Monday, November 22, 2010

Neglect? Part 1

Today I am featured by Simply Stacie in her Blog Spotlight. I am so flattered to be shown in this way.  I am also very sad because I haven't posted in so long.  

One reason is due to my father's death last month. His death was not a surprise.  In 2003, he was diagnosed with cancer of the Thyroid. It was treated with radiation. That was quickly followed with a tumor surrounding his throat. Doctors attempted removal by surgery, but aborted that because it could kill him. He was given a permanent tracheotomy tube, and several bouts of radiation and chemotherapy. This surgery and treatment nearly killed him. Doctors told mom that she should settle his estate and he had maybe three years to live. He was released into a rehab. Which he quickly walked out of. His spirit rallied and he recovered, learning how to deal with a permanent trach.

Dad suffered from chronic high PSA levels. Then two years ago he tested positive for Prostate Cancer. This was treated with radiation. He suddenly became constantly dizzy and falling, driving on curbs and not being able to have sane conversations. I insisted he see the doctor who prescribed a MRI of the Head, which showed a tumor on his brain. This followed with brain surgery and radiation. Again he improved to normal health.  Until this summer when the brain symptoms retured. A new MRI showed a new tumor on the brain. By this time, he was only strong enough for radiation.  He kept falling at home and getting hurt. Mom was forced to admit him to rehab so they could help him regain his strength.

Unfortunately, after admission Dad's condition failed quickly. I discussed Hospice with Mom but she didn't think it was that serious. Until it was, then she okayed that decision. He died the next morning.

I am glad that he is not longer in pain. He went through 7+ years of pain and suffering. He died in his sleep looking like an angel. But he was still my dad, and I am still his little girl.  Add the fact that my head was a mess (see part 2) I was constantly lashing out and crying.  

Our first Thanksgiving without him approaches, and things are not calm. Words were said and our family will not be celebrating together. I am sorry about that, but I am starting to stand up for myself and not rely on Dad to help make my decision.

He was my rock. I was able to tell him anything with no fear of punishment. And being an undiagnosed bipolar, I could provide lots of times I needed to talk to him. He did not judge me or question my decisions. He was a quiet stoic man, but my kids still adored him and knew he adored them.

I take things a day at a time, trying to keep my schedule busy so I don't dwell on his passing. I grieve and learn to be strong.

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