Friday, December 29, 2006

How do you mend a broken heart?

I want to take a minute and thank everyone for the support we have received in the past few days. From the constant phone calls at the hospital, to the visitors, abundance of food, hugs, and prayers... many people have gone out of their way to make our lives a little easier during this time of need.

Today was both mentally and physically draining. My dad was doing pretty well most of the day but he was having a tough time with his pain medicine this evening. They switched meds for him as his stomach couldn't handle the pain medicine and he was getting nauseous. Other than a little jello and broth, he hasn't eaten since Christmas dinner on Monday. Hopefully he will be able to get some food into his system soon. He has requested a cheeseburger and/or T-bone steak on more than one occasion but the nurses don't seem to understand as they continue to bring his popsicles and jello. Oh well, I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

The past few days have been a blur. Days are running together. The numbers on the clock now just represent the hours until the next dosage of pain meds. Thank god dad doesn't have a room mate at the hospital because we have quickly turned room 114 into home base. Although I live 3 blocks from the hospital, my mom has refused to sleep anywhere but a chair next to my dad's bed. We tried to convince her otherwise but it didn't take long to realize that she wasn't going anywhere. We can't blame her as we know my dad would be in the same chair if the roles were reversed.

If things go well the next few days he might be able to come home on Saturday. It just depends on how his body reacts to the surgery and the pain meds. The next step in the process is to get him fully recovered from the surgery so he can start treatment. My mom was on the phone with the Cancer Care Alliance today and was able to set up an appointment for my dad. That's great news for us. We want to make sure that he gets in to see the best possible oncologist in a timely manner.

In the mean time, we will continue to be as positive and optimistic as humanly possible. I have to admit though, thinking positive hasn't seemed to get us very far lately. I told my mom that I was thinking about being naughty next year since I tried to be nice this year and all I got was two sick parents. 2006 isn't over yet so I still have a few days to decide whether or not I want to test that theory.

In closing I want to leave you with a true story. I hope this story helps you smile the way it has brought both a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Angie just called me as she was leaving the hospital. She said she was leaving earlier than expected because the night nurse just came on duty and told my mom she had a surprise for her. The nurse closed the curtain in the room, then closed the door and began to re-arrange the room. She pushed the beds together and told my mom she wanted to give her an opportunity to sleep with my dad and hold his hand. Knowing that my parents are sound asleep, side-by-side, will allow me to sleep like a baby tonight.

Thanks to those of you who have helped our family to make it through one day at a time. And, may Karma reward the nurses who have broken the rules to help my parents mend their broken hearts.

Off to bed-


Anonymous said...

We all need to give that nurse a hero of the day award!

I hope you all sleep well tonight...

Amy T.

Anonymous said...

Peace,Love,and always Hope........

C.D.C.& C

Anonymous said...

I know that this ordeal occupies your whole mind and body all day and all night long, so I can't begin to imagine the stress on you all. But, we also want to let you know that Rick and Doreen and the kids come into our thoughts several times throughout each day, especially the quiet moments. We are repeatedly saying prayers for Rick and Doreen with the hope that God will extend his healing hand over both of you and provide comfort to everyone in the family.

Dan & Linda H.

Anonymous said...

Doreen, Rick, Amy, Angie, and Jake,

My heart, thoughts, and prayers goes out to your family. You are such a close family that loves each other so much, and that love and support will get you through this difficult time. Know that my family (Mom, Dad, sisters) cares for you so much.

~Jamie Johnson

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with us all on the blog. Your journal enteries have touched and inspired so many. I check the blog regularly - as I know so do MANY more friends. You have a strong family that wont give up either fight. I don't understand why cancer is hitting your family so hard, our thoughts and prayers are with you everyday!!!

Love, Allison