Dad’s passing has caught everyone off guard. I’ve been hearing so many saying they just saw him in October, September, his trip to Massachusetts in August, and he looked great, seemed to be adjusting to life without my mother. And he was. All that changed on Tuesday, October 25th. Hindsight lets me see what I didn’t before and has brought clarity to the events of the last six weeks.
I started noticing dad’s unusual behavior the day he drove home 1 hour after a colonoscopy. A week later he came home from an outing with his friend Sue, telling me she was angry with him because he wasn’t acting right. She told him he needed to get checked out. The next day he fell at accordion practice, yet he got up and played perfectly. He dressed up as a Jedi Knight for Teresa’s Halloween party on the 22nd of October. While there, he didn’t recognize his brother-in-law. Sunday night he fell in the closet and it took both Ezra and I to get him up. On Monday the 24th, he drove to Brooksville to get his colonoscopy results then drove home to tell Sue everything checked out OK. When he arrived home I asked him if everything was good. He smiled at me saying, “Yeah, I’m going to bed now, good night.” The next time I saw my father was in the ER.
Keeping the Continuity of Care throughout this process has been exasperating. Dad was in a Rehab Center for two weeks after Hospital release. He arrived home on November 17th. Since Cancer isn’t an ER Diagnosis, we didn’t rediscover his True Condition until we ended up in the ER again on the 22nd, when he got dizzy and fell in the closet. During that 24 hours, Dad & I met with the diagnostic team who previously thought dad was already in a treatment plan; no cancer this advance is ever first discovered in the ER. I told them, as I repeated throughout this ordeal, that we never knew about Cancer until 10/25. They confirmed Lung Cancer with Mets to the Brain. Doctors wanted to start treatment that day- but Insurance issues prevented it so we went home. The Family had an Amazing Thanksgiving . On Saturday after, we called Hospice. Having all the facts we decided to go for care over treatment. Before the attending nurse could evaluate my father on Monday the 28th of November, Dad caught a chill. It quickly turned into the shakes, then convulsions, followed by high fever and vomiting. I called and Hospice arrived whisking Dad away again. This time to their care center. He rebounded one last time, always fighting for another day with his family and friends. Saturday last was his rally day. He saw all his children and we got him in a wheel chair for a ‘walk’ around the boardwalk. That night Dad helped me edit my blog entry. We said our goodbyes which always ended in a kiss. That was my last time to see my father alive. He passed away early this morning. The emptiness he leaves has hollowed my soul.