Thanks to Linda Wagner for sharing this photo today!
For those of you who are part of my Raw Food Rehab family or are on the Cleanse America Community Site, you may have heard about my father's illness. My dear dad has had chronic leukemia (CMML) for about a year and a half, but fortunately, he has almost no noticeable symptoms....until recently. Dad started losing weight over the past several months, and it eventually became quite dramatic, getting down to 155 lbs. just a few weeks ago. Dad's always been a fairly large man at 6 ft. tall and it was unusual for him to get below 200 lbs. So it was shocking to see how frail and thin he had become.
Dad has been living alone, at his little fisherman's getaway on Grand Lake. He is an avid organic gardener and fisherman and is one of the more active fellows in his neighborhood of mainly retirement aged people. Even at 82 years young, Dad was always mowing someone's yard or tinkering with a broken down air conditioner for a neighbor. When I went to visit him just 3 weeks ago, I found him nearly immobile, battling extreme fatigue and hardly eating, and I knew I had to do something.
So we've moved Dad into our home and I am now his full-time caregiver, making regular meals, driving him to all of his many doctor's appointments and looking for ways to entertain and keep his spirits up. We are hoping to be able to get some of the mobility back in his legs (they think it is unrelated to the leukemia and is a result of arthritis of the spine). A series of epidural shots may very well get him back to a more normal daily life, so I am praying that this will be so. He has just recently started taking an oral anti-cancer drug daily, after a new bone marrow biopsy showed a shift in the diagnosis to Acute Myeloid Leukemia, in hopes of managing the aggression of the bad cell growth in the blood, but Dad is choosing not to go the route of traditional chemo-therapy, which I fully understand and support.
The good news is that he has gained over 10 pounds since he's been here with us. I am jokingly calling his stay here, Cooked Food Rehab, as he has absolutely no interest or palate for raw foods, salads or juices at this time (wouldn't you know it). I am able to get a superfood shake in him daily (thanks Mike & Seth for making Rockin' Wellness taste good to cancer patients!!) and I am doing my best to keep the cooked meals as healthy and appetizing as possible. So far so good!
I have had much kind input and suggestions by lots of people who are very well-meaning and wish to offer advise or their love and support. I read all my emails, but don't have much free time to respond at this time. But I appreciate each of you all so very much.
For now I'm approaching all of this one day at a time and trying to help support dad's quality of life as much as humanly possible while respecting his lifestyle wishes and desires. It is an honor to love and serve this amazing man, in this time of transition and uncertainty, as he is my biggest role model and who I admire the most in my life.
I will still be lovingly working on projects for Raw Food Rehab, and on my writing, whenever I am able, but I've stepped down from any other work related responsibilities or travel for now. Perhaps, if it isn't offensive to my raw food friends, I may share a healthy recipe from our time in Cooked Food Rehab on this blog from time to time. Let me know how you feel about that.
Wishing you much love today & always!
PS - One of my recipes is being featured today at my good friend, Tess Masters' website Healthy Blender Recipes. Please check it out & let her know you stopped by! I also have a bonus recipe for those of you at Raw Food Rehab - Enjoy!!