by Tina Zadworny
I lost my father on March 9th, 2009 to small cell lung cancer. It was too agressive and too fast. He found out that he had lung cancer on February 27th and went to the VA hospital on March 2nd to get a complete diagnosis. I brought him because my mother had a doctors appointment. He was admitted into the hospital to start his "aggressive" chemo treatments on March 3rd and actually started on March 4th.
He was released from the hospital on March 7th, wasn't feeling well on March 8th and my mother found him dead on March 9th. I am an only child so my father and I were very close. He was my babysitter so I saw him every day. My husband lost his job a couple weeks before so he wasn't babysitting at the time. This is the only thing that made it easier. He was my "Rock" any time I had a hard time; he knew exactly what to say to make things better, to make it easier, to help me understand. No matter what life threw at him (and believe me there was a lot) he just shook it off and muddled through.
He broke his back many years ago and was forced to retire, he was an alchoholic and found out in 1998 he had cirhosis of the liver and put down his last beer June 11, 1998. He was told in March of 1999 that he was going to die because of internal bleeding and that he wouldn't make it through the night. He beat that and we thought that he would beat this. He thought he would beat this.
I think he knew on Sunday night (the 8th) that he wasn't going to make it just by the things he was saying on the phone. He told me that my mother didn't even know how to write out a check and that he didn't know how to pay the bills, that didn't make any sense to me because he was there to do it. Then he said he didn't even get a chance to see Woody (my father-in-law) and I told him that once Woody came him he can go over and see him. Woody had hip replacement surgery on the Monday before my father was diagnosed and then he was brought back to the hospital due to an infection which no one knew what caused it, not even the doctors. That at the time was another thing to worry about. My father-in-law now is doing just fine. He is still fighting the infection but he is home.
And apparently so is my father just in a different sense of the word. I just keep telling my myself "at least he didn't suffer"; that would have been worse. I didn't get to see him after he had the chemo but everyone tells me he was swollen. He tells me the lump had gone down. The cancer had spread within days from one lung to the other and then to his throat. The day he died I didn't even get a chance to see him. I am trying to deal with the closure of that.
He was cremated and there were no services. That isn't what my father wanted. He wanted us to celebrate his life and not his death. And I do understand that. It is just hard to find closure when you have not seen the person. The last time I actually saw my father he told the nurses that for the first time in his life he felt no pain. That made it harder. If he felt no pain then how did he die so fast?
The doctors were so sure this treatment would work. Would it work in the sense to make him go faster? Would it work in the sense to make it go away faster? So many questions and yet no way to get answers. My mother is the only one that can ask why and she won't. She is a pity me type of person and finding out why won't have anyone pitying her if they find out it may have been somthing that my father did wrong. I am more like him. Just give me the answers even if it is something I don't want to hear, at least it is the truth.
Now onto my father and who he was. He was a great guy. No matter what he was going through he would always help you out. When we lived in the housing authority (low income) the couple that lived next to us was behind with the rent and my father gave $ to them so that they wouldn't get evicted. He asked a couple times for it back and then it came into a fight and my father let it go. He never got the money back even though he really couldn't afford it either.
His thoughts: it really wasn't worth losing a friend over money, you are always going to get money but you can't always get good friends. After he broke his back there was no bending, lifting or stretching also the same after the cirrhosis, he always did those things. Worked on peoples cars if they were broken down, put new floors in because he felt they needed it. He helped my husband often whenever something would go wrong in my house. He re-did my bathroom floor. Fixed the pipe when it broke in the bathroom, put in a new commode, fixed the door frame after I got pissed because I couldn't open the bathroom door and kicked it in. So much, such a good man. There is just so much that he has done for everyone that you just can't put it all down.