A Personal Blog Post: My father on hospice

This is already hard for me to try to type out and I don’t really know where to begin, but I felt like I wanted to document and use my blog not only for my business, but personal use. This is not just for the world to see, but also for myself as my journal. This is my way of coping.

My dad has been placed in hospice at home last week. For those who don’t know, my dad was first diagnosed with lung cancer back after my wedding in October 2014. He did his treatments, fought and beat the cancer. He was well, happy, and so was I. He was here to witness my pregnancy, his twin grandboys being born and seeing them grow until they were about 7 months old.

Last year around Thanksgiving, he was having excruciating lower back pain. We then found out his cancer came back, full force and it was metastatic. There were tumors on his spine and lesions on his brain. He had more chemo treatment and also radiation, which they hit him pretty hard with. He lost his hair this time and a lot of weight. After all the treatment, cancer cells were gone. I believe his last treatment was in March.  He was to then get tests done every some months (I don’t know the specifics) to make sure the cancer didn’t come back.

My mom has been the best care taker for my father. Till death to us part, right? The only time he has left the house was when she would take him to the doctors for check ups, massages, and PT. He has been having chronic pain. A lot of it. Massage would help, but of course not 100%. He also tried acupuncture. It took his mind off the pain, which did come in waves. There were good days and then there were bad.

He just recently went to Stone Harbor for a weekend trip with some of his childhood friends that he hung out with down at the shore growing up. We believe this was his last hurrah.

Some days after his mini vacation, he had an incident at home. My mother came over to him with a bowl of cereal as he was sitting on the couch. His head fell to the side, eyes open – not blinking or responding to my mother as she was shaking his shoulders, yelling his name. Thirty to forty-five seconds later, he snapped out of it and looked at her and asked what happened. That night, he went into the ER to get tests done, first on his brain. They didn’t find anything and nothing in his chest area, but found an ulcer on his stomach. After staying at the hospital for a couple of nights, before he left he got an MRI done on his lower back. My mom was then waiting on a phone call from the hospital the next day to hear results. Just so happens, there were tumors back IN and around the spine. Of course the doctors suggested he get radiation, but they didn’t think it would get ALL of the tumors, but they still suggested he do so.

He said no, which, I don’t blame him. Radiation destroyed his body last time, I don’t think he would be strong enough to receive it again. Plus, they mentioned it would most likely not get all of the tumors, so why go through it?

It’s been a rough year for him and my mother. My mom finally needed a break. And this is what leads us here. My dad’s cancer is terminal and he is officially on hospice.

These pictures I recently took on two different days. First time was without my boys when I went to visit and wait for the hospice nurse to arrive to go over everything. When I got there the first time, my mom wasn’t home yet. I sat down next to my dad and asked him if he was scared and he said no. I asked him if he was sad (as I was starting to cry) and for some reason my memory went blank and I forget what he said, I am assuming yes? I started to ball and he told me to come here. We hugged and he said “My first born daughter” as he was rubbing my back. He said “I will be watching over you.” We hugged and I sobbed. For a long while. This was the moment when it all sunk in for me. That this is happening. I am going to lose my wonderful, caring and loving father. My boys are going to lose their grandfather..

Second time visiting, my husband and the boys came with me. His ears are pretty sensitive to loud noises, so we don’t stay for too long since the boys can be a bit noisy. The last picture I wanted to take was my hand holding my dad’s hand. He said he thought it was cute.

So this is it. It’s the waiting game. I wish I could go over to visit and be with him every day, but I am a stay at home mom and a business owner. My dad understands and I know he is proud of me. I am so thankful for a wonderful mother in law to take care of the boys all day, while I run out to visit. Which I am about to do right now. I wanted to share my images and story with you first, in a peaceful house with no distractions.

It pains me to see you like this. I don’t know what else to say…just that your daughter loves you incredibly much. See you in a little bit.

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