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Bye to my dad

bygrace
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2003

My dear dad passed away yesterday from lung cancer. I had been planning on going to visit him next week from CA to Tennesee for his 76th birthday. My dad came to visit me here for Christmas. We had a lovely Christmas and the next day he felt ill and was hospitalized. It turned into severe pneumonia... It took almost two months before they found the lung cancer. It was hiding behind his heart. I had two months of time with my dad here. I will treasure that time for the rest of my life. He went home to Tennesse a few weeks ago, where they told him he was to ill to treat. I made plans to come for his b'day. I talked to him twice a day since he went home. I had noticed him going downhill quickly the last couple days. Yesterday morning when I called, his wife said they had had a bad night. From what she described it sounded like respiratory distress that he had in the hospital when they put him on the ventilator. He was under a hospice care now. His wife didn't think he was strong enough or alert enough to talk to me. I wanted to anyway. His wife said, "well maybe it will help him." He was aware of what was going on.. he bellowed out in a strong voice, "of course it will." I told him that I loved him. I could tell he could barely talk... He mustered up enough energy to say, "I LOVE YOU". I basically knew when I hung up that that was it. I told his wife to call the hospice and find out if I was right that he was in his last stages. For the next few hours I tried to figure out if I could get a flight and get there in time. I got the call from the hospice that he only had a couple hours left... that was it. He passed away a couple hours later. I feel sad because I had been talking with my dad everyday for the last two weeks about how I would be there soon. He would say, "how wonderful." We talked about how we'd sit and hug and love each other like we did when he was here. He had a calendar by his bed looking forward to my visit. I never thought that he would die before my visit next week. I feel somehow God is protecting me from a stressful trip even though I was so looking forward to being with him again. I know it is a blessing for my dad that he didn't suffer for too long and he is in peace. I think that God is telling me that my mission with my dad is done and that my dad was ready to be embraced with Christs love. I had a lot of opportunities to share my faith is God with him when he was out here. I know my dad will have a much better birthday in heavan, with my brother(his son), my mom, and his mom and dad and other loved ones. As those of you know that have experienced this, it still really hurts. I can't believe how much I've been crying. My best local friend moved yesterday. She lived in my neighborhood and we saw each other constantly. We played tennis and entered tournements together. She is such a spirited christian, I will sure miss her. Her hubby is an airline pilot and in the reserves. He leaves for Kuwait on Monday... my friend is going to Florida to be with other family members. Both these things in one day.. I know the Lord is reminding me to turn to Him . (So here I am on the boards.. ha ha) I find writing therapeautic. Thanks for letting me share. God bless you all. Love, Terri

michaelcie
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov 2001

dear Terri, there is a chat site" oncochat.org" that offers alot of support, I hope to see you there and offer my blessings for your lose, Mike

bygrace
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2003

thankyou Mike. I will definately go to the chat when I'm not so exhausted. Because I don't have cancer myself sometimes I feel like I don't have a right to feel sad. I don't like to be a downer to all the brave, courageous fighters out there. Thank God for all the wonderful advances that we continue to find. Even with the lung cancer, I'm amazed at how many survivors there are out there. My dad was almost 76 and just had too many other health problems to beat it. It was his time to go. thanks for your reply. Terri

debjones
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2003

bygrace;
My daddy-O (his nickname) passed away on March 13, 2003 a week ago tonite. As I was reading your message, it was like I was reliving what I have just been through. My daddy-O was 71 years old. He went into the hospital on October 12, 2002. The doctors noticed the mass in his lung, but couldn't tell us for sure that it was cancer until the pneumonia cleared up. On November 14th he was officially diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer stage 4. They also found blockages in his heart and could only open on with a stint. They found blockages in both of his legs from the knees down. So with his poor health and the advanced lung cancer he decided not to go for treatments cause with treatments they gave him only MAYBE a year and without treatments MAYBE 6 months. Well he died 4 months from the diagnoses. He wanted as much quality of life he could have until the end and he also wanted to die at home. We had hospice come in and us 6 kids (me the oldest)took care of him 24/7 until he died. All 6 of us were with him, besides all the grandchildren and even some great grandchildren when he took his last breath. I am very grateful for the time that we had with him and he was also very grateful to have the time with us and he also got to do some country dancing that he also loved to do. Up until about 3 weeks before he passed away, I believe he had a good quality of life. But once he had so much pain, we had to start him on morphine and then he couldn't keep anything down. He then lost 35 pounds in 3 weeks and just quit eating all together. One night about 3 weeks ago he told me that he was tired and thought that he would just have to give up his fight. I let him know that it was ok and that I would be at peace with that. I also told him that I really would love to have him around another 20 years, but at the same time I didn't want him to suffer. Our talk was very special to both of us and he thanked me for letting him know that even though it would be tough I would be OK. Well here I am one week after his death and I feel so empty inside. I know that he is in a much better place and he isn't suffering anymore, but I would give anything to have him back. I am so sorry that I am just babbling on here. But I just had to respond to you to let you know how much our situations were the same. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family. My name is Deb and I am 48 y/o. If you ever want to talk, you may email me at andringa1@mchsi.com. Take care and hope to hear from you soon.
Peace be with you.
Deb

bygrace
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2003

thankyou Deb. I have read some of your posts and would love to be e'mail friends. I will write you more later at your personal e'mail. It would really help me to share feelings with someone who is experiencing this. Love, Terri

Ginelle
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2003

Terry, I'm so sorry about your dad, be grateful you were together in Christmas when he was feeling better, my story is so similar to yours, just in my case my father is still fighting with the disease. He has lung cancer, his bithday is in march 25 and I can't be with him, he lives in another state. I 'm planning to go in april, he's on chemo and he's not feeling well, I'm just praying I can go to see him, I visited him in November and he was feeling weak and having respiratory problems but we enjoyed be together in that ocassion. You have to be strong and think he's in peace now, I know is tough you have the right to cry for him but God will give you resignation and comfort. God bless you, Ginelle.

bygrace
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2003

Thankyou Ginelle, Please be sure and let me know how the visit goes. One thing I did in the last few weeks was send my dad lots of loving cards, so that he would have loving thoughts from me. I also called him every day... because none of us, even those that are healthy have no guarantee of tomorow. You are obviously a loving daughter and I'm glad your dad has you. Blessings, Terri

mymom2002
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

I just read your message and I cried. My mom was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer this past summer. While I know how lucky I am to have her, your story only reminds me how close I came to losing her. I will keep you in my prayers as you go through this terrible time.

dreamwalking
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

Sorry about your Dad. I sort of went through the same thing in May 2000. I was the only one with my Dad on that Tuesday when he died of lung cancer. He went on to heaven holding my hand. I almost passed out when I walked up to the coffin and his hand was still in the position of holding mine. I learned why. The worse part was that the Friday before he died the hospital had called and told me I had a tumor the size of a softball on my right lung. All I could think of as he was dying was that I was watching my fate unfold. I was living in Tx. (have since moved back to North Alabama) and the Dr. in Austin held no hope for me. I went to Houston and they gave me hope and removed my lung in Sept. 2000. I spent my 40th birthday on my first M.D. Anderson visit. Thanks to them and my Dad (who is still holding my hand!!!), I'm still here raising my children. Just remember the good times you had with him and know that somehow they can still watch over their girls.

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