January 9, 2012

Frailty of Life

[caption id="attachment_1940" align="alignnone" width="850" caption="Dad resting on hospital bed"][/caption]

Two months ago, when I received news from my wife that my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, my heart sank real deep. I was still on my way to school for a morning class, driving on AYE. My mouth muttered a few prayers but my mind was running amok. The news came too fast and too soon too. Dad was warded so he could have a biopsy and CT scan done. Doc said he was turning yellow too as his bile duct was blocked by the tumor growth measuring 4cm (disc shaped) at the tip of his pancreas. Prior to biopsy the doc inserted a stent through the bile duct to clear it from the blockage. No complication. It was a smooth procedure to our relieve. But the process took its toil on my dad's overall health.

Several days later, even though there wasn't any infection, he was feeling generally weak, lost his appetite for food and complained about bloating around his gut area, and has difficulty in passing motion. He decided to try TCM but the medicine was causing some gastric pain. Then it was another 2 weeks later he went back to the doc again for constipation. He was then warded for observation and for clearing of his bowels. Doc advised to do a colonoscopy and he consented even though we tried to persuade him not too as he would be sedated during the procedure. We reckon it would weaken his body further.

True enough it did. At the same time he decided to take up radioactive treatment for an additional growth in his rectum. Doc suspected the additional growth was metastasis, which has narrowed the passage through his anus. At the same time, he stomach is distended due to liquid retention caused by malnutrition and low proteins level. A tube has to be inserted to help drain the fluid from his gut. Another catheter is inserted to help him pass urine too. These are just signs and conditions that suggest he could be gone in a couple of months.

I have been grappling with this hard truth for some time now. Not long ago, my sister's mother-in-law passed away from pancreatic cancer. So was my friend's mother. My grandmother was gone now from pulmonary disorders due to old age. Now my dad is lying in the hospital bed waiting.... but I still believe he would be well for the Lord said so that he would be well.