He fought but he gave up!

by Dawn
(Dougherty, Iowa)

My father was diagnosed with stage IV Non small cell lung cancer in August of 09. He was a 2 pack a day smoker for 40 years and in October it would have been one year without a cigarette. He promised me he would make it to see my daughter graduated high school which she was a freshman in high school.

The first round of chemotherapy went ok. The second round made him very sick. Vomiting and just very ill. His quality of life was pretty much non existent. The third round sent him to the hospital with pneumonia. Which left him on oxygen 24/7 because of the scar tissue. They tried one more round of chemo but it made him sick with pneumonia again.

He said he was fighting and I know he was very ill. But I feel like he just gave up. It was hard to watch him get sicker and deteriorate even more everyday right in front of my eyes. They told him in mid August '10 that chemotherapy was no longer an option. My daughter turned 16 on August 26th. He bought her a car on Aug. 23 and got to see her drive it. We put my dad in hospice on Sept. 10th at 5 pm and he passed away with his wife and me and his brothers and sisters by his side at 6:40am Saturday, Sept. 11th, 2010.

My brother was in Reno and was trying to make it home but the progression happened so fast. We all thought we would have had more time. At 2am he awoke from his morphine induced slumber and would not go back to sleep. He looked up at the ceiling with his eyes moving back and forth and widening at times. I know in my heart that he was watching the angels that were they to take him to heaven.

My mom called my brother at 6:35 and told him what was going on and held the phone up to my dads ear. She hung up the phone and my dad took 2 deep breathes and he was gone! It wasn't until after the funeral that I asked my brother what he had said to my dad. He told me that he said, "dad its ok to go and I Love You!"

I told my dad I Love You on that Friday and he told me I Love You Too! Even thought most of what he said on Friday was incoherent and made no sense that was very clear and coherent. My dad was my rock and he was and will always be my hero!

Every day after the funeral the hollow feeling in my stomach seemed to get bigger and hurt more until about a week ago. I completely let myself go. I bawled for almost 2 hours. I still miss him dearly and think about him every day but it seems like maybe I can handle things a little bit better for maybe a while at least. I am not really looking forward to Christmas but I need to be strong for my daughter the way that he would have wanted me to be. I am going to go to the cemetery and have a shot of Hot Damn for my daddy with him in my heart! I LOVE YOU DADDY!

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