Last Thursday, I received a phone call letting me know my dad had been admitted to the hospital for difficulty breathing and swallowing. While he was there he tried to stand up to get out of his bed. He fainted. He "crashed". They had to revive him. They had to put him on a ventilator (life support). He was now in ICU.
Of course, I dropped everything, got on a flight from Utah to California that afternoon. Was by his side Thursday night. My sister came with me. My two brothers arrived the next day.
While doing tests for why he couldn't breathe well, they found cancer by his kidney. His kidneys were not performing as they should either. There were numerous problems with his body. They couldn't even figure out what all of them were and why they were happening. Side note: Chemotherapy can't begin until his body is healthy enough to handle it. Kidneys play a major part in Chemotherapy.
We were all sort of in a scramble to get our spouses and children there to say goodbye. The diagnoses wasn't good. We thought we would all be saying our goodbyes to our dad within the next day or two.
But - he improved. He started to breathe on his own. He woke up. Slowly, day by day the IV's came out. His breathing and coughing (to cough up all the gunk that pooled in his lungs while on life support) improved. We called off the mass exodus of more family members to California for the time being.
Yesterday he was moved out of ICU. Off all the IV's. We were so excited to see such great progress. He was taken to get an MRI of his throat to see why his swallowing wasn't improving. Nothing. This is still a mystery of why he can't swallow. If he can't swallow, he can't eat. If he can't eat, he can't get the full nutrients he needs to get his body strong enough for Chemo. If he can't have Chemo, he was given only a few months to live because of the cancer.
We're in a hard place. But there is hope. We hope the doctors can figure this whole swallowing thing out. So many prayers are being offered in my dad's behalf. We are still in a very tough place with his health.
But - while we were there, we had SO MANY tender mercies. Too many to list, but I testify that God is on our side. He is watching us. He has blessed us beyond measure these past few days as my siblings and I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.