing is going and he is loosing his sight. He gets around with the help of a cane.

I am 27 years younger than your father, yet all but the cane applies to me on a regular basis, and up until a year ago, the cane applied as well.

I sure hope my son isn;t thinking about putting me in a mfged home on the ranch......well, on second thought.

I empathize with you greatly. My father is 81 and at present has all his faculties. I wake up often waiting for the 'call" from Tucson. I got one about 15 years ago when he barely survived a massive heart attack.

flying illini
09-04-2009, 10:49 PM
lazy, My prayers go out to your FIL/MIL. Thanks for the reminder, too. (main reason we are in tulsa was to be near my family (bro & parents) after 20 yrs being >500 miles away)

TX Sandman
09-05-2009, 11:30 PM
Prayers for the family and you from Texas, bro.

I agree, you don't know what you have there until something like this happens. We went through some similar things with grandparents on both sides. I hate to say this, but it doesn't get easier.

09-13-2009, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the kind words, fellas. I know it's something most families go through in one way or another, but I guess it's never "real" till you go through it yourself. In the greater scheme of things its just a bump in the road, but we just don't see all the bumps coming...

I didn't even have to think when it was suggested that she move in with us for a few weeks. I wouldn't have it any other way. I thought it might actually help my wife with her medical issues having somebody else to pay attention to instead of worrying about her own situation. It has helped some in that respect. It never dawned on me that I would now have two to check up on and make sure meds are taken, daily tasks are taken care of, etc. etc. .... Exasperating at times.

It has helped in other ways--it supplied the final incentive for our older girl to move out on her own:cheer: (heaven forbid she should have to share a room with her little sister:roflmaoha0:). The two of them go from loving sisters to cold war to all-out combat in a matter of minutes. And back. Repeatedly. Daily. With the older one gone, the younger daughter has started coming into her own and growing up a bit. Major improvement in a very short time. And my wife is actually cooking meals now when I'm not there instead of just scrounging something out of the freezer/fridge.

One downside--I'm realizing just how set in my ways I am/we are. This goes here. That goes there. We do this this way. Hey! Maybe that's a good thing to see that. Then again...

When she washed my good baking pans instead of just wiping them off, I didn't say anything. When she washed one of my cast iron skillets in the dishwater, I just mentioned it to my wife and asked her to try to keep it from hapening again (thankfully, it wasn't one of the "good" ones...) I've grown used to the scavenger hunt to find dishes after she's unloaded the dishwasher. She's "helping", which she desperately needs to do, so I try to keep my cool.

I just about lost it when I found one of my hardback books lying open, print down. Don't mess with my books! We've kept the books we've kept because they mean something to us. Books are to be treated with respect. Neither of our girls would treat a book with that much disrespect.

I guess it was the final straw in a string of little things... I just went for a walk...

FIL thinks he'll be able to go home the first of next week. She's already planning to be home before him so she can "get the house ready" and "take care of him". When she brought this up, my wife and I looked at each other, and I tried to ease into the idea that maybe it would be a good idea if he had a "short time" at home by himself to get back on his feet before she goes home to "help"... It didn't go over well, but she seems to have forgotten about it this morning. We'll see if she brings it up again... I just can't see his recovery being helped with having to watch her all the time. Then again, maybe she's not as bad in her own home. Maybe helping her will help him?

Sorry for the long post. Had to "talk" to someone just to keep my head on straight...

09-13-2009, 12:12 PM
It is very stressful to care for someone else and the fatigue sets in and the little things start to bother you.It is usually something small and not the major issue that sets me off.

My MIL stayed with us for quite some time and because of health issues slept in my recliner.We served her meals and everything there.After a couple weeks I told my wife that if she can get up and use the restroom then she can get up and eat with us at the table.

Maybe discuss it with him so that you folks all are pointed in the same direction on how to handle the situation.I have instances where I helped out family and some how come out being the bad guy because I did not allow them to do as they pleased.My house.My rules.

I guess my point is be careful.You don't want to damage any relationships.I think you are well aware of this situation already and it is somewhat distressing to you on how to handle it.

I applaud you for your compassion and care that you are giving your loved ones.

09-13-2009, 12:39 PM
Hey Amigo if you can't vent to your friends then they aint really friends they are just vultures waiting to pick you bones. We Are here for you no worries.

okie joe
09-14-2009, 07:31 PM
Thanks for the Vent....It wasnt a Vent... Your Ok in my books, Loved my MIL and FIL Both gone now and my Mom and Dad both Gone it wasnt easy it neaver is if ya Love Them...Just down the road If ya need to talk and what they said .

09-24-2009, 10:10 PM
Against our better judgement, we sent her home this morning, via the hospital to pick up my FIL and take him home. She pulled a fast one on us and the timing all fell into place weirdly.

She had convinced herself Monday night that she would be going to pick him up on Wednesday or Thursday. We heard her end of the phone conversation with him, and I guarantee he wasn't telling her that. We tried telling her not to get her hopes up, it all depended on the Drs, etc. etc., but she'd just look at us like we weren't there and go on making her plans. I went to work yesterday and my wife called to let me know her mother was busy packing up to go home. MIL had rated me lower than dirt for trying to convince her she wasn't going home, it wasn't doing me any good to talk to her. We tried to get in touch with my BIL to have him talk to her, but he was tied up in a meeting and wasn't answering his phone. While my wife was taking our younger girl to the orthodontist, MIL decides to call (!! she had never used our phones before--every time she tried she couldn't figure it out and we had to dial for her!!) the hospital and talk with my FIL to let him know she was ready to come pick him up and take him home. AARRGHH!! The last thing he needs while recovering is to have to take care of her.

While we were trying to sort things out and get her back to a bit of reality, my BIL called that the hospital would be releasing FIL today, and FIL said ok to her coming home with him.. The man has never missed a beat mentally through all of his treatments, and BIL tried to convince him it wasn't a good idea, but to no avail. BIL picked her up about 8 this morning and went through Wichita, picked up FIL and took them both home. At least he will be able to stay with them for a week or so and work from there. Got a text an hour or so ago that everything was running late, but got everyone home and doing okay, but tired. He is

CRAP!! CRAP!! CRAP!! BIL just called--FIL's heart stopped shortly after the text that things were going okay. BIL did CPR and got an ambulance out there. "Resting comfortably" now in hosp. Responsive. BP and heartbeat okay. "service" (?) pacemaker installed to help heart. MIL not taking it well. Still in state of semi-shock. Don't know now she'll react. Don't know how much she realizes is going on. BIL has his hands full and I didn't ask many questions.

Whatever your beliefs are, your prayers would be greatly appreciated...

09-24-2009, 10:17 PM
Brother Lazy, our thoughts and prayers will certainly be with your family. I hope everything works out. I hope they didn't release him too early. If so, they've got him back where he belongs and they'll take good care of him.

In any case, we'll sure keep you folks in mind.

09-24-2009, 11:14 PM
When it rains sometimes it just Forkin pours. Lazy I feel for ya Amigo.It could have turned out much worse. Good thing the BIL knows CPR. Is he going to step up and take care of Mom? I hope so you need a break Bro, you did your part for the family.Support the wife and check in when you can we will be here for you.
Your family is in my thoughts

09-24-2009, 11:31 PM
you are in my thoughts and prayers.I hope all turns out well with your in laws.How is your wife holding up?

09-25-2009, 08:25 AM
we were woke up by text from BIL this morning. MIL still alseep, letting her sleep as long as she can... FIL on ventilator since about 2 am. Had to "bag" him off and on in ambulance on way to Wichita, stablizied once he got to hosp., started having trouble breathing, more heart issues early this morning. We're headed up there as soon as our elder girl gets done with a test and we can pick her up.

09-25-2009, 08:41 AM
Your family is in my thoughts stay strong Bro. The better half is going to really need you. Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Your family will be in my thoughts.

09-25-2009, 10:30 AM
:whathesaid: Be assured that you are in our prayers.

09-25-2009, 10:38 AM
Our thoughts and prayers are with you LZ

TX Sandman
09-25-2009, 11:16 PM
You're in our thoughts and prayers, LZ.

09-26-2009, 09:30 AM
Did a cat scan last night trying to find out what a happened and/or why. Took the neck brace and large ventilator off, just have him on a breathing tube. Resperation much improved. Alert when he's awake, appears disgusted he can't talk because of the tube. No apparent brain damage but too soon to really tell. :thumbs up:Things looking much better last night than they did yesterday morning. BIL on way there now, we'll be there again this afternoon.

MIL had a fit when we disagreed with her (I wasn't involved this time, so it has come from the rest now) about staying in the house by herself while he is in hospital 60 miles from home. I'm sure it's tough on her wanting to be there with him and not able to figure out how to make hat happen. We don't think she would try to drive herself, but then again, she's pretty determined.

We should have more of an idea this afternoon as to what will be happening. Last we heard was the idea of implanting a defribulator (sp? no spell check this computer) that will shock the heart as needed.

09-26-2009, 10:31 AM
They can do some pretty amazing stuff these days, I guess that you all should count your Blessings that all this is taking place before OBAMACARE goes into effect. the outcome would have been much worse. Stay strong Bro we got your back.

09-26-2009, 11:45 PM
Breathing tube out, able to talk a bit with sore throat. Memory seems okay--a bit hazy here and there. Able to take part in conversations and crack jokes. Kidneys ok. Complains of pain in the chest. Nurses say that's normal after receiving CPR. I don't know if he is aware of all the details of what happened yet. I didn't think it was my place to bring it up.

One possible cause was combination of medicines combined with the weakness of system after chemo. Other causes not ruled out yet. No results from CAT scan. Closest thing to a plan now is to implant a defibrillator for him. Will know more sometime Monday (apparently nobody works on Sunday unless it's an emergency...), we hope.

Looks like MIL will be coming back to stay with us for awhile. At least this time BIL will take her up to Wichita each weekend he goes. That will give us a bit a break every other week. He's seen first hand now what she is like and has an idea of the stress level living with her. And I'm not complaining, happy to do what we can--we just need to plan a bit better this time.

Thanks to all for your prayers and support. He's got a rough road ahead, but things look a whole lot better than 36 hours ago. He did ask if we brought any pulled pork up with us, so that's a good sign.

09-27-2009, 01:16 AM
Lazy,Sounds like some good news for sure.Your a stand up guy Bro there are a bunch of fellas that I know who could learn a thing or two from you about Family Obligations. Things are going to work out for ya'll I know it. Keep us posted,you got friends here to lean on.

09-27-2009, 05:26 PM
Glad that things are looking a little brighter.Still a long road ahead.Its good for someone to walk in your shoes from time to time.It gives them an appreciation of things that you are doing for the family.

Hang tuff.It is always hard to watch loved ones health decline and suffer.We are with you!

okie joe
09-27-2009, 08:11 PM
You are in our prayers and in our thoughts please if we can help let us know if not we will contuinue praying....we are just down the road...

09-29-2009, 09:25 PM
Did a heart catheterization yesterday morning. NO blockage, weak walls, or anything negative there. Lung xrays also clear, no pneumonia.

Goes in for the defib implant tomorrow morning at 8. "Or 8:30. Or 9:00... whenever they get to me. Guess I'll lay here and wait--nothing else to do. They yell at me if I try to get up and walk by myself..."

He called this evening. Sounds great except a bit raspy, which is to be expected. In good humor, looking forward to going back home and "getting some real food".

Had some short term memory issues once he got off the ventilator, but is improving daily. I"m sure all the drugs they were pumping into him may have had something to do with it.

Things look good right now!!

Thanks for all the prayers and good vibes. This is a heck of a forum to be involved with.

09-29-2009, 10:42 PM
Lazy, my prayers will continue to be with you all. It's wonderful to hear that great news! I look forward to your report tomorrow evening that he's even better.

Please let me know if I can do anything for you.

09-29-2009, 11:13 PM
Hey Lazy that is great news.I know that your whole family is breathing a little easier.I will keep you all in my thoughts.

09-30-2009, 07:06 AM
Good News, is Good News! Glad to hear things are looking up!

flying illini
09-30-2009, 02:02 PM
Lazy, great to hear this.

09-30-2009, 09:59 PM
Implant went fine. Dr. said it was the proverbial "textbook case", and equipment doing its job. Still has some short-term memory issues. Doc said they "usually" take care of themselves over a month or so. Whatever issues remain after a month or so will probably be permanent.

Cancer doc and neurologist have both cleared him to go home. If all goes well w/heart doc, he should be out of hosp by Saturday. BIL will stay with them at their place through the weekend, then bring them both down here. No plans for housing figured out at this point. We're still the best place for them due to our schedules. Just have to figure out beds. We could move both twin beds into one room for them, and put daughter on a blowup in her room. Anybody got a queen bed to spare for awhile:roflmaoha0:? Also have to figure how to trade off with BIL to get some relief. Don't know if having MIL/FIL together will be helpful (they can help each other) or just twice the challenge.

Right now BIL is just plain bushed. I think he has a pretty good understanding now of the attention it takes on a daily basis.

10-01-2009, 08:45 AM
LAzy I'm glad that he is out of the woods,you will get it all figured out it may take a little time. In the end it will all be running like a well oiled macine. Hold your head up buddy your a Man Among Men.

10-05-2009, 11:35 AM
Looks like we're bringing MIL down to us Tuesday, 'cause BIL has meetings in Dallas he can't miss. FIL could be released Wednesday,Thursday more likely. I'll go up and get him and bring him down for a week or two, if all goes well.

Since I posted last he's had a collapsed lung, found in xrays to verify that the implant was working right. That has been corrected, he's up and moving around, "causing trouble" and picking on the nurses, so he's feeling better.

Started talking last night about possibly releasing him today, then found blood in urine this morning. Tests scheduled for this afternoon and tomorrow am. Nobody seems too concerned. Could be from catheter, or just stress to system from all he's been through.

Definitely going in the right direction, though. Cancer doc says "go home". Heart doc says "go home". Neurologist says "go home". His body seems to be saying "well, maybe....maybe not. I think I'll stick around here another day or so...":roflmaoha0: I think we've pretty much run the gamut of things to go haywire. I suppose we have ingrown toenails or something like that left, but he's pretty much covered everything else...

Thanks again for all the support and prayers for the family.

Oh. And did I mention their refrigerator died while he was in the hospital and she was with us? Luckily, folks checking on the house realized it and no loss of vittles.

10-05-2009, 11:37 AM
Glad to hear he might be home soon...that's always a good sign.

10-13-2009, 03:53 PM
Brought him down to us last Thursday. Outside of needing to gain about 30 pounds back, he gives no indication of having been through any of this. He tires a bit easier than he used to, but will get that back, I'm sure.

Found out on the way up to pick him up that I would "need to learn how to do a procedure for him". Say what??? Thankfully, just had to learn how to change bandage and dress the hole in his side from the lung cavity drainage tube. Rather ugly, but no big deal. It's about closed up now, drainage very minimal.

They are going home Thursday. We're concerned about how they will get along, but he's going stir-crazy around here. With the rain and chill, he has no business being outside. At his place he has a barn full of tools and tasks to occupy his time.

Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers. I firmly believe you all had a hand in his recovery and survival. I hope if I ever have to go through anything like this, I can recover 1/2 as well or as quickly as he has.

He helped me rub down a brisket and a couple of butts last night. I'll smoke 'em overnight tonight and send a mess of vacuum-packed goodness home with them...

Buzzards Roost
10-13-2009, 03:57 PM
Its great to here of his recovery this quick. Will still keep them in our prayes.

10-13-2009, 04:20 PM
Glad to hear .Its good that you are sending him home with some food to put some meat on his bones.:thumbs up:

10-13-2009, 06:38 PM
That's good news! Please continue to update us on his progress, as well as your MIL too. We'll continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers here.

10-13-2009, 07:03 PM
It's great to hear they let him out...best of wishes and lots of prayers for his full recovery.

10-28-2009, 10:41 PM
Got test results today from his first PET(?) scan after chemo. They found two lymph nodes still inflamed. After checking with oncologist and surgeon, they've decided to start 5 weeks worth of radiation on those two lymph nodes. Other than that, he's doing fine. Attitude seems great for all he's been through.

He was pretty bummed out after his heart doc told him he couldn't do anymore welding. While he was sitting around here recovering, he read the booklets that he was given after surgery concerning what he can/should/shouldn't do after getting the defibrillator put in (probable the only "manual" he's ever read in his life...). He was in hog heaven after reading that the welding stipulation wasn't "no welding", but that he can't be within so many feet of the cracker box. He was trying to remember before he went home just how long his leads are on the welder, and what he would have to do to make it work... I imagine he has the "danger zone" drawn on the barn floor with chalk by now. As long as he doesn't overdo it, he'll be fine.

10-28-2009, 10:46 PM
He sounds like a fine gentleman.Give him our best wishes!

You folks are still in our prayers.

10-29-2009, 01:43 AM
Great news, Hard to keep a good man down.I hope that his recovery is complete.

11-20-2009, 06:41 PM
:(FIL has requested we all come and meet with him and Dr in hosp. tomorrow. No details yet, but based on his appearance and attitude 2 days ago when we went to see him, I'm not expecting much positive to come from this. Trying not to jump to conclusions.

11-21-2009, 11:38 PM
The cancer is spreading into his liver. Maybe a couple months without treatment. Chemo, if successful, could add 6-24 months to his life. No guarantees.

Last night he was leaning towards no more treatment and just address the pain until time to "go home". After sleeping on it and talking some more with the nurses about the treatment, and finding out that he can get into the assisted-living facility with my MIL, he's decided to go ahead and continue fighting. They started his first treatment this evening.

They hope to get him into assisted-living within 7-10 days, if they can get his meds lined out so he can eat. That facility will get him back and forth to hosp. for treatments, plus basically wait on him hand and foot 24 hours a day. Plus, they allow dogs in the apartments, so he'll have everybody there with him.

11-21-2009, 11:48 PM
It's a tough time for him and the family. Hang tough and be there when you can. I lost my father to cancer and grandfather a year later to cancer, but that was many years ago. Treatment is there now. Help him live life and be happy with and for him.

11-22-2009, 03:36 PM
We are thinking of you guys and keeping you in our prayers.

11-22-2009, 05:05 PM
Lazy I Hope that the Chemo works for him.I wish only the best for your family.This is a hard thing to watch.As I have marched in those boots,I lost my Mom 3 yrs ago to Cancer.I am glad that they are getting th e help that they need with the assisted living.The best thing that I can tell you is be supportive, but be respectful of any decision that he makes.The treatment is in a lot of ways worse than the disease. Be strong my friend.

11-22-2009, 05:17 PM
All the best my friend...

11-22-2009, 05:54 PM
Our thoughts are sure with you and the entire family. Please let us know if we do anything to help.

TX Sandman
11-22-2009, 10:18 PM
:whathesaid: Thoughts and prayers from Texas, my friend.

12-08-2009, 10:55 PM
BIL called this morning that hosp. drs have done all they can do. FIL not eating, BP down to 70 over ?. He really hasn't been fully involved for a couple of weeks.

Checked in this afternoon and they had pulled all his IVs out, turned off the internal defib device and posted the DNR order on his chart. The DNR had been decided upon years ago, and he was quite clear last month that he hadn't changed his mind. BIL went up to Wichita late this afternoon.

He called about 8:45 this evening that FIL was gone. Died peacefully in his sleep about 8:20. My wife is taking it hard, having been playing "ostrich" through this whole ordeal. Eldest daughter is doing fine, having decided last month that this was coming. Youngest daughter just wants to be left alone.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and thoughts in the last few months. The answers we get aren't always the answers we're looking for. He's in a better place, but has left a huge hole in our lives.

12-08-2009, 11:46 PM
Im very sorry for your loss.

Prayers sent to you and your entire family!

12-09-2009, 09:49 AM
So sorry to hear of your loss.Please give your wife my heartfelt condolences as well as your entire family.

12-09-2009, 05:50 PM
Please pass along my sincere Condolences to your bride. Tme is an amazing healer.

12-09-2009, 10:49 PM
Instead of thinking of his passing as having left a hole in your lives, I pray for all of you that you can instead soon find a way to think more of the warm fullness that his life has blessed you with.

This will begin the healing.

Our condolences are with you all. We know the pain of losing a loved one.