Hospice

My FIL was admitted to Hospice care after several months of increasing health issues. He was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and even though after his treatments were concluded, he was told the tumors were shrinking. Unfortunately after one of his follow-up appointments they found tumors scattered throughout his body. When they attempted to treat one area, it would negatively affect another organ. Then when they would treat that next organ, another would fail. The cyclical pattern was telling: there was nothing more they could do as far as treatments.

This news has sent the in-law’s family into turmoil, driving a wedge between those who think the doctors gave up too easily and those who think he should be allowed a chance to pain-free and comfortable days. When I first heard that he was going to go through chemo, I was stunned. I didn’t agree with his decision, nor the encouragement of his decision, to go through treatments that would make him feel like crap with the slim chance it would actually add time to his life. If he was 70 instead of 20 years older, I would feel differently. In other words, I thought his quality of life was severely diminished.

And then the chemo DID make him horribly sick and now instead of spending quality time at home, he’s too weak and requires continued care in a nursing home. Not so say he wouldn’t have possibly spent time there if he hadn’t gone through chemo, but being laid out for weeks in a hospital bed prior to making the hospice determination is where I think his health was negatively compromised.

Sparring Partner and I are not seeing eye to eye on this, but I am trying hard to keep my mouth shut. This is not happening to MY dad; I don’t know what he’s really feeling. I just know he leaves almost every evening to see his dad and returns well after the kids and I are in bed. During the day, he is prone to moments of brooding and even tears. After all these years of hearing stories of childhood, I wonder where the sudden change of heart is coming from, but as my sister explained, for my husband’s family, their dad acted as the true patriarch of the family and was actively involved and had final say on anything they did. Not like my dad who was this person who would only say, “Ask your mom…” when there were decisions to be made (if not just an outright “no”).

It’s a strained atmosphere around here. Waiting for the other boot to drop.