Dad was admitted to the ER a couple of weeks ago. He was incoherent, didn't know where he was, who we were, and had no idea what was going on. Just kept trying to get out of his wheelchair. Where he thought he was going, I don't know. His sodium and potassium levels bottomed out again, a common side effect of small cell lung cancer. He was admitted and spent about 10 days in the hospital, giving the staff hell the whole time until the doctor finally said, fine you want to go home? Go.
During that 10 days in hospital he spent a couple days getting back to "himself", which is still a vague shadow of who he used to be, he missed my MBA graduation, and my mom has been running herself ragged going back and forth from the hospital to home and back to bring him what creature comforts she can. His decision to aggravate the staff into finally discharging him caused his oncologist to have to jump through hoops to get him admitted to a rehabilitative facility to help him gain enough strength to even be able to do the next round of oral chemo. Giving it to him with his strength where it currently is would be tantamount to murder, so the doctor wisely chose not to go that route.
He's been in the rehab facility for a couple weeks now and they were finally able to stabilize his sodium, although it's still below 135. He shakes, it takes him about 10 minutes to push his wheelchair across a room. His comprehension still isn't great. All of this is related to the hyponatremia from the sodium depletion, but it's also related to his small cell lung cancer and the radiation that was done to his brain. He isn't the same person he was just 6 months ago. He gets disoriented easily, he's constantly fatigued, and his quality of life is shot as he can't do any of the things that he used to that made his life enjoyable. I know we're living on borrowed time right now.
I don't post these to make anyone feel bad or to be a doomsday blogger about smoking. I share these updates because: 1, it helps me process everything that I and my family are going through, 2, it serves as a reminder to me as I approach my own 7 year quit-iversary to never smoke again, and 3, if I reach even one person that's quit and is waffling about taking another puff, then it's worth it. It's never too late to quit smoking. Find your reason why and then stick to it.