On April 23, 2010 at 4:10 pm, I learned that my Daddy had a brain tumor. He had been having some trouble with the right side of his body and that had led him to the doctor. Many tests later, the doctors discovered the tumor. At that time we were very optimistic that the tumor was benign and that it could be removed surgically. The next week, on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 he went into surgery.
And our whole world changed.
After his brain surgery there were words thrown around like “oncologist,” “chemotherapy” and “radiation.” Phase III-IV Glioblastoma. Ugly words. He was in the ICU for a few days but after he weaned off the vent from surgery he was ready to “Get ‘R Done.”
And get ‘r done he did. He moved from the ICU, to the Neuro Acute floor to the rehab floor. He was told by his physical and occupational therapists that he was the hardest worker they had ever seen. Medically, he shouldn’t have gained his ability to walk and use his right arm again after his surgery. We were told with a glioblastoma tumor that the longest he had was 5 years.
Everyone grabbed on to the *5 years* part. 5 years? That’s plenty of time to get bucket list things done. Plenty of time to play with the grandkids, time to finish up projects and plenty of time to say goodbye.
Little did we know how fast things would go.
July 4, 2010 – my Mama called me and told me to “get to the hospital.”
“Are you for real? Like this is a for-real get to the hospital thing?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
He had been admitted a week before with odd swelling in his head. Staph infection. Brain surgery on June 29th AND June 30th. TWO DAYS IN A ROW. Of brain surgery. On July 2nd they talked about him going home and how his infusion antibiotics would work. On July 4th he was no longer going home but Home with a capital H. Wait…what?
His heart rate was high and his blood pressure was very very low. His kidneys were no longer functioning.
And then? We waited. And we prayed. We prayed for no more pain. But no more pain? Meant no more Daddy.
He held on until the early morning hours of July 13th. I received a phone call at 1:45 am and was at the hospital by 1:55. My sister looked at me simply and said, “he’s gone.”
He’s GONE. My rock. My strong Daddy. Gone.
It’s been not even three months since that day. Most days I would say I’m okay. Some days I’m simply not. The physical pain of grief sneaks up on me and overtakes my body. The anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds don’t seem to work at all.
I miss him terribly. I have no motivation. I rearranged my bedroom yesterday and had to sit down and sob. I’m 32-years old with a daughter of my own and a house. But moving furniture in a house that my Daddy was so entrenched in crushes me. He is NOT HERE. He is not going to complete my “Daddy Do” list. He will not see my little girl grow up. He will not see *me* grow up.
You see…my wonderful Mama and Daddy saved me from a bad marriage. They let us live with them for four years. I got to live with my parents as an adult – I got to know them as my friends. My Daddy was my rock through my divorce, through losing my job in early 2010 AND through his illness. He was our family rock when my nephew was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 7. He gave me advice on everything from what to wear to an interview to how to paint my kitchen. And now? He’s just gone.
I miss him.
am so sorry for your loss.
never forget that he is watching over you and your family now and for always. he would want you to be happy. and he will always be your Daddy.
He is watching over me. And is probably pretty pissed that I am still so sad!! It was his nature to just move on, go on…and not let anything get him down.
I wish I had that personality trait of his.
every little bit of strength you find in yourself is a beautiful tribute to him
’m so sorry, darling. My heart broke into a million pieces for you reading this. Your Daddy sounded like a lovely man and a wonderful father. I’m so very sorry that he’s gone.
Thanks Aunt Becky…
He was a great man. Stubborn and swore more than you. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows but I choose to remember the last few years that were the best of our relationship. Don’t get me wrong – he had his faults and his screw ups…but he was a very very special man that many looked up to as a mentor and friend. *I* looked up to him as a mentor and friend.
I know how you feel. My Daddy fought cancer for almost 4 years…and then he lost. I barely made it to see him in time before he died. The doctors said he was holding on til me and my kids made it to his side. Stupid me. I listened when my Daddy told me that he was going to be fine and for me to go ahead to another state where my husband had just gotten a job. By the time I could get back, he was in a coma and could no longer speak to me or squeeze my hand. That was 3 years ago, and I am still not over it. It gets better over time, but nothing will ever replace the presence a Daddy has in your life. I take solace in the fact of how long I had him and all that he taught me, which, made me who I am. I know in my heart he would be proud of me.
It sounds like you had a great Daddy. I am so sorry you had to feel pain like this. Maybe one day we will find a way to demolish this ugly disease! Something that may help you is volunteering at a Cancer treatment center, or helping out with an organization that funds research for your Daddy’s type of Cancer. I feel that at least it gives you a tangible way to fight back. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but there will be brighter days ahead.
If you ever need to talk, feel free to email me!
THank you for your kind words. I don’t know how I could actually walk into a cancer center right now. We have friends that are facing a stage 4 esophogeal cancer diagnosis and I get angry thinking that he is doing well. Sad but true. Why him but not my Daddy? So until some healing has begun I need to stay away from that hospital (because I may have a few choice words for certain doctors there too.) I’m angry right now.
Anger is totally understandable and normal. Cancer is evil and it is definitely not fair that it takes such good people. I still won’t go into the hospital where my Daddy spent most of his final days. I always feel like they could’ve done more and they shouldn’t have given my Daddy false hope. Just know that there are people out there who know how you’re feeling, and it’s always better to get your feelings out rather than hold them in. Good luck in your healing process, and again I’m here if you need a shoulder or just someone to vent to.
Of course you miss him: I’m so sorry for your loss, and your family’s loss. I hope on the days that it is hardest, that you have something (or someone) to hold on to.
Thank you. Unfortunately I don’t have someone to hold onto except for my 5 year old and she’s not old enough for that burden. So I reach out via my computer to try to find some sense in the world.
I’m so sorry.
My dad had cancer my whole life… I lost him when I was 14. Life is never the same without your parents, no matter what.
14 is just too young. Hell…32 is too young. Cancer is bullshit. I’m so sorry that you are member of this club as well.
Tears are just streaming down my face. Brain tumors suck. Thinking of you and your family…
They do suck. But it does appear that there is some new research that is sounding promising. I caught a blurb on CBS the other night but my wonderful 5 year old was whining so I didn’t hear it all 🙂 Looks like some sort of vaccine is being used in glioblastomas.
I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish there were magical words that could make it better, but I know there aren’t. Your Daddy will always be with you.