my boys "grandpa", my friend, my dad
daddy and his little girl
My father recently passed away, July 23, 2010. he had been sick since about January and was diagnosed with kidney and pancreatic cancer in April. the pancreatic cancer had also spread to his liver. they told him he had six months to a year left in April 2010, he passed in July 2010, you do the math. there's just never enough time when someone you love gets sick, but you at least hope for the least estimated time. unfortunately life isn't fair and doesn't care what a doctor says. no one can predict the future.
My dad has been my best friend for a long time. I'm 21 but will forever be his baby girl. my dad taught me everything I know and is the reason I am who I am. I look like him, I talk like him, I act like him, I even catch myself saying things to my kids he would have said to me. I am his carbon copy. he always told me that when god made me he used his blueprints and just made some modifications. my father was the type of man that everyone adored. the only people who didn't like him were jealous or intimidated, but that's their loss. without trying my dad could make anyone laugh no matter what mood their in. he could sell bubblegum in a lockjaw ward with his silver tongue, the sound of his voice just made people listen. I could go on but I know you haven't got all day, lets just put it this way, he was an amazing man unlike anyone I've ever known. but as every child does I drifted away and made my own life.
I was not around very often when my father first got the pains that eventually killed him. I came and saw him now and then when it worked best for my schedule. the visits were always the same,"hi how are you? the boys are good are you still hurting?" as his pain got worse i began to tell him to go see a doctor. him being hard headed as he was said he didn't have the money. I told him that he was being selfish, "I don't know how to tell my kids that grandpas gone and they can't see him again." (my kids are 2 and 3 by the way and have no concept of what death is). he promised he would go once his disability insurance got approved. I told him that his life and what it means to us, those who love and care about him, does not have a price. that money is no excuse. still no luck.
he went to a little crackpot doctor to get everyone to shut up and get off his back (that was the end of January) this doctor told him that the pains were a peptic ulcer and a hiatal hernia and wrote him a prescription to the E.R. for surgery. he called me with the news. he told me his diagnosis and that he needed surgery but would wait for the insurance before having it.
that just started the nagging all over again. I move to another city in the end of march, beginning of April, somewhere around there and have no car, so visits cease.
His insurance had not been approved yet but he had agreed to go to Baylor for the surgery. instead I receive a call saying they found tumors on his kidneys, a mass on his pancreas, and several spots on his liver. my heart sank. at the time they didn't know that it was cancer just that they had found something and wasn't what they thought it was. they tell me they will call me with test results. my phone dies and i have no charger, and no money to buy one. i go to my neighbors house as often as i could without being a nuisance, to use the phone. results start coming in slowly and they tell me my dad has cancer. my first reaction is anger at both him and my mom. if they had gone sooner they could have caught it earlier. my dad says he wants to see me and my boys so my mother comes to pick us up.
we get to the hospital and it seems as if it had been 20 years since I'd seen him, though it had only been weeks. I saw in that bed a shell of who my father was. yeah he was fighting and still the same person, but seeing the man that has been a rock all of my life need help standing, walking, and in tears with pain was just not him. We stayed with my mother that night and I told my boyfriend that i had to be with my dad , that we were gonna move in with my parents so that we could help and have as much time as possible with my father. he agreed and we got our things the next day.
3 weeks later he comes home. he goes through one full treatment (which takes about 3 sessions, one a week) of intravenous chemo-therapy. June he got another cat scan and the tumors had grown despite the treatment. we were devastated. his chemo treatment was changed and they gave him pills he could take at home. he took 5 1/2 doses and began to vomit (later I realize his liver gave out), halting the treatment. two days later he passes away while getting ready to go to the hospital. funny how things turn out, huh?
Now I have to tell my children grandpa's not coming home and they won't ever see him again. I was told that my 3 year old saw the traumatic events of my fathers death but I am unsure of what he saw or what he remembers. he wakes up at night crying and i don't know why because he doesn't know what to tell me. how do I know if this has traumatized him? my 2 year old seems oblivious. he knew something was wrong the day my dad passed but now he seems not to know. how do i help my children?