I just need to get some of this down, so bear with me if you decide to read further... They were able to insert a ureter stent today. Did not find any stones causing the obstruction, nor was there a mass in the ureter, although the ICU doctor (who didn't yet have all her facts) thought they had used a catheter to dilate the section a bit in order to get the stent in. Could not get into the kidney for a biopsy as far as I know. They now believe there may be a mass outside the ureter that was impingeing on it. Kinda frustrating to me that they don't know more even with two abdominal CT scans already! They did find evidence of cancer in the bladder, a biopsy was taken, and we should have the results back tomorrow. There is some talk now of attempting a liver biopsy, but from what I've read, it's not really recommended unless you are planning to resect the organ anyway. And at this point, there is NO talk of surgery. They are still trying to determine the primary site of the cancer, because they don't believe that what's in the liver originated there. They are still not sure if he had a pulmonary embolism or not. Don't know if the fibrosis in his lungs prevents them from seeing this or not. But they are going to give him heparin for a bit just in case he truly did have the clot. We were told it only takes an hour to flush from his system if they see that he's starting to bleed and they can stop it immediately. They have my dad's wrists strapped down, so I guess he must have been agitated again today? I am less than satisfied with the day-help in the ICU and have heard similar complaints from other families today. He's completely out, but he did have an angry crease between his eyes and he seemed like he was dreaming. Poor guy. He really is a sad sight, even for a difficult child. My mom and I went back to her house for dinner and to search through his office for any medical or financial papers that might be important. I'm really glad we did. I found a lab report from 6/10/10 that showed nearly all his numbers were normal, with the exception of slightly elevated cholesterol figures, glucose (borderline), low lymphocytes and high segmented neutrophils. Everything else looked good, even the liver panel was perfect! I am just amazed that his liver numbers have deteriorated so dramatically in just 45 days! His SGOT/AST is now 208, and ALK/Phos is 245!!! He also had an abdominal CT earlier this year and everything looked GREAT. My mom asked his old urologist to call the ICU with any info from this year that could be relevant. All they told the ICU was that he was being observed for kidney stones. Well, tonight we learned that was a load of cr@p, because I found a cytology report from MAY (I think -- it was last Spring) that specifically showed a malignancy with chromosomal defects from his bladder. Two pages. My mom called ICU tonight and faxed it over (of course, the person who answered the phone had no clue, so we just asked that it be put in his file so someone could look at it later). I was also able to dig around and get some financial info for my mom, since my dad keeps all his account info secret from her. She was relieved to find he had more cash on hand than she thought. I hate the not knowing. I hate the limbo. My brother may be coming around finally to the realization that this is pretty much the end coming up soon. He did not realize that my dad could barely walk the 30 feet from his bedroom to the livingroom without collapsing from lack of oxygen and exhaustion (despite being on 5L of O2 round the clock). My mom told my brother that dad always puts on a good show whenever company is around -- he doesn't want to seem weak to anyone. I think that opened his eyes a bit, because he hasn't been by to visit my dad in a while, so he hasn't really seen how bad he's been getting with his breathing. His well-meaning wife has overstepped her boundaries and interjected her rather emotional and critical opinions during much of this. My mom's decided not to tell my brother anything while his wife's around. She's got no grasp of the complexity of this situation, even when it's explained to her she just does not get it. Looked into cremation costs for my mom, since that's a definite known choice for my dad. We're just sort of preparing little-by-little for what we both believe is the near end of his life. I'm alternating between sadness and bitterness and a desire to just get it over with so life can move on. My mom admitted that it would be a relief for her if he would just go, but that it would also take a long time to get used to him not being around anymore. I'm sad that I'm losing my dad, and I'm angry over the relationship I wanted but never had with him, and at the life my mom wasted with him. She deserved so much more. So did he, for that matter, but he was such a prisoner to his mental illness he was powerless to change. I'm not hiding my tears from the kids. I think it's important for them to see how the adults in their life process grief. It's a normal part of life and we shouldn't hide it like it's something to be ashamed of. I'm keeping them informed so they aren't afraid (but sparing them gorey details, too). I hope they are coping o.k. My brain is just mush right now.