Our Battle with Cancer. Chapter 6.

It’s just been a few days and dad has already taken a turn for the worse.

First, it seems that these past few weeks, he’s been sneaking in cigarettes whenever my mom’s not around. Hence, from a mild case of emphysema a month ago, he’s now progressed to moderate emphysema. He needs to be hooked to an oxygen tank now all the time.

Second, his stay in the hospital hasn’t helped him recover his strength. He still can’t sleep at night, still doesn’t eat. His muscles have started atrophying due to immobility. So he still can’t move around without any active assistance from anyone.

Third, in his quest to try to get discharged already, he asked the doctor for oral antibiotics instead of an intravenous one. The oral antibiotics seem to not be working in curing his pneumonia, so now he’s running a fever.

It’s heartbreaking.

One of the hardest things to deal with when an immediate family member is seriously ill is the effect it has on the family members. Inevitably, it also takes a toll on family relationships. You’ll never see eye to eye on how to handle the situation. Things like these bring out either the best, or the worst in people.

I don’t quite know how it happened… but mom has started treating me like the eldest child in the family. She calls only me when news comes in about dad’s condition. And she makes me be the bearer of bad news to my older brother, and the rest of our relatives. She expects me to handle arrangements about finances with everyone else, and to be the one to make decisions in her behalf.

I’m not complaining.

But admittedly it’s also starting to take a toll on me. It becomes even more difficult when I get calls in the middle of a busy, hectic work day. Of course, family always comes first before work. So there’s no issue there.

I guess it’s just not doing much good for my emotional state of mind. I need these uninterrupted retreats into my work for hours at a time to retain some sense of equilibrium. If I’m not whole, how can I be there for the rest of my family and be the strength they need me to be?

I’ve always heard stories from families suffering through a family member battling a terminal illness and heard how difficult it is for family members. But what I thought…. is nowhere close to how it really is.

*Sigh*

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