The past two weeks has been one of severe ups and downs. I have watched my father, the strongest, happiest man that I know, deteriorate into someone who needs help moving, getting in and out of the car; a man that sleeps 20 hours a day, doesn't drink or eat on his own. When my family and I first made the decision that I would quit my full time job and stay home to be my father's full time caregiver I was happy, determined, full of optimism. Please don't think that I am not still all of those things, however, reality hit... hard... when he had his g-tube (feeding tube) and meta port (where chemo is administered) placed a little over a week ago. At first I was excited that my dad would be getting a feeding tube, that we would be able to give him the nutrition that his body was desperately needing. The first day I had to use it to feed him was surreal. Here I was, a 37 year old woman, blending food and sucking it up in a giant syringe and feeding my father; oh how the roles have reversed. Emotionally I was OK with this part of his care, at first. I have had to learn how to become two different people, something that DOES NOT come natural to me. I have always prided myself on the fact that I am not fake, I am not a person that puts on a different "hat" (so to speak) when dealing with situations, people or life in general. I am always "Kendra".
This time things are vastly different... I am learning how to channel my emotions. I have been desperate, frustrated, angry, scared, sad... on the flip side, when I see progress, even when it is just my dad being awake an extra hour, I am hopeful, happy, optimistic. I know the kind of person that I am, I am a knowledge driven, fact finding, result wanting person. I have channeled my emotions the past few weeks to educate myself on all things related to esophageal and liver cancer. I have dedicated myself to researching, asking, finding, digging up research, reading articles, reports, medical journals... I have joined Facebook groups to educate myself on what I can do as my father's caregiver to improve his chances of beating this. I have taken all the anger, frustration and make the decision to transform it into something productive. This is the only way I know how to be.
This is the mindset that I was talking about in my last January blog.... perspective and mindset play such a huge role, not only for the patient, but for the caregiver as well.
Be well.... until next time.