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.