We are dealing. It hasn’t been easy because when something big happens normally, Dad is the one we ask for advice. This time, we are doing it for him. I have been trying to the strong, but yesterday, the day we laid him to rest, was a rough one for me. I cried and didn’t care who saw. I left a part of my heart at that cemetery.
I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to have to miss my dad.
And I do not like the house without him. I will be glad when we move and every single thing won’t remind me of him. I’m so sad when I see the emptiness that he left here for us. Sometimes I feel like I could just overflow with this ache that I have when I want to talk to him about something. And all I can think is “No, not my dad.”
I have heard people talk about losing a parent, but until you experience it, you have no idea. I never did. It’s a whole different feeling that I never knew existed. An achey numbness that at some point will probably wear off and leave me feeling thankful for the relationship we had, thankful for the two months when we knew “it” was coming. But right now, it’s something I can’t shake.
I always thought I was the tough one, but now I’m not so sure. It’s nothing you are ever prepared for.
June is going to be a rough month; I already know that. With so many things going on, it is going to be a time for many tears and smiles and laughs and hugs. I have to face the fact that my dad is not going to make it to July. And if he does, by some odd miracle, it is going to be the most exhausting and emotionally draining thing we have ever been through. It already is. He is in pain. Horrible pain that makes me even want to cry. He was always the strong one among us, never admitting when something hurts or aches. And now he moans because he is in constant pain. Every breath, every movement. The cancer has reduced this larger-than-life man to a weak and tired man, who just wants it to be over. It’s the most awful thing I have ever seen. More than once he has has said “Please just let me die.”
And there is aboslutely nothing we can do about it. We can’t make it go faster to save him from the suffering. We can’t hurry the cancer along or force it to make him stop breathing. We can only try to make it comfortable and as painless as possible, which is not an easy thing to do. The harder it gets, the faster I wish it would come. That sounds awful, but truly, he is suffering. I know that. He knows that. My mom and brothers and sister know that. If there was a way for him to just go to sleep tonight, forever, peacefully, I think we all would hold a small bit of relief in our hearts knowing that he is not in any more pain.
It will be sad. It will be hard. And people deal with this every day. They lose loved ones and somehow power on through the pain. So that is what we will do.
That is what Dad wants us to do.
We didn’t get good news at the doctor appointment on Thursday like we had hoped. The doctor told us that not only had the chemo not worked, the tumors have grown significantly. The cancer is now in his bones, and it is weakening and breaking his ribs, which is causing so much of the horrible pain he has. His pain patches were increased, as well as his morphine intake, to help control the pain. There is no sense in suffering more than he already is.
We have decided to go with hospice care to help support us until it is his time to go. Nurses will come in periodically and are available 24 hours if we should need.
I am scared, like I said before. I am scared, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is ready. That is the only comforting part. He does not seem to be scared, just more ready to be done with the pain. Two different priests came, two of his favorites. I think he is at peace with dying, and both priests, Father Tim and Father Peter, helped him in a way that maybe I don’t understand.
So yes, we are on a different course now, one we knew we would have to take eventually but not this soon. Please keep my dad in your thoughts and hope for the least amount of pain possible for him.
This quote has become one of my favorites lately. It fits. It’s simple. It just about sums up things that brew inside of me perfectly. Especially the things that gather in my head at night when I am lying awake in the dark, hoping that I can fall deep enough into a sleep to ensure that the next day won’t be a complete drag at work.
Cancer is unforgiving. I never understood that before. I have known people with it. Known people who died from it. Known people who have been in remission for years. But I have never seen someone so close to me change so dramatically from it. I watch Dad change, feel good then bad, be confused and weak. I hear him quietly moan sometimes when he is in pain and refuses to admit it. And I will be honest about one thing: I am angry. Like turn-the-music-up-loud-and-SCREAM type of angry. Not that anybody deserves something so horrible, but especially not my dad. And I am scared. This is one of those things that I already know is going to break me. But on top of it all, I am hopeful. Things won’t ever really get better for Dad (maybe more comfortable but never better), but we can make them as good as they can be for the moment.
That’s all we can do.
I’m bad at this project. Really bad, especially in the sense that I haven’t even opened up my OLW binder since Dad’s cancer diagnosis.
There just doesn’t seem to be much wishing that can be done to fix cancer. I suppose I wish I had chosen the word hope because I find myself clinging to it much more these days. Hope is the same kind of uplifting word, but it fits my situation much better right now. It gives me a bit more comfort and calm.
One Little Word is done for me right now. I can’t concentrate on it. I can’t focus. And frankly, I don’t have the time or energy to worry about it. Maybe I will go through and print all the handouts and get back to it later, but for now, the wishing is halted.
Thank you for all the good thoughts and prayers that have come in also. My family appreciates them very much.