Monday, February 21, 2011


I'm not sure that I have written about the health situation of my parents in this blog before. But it feels appropriate at this time to share of mine and my parents' current journey through life right now. My mom who is in the recliner has had Alzheimers for many years. We believe she is currently in the advanced stages of the disease and hasn't been able to hold a conversation for a long time now. She needs complete care and all of us as a family takes turns helping my dad and my sister who lives there to care for Mom.  Mom is also unable to walk without the assistance of two other people. Increasingly, she tires easily and we use a wheelchair more when she needs to move from one location to another.

My dad also has significant health issues. A little over a year ago, my dad had an operation to remove cancerous tissue from his nose and behind one of his eyes. One eye needed to be removed in the process. This was followed by radiation treatments. And his prognosis seemed good. But this past December a check up revealed that the cancer was back and that it had already reached lungs as well as affecting other areas in his head. They told dad that it was treatable but not curable. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy to keep his quality of life as good as possible as long as possible. Dad is frequently tired now but is keeping a good attitude. And the fact that Mom needs lots of care I think gives him the motivation he needs to keep fighting on. But it is not easy.

The photo above comes from one the times, my wife and I went to assist with caring for Mom. While we are there, we'll frequently also play table games with dad. Table games are something we enjoyed playing from little on up into adulthood as a family. And I think dad still enjoys even now when he is not too tired. None of us knows what the future holds other than that life doesn't go on forever. But any prayers will be appreciated.


  1. Tim, I'm sorry to hear that you are in the midst of such difficulty. My parents are both gone, and I'm thankful that, when their time came, both went relatively quickly.

    It's clear from your comments that you are taking good care of them, and I know that even your mother on some level appreciates that care. You will always draw strength from knowing you did all you could.

  2. My prayers are with you, my friend. As you know, my mother also has Alzheimer's. I am blessed that my father is doing well despite the drain that carrying for my mother takes on him. I often wish I could see them more, but they are 800 miles away.

  3. Prayers and thoughts...
    that if you can keep them home,
    that is the best care and love.

    It's not easy but looking back,
    it will be the best times you shared now.

  4. Tim, "there is a time for all thinks,
    a time for every thing under the sky".
    Just enjoy, every day, the time you have now even if it is difficult. Your parents are strong and well supported.

  5. This is a story I know only too well, Tim. My mom died of Alzheimer's 2 years after Dad died of lung cancer (never a smoker in his life). We 8 kids believed God showed mercy in taking Dad before Mom because God knew Dad couldn't continue caring for her. And after he was gone, we realized no one could care for Mom except a facility specializing in what she needed...24-hour supervision. My sister tried for 6 months on her own with Mom but it was impossible. We almost lost my sister, too!

    I pray you all will have wisdom in these hard days ahead. Are you seeking professional help with your decisions? I worked with Alzheimer's patients for 2 years in assisted living and know that of the two diseases, hers is the worst.

    My heart goes out to you

  6. Thanks, ted roth. Your words of encouragement are appreciated.

    Thanks, sage. I am grateful that I live relatively near my parents at this time. And I know you can feel along with me the loss that comes when a parent suffers from Alzheimer.

    Thanks, sue anne. Your thoughts and prayers are gratefully received.

    Thanks, cergie. Taking one day at a time and enjoying the positive that is present is definitely good advice.

    Thanks, ginnie, for your thoughts. What does help in caring for my parents is that my family is large with many of then living in the area. The burden is shared although some of my siblings due to proximity and other reasons do carry a greater burden of help. But all of us who live in the area help with their care every week. And we do have Hospice assisting with Mom's care. And the wife of one of my brothers has worked in the health field. It is not easy but we are blessed because we are working together as a family.