Monday, October 12, 2009

Bad to Worser

Its amazing that just when you think you've gotten all the bad news you could possibly get, you get a little more to add on top. My suck bucket doth spilleth over.

But really, its not my suck bucket. Its my dad's suck bucket. His is like a suck pond. Maybe a suck lake. Poor guy had a colonoscopy today. Seriously. If I'm dying, the last thing I would want to do is drink a gallon of Miralax, poo my brains out, then have someone shove a camera up my ass. But someone thought it was a good idea. Oh, plus, 4 hours of dialysis afterwards. And its like they don't even really give you a choice. They just come get him and I think he is too weak or scared to just say no. Nancy Reagan, this should have been your Just Say No campaign. Screw recreational drugs. What this country needs to say no to is unnecessary and painful medical tests.

He failed the tests. Bad. The cancer is in his colon. And his lungs. And his liver. And his hip. We've spent weeks going to doctors trying to find out why he couldn't put any weight on his leg - thought it was fractured or arthritic or something. Nope. Fucking hip has cancer in it. Just like the rest of him.

I was fortunate (?) enough to be in the room when one of the oncologists came in. My brother was there too (unhelpful as always). The oncologist looked like an albino mole. And had the bedside manner of one. He didn't look any of us in the eye. He came in and just started talking. Didn't even introduce himself.

He launched into "well, we got your tests back. Turns out you do have a mass in your colon. We are doing a biopsy now. We also found cancer in your hip. Its inoperable. But, what we recommend is chemotherapy and radiation. It won't cure you; it will just shrink the tumors..."

Then he went on and on about how difficult it is to treat cancer in dialysis patients because the artificial kidneys kick the drugs out so fast, but that there are these special drugs that sometimes work.. and yadda, yadda on and on and on. Dude didn't look up - not once - to read our reaction. I was looking at him cross eyed. Do you SEE my dad? He weighs less than I do. He's old. He's in pain. He's tired. He's blind. Come on! You really think he wants to toss his cookies and lose his hair in addition? So that he can come back to his baseline health level of "life is barely tolerable?" Enough is enough. If he was a dog, we would have put him down already under the life heading of "its the kindest thing to do"

How come they can't have the common decency to treat my dad like a dog?


Ms Behaviour said...

In Canada you can request a different oncologist. Can you do that in the US? It made a big difference to my friend's treatment, just to know that she was talking to an actual human being.

Miss OverThinker said...

I have been reading your blog silently for a while now - almost as long as I have been blogging.. I wanted to comment on the last post too but stopped myself - I mean what does one say during such a sucky situation.. sadly I went through something similar a few years ago so I can say I do have some idea what you are going thru.. just stay strong - try spending as much time with your dad as possible even when you don't feel like it... cuz he may not be around for a long time now..

erin said...

I am way behind on blog reading and I just read the last three posts. I'm so, so sorry you are going through this awful time. I can't believe how inhuman the oncologist was and why is no one talking to you about hospice? Does your dad have to actively refuse treatment before they will lay out every option available to him? What an awful situation, again, I am so sorry. Hang in there.