the kids and i flew back to minneapolis last thursday. needless to say, it's been a tough few days and i know things are only going to get tougher. my dad was discharged from the hospital on saturday afternoon and is still on antibiotics for his local infection and sepsis (which i cannot believe he survived given how low his white blood cell was/is).
he was moved to a multi-purpose care center in burnsville that has some apartments that are specially for hospice patients and their families. this place is such a blessing, you guys. it's so nice there (not depressing at all. i joke that it feels like a campus apartment), there is 24/7 nursing staff and every one we have met has been wonderful. it breaks my heart to know that he will never set foot in my parents house again, but he was requiring more care than we could give him at home and we know he is in good hands. before he was discharged, the palliative care doctors told us he could live another 1-2 months, which was very surprising to hear. but we know tomorrow is never a promise, so we are trying to appreciate each day.
my dad is in a fair amount of pain, which they are trying to manage with medication. he has a tumor on his lower spine now, which makes him completely wheelchair bound. he actually spends most of his time in bed, but they are able to get him up with a hoyer lift. he isn't talking much anymore (probably the body's way of coping with pain and fear). i've been trying to spend as much time with him as i can, even if it just means sitting in the room with him in silence. at least we are together.
i've been pretty honest with azalea about what is happening. while it breaks my heart to introduce her to the sadness of illness and death, it is part of life and i don't believe any good will come from hiding it from her (not that we could!). the kids went to visit grandpa his first night at the hospice apartment, but we only lasted abut 30 minutes. azalea was afraid and ashford was wild, so we left. but i'm glad my dad got to see them for a little while.
thatcher is coming into town for a long weekend on friday. the kids and i have a flight back booked for august 9th, but we might end up changing it. i know i just gave quite a bit of an update, but if you are interested, we finally set up a caring bridge site for him and there is no password required:
thank you all for your words of comfort and your offers of help. i appreciate it so much and if i can take away anything from this experience, i will know how to be a supportive friend to others who face a similar situation.