well, today we probably decide on my dads life.
at 76 with congestive heart failure, he went on peritoneal dialysis about 2 years ago. Even though it didnt look good at the time, he recovered, especially with my mom's care and he could enjoy his granddaughter and a second one that was born in the meantime.
A few weeks ago, he got an infection -which is often treatable, but this one proved harder, and it weakened him quite a bit.
Because its a fungal infection - to fully treat it means removing the catheter and starting antifungal medication - but going to hemodialysis. The hemo may be a bit risky for him because it takes out 3-4 litres at a time and with his low blood pressure may cause a heart attack.
of the 3 options, none were good, continue antifungal and leave the tube in (which Im told usually doesnt work*). 2nd was takeout the catheter and continue treatment and start hemodialysis (but its risky). The 3rd option was palliative care - basically make him comfortable and let him die.
*a second doctor told me that it does.
Now he was told by one doctor he had maybe 2-3yrs tops. (10 years ago)
A second doctor told him when he had the catheter put in that 'it's probably the end of the road' (2years ago).
In the past week and half he has actually started eating more and regained some strength, the infection has cleared up somewhat but not completely. This afternoon we are meeting with the doctors to go over the next step.
Now he is the classic self made man, having lived through a poverty stricken childhood in the German occupation of the Czechlands and WWII. Later the Soviet invasion in 68 as well as raising a family, escaping to Canada with nothing and eventually starting a successful business which employs a number of people. He is a man of intelligence, humour and talent and even though I am prepared to say goodbye I would like my young daughters to get to know him some more.