My Dad Secured His Place in Heaven Today

Today, at 9:05 am, my Dad took his final breath on this earth, and left us to be with the angels.

To My Dad:

I will never forget how much I loved you, and how much you loved me. I will never forget all of the things that made you a great dad, and a great father. I will never forget the sacrifices you made for your family. I will never forget all of the times in these past few months that you said to me “Miss, I don’t know what I’d do without you”. I will never forget the way you would play the drums on the steering wheel while driving in the car and listening to your favorite Bruce Springsteen song. I will never forget when I laid in that hospital bed with you just yesterday and wondered if you knew I was there. I will never forget the past 44 years, 6 months, and 7 days that I got to spend with you.

If I had to fight this battle with you again and again, I would appreciate every single day because it would be more days that I had to spend with you. More times that I got to hold your hand and tell you I love you. More times that I would have to say thank you for being the most wonderful father any girl could ask for.

I am grateful that you are finally at peace, but I miss you so much already that I can hardly breathe. I want to be angry, I want to scream at the top of my lungs, but I know that it is not what you would do. You would take the hand given to you, and you would make the best of it, as you always have.

You are the strongest man that I know, and I will be forever grateful that I can call you my Dad.

 

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18 Days and a Port In His Arm

I did not post yesterday, so I will summarize. I decided to go away for a night with my husband to our cabin a couple of hours away. My kids stayed home with Dad, and I took a little time for myself, but not without guilt.

Dad is quickly losing his hair, and it is safe to say that he has lost about 50% at this point, but coming out in large amounts every day. He is still saying that he is feeling a bit better than he did before chemo, but I wonder if it has much to do with chemo and more to do with pain medication.

Today, November 12, 2018

8:00 am

We had an appointment this morning at 8:30 to have Dad’s chemotherapy power port put in his arm. This allows easy access to his vein for chemotherapy as well as blood work. Everything went well, although the Doctor came to get me while they were finishing up with Dad to tell me that “your Dad is built a little different”. He explained that the artery where they install the port is usually on the right side, but Dad’s is on the left. He said there is no need for concern, but it is important to know in the event that Dad ever needs something performed at another hospital where they may not be aware. He said that it would cause confusion because it is not common.

10:30 am

I brought Dad home, but this time I made him wait inside the hospital while I went to get the car. It is cold outside, and he was feeling tired and a bit weak, although he would not tell me. He wanted a cup of coffee and was going to read the newspaper. He may have read a page or two, and is now napping.

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16th Day Since 1st Chemo Treatment

10:00 am

Dad got up at 10:00 today. He said that he stayed up until midnight watching the Steelers game.

The rest of today is somewhat of a jumble. Austin drove Dad’s car, and Dad rode along to go to the post office. They came home, and I asked Austin if he would run up and get bread. Dad said he would ride along. They came back, and as it turns out, they went to the grocery store. Austin asked Dad if he wanted to wait in the car, but Dad said he wanted to go in with him. This may have been a little much, but he needed to get out a little.

I took a nap in my room, as I was feeling a little down today. My sister and my niece arrived while I was in the shower, and Brooke and I went to the grocery store.

4:30 pm

Dad told my sister he was having pain, so she went up and got him a pain pill. Again, it had been 12 hours since he took one. I guess it is his decision, but I hate to see him in pain when there is pain medication that makes him feel better.

7:00 pm

I made chicken wraps for dinner, and Dad stayed up for a little while.

8:00 pm

Dad sat down to watch T.V., and fell asleep in the recliner.

8:30 pm

The evening is coming to an end for me as well. Hopefully Dad will feel pretty decent again tomorrow.

 

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Day 15 – 7 More Days Until 2nd Chemo Treatment

9:30 am

Dad and I headed out for lab work that his doctor ordered. He said that he feels better today than he’s felt since he got here (from Florida on October 8th). It has been 15 days since his 1st chemotherapy treatment, and his only complaint today is that he is still unsteady on his feet. He actually said that he would like to go to the bank (by himself), and that he is sure he can drive but he is worried about walking.

We left after getting the lab work done, and Dad asked if we could go to McDonald’s for a muffin. He wanted to go in and eat rather than bringing it home. We ate at McDonald’s, and now I think Dad is ready for a pain pill and a nap. It’s 11:30 am.

4:30 pm

Once again, Dad waited too long to take his morphine pill. He tends to wait until the pain is bad to take it, as I think he believes that eventually he will no longer need them, and for this reason he tries not to take them. At any rate, I gave him a pain pill at 4:30 and he agreed not to wait so long in between. It had been 12 hours since his last pain pill.

9:30 pm

I went to bed, and Dad was still up watching the game with Austin and Eric.

 

 

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2 Weeks of Chemo Complete… One More Week Until Treatment #2

Today is the last day of Dad’s 2nd week since chemotherapy. It takes me back to the meeting with his oncologist when we reviewed his biopsy results and discussed chemotherapy. I asked the doctor during that meeting “will chemotherapy make him feel better than he does right now”. Her answer was “yes”. Keep in mind, this is the meeting where Dad received a prescription for morphine. Up to that point, he had been in severe pain since being discharged from the hospital the week before.

My point is this, I believe that the pain pills and his new prescription for nerve pain are keeping Dad’s pain at bay, but as far as how he feels, he does not feel better. In fact, it is safe to say that he feels worse. Prior to chemo, he was going outside, and even drove his car to the post office and to the car wash. Since his chemotherapy treatment, he has not been out of the house other than to attend doctor appointments (and I drive him). He has 7 days left until his 2nd chemotherapy treatment, and I just don’t want him sleeping and feeling sick for 10 days every 3 weeks if it is not going to make him feel good enough to at least get out of the house.

We knew that Dad’s lung cancer is not curable, and that the only reason to go through with chemotherapy would be to make him feel better, and potentially add a few months to his life. While adding months to his life sounds good, I don’t see where the “make him feel better part” has come through for us.

9:00 am

Dad got up and came downstairs to have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper. I asked him how he was feeling today, and he said he slept pretty good, although he did get up in the middle of the night to take a pain pill.

He wanted to make his car payment, so he was going upstairs to get his checkbook. He was at the bottom of the stairs and looked up, as if he did not want to go up. I asked him if he wanted me to get his checkbook for him, and he said that he was just thinking how he does not feel as unsteady on his feet as he has been. I am not sure what to take out of that. It is good news, but I am not sure what was causing him to feel unsteady to begin with. Was it the chemo treatment, was it adjusting to his pain medication, or is he just having a good day today? Either way, we will take the good days as they come and appreciate every moment.

He ate a bowl of cereal, took his nerve pain pill (today starts the 3rd day, so he will now take them 3x per day instead of two). He went in to sit in the recliner. It is 10:50am.

1:00 pm

Dad and I ate a sandwich for lunch. He wanted Texas Sheet Cake. I said “Dad, you have got to eat something other than Texas Sheet Cake’. He agreed and had peanut butter and jelly.

1:30pm

Dad got a shower, so I decided to go ahead and run the sweeper while he was awake. After he came out of the bathroom, he came to the doorway of my room, and I shut the sweeper off. He said that for the last few days, he has had a couple sore spots on the back of his head. He then put his hand back there, pulled it away and showed me the hair that he was holding in his hand. The hair loss begins. I told him that we would get him a Pittsburgh Steelers beanie hat and he said “that’s right, that’s what we’ll do”.

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