I am still struggling to write posts but I am hoping that I will get back into the rhythm of things soon. My Dad is not going well. He was in the hospital for a couple of weeks having radiation treatment for the cancer that has come back where the lung was that they removed and on his adrenal gland. He chose this treatment because it was supposed to have minimal side effects but I don’t think that he has been eating properly for more than a couple of weeks due to the nausea. He came home on Friday and had a fall and Mum was afraid (because he was not eating or drinking) that he was dehydrated. She had to take the exceedingly hard decision to see if he could go back to the hospital. A hard decision for Mum because Dad doesn’t like being there and he takes it out on her. She has had to make so many hard decisions – I feel very sad for her, they had always wanted to be spending their retirement going on trips and having coffee everywhere around Melbourne (they loved going for coffee – loved it!!).
On top of the cancer is the fact that he has the hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) and this has caused his short term memory to be irreparably damaged. In the past years he has changed significantly from the person that he used to be but right now – there is good and bad in what the hydrocephalus has done to him. It seems to have affected his pain centre so that he doesn’t seem to be in as much pain as you would expect in this situation, which is good. He has also had some humiliating things happen to him (accidents and such) that he doesn’t remember which is also good. The worst of the hydrocephalus is that we just don’t know what he understands about the situation because one day he seems to be accepting of what is happening and the next day he will be wondering when the treatment will fix him. We are all having trouble accepting that we have limited time with him but I also have things that I want to say to him. The problem is – I don’t want to freak him out if he is not remembering why he is in the hospital and having treatment but I also don’t want to regret not saying the things to him that I want to say. The other hard part is that I could say everything I want to say to him and he won’t remember it the next day.
I’m gonna say it here and then hope that I will get a chance to tell him.
I want to thank him for being a great Dad. I want to thank him for taking me to the footy with him every week when I was a kid – it has created amazing memories and has also enabled me to relate to him at all times. I want to let him know that the times that he told me that he was proud of me, I hold precious in my heart. I want to thank him for teaching me how to laugh at myself. I want to hug him for him taking JBB into his heart so completely – they have a beautiful relationship, it makes me so happy to see them together. I want to thank him for the single minded drive that he has given me – he was the most motivated person that I have ever known - unfortunately the hydrocephalus has taken it from him now but was so fit (he ran 9 marathons), it was amazing. I want to thank him for giving me so many belly laughs throughout my life, he knows how to tell a story and honestly, he’s had an aptitude for getting into ridiculous situations. I want to tell him how great it was that he worked in the garage out the back because he was always there when we got home from school. He (and mum of course) gave us an amazing childhood filled with family, holidays away together and lots and lots of fun – whenever we are all together, we reminisce!! I want to thank him for everything that he taught me – to drive, to work hard, to excel. Mainly I just want to tell him that I don’t want him to go, that I will miss him, that I love him.
The thought that he will most likely not even meet any more children that we have makes me want to sit in the corner and sob my heart out. I hope desperately that he will be around for the birth of my sister’s first baby in June, it will hurt my heart if he misses it. I know that these things are all selfish, I also know that he is suffering and that his life has become a complete struggle. Despite the fact that he is rarely the Dad that I grew up with, the hydrocephalus has taken him bit by bit away from us, I can’t contemplate him not being there at all. I am very sad for all of us.