Posted in Familial Unit

A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Final Good-Bye

“I will be right by my Dad’s side, covering his six.  I Love You, Dad, you will survive for many years to come if I have anything to say or do about it.” ~Me, November 21, 2015

Event-01-CD1We only made 9 months, Dad.  My heart is empty without you here with me.

Our Journey together was short-lived but full of many fun and scary memories.

On November 21, 2015, I wrote my first blog entry about my Dad, A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Battle, and almost nine months to that day, I felt my Dad take his last breath.

On February 17, 2016, I wrote my second blog entry about my Dad, A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Twist, in which I shared with you, Dear Bloggites, that my Dad’s Doctor told me he was on his downhill slope and we had to take it one day at a time now.  The doctor also told me he did not want any of my family members to even inquire about “three months from now” because he could not guarantee that my Dad would be here in three months.

We made it 6 months, Dad.  I still cannot believe you are not here with me.

Our Battle together was strong, I kept your six until the very end.

It was a Monday morning, July 11, 2016.  See, Dad was struck down by a massive stroke followed by many mini-strokes out of left field.  We were not expecting that at all.  I rode with him in the ambulance to the hospital that specialized in strokes.  We were in the hospital fighting this new battle my Dad faced for almost a week.

The following Saturday, July 16, 2016, my Dad’s doctor pulled me aside late at night and informed me that if Dad stayed like he currently was (not eating, barely drinking) he had three to seven days to live, three to fucking seven days!  The doctor went on to say if Dad started to eat and drink, we maybe had a few weeks left!  He recommended Hospice because we were at the end of the journey with Dad.

Hospice?  Put Dad on Hospice?  He was just laughing and teasing me two weeks ago and now the damn doctor is telling me we are at the end!

My brain could not compute what was being said.  He just wanted two more years!

We had a family meeting (at this point every one of my brothers and sisters were in town and at the hospital with Mom), and on Sunday, July 17, 2016, we all, sans one, agreed to put Dad on Hospice.  He came home July 18, 2016, Monday, a week after the first massive stroke that put him in the hospital for the last time.

We made it 1 month, Dad.  I feel lost without you here with me.

Our twists were many during this journey and we faced them together side-by-side.

On August 19, 2016, my journey with my Dad ended.  The battles we fought have left scars on my heart and soul, scars that will never fully heal.  My Dad, My Hero, My Constant Companion passed from this life into the Ever After.

He took his final breath at 6:47am; officially pronounced dead at 8:32am.

My hand was on his chest feeling his heart beat until it beat no more.

Now, I must continue this Journey alone, with only fond memories and a huge empty space in my heart.  I Love You, Daddy!  Keep up the party with the J-Dude until I can join in!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Familial Unit

A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Battle

Moe: “I got an idea! We’ll make a mummy out of you!” 

Curly: “But I can’t be a mummy, I’m a daddy!”

~Moe & Curley in We Want Our Mummy, 1939

When we are children, we perceive our Parental Units (parents) as invincible and able to beat anything that threatens our little minds.  We never think about life and the mortality of it: for us or them.  We happily live our childhood with the confidence that whatever we get into, our Parental Units will get us out of (at least that is how I lived my life).  Adult things and the adult world meant nothing to us.  We were young, strong, and invincible.  What we could not beat, our parents were right there to finish the job we started.  That is how life went as a child.

As we grow older and become adults, it never crosses our mind that our Parental Units are also growing older.  We continue to view our parents as we did when we were kids, until the ugly Mortality Monster (death) rears its head and begins to threaten them.  The dread Mortality Monster loves to scare the little child in all of us and sometimes it succeeds.  Nothing we do or say will change the hour appointed for the Mortality Monster to take its next victim.

Right now, that Mortality Monster is starting to come around knocking on the door of my Parental Units’ door.  My Paternal Half of the Parental Unit (Dad) has been battling many illnesses given to him, compliments of Agent Orange, during his stint in the Vietnam War.  My Dad is the toughest of tough; the all-powerful military man who is afraid of nothing and no one.  I grew up knowing that my Father could defeat any threat given to me, my Mom, or my siblings.  My Paternal Half was THAT man – the one who walks into the room and everyone looks at him to take control of the situation whether they knew him or not.

Yeah, my Dad is the sh*t!  Always has been and always will be in 7 of 7’s eyes (me).  See, I have a unique relationship with my Dad, Dear Bloggites.  I was the only one of the Sub-Units (kids) he bonded with as a baby.  Dad was always afraid to handle my older siblings when they were babies until they were two or three months old because he thought he might break them; with them being so small and him being a big military man, it was an understandable worry, albeit a silly one. 😛

However, I was a different case than the first six.  See, Dad received his orders to go fight in the Vietnam War when I was born.  From the moment I came home from the hospital, Dad insisted on doing everything for me and would not let my Mother do anything.  He knew there was a strong chance that the Vietnam War could kill him and he wanted to imprint as many memories as he could into my subconscious so I would always know who he was if something did happen.

Dad and I bonded; so much so, that I turned out JUST LIKE HIM!  Man, oh, man did he hate it when I was growing up!  Stubborn, independent, strong-willed, know-it-all up against the same personality…God Bless My Mother!  She had to play the buffer every single time!

I digress with the fun, scary memories.  Back to the Battle of Paternal Half versus Mortality Monster.  Dad’s worry over the Vietnam War killing him was not met during the battles he faced at the time, but it has come back and is now killing him with the exposure he had from Agent Orange aka The B*tch!  Darling Agent Orange called forth the Mortality Monster and said, “Make him suffer from Psoriasis! Make the Psoriatic Arthritis cripple his body slowly!  I order you to slowly destroy this Soldier who thought he got away from my destruction I wrought in the Vietnam War!”  And the Mortality Monster did as he was told.

Many years my Father has fought and suffered with the disease that is slowly crippling his body and mind.  Many years have I watched (alongside my Mother and siblings), the strong, independent, all-powerful military man slowly dwindle into a shadow of his former self.  Many years have I cried with a broken heart after seeing the confusion and defiance in my Father’s eyes as he fights the monster that is afflicting him.  Many years has the Paternal Half fought and beat back the Mortality Monster to continue to live his life he worked so hard to achieve.

Now, The B*tch, AO, has ordered a new disease to destroy my Dad.  Cancer.  More specifically, Prostate Cancer (ironic that the disease that will ultimately beat my Dad shares his initials as well as my own – PC).

Up until now, my Dad’s Urologist has been able to help him live with this Cancer in containment with a certain shot every six months.  But now, the doctor believes my Dad is in the advanced stages of Cancer and will need to start seeing an Oncologist.  This leads to potential tricky situations because Dad cannot have surgery done due to the crippling effect of the Psoriatic Arthritis.

The Psoriatic Arthritis has caused my Dad’s neck to extend and fuse forward in an L shape from his body.  If a doctor wanted to perform any surgeries that required intubation they would have to break his neck.  Results from surgery-at best, paralysis; at worst, death.

Any treatments the Oncologist will want to do will have to be done without surgery.  This is going to be tricky and until we see the Oncologist, we can only ponder how the treatment of Cancer will be addressed with Dad.   

My family and I know we are just starting to witness the final battle my Dad will face against the Mortality Monster and we will fight alongside him until the end.  We ultimately will lose this fight, but 7 of 7 will do some major damage to the monster because NOBODY F*CKS WITH MY PATERNAL HALF!  I will be right by my Dad’s side, covering his six.  I Love You, Dad, you will survive for many years to come if I have anything to say or do about it. 🙂

~4-Ever, P