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I received a phonecall today from a Social Worker at St. Joseph’s Health Centre — the hospital in which my father has been in for nearly 3 weeks.

She rang my mother, but the maternal unit’s english is rather poor so she asked that all medical discussions happen with me.

The Social Worker was ringing to discuss my father. She had met with him and was giving her initial assessment. My father is slowly sinking into dementia. He’s having a hard time distinguishing between night & day, has lost track of time, and sometimes doesn’t recognise people. She asked me what I knew so far about my father’s condition. I told her that I knew, from my discussion with Dr Davidson, that the paternal unit has aggressive lymphoma, that his left arm is swollen from it (it had spread there), that he’s dizzy, that there is to be a discussion with Princess Margaret  Hospital with regards to what the next step will be.

The Social Worker said she spoke to my mother about discharging my father into her care. My mother said unless she got support 24/7 she can’t have my father return home. Mum had a heart attack a little while ago, she’s a tiny lady of 70 years with hardly any strength… she can barely lift a large frying pan, how is she to lift an elderly gentleman of about 240lbs?

So now it’s whether he is kept at St Joe’s or transferred to Princess Margaret.. or put him in a long-term care facility (I really don’t want that, those are highly questionable with regards to their hygiene and standard of care).

We are to have a family meeting with the Social Worker and the Doctor in the next few days, to discuss my father. The social worker said that as my father is easily confused, it appears that  he needs a family member to act as his healthcare guardian. And after a discussion with my mom, a few minutes later, it appears that my mom wants me to be that guardian .. as I have the most experience with the healthcare system, and the most level head (I can set aside my emotions when need be, to deal with the task at hand .. I collapse later, in private, though) in the family.

What I didn’t know, and which freaks me out is … there’s a request put in for aggressive radiation therapy for his chest … the lymphoma has spread to his chest 😦