Dick would commonly be thought of as my stepfather because he married my mother, but since they have only been married for nine years I consider him my mother’s husband. He’s a wonderful man who is dying of renal cancer, and I am his healthcare proxy.
As a physician assistant and because I know Dick more as someone important to my mother rather than a father, my perspective on this process is somewhat unusual. I have a medical perspective of what is happening, and he is an important figure in our family such that I have some emotional involvement but certainly not as deeply as I would with a parent who had raised me.
They live 35 miles from me and I drive there along a highway that makes getting there torturous at rush hour yet rather easy otherwise. While I have been advising my mother all along, this past month Dick’s health began to decline and she started to get overwhelmed. I needed to meet with his doctors so I could introduce myself and find out from them what was happening.
Just as I have the Emergency Encounters series in which I write about my work in emergency medicine, I am starting this series, Undying Love, to write about end-of-life care-giving in today’s shifting medical climate. Even in the short time I have been so actively involved, I have seen a lot.
Please pray for him and our family as I ask that the Holy Spirit allow these entries to bless other care-givers fighting to get medical treatment for their loved ones.