Discussions that mention valium

Family & Friends of Cancer Patients board

It's been a long time since I posted I know. I just couldn't bring myself to talk about all that was happening anymore for a while. But, Dad's jouney at least, is finally over. A quick recap of the past 2 months: he felt at the beginning of May like he had a chest cold only it didn't get better. The day after mother's day my stepmom went to check on him in his room and found him having pain & difficulty breathing, so she had him transported to the hospital. They first "diagnosed" pneumonia, but ordered the other tests to be sure. It was may 24 before they had a positive answer for us. Dad did NOT want to, but felt pressured to do something about it, especially after he lost his voice. He started radiation treatments on june 5th but they were pretty much ineffective, so the oncologist suggested combining w/chemo. He had 2 treatments and couldn't take anymore. It wasn't making him sick or anything; he just knew that it wasn't doing anything at all. And so the vigil began. On Father's Day we were all able to be there for him, basically to say goodbye, although only my brother and I would admit it. We did not let him stay alone at all after that for more than maybe 1/2 an hour at a time. My oldest & youngest sisters and stepsister stayed there but the rest of had to come home. He was very confused about some things by then because it had already metasticized into his brain (my sisters all kept insisting it was the meds at first, but they did finally realize the awful truth). On July 5th, 6 days after he quit treatments, my stepmother accidentally overdosed him (I blame the doctor for this for not being more concise in his instructions). Anyway, he ended up being nearly comatose the entire night, we all rushed down to be with him thinking it was surely over, and I truly believed when I got there that he wouldn't make it through the rest of the night. Well, it turned out that my stepmother had given him his valium, and the doctor had said if it had no reasonable effect after 30 minutes to "go ahead and give him 2". She thought he meant 2 more. And he also had been given a sleeping pill. So the result was not really that surprising. Anyway when he finally woke up, he was obviously very disoriented and confused, but as the drugs wore off he seemed to be doing quite a bit better. We decided it was ok for some of us to come back home on the 7th. On the 8th my nearest sister said she's going back, it's for real this time. He had been taken back to the hospital for extreme pain (I believe it was also in his bones), and the doctors gave him a morphine prescription and sent him home. They told us and we knew anyway to just keep him comfortable. That was easier said than done, too, because they gave him the medicine in oral syringes, and he kept spitting it out. My little sister suggested they try an ordinary medicine cup which he accepted. He finally went to sleep at about 10:30 am (after 24 hours of pain that I honestly am glad I was not there to witness). He never woke up, and passed away at 9:47pm in his bed, with all 3 of my sisters with him. My husband,son and I went down the next day to help make arrangements, came back home and went back on the 12th for the wake and then burial.
My sisters are eager to point out all they did for him in the last few hours, and I'm truly grateful for that, but I know they want me to feel bad for not being there when he actually passed. I will not let that happen because I did say my goodbyes to him when he was coherent enough to know it, and he also knew I wouldn't be there when he passed. It may not seem a fair thing to say, but it's true nonetheless, that I was Daddy's girl, his favorite, and though he would never have outwardly shown favoritism, evryone in the family knew how he felt. They all knew, and even my stepsister commented on it when I said I did feel bad for not being there "everyone knew how your dad felt about you kids, especially you, Shaune." She said it in the presence of my 2 younger sisters and it made me cringe at the time, but I knew she was right. It made me feel better to at least have one person not berating for not being present in his final hours. Anyway he had a very nice simple service with a lot of friends paying their respects. The saddest part of all of it was that some very dear friends of his had arranged a benefit for him to offset his medical expenses, and it was held on the 14th, the day after he was laid to rest. My brother and I had both said on father's day that we weren't sure he would live to see it. We didn't know he wouldn't, and we didn't want to be right, but it's strange how things can happen. Anyway, at his wake I overheard someone say how sad it was that he wouldn't be there to see many people truly cared about him, and all I could think was "oh yes he will".
I guess other than the fact that he is finally home, a few other good things came of his passing. I got to see some VERY dear cousins that I hadn't seen in 28 years! I found one of them on the internet and she managed to get both of her brothers to come with her. Of course we all exchanged contact information and we will NOT be out of touch that long again. I also was able to make peace with my ex (he and my oldest showed up at Dad's while I was there before he died). He has now had 2 bone marrow transplants and they still can't keep his white count up. He qualifies, because of his age and prior health history, for a 3rd, but has decided he is finished with treatments as well. This man is 6'2" and two years ago weighed 300 lbs. He now is 150. He's had skin grafts on his head and arms where the cancer has eaten away his flesh. The doctors say he chronic myeloid leukemia, but I'm not sure there isn't more going on, because that's what my grandpa died from, and he never issues like that with his skin. Anyway I told him I wish him the best whatever his decision was, and he gave me hug and said we were all ok. He told my dad heloved him and meant no hard feelings with anyone. So I guess it's true that a death in the family really does bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. (My sisters will never know how badly my brother and I were hurt by some of the things they said, and my ex will never know how happy he made me just by saying he was sorry for things in the past).
Anyway, I wanted to say thank you again for being my shoulder to cry on. The last 7 weeks seemed like a lifetime of hell, watching someone you love so much go through all that, and yet at the same time I am SO grateful it was actually very fast. It was harder with my ex's dad going through it for a year and a half, and I know there are many more whose struggles are even longer. GOD BLESS EVERYONE WHO READS THIS, EVERYONE WHO IS GOING THROUGH THIS HURTFUL ILLNESS, AND EVERYONE WHO LOVES SOMEONE WHO IS GOING THROUGH IT. YOU ARE ALL ANGELS.