Monday, September 12, 2011

My Dad

This is a challenging month for our family. This is the month where my dad's health went very downhill. Let me back up and explain. Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2007--they knew it was already advanced as it was in his spine as well--which is how they diagnosed the cancer in the first place. He was having back pain that was unexplained. He had begun working out and losing a lot of weight and everyone just assumed it was from exercise. It didn't get better so finally a scan was done and they found compression fractures in the spine. Well, that was a huge red flag because that's not something you see without trauma. The orthopedic physician ordered a chest scan and found the very large tumor :( It was a whirlwind of appointments and figuring out a plan of action, but there was one more test that needed to be done--just to be sure. This is when they found that the cancer had already spread to his brain and our lives all changed at that moment. This was July and Dad went through radiation and tolerated it well--better than what many people thought and had told us. Then chemo began :( This was pure misery because they were having to use such strong meds and it just was pure utter hell. There was pain, nausea, weakness, blood transfusions....and in September, we found out that his kidneys just simply could not tolerate it. Dialysis was an option but then, the chemo had to stop so we finally, after much debate and discussion brought him home under Hospice care and a wonderful local group called Angels of Misery. These were CNA's that stayed 12 hours to help the family care for a loved one and we couldn't have done it without them. They have the toughest job and did it with kindness and lots of TLC. Unfortunately after being home only a short time, Dad had a stroke. I was there and it was horrible to see. We didn't know what exactly was happening at the time, but after that moment, he never woke up and we soon realized he was unable to use one side of his body. On Sept. 25 in the early morning, Dad passed away. Although it was expected and probably a blessing after all he had been through, it was the hardest thing I have ever been through.
It's been 4 years and I still struggle but all I have to do is look at Will, be around Will and it's like he's right there. We always joke that Will is Dad reincarnate and that helps. I think it helps everyone who knew Dad because it helps us remember the good and not those last few months which were so painful. I miss him. Everyday. There is so much I wish he knew and could see and I can only hope that he's watching down and can see the kids learn and grow. I have to believe it or it makes me incredibly angry that he was taken from us at such a young age of 62.

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