Friday, December 13, 2013
But now, every time I think of doing anything Christmas related, I think of that conversation and I can picture his face in the front of my mind trying to talk to me... mouthing "love you" and my body immediately tries to breakdown and cry.... I won't let that happen, I'm my father's daughter and we know how to keep ourselves together, we know how to go on fighting, we know how to stand strong. It's just that this is my first Christmas with my husband... it should be happy, but right now if I were truly and completely happy, it would mean that I wasn't thinking of Daddy rationally... I should be thinking of him this time of year even more than any other, I should be mourning him and I should have this heavy heart... and if that means that it will never truly feel like Christmas again, than that/s okay. It really is.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
This past week, I married the man of my dreams.
Wednesday was our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner... it was also my parents' 26th wedding anniversary and that day made it 2 months since Daddy left us. It was very hard, but my family made it as fun as we possibly could. Thursday was Thanksgiving, I got to spend it with half Daddy's family and half Momma's family and it was fantastic! My family and friends know exactly how to keep our spirits up and never stop laughing, I know that Daddy was looking down on us and deep belly laughing right along with us.
But Friday, I'm surprised I cracked a smile at all. My wedding day, it's supposed to be the happiest day of my life, but all I could do was tear up and choke on my own words. I woke up and had breakfast with my family, then went with my cousinsister and Momma to get our hair and makeup done. When I got back to the Inn, I put my gameface on and said a prayer to Daddy, my guardian Angel. I prayed for him to be with me all day, and for him to hold my hand, to give me the strength to go on, to enjoy my day.
As I went to get dressed, my almost hubby had left me a present. He got my a charm bracelet with two charms on it... one with two wedding rings on it, and one that read "Daddy's Little Girl." I almost started balling, but I had to keep my makeup on!!! I teared up a bit, and showed all my bridesmaids and my Momma the bracelet. I got into my dress, with lots of help(!!!), and we went down to get into the limo.As the bagpiper kept playing, all my girls went into the church, my Momma fixed my veil and kissed my face all over, and I hid in the bathroom (yeah... about that...too many things to say about that for the internet to handle), Then, my Uncle and I got ready to walk down the aisle... "you ready to do this kiddo?" ... He took my right arm, and I could feel a squeeze on my left hand, but no one was there... it was Daddy. I knew that the organist was playing, but all I could hear was my Daddy singing, "There she is... Miss Americaaaaaa." I just bit my lip to stop myself from crying, and my uncle had to slow me down as we walked down the aisle, I knew that if I made eye contact with anyone that I was going to start sobbing. My uncle lifted my veil, kissed me, and handed me to my almost husband. Throughout the whole ceremony, I kept looking at my bridesmaids and my Momma, trying to keep myself from just completely breaking down. But, my brother did it... he got up in front of the whole congregation to recite the Prayer of the Faithful... and as he got to the end... "For all of our family members and friends that are celebrating with us in Heaven today,.... especially Dan Mulcahy, grandfather of the bride, and Gregory Lehnert, father of the bride, who have passed away this year, let us pray." He broke down, his face turned bright red and he barely got the words out through the tears... but he did it, for me.... he looked over at me and I was done... tears running down my cheeks... but good tears... happy tears. My Daddy was shining over me the entire time...Then, our Deacon finished the ceremony, we did it... reality still hasn't hit me yet... I'm the luckiest woman in the world, to have my family that lift me up everyday, my friends that support me in all that I do, and my husband, my rock and prince charming<3
And oh so lucky to be my Daddy's daughter, to have had him to raise me and make me laugh the hardest I've ever laughed, to teach me what life and true love is all about, to instill the importance of being honest no matter what, and of course, to wear pinstripes on my heart.
I miss you more and more each day, until we meet again Daddy....
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Walking out of that room, is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, I had never turned my back on my Daddy before, it felt so wrong... but it was time to line up the cars and head over to the church.
As we approached the church, I could hear the bagpipes, I could see all the cars in the parking lot... I honestly wasn't expecting such a turn out, it was nice to see. Then, the pallbearers got Daddy, and brought him into the back of the church, where our family friend and Deacon was waiting for us, he had brought the whole congregation to the back of the church, to walk Daddy in. My brother and I got on either side of my mother and took her arms, and we followed Daddy in, with all of our family and friends behind us... Daddy would have really liked that, one of my biggest fears about him fighting cancer was that he would find times where he would feel alone, but this... this time where he was at peace, from this moment forward he would never be alone.
We took our seats, and I sang at the top of my lungs, all I could hear was me, over top the piano and choir, I didn't want to hear anything else... I wanted to keep my mind present, as I counted down to my eulogy. No one knew I was giving the eulogy except for my very immediate family, but when the time came my fiance walked me over to the altar.
I walked up the stairs and could feel my heart start to pound, and my elbows start to shake, but I took a deep breath...
"My Daddy was the definition of a fighter.
He looked cancer straight in the eye and showed it no mercy.
He won his battle by choosing peace, he had suffered long enough.
And even while in pain, he continued to be an incredible friend, a caring uncle, a supportive brother, a loving husband, and the best father,
As he should have been only concerned with his own health, he would have rather be taking care of all of us,
It's just the way he was,
He was always a stand-up, and by the book, simple man, with the biggest heart.
With his sarcastic humor that left some memories forever branded in our hearts.
Some of my favorite memories are how I'd come down the stairs at noon, in my jammies, with bedhead, and he'd start singing the Miss America Pageant theme song,
or when we were young enough to have to hold his hand to cross the street, he'd start skipping with us and sing Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Follow the Yellow Brick Road,
And then in his final days, he wasn't really aware of what was going on around him,
but when I told him that A-Rod broke Lou Gerhig's grandslam record, he looked right at me and says, "23 right?", yup Dady, now it's 24.
Baseball stats, especially Yankees stats, never left that man's head.
He was just amazing, so incredibly strong, so positive.
He is a part of me, my family, and I will think of him every morning as I wake,
I will miss him every day.
But I will go on knowing that he left his pain and disease behind him,
and I look forward to my time, when he will welcome me into Heaven with a beer and a smile.
I love you, Daddy.
Always and Forever.
No matter what."
Monday, November 4, 2013
So we all got home, cried some more, and then somehow got some sleep. When we woke up, we had to make hard phone calls and start cleaning the house... Were going to have a lot of people here this weekend. Then, I took my mother to the funeral home, where luckily we had premade arrangements months ago and just had to make some final decisions. It was so creepy being taken by elevator to the bottom floor of a funeral home... Just to sit in a room full of casket brochures and sample urns, but we had to. We made it through the meeting, and then started our way home. My brother didn't have a suit to wear for the wakes, so my fiance took him to get one, and then I had to get the guest rooms ready for family, and I just tried to keep busy. The first wake was Saturday evening.
This was our first time seeing Daddy after... I walked in to the room and couldn't help but break down in tears. The funeral home did such an amazing job, it looked like my Daddy from 2 years ago, with brown hair and a pink to his cheeks, no beard, no saddness. He looked like the Daddy I knew before cancer. I was so happy, yet so upset, I really didn't know how to react, so I started to talk to others. Lots of my friends and my brothers friends came, my family had mostly gotten to town during the day and they came. It was a rough few hours, we got pizza and beer, daddy's last meal in the hospital, to have as a late dinner at home that night...
Sunday was even harder, 2 wakes, with just a brief break in between. But it was good, some of Daddys fraternity brothers came, and his office staff, and it was just very nice... Until Monday.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Thursday was just like Wednesday, Daddys breathing was erratic and faint. His extremeties were really starting to swell. I just couldnt believe I was watching my Daddy die right before my eyes. He could no longer attempt at squeezing my hand, his eyes didn't even flutter, he just laid there peacefully, barely alive. I couldn't take my eyes off of him all day, until it was time for bed. My mother had been sleeping in the windowsill couch, and my brother on a cot that hospital security found us, we had basically moved in for two weeks. I was in a reclining type chair next to Dads bed, and just like when he was at home, I had my loptop open watching NetFlix so he could watch them with me. His breathing was becoming more and more shallow, I just kept waiting for his chest to not come up again. I was so upset, but my body didn't know how to show it, it knew I had to remain strong, if Daddy was going to go tonight, my mother and brother are both asleep, it'd just be me. But then I thought about two December's ago, in this very hospital, how I had just gotten to Daddys room from being at school for class, when the doctor came in and told us he had severe staged cancer. It was just me and him then, and it was just me and him now. We always shared a special bond, I was his little girl... We could exchange looks at eachother and get our point across, he didn't have to communicate how he felt to me then and he didn't have to now. I just curled up in my chair with a bunch of hospital blankets, I took his hand, and I waited.
The nurse came in to give him his next round of medications a little after midnight, just as I was telling Daddy about Mariano Riveras last game and how Jeter and Andy took him out in style, I kissed his hand that I was holding and I just stared at him. Thinking about all the things he had taught me in my life, all the values and loves that he had instilled in me, and how scared I was about life without my Daddy... When I looked up, he exhaled, and his chest didn't come back up. I looked at the clock, 1:06am ... It was now Friday and I didn't even realize it. I stared back at him, his chest still hadn't risen, I almost threw up right then and there... He was gone, completely and totally gone. I looked at my little brother snoring on a cot next to me, and my mom asleep across the room. It was just me and Daddy, just like this journey started, I couldn't let go of his hand, I had to use my other hand to separate us. Then I made sure his eyes were completely closed, and I went to wake up my mom.
"Momma, ... Momma, he's gone."
She looked up and sat up and sighed, and we both woke up my brother... We all cried for a bit, and then started to clean up the mess we had made of the room over the past two weeks. And once we felt okay enough, we went and told the nurses what had happened...
Then we had to leave, we had to say goodbye... I didn't want to go, but the funeral home was coming soon and we needed to get some sleep to be able to handle the weekend ahead of us. I just kept kissing his forehead like I always did, his skin already starting to turn yellow, I didn't care, he's still my Daddy...mine.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Like I was saying, cancer sucks... Yup, it does. Especially when it lingers in your life for long periods of time, like "I'm killing your loved one, but I'm going to take my sweet ass time". F cancer, seriously, F it.
We spent all day Wednesday watching Daddy sleep, he fluttered his eyes a few times, but not consiously, he could not possibly know what was really going on. I tested it, I put some raspberry jelly from a donut, his favorite, on my finger and I put it on his lip, no reaction. If he had had any second of awareness, he wouldve been all over that. .... I started to accept that my Daddy as I knew him, was gone. There was none of my father left in this human body, just the remnants of his soul, his never give up, fight until the end, soul. He was such an incredible person, he fought harder than any living being should ever be expected to. He literally took "you have 3 months" and turned it into 22, TWENTY TWO! who does that?!?!?! Without celebrity money and millionaire afforded surgeries, the answer is no one.
But he did.
My Daddy, he did it.
He survived, he provailed, he told cancer to go F itself, he had more life to live.
And live is exactly what he did.
Monday, October 7, 2013
After spending several hours Tuesday night with Daddy being awake and trying to talk to me, Wednesday was really hard. He was in a deep sleep, morphine helped of course, but even if you shouted his name in his face, he wasn't going to wake up. We kept his pain medicine dosing pretty consistent, but not too close together either. There's was no way to know for sure, but I kept telling myself he was comfortable and not in any pain. His body was shutting down, little by little. I thought I was okay with this, I had told him I was okay with this... I was wrong. I could barely bring myself to sit next to him let alone hold his hand like I always did, because I knew he wasn't waking up this time... I knew it, I knew it and I couldnt handle it. I just wanted one more smile... But I settled for talking in his ear, the doctors and hospice staff told us that the last two senses to leave us are touch and hearing, so I stroked his hair and talked to him.
Kind of like how you too to a baby, knowing they can't respond to you or really understand what you're saying, but you want them to hear your voice and feel your love. I kept having to remind myself to breathe, I was more concerned with his breathing..... I'd watch his chest rise and fall, no two breaths the same length or depth, and as his chest fell each time, my heart would stop waiting for it to rise again. With each millisecond in between--- all the thoughts that had built up over the past 22 months flashed through my brain, but then... His chest would rise, my heart would start pounding again, and I'd feel relief, but not a typical relief, it was relief mixed with guilt mixed with anxiety and pain... I'll admit it, I wanted him to die. I wanted him to leave his cancer and turmoil behind him, I wanted his wakes and funeral to be sooner rather than later (if they had gone one day later they would have kept me from starting my Americorps training) I wanted my family to be able to finally start grieving... Stage four cancer is a death sentence, but daddy kept beating all odds over and over to the point that some family members thought he was indestructible, ..... In my mind, he still is.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
This past Tuesday night, Daddy woke up at like 10pm while my mother and brother were asleep in the hospital rooms extra chairs. He couldnt talk, well... He couldn't form sounds or words, but he was trying so hard to talk to me. I just kept talking to him, holding and kissing his hand, and trying to show him that I understood what he was saying. I nodded along to his forced facial expressions, once I swear I saw his lips form "love you", but he cohldnt actually talk to me... I was so happy to have his eyes open, let alone that he was alert enough to want to speak to me. His eyes were glazed over, but I could still see all the brilliant blue that was so familiar to me. I tried so hard to never let our eyes part gazes, as I just talked and talked for hours. I told him how much I loved him, and how much I was going to miss him. I told him that I would make sure that mom and my brother were taken care of, I'd make sure I took care of all the financials I could and I'd help around the house as much as my strength and schedule would let me. I told him I'd force my brother to take the GED, I told him I'd support my brother through anything he needed, I'd try so hard to be the best big sister I could be. I told him that he was the best father I had ever witnessed, that he never even came close to disappointing me, ever. I told him that I was so proud to be his little girl, that he had put up such a fight, that I will never meet another person to ever compare to his strength. And then I told him I loved him over and over and over, I was running out of things to say, it was almost 4am, and my dying and exhausted Daddy was still gripping my hand and trying to comfort me. I just kept talking, holding all my tears back, until I saw a tear come from his eye and his eyebrows started to shake and I couldn't control myself I started sobbing into his blankets at the side of the bed until I could compose myself enough to stand up, I wiped his tear and I kissed his forehead like I had every day for 22 months... And I whispered in his ear that it was okay to die, that he didn't have to fight anymore, he could go to Heaven and see grandma and grandpa and nana and pa and all his favorites from history, that he could watch the Yankees play good baseball for eternity... I told him that I was just so proud of what he had done, how happy I was that he fought for all this extra time with him that I shouldn't have had, that he had beaten all odds... I sat back down nd took his hand again, and he tried so hard to squeeze it but all he could do was move his thumb closer to mine. I watched his eyes shut, and I told him I loved him again, as I laid my head on his arm and blankets and fell asleep at his bedside. That was the last time I ever saw my Daddys eyes... His beautiful blue eyes.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
This past weekend, all the people most important in Daddys life came to visit him in the hospital. Saturday was a great day, Daddy even Gibbs slapped his niece, Jill. He was sassy and sarcastic, and himself. Sunday was so different, he didn't even open his eyes. Everyone left by Monday and then it was just us again. We tried to sleep in shifts so Daddy would never not have someone sitting at his side. Tuesday night, I sat up with Daddy until 4am, he just kept staring at me, trying to make facial gestures, trying to mouth words. I tried to understand what he was saying to me without him seeing that it was all frustrating for me.
I told him that everything was going to be okay, that I would make sure that Momma and my brother are taken care of, and that my fiance will take care of me. I told him that my wedding will still be a great time, that he will be with me, by my side the whole day. That he will get to see grandma and grandpa and nana and pa when he gets there, and his cousin Ronnie, and he can meet the Babe... And his all-time favorite Yankee, Thurman Munson, that his Heaven will be game seven of the World Series and he will be watching from behind home plate... I tried to convince him that everything would eventually be okay, that we will find some new kind of normal, but that I will always miss him... I will wake up every morning, still worrying about him, just like how I've woken up every day since December 2011. I will love him always and forever, no matter what. But he still hangs on, I don't know why...
We have been praying for God to take him away from us, because by doing that all of his pain will go with it. But ... He must be busy.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
This past Saturday night, Daddy started to have some violent spasms in his head and neck and he could not control them, they became unbearable. I called 911, and they sent two EMTs... no offense to anyone who is in that line of work, but the ones around here are not big enough or strong enough to get my dad on a stretcher, and lift him down our stoop, and then up into the ambulance.... they're pretty out of shape actually... and I find that hypocritical in a way, you want to work to save peoples' lives, yet you don't take care of your own body? Anyways, they had to call in a firetruck full of guys to help them... Daddy is six and a half feet tall and almost 300 pounds... I told the dispatcher that... but anyways.
We got into a room in the ER... the same room we were in last time actually... and nurses got his spasms under control with fluids, which to me means that his electrolytes were out of whack, however, after being home his nutrition was impeccable, so something else must be off. His leg that has a filter in it for a pretty serious blood cot, is worse, both legs are so swollen, preventing him from supporting himself on his legs. He is now completely bedridden.... He is having trouble breathing and he has skin lesions (biopsied Friday but results werent back yet), so they admitted him to the hospital.
It is now Wednesday and nothing has gotten better.... his skin lesions are in fact the kidney cancer, his scans show that his cancer is in his fatty tissue, and it's running rampid all over his poor, tired body. We have been waiting for two days to move him to the big hospital in the city where his oncologist is, because there is not a bed available. The oncologists at our local town hospital refuse to treat him, so he is wasting away... He is uncomfortable and has issues breathing and he cannot get out of bed anymore. I am realizing that whichever way it goes, it sucks... cancer sucks. Either he keeps fighting and keeps suffering, or he passes and we are forced to live our lives without him. The man that has been in my life since I took my first breath, could leave my life at any minute ... it's scary as Hell, in fact, I am more scared of losing him than I am of facing the fires of Hell. I am. So, it's scarier than Hell. My mother will fall apart, she puts on a good game face, but she will fall... She will have to accept responsibilities that she is not comfortable accepting, and unfortunately, I am too used to accepting those responsibilities for her when I can, I make ways and force ways to make things easier on her, so this reality will hit her harder because of me doing that, which sucks too... But I won't be able to accept responsibilities for her anymore, I am starting my own family on black Friday when I marry the love of my life, I joined Americorps and my contract year starts the end of this month... I will no longer have the time in the day to do all that I have been doing for her.... and my brother does not have the emotional or physical capacity to pick up where I am leaving off for her, he just doesn't.
But no longer will all of that be hard, but it will be rough just waking up and not looking forward to seeing my Daddy that day... not worrying about him anymore.... not making him lunch and changing his wound dressings and watching him sleep. I will miss it all... I will miss the way he laughs at Rules of Engagement.... I will miss how when I wake up he starts singing the Miss America Pageant theme song, I will miss so many things... I don't want to miss these things... but I don't want him to stay in his earthly body any longer than he wants to... he's fought such a good fight, he deserves to die, he does. And his death will not be defeat, it will be the ultimate EFF YOU KIDNEY CANCER, he will finally win... yes, I said WIN, because this disease will no longer be defeating him each day, his body has chosen to say NO, you will not torture me any longer. He will find peace... he will walk right into Heaven, my grandma and grandpa and his cousin Ronnie will be there to greet him, and then he will hear my Nana.... :BullSHIT, what're you doing here?!" <3
Friday, September 6, 2013
When Daddy was first diagnosed, I reached out to a few kidney cancer support groups. These groups have given me some very special people who now play important roles in my life. One is my friend, E. E is a mother, but she is still a daughter. A daughter to a woman with kidney cancer. Her mother was such a strong woman, fighting this cancer with all she could, until she couldnt anymore. She decided that hospice was the right decision for her, she knew her end was near. Cancer makes loved ones go through the longest goodbyes possible... We wake up knowing that each day could be their last, but we have to grin and bear it because we don't want them to focus on death. We want them to be happy in all the ways they can be, considering. Being a child of someone with cancer is a very hard job to have... And the job isn't over when our parents finally find their peace, because we have to go on. And E, she will go on, she will pick herself up and be reinforced in strength knowing that her mother is no longer suffering, she has found her peace.
All Daddy does lately is sleep. I get to the house around 11am each day and leave around 4pm, that whole time, he is asleep except if I am forcing him to eat something... Because he isn't eating much lately at all.
Im not really sure how to feel about this, this is what my Pa called, wilting. He said that people wilt until they die. They sleep, they sleep, and sleep, and usually shrink to nothing. I know Daddy is going to die, but I just wish me making all this effort to be at his bedside meant that I at least for to talk to him, not just watch Netflix as he sleeps.
The only comfort I am taking in all of this is that at least he doesn't feel as alone as he used to because he is asleep, he's not sitting around bored out of his mind. Also, I hope he passes away peacefully in his sleep, he deserves that. He deserves the best.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Since this whole last episode began, the fall and the throwing up blood... In the hospital, Daddys appetite was scarce, however if we brought him outside food he seemed to eat a bit more. In the nursing home, I never saw him eat a full meal. Even if we brought outside food, he wouldn't finish a burger, or would only want one slice of pizza. We would leave him sweets and treats, and he wouldn't touch them :-/ this is not like him at all, what so ever. Since he has been home, same thing... Barely eats, barely wants to eat. I don't like it... It scares me that his body doesn't want the food anymore because it knows it's shutting down :(
Friday, August 30, 2013
Tuesday evening we brought Daddy home from the nursing home. He hasn't gotten out of bed since then... He hasn't eaten much. He hasn't smiled yet... It aches my heart all the way through my chest to see him like this. The nursing home couldnt even get his discharge done correctly. It took four calls back and forth to get his medications called into our pharmacy... So he went two full days without! Insanity. And then they have the balls to call his cell phone, when my mom and I are points of contact on every single form and I was the one who signed his discharge forms, and to ask him if his discharge to home went okay. WHAT?! I'm just happy to say that our insurance company, a huge insurance company, has filed a claim against the nursing home and is conducting an investigation based on our complaints and they will no longer be sending any patients there.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Why were his oncologist's orders for medication ignored?
Why has Dad NEVER seen ANY doctor during his ENTIRE stay here?
Why does he not have a wheelchair that he fits in? is comfortable in?
Why do his techs leave his urinal out of his reach? he is on a diuretic, it;s a miracle he hasn't wet himself!
Why is the food unrecognizable?
Why hasn't Dad received PT on the weekends? I mean, it is the only true reason we wanted him at a rehab facility anyhow!!??!?!?!?!
AHHHHHHH SO FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank the Lord that he has been approved to come home next Tuesday!!! it can't come soon enough!!!!!!!
Sunday, August 18, 2013
I've reached the point where I can't carry everyone else's burdens anymore. I can't handle the crap anymore, I cant tiptoe around feelings or sensitivities, my heart can't handle the levels of stress I've been carrying around anymore. I can't take the blame and responsibility for family members who can't pull their own weight anymore, I do the work of a dozen people because of others' laziness and bullshit. I can't run my own errands and household and my parents' at the same time. Just because it's difficult to find time to do things does not make it okay to put all of your responsibilities into someone else. Just because I can sometimes find the time to help out above and beyond should not mean that I have to accept that above and beyond responsibility all the time. I may be 23, but I am not a parent and shouldn't have to be.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Our experiences with nursing homes have been awful. The only reason Daddy has been in one is because he needed the physical therapy. The last one in Baltimore City would let patients sit in their dirty diapers to the point that the entire facility smelt like urine. This place, is not much better. It's small, Daddy doesn't fit anywhere, and they don't have any wheel chairs big enough for him so he doesn't get to sit up enough to relieve his pressure sores on his back because sitting in a chair too small is too uncomfortable for him. This place NEVER cleans out his bedside commode properly, just pieces of fecal matter floating in water next to his bed! How gross! They take FOREVER to respond to his call bell, and never do any job 100%. I just don't understand, why work in a facility like this if you don't care about your patients? The nurses and doctors here are terrible at communicating with his oncologist. His mediciations still aren't being given to him to his oncologist's standards. So Daddy suffers... Also, they still hsvent approved his chemo medicine when he was supposed to start it over the weekend, so we may or may not be sneaking it in to him every day. It will be a cold day in Hell when my mother and I let his tumors keep growing because the incompetency of this nursing home has yet to get his chemo to him.
To top it all off, yesterday I came in to find him not clothed in bed. He asked his tech to get him a different pair of pants from the closet because the ones she picked were too tight for his swollen legs. She took that to mean that he didn't want to get dressed?!?!?!?! How freaking ridiculous, and he is too nice to demand a supervisor to talk to, so I did. Got him a new tech and filed a complaint against the old one. How does that even happen? Oh! And his breakfast AND lunch were both an hour late because she couldn't find his tray, it was on top of the lunch cart instead of inside it. Holy crap... Never let your loved go to a nursing home funded by insurance, only out of pocket, yes it sucks for your wallet, but it's better than them being humiliated and treated like crap. If Daddy didn't NEED the every day physical therapy, I'd take him straight home.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
I need to vent about family. I do not understand nor will I ever hurt my brain trying to understand why some, well, most of our family has not come to see Daddy since he has been sick. Now that he is reaching the end of his battle it is seriously starting to piss me off. It's not like he has reached the end quickly, it has been since 2011.... Years, surely in years you can easily plan a trip to Maryland. Even for a weekend. It is not like it's hard to plan, at all! Even if it's not spent with Daddy the whole time, there's plenty of sites to see and things to do and God forbid you should support my mother, she's only flesh and blood. I just know that if roles were reversed, I would make a trip to see my dying family member, Hell, I'd even do it multiple times. Driving hours away doesn't phase me, but I guess family means more to me than to others.
But they will have regret that I will never have. I will not ever have regret, because I enjoy the ones I love, no matter what. I make time for them, I support them with more than a monthly phone call. And when my loved ones pass away, I go on knowing that I helped them celebrate life. They will not have this peace of mind, and knowing that is the only thing keeping me from slapping them all hard across the face.
Blood is thicker than water is what "they" say, I say actions speak more than any words could.
Friday, August 2, 2013
I think Daddy know that he's reaching the end of his battle... The other day at the hospital as I was buttering his roll that came with lunch, he asked me, "have you thought about who's going to walk you down the aisle kiddo?" I didn't really think he was of the frame of mind to even think about it. But when I suggested having my Uncle Kevin push Daddy is in wheelchair down the aisle, Dads reaction was not good. He said he doesn't want to be on display, which is why he never want to sit outside in the front yard. He thinks everyone will just stare at him, he doesn't realize that even though people look at him with heavy hearts, they also admire him. He's a hero not only in my eyes, but to many others.
Today is his last day of radiation to the lesion on his cerebellum, you would think his mood would be better than it is. His mood is awful today, short, snippy, hasn't even looked me in the eye. But again, I think it's because he knows the cancer is winning. Not only has it spread to his brain, but with feeling lightheaded and throwing up blood and being in the hospital, getting all the different tests done, his body is starting to give up. His kidney is trying it's hardest, but is not up to par. He is retaining fluid in his legs and side that make him even more uncomfortable than ever. And he knows that since radiation finishes today, he will soon be discharged to a nursing facility... He hates it. I hate it even more. I don't want my Daddys last hours to be in a dingy dirty nursing home with awful room mates and crap food. He deserves to be home... With us. But since it hurts for him to stand and all of his other issues and insurance won't cover for a nurse to be at our house all the time... We don't have a choice.
I, a person who is healthy and runs and walks and eats whenever I want, feel helpless. I can't even begin to imagine how helpless Daddy feels... I love being able to see him every day and tell him I love him, but cancer has made it so that every day, my heart breaks into too many pieces for me to pick up.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
This hospital is pretty awful... Every nurse and tech he has had with an exception of one ICU nurse has been incompetent if you ask me. Expecting way to much out of him while following it with, "is that ok hun?" Thinking that'll make it all better. Meanwhile, whatever theyve asked him to do requires him to go through more pain than he needs to. He's stubborn, he will do it unless the hospital staff tells him he doesnt need to .... Daddys kidney is trying as hard as it can to process all the medicine he has been put through, but his kreatinine levels aren't where they should be, so he has been taken off the medicine that helps his body get rid of fluid, so his legs and sides are retaining fluid, making it even more uncomfortable for him to move around. It is so painful for him to even be on his legs anymore.
Today he started radiation to the lesion they found of his cerebellum. And when the ambulance transport came to get him, the incompetent staff he has (the tech in this instance) had him stand and pivot onto the stretcher, not only was he yelling out in pain from this, but technically if he gets onto a stretcher like that, the insurance shouldn't cover a stretcher transport it should cover a wheelchair one. With a stretcher transport it is technically illegal for her to request him to stand and pivot at all. He should be pulled over from bed to stretcher. Plus, that is the most painless way to transfer him. Luckily, the medical transport team was nice enough to tell me all of this so I could bring it to my mothers attention. But at least the first treatment is finished , two more to go. Then on Monday they will do another cat scan to make sure the radiation didn't cause any bleeding. Ugh... Daddy is not happy with any of the answers we are getting from any doctors.
Monday, July 22, 2013
This hospital has yet to give us any real answers... They've ran multiple tests now, and nothing. This poor man is being put through so much, all for these doctors to say "I don't know" ... He's currently getting an mri and I doubt they'll find anything... He had a CT scan yesterday, and no one, NO ONE even cared enough to come tell us the results of it... Even if the results are negative, a doctor, a tech, a nurse, hell I don't care if it's the dietary aide! Someone needs to come and tell us that it was negative! You DO NOT leave a cancer fighting family wondering! They go through enough stress with every check up scan, it's called scanxiety. It's natural. But these idiots need to realize the patients they're dealing with, not telling our family about the results (even if negative) is torturous! I have pretty much lost faith in the healthcare system in this county... This hospital is useless if you ask me. Unfortunately Daddy needed immediate medical attention when he fell and threw up blood, so we got stuck coming here... The hospital that diagnosed his cancer to begin with... The hospital whose doctors told us that his spinal tumors were inoperable... That he would only have months to live. They wanted to give up and let him die then, what's to say that's not what theyre doing now?
Monday, July 15, 2013
Last Saturday, my Daddy turned 56. We were so excited to celebrate another birthday, when doctors did not expect him to reach his next birthday after diagnosis in December 2011. Not only did he reach his birthday in 2012, but then he reached his birthday this year in 2013. The fact that he still breathes is a miracle to me.
However, this Thursday night I picked up my fiance from the airport late, he had been in North Carolina for work all week. So Friday, I wanted to sleep in and then we were going to go down to my parents/ house and make Daddy lunch, like I do every day. We walk up to the house and the front door is cracked, I look down and Daddy is on the floor with blood all around his torso. He tells me that he had gotten dizzy and fallen and had been laying there throwing up blood for four hours.. Four hours.... Why did I have to sleep in? Why did I have to take such a long shower? If I hadn't I would have been there to prevent his fall, or at least to get him to the hospital sooner. This guilt is not going to go away... Well luckily Ken was with me, I had him get on the phone and dial 911 while I called my mother and told her the horrible news.... the only thing luckily that happened was Daddy was not moaning in pain from any kind of bone break, and it turned out he did not break any bones, I truly have no idea how... Well minutes later my brother walked in returning from a week at the beach, he was not prepared for what he walked in on, but I had him focus and start to pack a bag for Daddy to go to the hospital. Literally seconds later, we heard the sirens coming for Daddy, and before I knew it the paramedics were coming in to assess the situation. Daddy is a big and tall man, and he was stuck on the floor and could not help us help him, but we had to get him up, down the porch, and onto the sidewalk where the stretcher was. We got a neighbor to help us, got a tarp of sorts to put under him and pick him up, it took four of us, and we got him slowly down the stoop and onto the stretcher. Once inside the ambulance, the paramedics tried to get his heart rate under control because it was all over the place, they needed to put an IV in and get him some saline fluids, but Daddy has always been a hard stick. They ended up giving up on trying and we rushed to the hospital sirens and lights blaring. The rest will be saved for another post because I am truly exhausted from this weekend and it's going to be a long week...it's only Monday... ugh.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Recently, a friends grandmother, who I've known my entire life, and even calls me her granddaughter, was diagnosed with lung cancer. And today she underwent all kinds of imaging and started her chemotherapy journey. Cancer has effected so many people in my life, Daddy having cancer has opened my eyes to how prevelent this nasty disease is all around us. It's truly disgusting how common it is, and with no real cure, only bandaids and scarce miracles .
Today my friend said that she believes that everything happens for a reason, but it is hard to find one for cancer. She's right. But in my rational crazy thought processes, ive come up with God's reasons for my Daddy getting cancer.
He was the most stressed out person I have ever known, my brother and I didn't help, but with work and money and just day to day activities, he was so stressed and sometimes really angry. Cancer forced him, literally, to lie down and relax. His stress was a different kind of stress now, stressed about his life expectancy, but at least now he was surrounded by family as much as possible and his only worries were for himself, and not work.
My Daddys cancer also gave me motivation. Motivation to get two degrees in one year, to make a life for myself with the most amazing man I've ever met. Motivation to get in the best shape of my life. The last day of this last round of radiation, one of the hospital valets told me I am the only woman he's ever seen that can lift such a large wheelchair with one arm into a trunk. My Daddy is my motivation, I need to stay in top shape to be able to take care of a 270 pound disabled man.
My Daddys cancer has also motivated me to look at my own stress levels, exercise helps me a lot, but so does eating clean. Taking out processed flours from my diet has made my mental clarity ten times better. I also am getting back into yoga to help with my stress levels. I firmly believe that stress helps fuel cancer growth, and that positive life changes can ease cancers effects.
Cancer can be a blessing in disguise. You just need to look harder.
I love you, Irene.
Grandma will be just fine <3
Monday, June 24, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I just got Daddy washed up, changed, and back into bed. He is completely pitiful now and worst of all, he knows it. I can see on his face that he is humiliated by the fact that I have to help clean him up because he can't do it himself. His shingles spot on his back bleeds through it's bandages every day, he has two huge bruises on his abdomen from where he has been giving himself blood thinner injections... He's a mess. My dad used to be so prideful and I always saw him as indestructible, now he just lets me wash him up, and change him, and I help him lift his legs back into bed, but in my eyes he is still just as indestructible as ever.
Monday, May 20, 2013
It's been quite a while since I've even thought to post, crazy last semester of undergrad, wedding planning, madness!
Daddy is worse than ever unfortunately, in so much pain, can barely make it to the bathroom without full out crying, it's miserable and I hate it! I hate every second of it. We have an MRI this week to try to figure out his pain, but no doctor has been able to help him yet.
This whole ordeal makes getting excited for the wedding very hard... It's all bittersweet, I have to have a "with dad" and "without dad" game plan. It's horrible, I feel terrible even doing it, but I don't have a choice...
With dad, I won't be able to enjoy myself because I'll be worried about him the whole time, and mom will be nurse the whole time, a lot of my family acts like they have to be G rated around him and it's makes us all feel uncomfortable.
Without dad, I won't be able to enjoy myself because I'll be thinking about him the whole time, mom will be alone, everything will suck.
So yay wedding!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Dad just gets worse, bed sores, still has a bad shingles sore that is showing signs of infection, each round of chemo is worse than the last. With this round (he's in last week of round 7) he has had such bad acid reflux that he can barely eat or sleep... Two things a cancer patient needs desperately.
I know it's a selfish thing to say, but I just wish... If he has to get worse... If itd wait until after my wedding (oh ya, I got engaged on the 16th:) ) even though he can't walk me down the aisle or dance
with me... I still need my daddy there to lift my veil and to hand me off.
On another note, at least baseball season has started, gives daddy something to look forward to each day.
Until I find time to write again, farewell
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Saturday, March 9, 2013
My Daddy has been such a big par of my life, I played basketball because of him, I played baseball because of him, I played softball because he exhausted his opposition to the Rec counsel but they made me change from baseball to softball because my body became too girly, but he still taught me everything about the sport I needed to know and then some. He's always supported me. Even when he saw me in handcuffs and stripes, he told me he loved me and that everyone makes mistakes and that he would make everything okay.
I just have a feeling now, the Sutent isn't working anymore... And I don't care anymore about who knows about my past because it has made me the person I am today and this person makes my daddy proud of me, so I am therefore proud of me.
He was right, everything is okay, because he stood by me... And what hurts the most now is that no matter how strongly I stay by him, I can't tell him the same, I can't tell him everything will be okay, because I know it won't be. He's in pain constantly, no matter what the movement he tries to make, there's a tumor in whatever bone he tries to use, and it Hurts him so much that I have to help lift his legs into bed he can't do it himself....
And it's selfish again, but I want him for my own benefit, I need his guidance and his support, I don't know what I'll do without it... I don't know where my God is anymore... He helped me through so much already, just to have me go through this? That doesn't make any sense... If he loved me he'd let me Daddy be okay, he'd let me keep my guidance and support and unconditional fatherly love... It pains me to say it, but I haven't heard back from God in months. We are now worse than ever, what about my little brother who still needs guidance? What about my mother? She's gone thru too much already... What about what we need what I need ... I don't care how selfish it sounds I just want to keep my Daddy. My rock
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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Friday, January 11, 2013
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