My story began at Christmas time when I saw how ill my father was on Christmas Day.

I had know he wasn't well and had been busy playing competition golf and getting ready for christmas and had been dropping in to the unit on a regular basis. But not insisting that we investigate things furthur.

Everything started Boxing Day when he phoned to say he thought he should go up to Emergency Department. My husband took him and I stayed with my mother who has dementia.

Within a month we had been back to ED and nothing was getting any better. I managed to get in for a colonoscopy quite quickly and that revealed everything was ok.

After the procedure we were still looking for answers so I was able to get into a Urologists within 2 days. Following that he progressively getting worse.

I had gone up to our holiday cabin for the weekend and some respite when Dad had phoned and said I needed to come back something was wrong.

At this stage I hadn't discussed my father with my siblings only to my sister that he was very unwell on Christmas Day and I was very worried and cried when he left.

I had to insist that my mother let my sister and brother know how sick he was. I phoned my brother on the Saturday night and asked him was he aware of what was going on, and he was very agressive about the fact and said of course he was aware he phoned them regular and knew he was sick. My mother phoned my brother very upset and he had to drive down 4hrs on the Sunday. Because Dad answered the door he was furious that mum had made out that he was dying and he answered the door. I tried to explain that mum has dementia and had been very upset lately because Dad wasn't well' (with which he became very abusive towards me). I couldn't understand that he could see how sick Dad was and resent that he had to drive all the down to their place.

By the Wednesday I had to admit Dad into ED again, by ambulance. I decided then that mum and dad needed to go into care because he was mums carer and he was too sick to look after her. My sister who had arrived on the Thursday insisted that they could go back to the unit and get home care. This was not an option for me because they would get 2 hours a day and what about the other 22 hours in the day. My sister was very angry with him and said she couldn't understand why he had given up and that was his problem not hers and she was leaving on the Sunday regardless. He spent 5 days in ICU and was told that he was terminally ill. We had a palliative care talk with the palliative care team who suggested what treatment to take and I held Dads hand all the way through the discussion quite emotional and proud of how he handled it at the time. My sister left immediately after the meeting and went back home a 5 hour drive for her.

Dad didn't cope with anything he wouldn't let me out of his sight and wanted me to fix everything that was going wrong. I transferred him into a High care facility and mum into a hostel facility. He was very disappointed with the care facility I had got for him and with the surroundings and was quite depressed.

My brother come over 1 night to see him and went home the next day and my sister brought her daughter for 2 nights the weekend before the Easter Break because she was going away for Easter to her sons.

My father was disappointed that my brother went so quickly and wasn't happy with my sisters visit. He commented after they left that all they had (mum & dad) was me and thats how it had always been.

I find it difficult to cope with the emotional dispair my father felt and that I was living in a night mare. I phoned for help because I didn't think I could keep going and was taking 2 grandchildren away in our caravan for Easter and wasn't sure how long Dad had left. I phoned both siblings and asked what their plans were over Easter and got a straight answer from them that they were going away and that was that. My sister said "just leave them (mum & dad) maybe they will learn to appreciate us a bit more and thats why we put them into a home so we could go and do what we wanted".(that wasn't why I did it)

I explained to Dad on Wednesday before Easter what I was going to do and that mum would stay with my son on our property and come in everyday and see him. That I would only go for a couple of day and see him when I got back he was very good and rubbed my hand while I was telling him, I kissed him and said I loved him and that he might have to go back to the home and be good to one of the doctors that had been so good to help us through his illness and went.

He phoned for the priest that night and the nursing staff said he was very agitated about what was going to happen to him. He told the priest that he was going to die tonight and he did, he got out of bed and took himself to the toilet at 5.00am and was pronounced died at 5.30am I got the phone call at 5.40am and had to leave the caravan and children and run into the Base Hospital to say good bye.

What a night mare!! I feel he knew I wasn't going to be around and didn't won't to go back to the nursing home and I let him down at the last minute.

Comments for Cheryl

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May 18, 2012
Your Dad
by: Debi M.

Cheryl -

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dad. It sounds to me that you were very close to him and I am sure that he loved you very much. You were there for him and did the best that you could. My mom had cancer (this was in 1990)- her prognosis was not good but she thought that she was going to beat it. When hospice came and told her that she only had a few months left she literally gave up that day went into depression. I was there with her as much as possible, between work and taking care of my family. She passed away a couple of weeks after. Wishing you comfort and peace.

Debi M.

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