It's been a long 6 1/2 years as my Dad has fought his battle with Multiple Myeloma. This past winter has been especially hard on him, and he has been weak for awhile, but the rapid decline we have witnessed in the past few days has been different. My sisters and brother were coming into town so that we could celebrate my parents' 25th wedding anniversary this weekend. Although their true anniversary isn't until the end of June, we decided a couple of months ago to celebrate it now since the out of town siblings were planning a visit anyway. Last Friday afternooon my brother Andrew, his wife Erin, and Mom took Dad down to the ER because he had become increasingly disoriented and was experiencing tremors and choking. Once he was admitted, our weekend plans shifted from a celebration at their home, to the hospital room. We all gathered around and shared memories from the past 25 years while Dad lay in the midst of it, eyes open and looking at us, but not talking or responding. By Sunday his physical state had further deteriorated, and his eyes were closed and he didn't really respond at all. This morning the decision was made to move him to hospice, and all the "kids" gathered at HUP. We took turns crying, talking to Dad, and holding his hand, as well as just talking about plans for the next few days. It was heartbreaking, and exhausting, and I can't even write down what I feel right now because my head just aches with tears- both shed and unshed. I don't know how quickly or slowly this will go, but it is hard to believe that he won't be with us soon. I know it has been years since his diagnosis, and this is a day we have dreaded, but now that it is almost here, it is still uncomprehensible. For now we pray and wait.
**For a more detailed medical description, you can read his blog