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jaebird 08-28-2004 07:55 PM

My Dad Passed
I guess I just need to express my feelings and I read a few of these posts and I felt like sharing my story. It's now been 2 months and 7 days (June 21, 2004 at 3:00 am) since my dad passed away. He was 74 years old at the time of his death. He had lung cancer that had spread throughout his entire body. He decided against cancer treatments and toughed it out for quite a while. He was on oxygen 24/7 with his emphezima since 1997. I always blamed myself for years that my dad was sick after I left is when he ended up in the hospital and accepted the fact that he had emphezima. It took a few years for my dad to let me back into his life, but Im grateful that he did, and that my kids got to know their grandpa. He was my life, he's been there since the day I was born, in fact he delivered me. But what I really want to know is will I ever be able to be ok with the fact that he is gone? I miss him so greatly and I regret now being able to see him during the last days of his life.

I wanted to say a little about what happened during the last months of his life. He was on pain patches for at least the last 2 or 3 months of his life, according to my step-mom she didn't even know how much pain he was in because he held a lot inside and didn't want anyone to worry about him, this is how he was, he would put his best face on and hide the pain. It happened June 18 2004, he was in so much pain that he finally gave up and allowed my step mom and my older sister (who had came out from TN the week before) take him to the hospital. They live about 3 1/2 hours from the V.A in Salt Lake City Utah, well on this day it took them over 6 hours to get my dad to the hospital because he would black out or get so ill that he couldn't stand it. They got him there and set up on everything he needed to be comfortable. Well they didn't know, none of us knew how bad the cancer was. The doctor informed my sister that he was dying, and she was like well we know that, and it'll be another year right? the dr said no this man is dying now, within the next few hours he'll be gone. Well my sister tried to call myself and my other sister, but my dad wouldn't allow her to. He didn't want us to see him in the condition he was in. I was completely out of it thinking why didn't he want us there. But I eventually came to realize that he was doing it to protect us. Well according to my sister the last few hours of his life were well I dont know how to say it, but I'll tell you the story. He was lying there in the V.A in the hospice room and would come in and out of conciousness. The last two hours before he passed he came to and looked around the room then at my sister and said hi babe, I have to pee, typical of my dad to be funny at a time like this. So about an hour later was the last time he came to, and he sat straight up in bed looking around and said over and over again, Im imagining things, but he wouldn't tell my sister what he saw. Also just like dad, he liked to make you wonder what was going on. And so my sister thought it was the pain medicine making him hallucinate, however the meds he was on had no affects such as those, and an hour later my dad was gone, he was not in pain. And we know he's up there somewhere riding his harley and hanging out with Elvis :)

Tjr123 08-29-2004 12:30 PM

Re: My Dad Passed
Hi jaebird .. My brother in law, Brian passed away from lung cancer only about 8 days ago. I think it is normal to feel regret and guilt. I certainly feel that too. My sister in law only married Brian about a year and a half ago and during this time and even before this, we were very close. My husband is her little brother and she practically raised him so that is why we have always been very close. Last summer we sort of had a falling out and we didn't speak for almost a year. We spoke again before Brian fell ill and we were there almost every day when he was sick. The last weeks we spent with him were when he was sick and I know my sister in law was grateful for that but I feel bad that we didnt spend time with him during his last healthy year of life.
My sister in law is in a lot of pain and I am sure can relate to your emotions. After speaking with a grief counsellors on how we can be more supportive .. well , there isn't much more we can do. We sleep over and call all the time and that is all we can do. As for you as well as my sister in law... the grief couseller said she will always be in pain and miss Brian, but every day will get a little easier. There is no quick fix and that is what everyone wants because the pain is so great. Time is the only healer. I feel for you and for what you and my sister in law is going through. Remember all the great memories and let that be something you keep in your heart...

jaebird 08-29-2004 06:52 PM

Re: My Dad Passed
Tjr, yes you are right, things will get better, just gotta take things one day at a time. I think what makes it hard is that there isn't really anyone around for support, I talk to my step mom often, and we have visited her a few times since he sister on the other hand apparently didn't want to deal with things, and she left town about 3 weeks ago, not one word out of her, plus she is trying to fight my step mom on the will, which is doing nothing for anyone, but causing more pain that she is so selfish. I have my best friend who I consider more of a sister than anyone else and she helps me out, but as far as family there are none here that care. And my mother, she's been remarried for 9 years now, but she said she didn't care at all when she heard about my dad's passing, so I do not speak to her at all anymore.
Well that was a bit off subject, sorry about your loss, and I am glad to hear that you have support. Take care and god bless....

txchaz 08-30-2004 09:40 AM

Re: My Dad Passed
:angel: Jaebird,

I feel your pain, I lost my father 14 years ago to this scurge of a disease. Then years later almost to the day I lost my mother to the same diseaese that took my father. Ironically during one of her chemo treatments she was in the room that my dad passed in. As time goes by it will slowly start to heal. You will start to forget the sickness, the pain your father was in is gone, he is at rest, he is not hurting. Now when I think of my mother and father I see them when they were healthy and happy together. July is a bad month for me as both of them passed that month one on the 14th and one on the 16th, I still call it death week to this day. Both of them were smokers, my dad quit before he was diagonsed but my mom sitting 10 feet from him most of the day did not. He was dianosed in Nov and he died in July. Well my friend I can only say it is true it gets better in time. I pray for you to heal, I pray for God to eliminate tobbaco from this earth.

sawbuck44 08-30-2004 02:30 PM

Re: My Dad Passed
My brother passed away a week ago. He did the same thing the last day he was here - sat straight up from sleeping no less - I was afraid he'd get dizzy and told him so, and he passed away around 3am also. My mom said she woke up at that time. We didn't get the call until around 4:15 am. My other brother was with him. We were told that day that it would be a few days. The day before we were told a few weeks to a few months. We all thought we had time to communicate with him, because through all the pain he was still very much aware of what was going on. It just got hard for him to talk. I knew he could hear well because the day before he died I was with him most of the day and he finally said to me "chill." That's my brother...

If I had known we only had a short time left that day, I would have said different things to him. things that meant more not just 'do you want a drink, do you want to try to eat.' My sister told me that it didn't matter what I said because I was there and I was able to hold his hand.

TexasLady30 08-30-2004 09:33 PM

Re: My Dad Passed
I lost my husband to lung cancer in 1996. The memories of those horrible months before his death are like an open wound. He fought so valiantly, oh how he fought it! He was 37 years old!!!! He had smoked since he was 13. He had a pain in his shoulder and arm that was intolerable and he went to the ER. He was never sick, so he didn't go to Doctors! They X-rayed him and told him that he had a tumor the size of a lemon that was pressing on the nerves in his arm! That began the fight for his life. They did a biopsy of the adrenal glands (typically lung cancer - at least his type) goes there. It was there, and from the biopsy, they determined what kind he had, and a lady Doctor matter of factly told my husband, my daughter and myself that he would be dead within a year. NO COMPASSION!!! We were in shock and that is an understatement. Gene (my husband) had radiation first (to shrink the tumor to help relieve his arm and shoulder pain), then rounds and rounds of chemo, and he got progressively weaker and weaker. Then...11 months later, he crashed all of a sudden at home. He found it harder and harder to breathe. Home oxygen was bought out, and the next day he almost coded in our house before the Paramedics got there. He was on life support for 3 more days. He was my life, my joy, the man of my dreams.
I still miss him and I always will until we meet again. I know that he is with me because I can feel him at times.

I am so sorry that your loved ones have been also taken from this horrible disease.
It hurts, yes it lessens somewhat, but it hurts still.

My prayers are with you,
God Bless You,

jaebird 09-05-2004 07:58 PM

Re: My Dad Passed
txchaz, ty very much for sharing. My mother does still smoke, she is remarried for almost 10 years now and my little sister is 9 1/2 but I honestly have no feelings for my mother right now, she was very rude about the whole thing when she was told about my dad, but that's off the subject.

sawbuck, sorry for your loss, I remember I woke up about the time my dad passed, but we weren't informed until about 10 hours later, so it was a real big shock and I was so upset with my sister for not telling me sooner, I hated my step-mom for about 3 days after because I felt she didnt' have the guts to call and tell us, but then I found out that it was too hard for her, it's a long story about her and my dad.

Texaslady, I am not sure how long my dad had the cancer, but I know it was for quite some time, he hated doctors. Sorry to hear about your loss, you are a very strong woman.

Take care all and god bless.

jaebird 09-05-2004 08:01 PM

Re: My Dad Passed
I forgot to post this before because I've been so busy with work and the kids, but.....

August 31, 2004 would have been my dads 75th bday, so I wanted to say Happy Birthday Dad, Love J, C and K.....the kids miss you so much.

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