Rest In Peace Daddy
On May 9, my father got diagnosed with throat cancer. In July, doctor's began him on an intensive treatment schedule- Monday through Friday he had radiation treatment and on Wednesday's he had chemo treatment. Sounds exhausting, doesn't it?
Treatment was hard on his body... weight loss, due to sore throat from cancer & treatment. Because of the extreme weight loss doctors had to put in a feeding tube. Obviously, it wasn't ideal but it was what was needed for my dad to get healthy & strong. He was able to gain some weight the first week- thanks to the feeding tube. Unfortunately, after the first week... the feeding tube began to be more of a problem than a benefit. It was leaking constantly & not providing my dad with the nutrients that he needed.
On August 16, my Dad had a follow up with his doctors, like always. And bam, slap in the face ! He was now diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. All I could think of was how the hell could this possibly be happening, he has one more treatment and he is done. How could this be?? Another freaking cancer-- can my Dad just catch a freaking break.
On August 17, my dad head to his last appointment to finish his last treatment ! He wasn't feeling too great this day with treatments finally catching up to him- very tired & weak. He texted me right before his treatment (which he normally did).
*Little did I know this was going to be the last time I would ever talk to my Dad again.
On August 18, my Dad was admitted into the MICU. He was barely responsive and very dehydrated. Immediately, he was given antibiotics, fluids, and tons of tests were done. There seemed to be an infection somewhere because his white blood count was very low; so low that it was extremely hard to determine where the infection was in his body.
On August 19, things just continued to worsen- his body was shutting down because of the treatments- his kidneys and liver. At this point he was completely nonresponsive. He had a tear somewhere in his intestines, but surgery was not an option because 1) he may have passed during surgery and/or 2) he would not be able to heal because of his condition. With this new issue with the intestines, it was causing his legs to completely lose circulation & they were becoming cold and blue. His breathing was also becoming a severe issue with the carbon dioxide levels being dangerously high; therefore we decided to put a breathing tube in to fix this problem and ease his pain of breathing. The breathing tube was in and my Dad was breathing lightly along with it.
With this, we hoped that it would help him and could be taken out when he got stronger.
*My mom and I went to visit him- I sat & talked with him. Telling him how much I loved him & how strong he was. I held his hand- he moved, nurses said it was reflexes but I am convinced it was because he could hear me talking & knew it was me.
On August 22, I got a call that I had been praying I would never get... "Your Dad is probably not going to make it through the day, you should come..."
I immediately called my sister, we packed our bags and headed to Tampa. At this point, my Dads circulation in his legs was completely gone. He no longer was breathing on his own; his breathing was controlled primarily by the breathing machine. His kidney's and liver were failing. There was blood building up in his lungs. And he was extremely swollen, especially his hands & face. He was almost unrecognizable. It was truly heartbreaking.
*I laid my head by him- I couldn't stop touching his face and talking to him. I told him how strong he was & that it was okay to stop fighting because he fought to hard, for so long. That I loved him so much and I would see him again.
His quality of life was getting worse day by day... his body was shutting down at a rapid rate. His wish for life, in his living will, was to not be put on a breathing machine. As a family decision (my sister, stepmom, and I) and based on all the tests & doctors observations, we chose to remove the breathing tube. We were assured he would feel no pain whatsoever and that he would probably pass right away due to his deteriorating condition.
The breathing tube was removed, my sister & I rushed back to the room (my stepmom already in room)... I stood right by my Dad's side, resting my face near his. He made two noises (per the nurse- was common noise is death), then the nurse said "he passed". He passed away within 3-4 minutes...
I couldn't stop crying-- this was truly the worst days of my entire life. I spent more than half of my life trying to get my Dad back & I finally did... only to lose him again. I had so many plans for us when he was better... go out to eat, go fishing, for him to come to my house, play Mario on the wii, and just make up for the lost years.
I wanted my babies to be able to meet their Grandpa and for my Dad to be able to have grandkids. I know he would've been an amazing grandpa.
In the mist of the pain, anger, confusion, and sadness-- I am thankful that my Dad is no longer in pain. No longer having to battle and suffer through yet another son-of-a-bitch cancer. No longer starving from not eating food for months. No longer having constant health issues and being weak & fragile.
I am thankful that God gave me time with him. I am thankful that he did not suffer and passed away peacefully. I am thankful that I will never be alone; that he will forever watch over my sister and I, always.