Sunday, March 4, 2012

Untitled... just because

Shit fuck shit. There's really no other words for it. It's been a crazy shitty depressing 6 months. So many things are flying through my head right now I don't even know where to begin...

In August last year my father was diagnosed with leukaemia (yeah that's how we spell it). Come December he was gone. Just like that. 3 and a half months of hope, faith, optimism and hopelessness, anguish and despair. He was only 63.

Diagnosis began with a bit of a shock. No symptoms or anything that someone might think he had a disease of some sort. It came up in a blood test he had, which was clear only 3 months earlier. Diagnosis was confirmed with a biopsy and suddenly he's having chemo.

I never expected it to go the way it did. He was having heavy duty chemo, I think for a week or 10 days straight. Surely that would help. But it didn't. It made him so weak and only destroyed a small fraction of the cancer that was there. There were periods where he was in and out of the ICU, dealing with pneumonia among other things.

Then it was time to try a different treatment. But he only managed one round before they said there was no point. He wouldn't survive the next round, and continuing it could actually hasten the end.

And that was it - there was nothing more anyone could do but wait and make him as comfortable as possible. Ensure everyone was able to say their goodbyes and wait. At one point when things weren't looking good, my brother jumped on a plane from the US and spent a couple weeks here. When things improved slightly he went back and returned with the rest of his family. He made it back just in time to have a couple days before dad started to rapidly decline.

I never want to have the need to visit that hospital again. I spent so much time there, visiting on the way to work, during lunch, after work. Weekends and Jewish holidays I stayed at a hotel to be nearby. Towards the end I was sleeping at the hospital at night. Not that there weren't nurses there to take care of him, but if he woke up agitated, he needed someone familiar to help him calm down. Someone to convince him to allow them to give him pain meds or oxygen. Otherwise he'd just refuse.

There were times I was scared. Being in the same room and thinking he looks in such bad shape I think he's going to die tonight. And i'm here alone, i've never been more scared in my life.

He passed away early on a Sunday morning, only hours after most of us had left the hospital to go home to get some rest. Most of what came after that is all a blur. I know it happened, but I don't feel it.

I don't even know why I'm even blogging about this. Maybe I needed to get it all out of my system so I can try and move on.

Goodbye Dad


Anonymous said...

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. Hamakom y'nachem etkhem b'tokh sha'ar avelei tziyon viyrushalayim

Anonymous said...

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. Hamakom y'nachem etkhem b'tokh sha'ar avelei tziyon viyrushalayim

Steve said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father. Your opening words said everything and I think you're still in shock - believe me I get it. I lost my partner to Leukaemia 4 years ago and although it has gotten better over time I still find myself coming to terms with it. It's horrible isn't it (understatement I know)? How quickly things happen with that diagnosis. All the things you said in your post: the chemo treatments; the hospital visits; the wasting away; feeling utterly useless and helpless because you can't stop their pain although you'd do anything to stop it; the fact that he passed when you weren't there - I've been through all of it. I'm not sure if you'll be able to 'move on', but time will help you adjust to his loss. Please take good care of yourself. I know people say that all the time to those who have lost someone they loved but it really is good advice.