18th May, Papa, Mum & K1 went to Dover Park Hospice and Bright Vision Hospital to find out more info on the rates of staying at hospice and its environment. The rate is $250 per day (before subsidy), the amount of subsidy depends on Means test. We also went to nursing home and found out that nursing home is not suitable for elderly with illness as there are no doctors and nurses to look after them. Uncle KS bought a door bell with 2 separate buttons for Dad to use so that we know Dad needs our assistance to bring him go toilet, from bedroom to living room etc. Uncle KS managed to persuade Dad to stay at home as the cost of staying at hospice is very expensive.
20th May (about 1.30am), K1 was sleeping when she suddenly heard a voice calling for help ‘Girl, girl, Daddy falls down’. K1 immediately asked Mum and K2 for help to bring Dad to sit on a chair. This is the 1st time Dad fell down, we need to take preventive measures so that Dad does not fall again. We started a midnight shift routine and took turns to sleep with Dad as Dad needs our assistance to go toilet etc. It’s tiring, we need time to adapt to midnight shift routine and yes it’s teamwork…
21st May – 23rd May, Aunt H, Aunt L and Aunt LC took turns to visit Dad. They bought lunch for Dad and K1, chat with Dad and provide foot massage service for Dad. Thank you very much 🙂
22nd May, a social worker came to have a chat with Dad and K1. Her name is Venus and she’s from HCA Hospice. Nurse Sellam is concerned about us and asked her colleague, Venus to drop-by our house to have a chat with us. Venus thought Mum’s the caregiver and was surprised that K1’s the youngest caregiver.
Venus: During these 5 months, how do you cope with the news regarding your Dad’s condition?
K1: When we heard the bad news, we cried and need time to accept reality. Faith and belief in religion helps us to fight the ‘Charlie’ battle together with Dad. In addition, words of encouragement and family support from relatives and friends enable us to tide over the ‘Charlie’ crisis.
~ Goodnight ~ Sweet Dreams ~
12th May is Mother’s Day. On that day, Dad told us his wishes for Mum, K1 and K2. He’s of sound mind and his wish is to remove coop lope and stay in hospice. At night, Papa and Mama drop-by our house to cut Mother’s Day cake. After that, Mum and K1 went to chalet @ Aranda Country Club for awhile to cut another Mother’s Day cake with Papa, Mama, Xinmin ge ge & family. N1 and N2 are wearing the dinosaur pyjamas.
14th May, Mum woke K1 @ 5am and both of us listened to Dad’s wishes such as K2 to give thank you speech when Dad’s not around. After breakfast, we meet Aunt LH @ Clinic D, NCC. Dr Tang was on leave so Dr Choo helped to arrange Dad’s admission into SGH. Dad was dehydrated and was given iv drip to replenish the fluids in his body. In addition, Dad wants to remove the coop lope as there’s leakage from coop lope. While Dad is waiting for the ward @ NCC, we go Kopitam to eat lunch. After lunch, we buy mashed potatoes and hot chocolate drink for Dad. K2 stay to accompany Dad @ NCC while Mum, Aunt LH & K1 go to Chinatown Point & China Square Central. We buy seaweed paste, water chestnut drink, egg mayo and tuna sandwiches/wraps, assorted fruits and brown rice porridge. At about 6+pm, the ward is ready so Mum and nurse accompany Dad to the ward from NCC to SGH by ambulance. Mr & Mrs Teow, K1 & K2 meet Dad & Mum at the ward after register Dad’s admission. We leave SGH at about 8pm and head to Tiong Bahru hawker centre for our dinner cum supper.
15th – 16th May, relatives took turns to visit Dad at SGH. Thank you very much for their care and concern 🙂
17th May, K1 & K2 go to SGH to bring Dad home. In the evening, Aunt H drop-by our house and we eat bee hoon, mee goreng and yi mian. There are jelly with soursop dessert, pandan cake and tiramisu.
Why is Dad suddenly telling us his wishes? At first, we are upset and do not support Dad’s decision to stay in hospice. After much consideration, we decide to go along with Dad’s wish to stay in hospice. Dad does not want to trouble us to look after him as we might not be able to cope to care for him when he feels frail.
Few hours ago, Dr Tan and nurse Sellam from HCA Hospice came to check on Dad’s illness. Recently, Dad did not look energetic and he gets tired very easily. He loses weight again, now his weight is 38kg. This week, he either feels nausea or vomit after eating his meals. Upon seeing bony Dad, Dr Tan suggests Dad to sleep on hospital bed and air mattress which nurse Sellam could help to order. Dr Tan estimates that Dad has about few weeks to live. Dr Tan suggests to get someone to chat with Dad to find out if there’s anything that Dad wants to do or what’s Dad worry about? Now his life is shorten from 6 months to few weeks. We need time to accept the fact, to be strong and to handle the matter with faith and courage.
Me: Dad is looking forward to his birthday chalet in June. Hope he’s still around to celebrate his birthday.
Nurse Sellam: Let’s pray…
Some people are fortunate to be diagnosed with cancer at an early stage. They either undergo surgery or chemo and are declared cancer-free.
Some people are unfortunate to be diagnosed with cancer at an advanced stage. The chemo treatment is not suitable for some of them and they must face the fact that they will probably leave their loved ones.
Some people are unfortunate to be diagnosed with cancer twice or cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. Cancer is a time bomb which could shorten a cancer patient’s life very quickly.
During the first 3 months of being a caregiver, I complained to Mum my frustrations looking after Dad. Mum’s advice ~ In March this year, doctor estimated that Dad has about 6 months to live. We have no idea how long Dad is going to live. Don’t have any regrets after Dad is gone. There are 3 options ~ 1st option is to continue being a caregiver on wkdays and work part-time on wkends. 2nd option is Mum take unpaid leave and I go find a full-time job (the salary must be enough to pay for house, household & living expenses etc). 3rd option is to use part of my salary from full-time job to pay for a maid to look after Dad. At the moment, I choose the 1st option as I have booked my driving lessons on wkdays. I hope to pass the practical driving test and get my driving licence so that I could be Dad’s chauffeur.
Time is precious. No matter how busy a person is, he/she must find time to spend quality time with loved ones. After a person is gone, happy memories shall be in one’s mind.