Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grieving

I won't be posting for a little while due to my father's death. It was eventually expected, but not quite so soon. At the end, it seemed to come on quickly and he passed away with family at his side.

I will be back some time soon.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Heading Home!

I'm leaving Korea tomorrow. After some struggle (which I'll try to remember to discuss here at a later time), I will be leaving Sunday, August 10th around 11am, Korea time. I arrive in my hometown about 11:10pm, Sunday, August 10th. However, I will be in transit nearly 24 hours. Gotta love those time zones!

My dad doesn't know I'm heading home yet; however, my mom and brothers and some other know. We are going to surprise my dad...but I think Mom is going to wait til I arrive in Toronto and let him know I was able to get an earlier flight so that it won't be too much of a shock on him. We don't want him to have a heart attack or something.

Dad's doing better with his kidneys. They've put a couple of stents in and so far his kidneys are working again. The nurse thought part of the reason he couldn't keep food down was because of the fluid build-up. He's on a liquid diet right now, but even before he couldn't always keep liquids down either. Now he seems to be, so that is good at least.

Not sure how I'm going to react when I walk into the hospital for the first time and see him there. I just don't want to break down and cry in front of him or anything - though I know he'll understand. I want to be strong when I'm around him - and then cry when I'm alone. I'll be praying that God will give me strength and that this will be the way I am.

Anyway, I have to go get ready. I'm leaving in awhile to go to Seoul to do some last minute shopping. I'm staying there over night because it's close to the airport and I wouldn't be able to get transportation to get there on time if I wait and leave from the town I'm in tomorrow morning.

The next time I write, I'll be back home in Canada. Talk to you then!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

In A Fog

I've been in somewhat of a fog these last 22 hours or so. I talked to my mom last night and found out things with my father are far more worse than we had thought or known.

He's been in the hospital again for a week now. He went in because he was having some difficulty breathing. Also, his hands and feet were swelled up again. They've been monitoring him and doing more tests, giving him meds intravenously to help with his heart (it was beating a little fast), and to bring down the swelling. They also scheduled an endoscopy for yesterday, and wanted to check his stomach to see if there was something causing him not to be able to keep his food down too well.

Well, yesterday when I talked to mom, she said that the reason he had been retaining water (the swelling) was because the tube running from his kidney to his bladder was bent. It's supposed to be straight. They operated that night to put in a couple of stents to straighten it and it looked promising. They had managed to drain about 3 liters of fluid from around his lungs. The nurse said that was probably why he was having difficulty breathing. However, since then, there hasn't been much drainage - little if any really.

They said Dad's kidney (not sure if it's one or both of them) was working when he went in last Wednesday, but somewhere along the way it stopped working. They said the kidney is the problem and the only option is dialysis. However, before they put him on dialysis, they want to do a CT scan or something to see if there is cancer in his stomach. If there is and the oncologist decides that he can't or won't operate, then they will not put Dad on dialysis. The doctor said that dialysis would only prolong any pain and suffering Dad has.

When I got up this morning, I called because mom had left me a message about an update on my dad. It's not good. My brother had been talking to one of the nurses (they didn't get to the hospital in time to talk to the doctor I guess) said that they are going to put another stent in to see if they can get Dad's kidney working. However, they have now found the reason why Dad wasn't, and isn't, breathing too well. The cancer has spread to his lungs - and it's a fast spreading cancer.

I'm praying for my dad, and for my family. We've got lots of people praying. I'd appreciate any more prayers I can get. It's difficult for me being so far away, even though there is nothing I can do even if I was there. Right now, I'm praying - actually begging - that my dad can and will hold on til I get home from Korea.

So, that's what I'm dealing with now. I'm working away at packing up some more boxes to send home, and I'm starting to clean up the apartment and get it spotless and whatnot...especially if I have to end up leaving sooner than expected. It's definitely not a fun time. I never thought a year ago that when I would leave to come back to Canada, it would be under such circumstances.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Free Time

Whew! I finally have some free time to myself. I'm on vacation!

This past week we had summer English camp, and there were 80 students registered. It went pretty well, though the days were long. We started at 9:00 in the morning and ended at 9:00 at night. My friend Sarah and I decided to come home each night to our apartments, because we felt more comfortable doing that. The rest of the teachers stayed on campus (the camp was held at a university about 20 minutes from where we are) all week.

Thursday evening the kids had a performance for the parents, followed by a little snack time. The kids in my homeroom class did a great job. One of the boys really didn't want to go on stage (each kid had to have some kind of part in the performance), but he finally did. He was really nervous though. I made sure to let him know he did a great job, and I think that helped to boost his self-esteem some. They all seemed to enjoy the practices and actual performance, and they did a great job.

In other news, my dad is back in the hosptial. He's been there two or three days now because he was having trouble with his breathing. His feet, legs, and hands have been swollen lately and he wasn't sure why. We all seemed to think it might have been from the heat or something like that, but after doing some tests, the doctor came in yesterday and said that there was some kind of blockage between his bladder and kidneys. They performed surgery (after 10pm) to place a couple of stents to open up the passage and help drain the buildup of liquid. He also has a catheter, which is/was supposed to come off after a day or so. My mom left me a message this morning on MSN saying that they've already got about 3 liters of liquid drained, and all or most of it was from his lungs. The nurse said that no wonder he was having difficulty breathing! She said that should help with that now. My dad's heart rate had also dropped during surgery (and his breathing was difficult) so I guess they put him in the ICU to keep an eye on him. His heart rate is up (he's been having some issues since the 2nd chemo treatment where his heart will beat too fast), so they're giving him some kind of injection to help get it normal.

I guess my big fear is that something bad is going to happen before I have a chance to get home. I've been praying for my dad and his health, and I know it's all in the hands of the Lord. But, to be honest, the fear is still there...

As of today, there are only 27 more days until I leave Korea. I'm getting antsy - I want to go home! Yes, I will miss some of the people and some of the places/things from Korea, but I will be really happy to get back home. I'm thankful for this experience and I'm glad I had the opportunity and came here.

I'll be packing up a few boxes over the next few days and sending some of my things home - souvenirs, clothes, etc., so my suitcases won't be so heavy. A few weeks ago I went to Seoul to pick up some more souvenirs to take back with me, and I think I'll probably go back again at least once more to pick up a few more things - especially for myself. After spending a year here, I would like to have something to remember my time spent here.

The weather has been getting a little more hotter and hotter (and humid) as the days go by. Rainy season is over now, and the really hot days are setting in. I have to wonder if I'll find them quite as hot as I did upon my first arrival here. Back then, as soon as we stepped out of the air conditioned airport into the heat of Seoul, it felt like I was going to melt right away. I didn't have to stand outside too long before being drenched by sweat! Now, however, we've been slowly exposed to the heat so it isn't quite as shocking...I know it will be (as it is now) HOT, but I really don't think it will compare to the first exposure of it last year...we'll see.

Well, must be off now and go talk to my mom to find out how my dad is doing since I talked to her last night. And, I do have to get a box or two packed up as I plan on heading out to the post office tomorrow...

Have a Christ filled day!