|She is quite lovely, actually. submitted 2009.06.19 11:08 AM by Fallen viewed 2325 times|
|Inspired by http://www.ubersite.com/m/116949 |
and antius777 post.
"You have Mesothelioma, there is no cure, there is no surgery, I would put your time in more months than years, I'm sorry."
And that was it, final and to the point.
A matter-of -fact statement that my father was now living on borrowed time. The Oncologist confirmed what his doctor had suspected that the change in his health was, in fact, cancer. A bitch of a cancer too, it is what they refer to as "cruise cancer" because you should spend your last days living it up. Take a cruise or travel the world or whatever.
Mesothelioma is the cancer of the chest wall, not so much just the lung. A lung can come out but there's nothing you can do about the chest cavity.
It wasn't months; it was closer to two years. Long enough so that when I got the call I realized I had been lulled into a state of forgetfulness. He would not wake up from a nap, one of the many he took. We found out later that the frequent napping along with a variety of other subtle changes in behavior are all signs of the body preparing to shut down. Sort of a "walk around, shutting off the lights and locking all the doors" type of thing.
He woke up at the hospital; he was alert but unable to talk. I don't understand why, something to do with his blacking out we were told. He hated hospitals and the fact that he couldn't do anything except lie there. This was a guy that was always on the go, getting stuff done. Seeing him like that was hard to take. He hated visitors too, he was a proud man and while his friends were there for support he didn't like to be seen in such a helpless state. After a few days they were getting him ready to go home when suddenly he went into cardiac arrest and faded from consciousness.
His doctors told us there was nothing more to do except wait for the end. The decision was made to remove him from the machines and take him to hospice.
If you plan on dying I strongly suggest that you do it in a hospice. It was a noticeable change from the antiseptic cold of a hospital room, warm and relaxing, all things considered. The look on his face showed that the decision to bring him here was the correct one. He was peaceful, comfortable, not at all like the stress that showed on his face in the hospital room. He was ready.
On the last night before he died I went home. My mother stayed until the end. I asked for a moment alone to say good-bye for the last time. As the nurse lead the rest of my family out of the room.
I noticed her there.
I could feel her presence all along, I suppose that was why I needed to linger a few moments longer. She stood off to the right of his bed, more shadow than substance, her robes blended with the dark curtains and I suspect most people would never notice her at all. In a place where people come to die you would figure that Death would spend most of her time here. Her being there did not surprise me; I actually welcomed it knowing his suffering would be over soon.
I leaned over, kissed his forehead, told him I loved him and assured him that we would be ok. I jokingly told him to "get out of here" and go rest. I hugged him one last time and looked back to the corner where she waited. I told her to please end his pain quickly and send him home. She looked at me and even though I did not see her face, her silent answer assured me he was in good hands.
I got the call that he died a little after 5 am, my mother left his bedside to get a cup of coffee and he left quickly and quietly.
Just like she promised he would.
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