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I’ve been thinking about Dad lately. I guess, around Thanksgiving was the time we found out he was carrying cancer cells. Lung cancer. Abnormal, freakish, squamous cells, non small cell in fact. Death cells.
I keep remembering the last day, the last hour, the last minute, the last time I saw Dad. It kills me. Makes me tear up and cry, clench the calves of my legs until they cramp up and hurt and twist my leg into a pretzel.
I usually crowd these thoughts out and try not to think.
when it comes down to it.
I think often about my own mutating cancer cells. I’m not diagnosed. I just think it is invietable. I will get cancer and I will die. when? I don’t know. Probably sonner than later. If not that then death by heart attack.
That’s my body type, my destiny, my history, my future… me
How ironic that Fathers Day is one day after the 1 year Anniversary of my Fathers death. Flag day, June 14th will be one year. In some ways it seems longer, in others it seems just a few months ago. There is no “blunting” of the pain, just a gradual acceptance. No one can describe in full how it is to lose a parent. I liken it to seeing a beautiful view of the mountains, getting your camera, and being unable to capture the moment. There is no way to tell anyone else the full blood and guts truth of how you are doing, or how you are feeling. But, the support of those around, is appreciated AND so very necessary. Without a hug, or word of encouragement, one would simply dry up, shrivel into a shell, a husk of nerves.
I carry on…sigh…
I’ve often second guessed myself these past few days. Like…should we have put Dad into the hospital sooner? Should we have went back to the Oncologist after getting the “bad” PET scan report? Should I have hidden the fact, from Dad, that the scan showed “activity in the area of the left rib cage, and showed several other new growths, one pressing against the vital carotid? Most days I say, we did the right thing. Dad stayed home all the days of his life except when he absolutely couldn’t get up without much much much more help than I could give. Just last Saturday, me, Mom and Dad sat outside his house, I lit a fire in their mainly unused chiimarree, and we got to enjoy the fire, the outdoors, the bird songs, the gentle breeze, the fact that we were NOT in the hospital or nursing home. Sunday, we did much the same…and Dad wanted a ride in my little bug. I complied of course…no whiplash at all! I stayed all night from that night on. Tht was the last day that Dad went anywhere. Monday, not only was Dad unable to talk, he didn’t want go to the hospital for his zymeta or even have the bloodwork done. He needed help to get off the couch. He ate nothing. that’s when we got the wheelchair, commode and aafter discussion, determined we would stay home as long as Dad had no pain and I could still get him up with stand by assistance from Mom. Dad was able to say at home until Wednesday then, we went into the hospital late afternoon for bloodwork, zymeta and in our heart we knew, final admission to the hospital. Mark had to lift Dad from the wheelchair into the Durango. God, what a heartbreaking experience. Dad was in a bad way. So weak, but still no complaints. Once in the hospital bed, which I haven’t seen him lay down for 1 and 1/2 years (not to mention Mom), he rapidly deteriorated. He rested finally after midnight. I went home for a few hours and when I went back, I knew it was almost over. He died Thursday morning. Thank God he didn’t have to suffer anymore. Today, is the funeral. Another difficult day. But I couldn’t wish him back to suffer anymore.
Stage IIIa non small cell squamous cell carcinoma of the left bronchus.
He suffers no more.
Dad died this morning, June 14th. We brought him to the hospital yesterday and he was admitted around 7pm.
I can’t wish him back.
Not to the life he just left. Not to the shrunken man he’d become.
Cancer is an evil son of a bitch and steals you, inch by inch by inch. Cancer is a steady burn, like a candle wicks decline.