He only wanted to come back home.
by Allen L.
last picture of a smile
At 92, dad was finally succumbing to cancer (LCC) which may not have finished him at all had it not been for the fact that he also had a heart arrhythmia, asthma, and many allergies, not to mention alzheimers onset.
But still he died to soon.
He was actually still golfing this June albeit he got lost on the golf course. So when he had to go for hospitalised treatments due to a high calcium blood level, we thought he would live another 5 years.
He stayed there 10 days, returned as a freshened old guy, but soon began dropping his tea, and then himself, as he wet himself on the way to the washroom, if he made it there at all without falling. Three weeks later the calcium was up again and he had to return.
So we talked about at-home hospice stuff. We arranged for a hospital bed, extra-mural nursing, and cleaning help to visit the home. We discussed this freely with him around thinking it would keep up his spirits up. It did.
But then he started to crash.
We had to move him into palliative care (rooms of no return no escape) and he thought the move was to get him home. He was heartbroken when we made him stay in the hospital in a new room. You would come into his room and he would outstretch hims arms to you, and you would think he wanted to hug you, but what he wanted was for you to pick him up and dress him to go HOME !
We (me at 60 and mom 1t 84) could not at this point take care of him... he sometimes even required physical removal of a stool, and he even got tired after sleeping...he would breath heavy with effort while sleeping 20 out of 24 hours a day.
They stopped the IV and he was asking why... No more treatments for the calcium, no more blood tests: just comfort and pain relief.
Well he died in 6 days and we all thought he would have made it past Xmas if not maybe Feb of 2012. nope
The doctor met us in the hall outside his room as the nurses were turning him over after a night of "death rattle" activity. The doc said he may have 12 to 24 hours and we could talk to him maybe he would hear. So we went back into the room thinking this, but he died right away, no 12 hours no time at all.., one little cough then two small exhalations, like an exhaust... then nothing.
All he ever said during the last 6 days is : home...take me home (as he thought we were going to do)
but we could not. I am heartbroken and feeling so guilty...
The picture was taken before his last ambulance ride to the hospital at the end of August 2011, he died October 6