Standing at my dad’s side as he laid in a stretcher in an empty hallway in the basement of the hospital really hit me hard. He just laid there looking straight up with his eyes occasionally rolling back. It was an awful sight. When he spoke it was with much effort and was hard to make out.
A week later… he would be gone.
I hate cancer.
Although, it is all around us. Sometimes, it goes unnoticed, but, a lot of times, those who have experienced it… they recognize it.
As we sat there in silence, words could not describe the thoughts that must have been racing through dad’s head. He had told me yesterday that it is difficult to make sense of it in his head. His words to my brother were that this is sad.
Being a man of little words, I get the feeling that he wants to say something. He struggles, then opts for little or no words. He just stares. Only occasionally does he look up at you.
That night, I broke down with him. I shared with him that I just hate to see him hurt. It makes me sad. It was a special time with just him and I.
I hate cancer as it can steal the life out of the ones you remember seeing walking tall and strong. It’s like watching someone change overnight sometimes. Though they fight it… we know.
Hospice will be taking over soon.
His last scan revealed tumors on his spine and ribs. This on top of the cancer that is in other parts of his body. This cancer is what has been causing him much pain in the back. To alleviate this pain, he will undergo x-ray “radiation” therapy. His first treatment was today.
I must be honest, the ugly stage is then upon us. He was not eating or drinking much. His kidneys were working overtime. In this, we knew the end is near.
I hate cancer. I could write a blog about all of the stats, but honestly… don’t we all pretty much know them by now?
My father passed away the morning of March 13, 2003, at 8:05. He was at peace.
I will always treasure the last moments I had with him on that last Tuesday evening. It was the last I saw of him when he was conscious. From 4pm and on that next day, he was in a coma like state wearing an oxygen mask as his body began to rapidly shut down.
My last moments with dad were praying with him, him waving bye to my daughter and I as well as doing that “eyebrow” up and down thing and then, his final words to me…
I love you too.
It’s ironic what the fight can bring you at times… I never heard those words growing up. I knew my dad did… but I longed to hear it. I never thought in a million years it would be this way.
I hate cancer, but… we can channel this feeling towards doing something about it. It is amazing to me the strides that have been made with modern medicine and treatments in the years since dad died.
Of course, early detection is critical so don’t be shy about seeing your doctor. Get educated by visiting the American Cancer Society website.
Don’t sit back and just say… I hate cancer. Look, more people than you know all around you are fighting it too. Don’t stand alone and together.. we can all make a difference!