Listening to: Dance with the Dead – Invader
Mood: Pretty good, considering.
I know I’ve been gone for a long time, and I’ve done so with intention. As you might know my dad had cancer. And he was getting treatment for it. I went to visit and help him on June 7th and he was doing pretty well…considering.
He had, a week before, talked to a doctor, after having been so bad, health wise, that he was put in hospital; and the doctor said that the cancer wasn’t responding to treatment and it was best just to stop treatment and focus on his well-being. So, he was doing well on the 7th. Reduced and emotional, wanting reassurance from us about things and so on, and giving me legal right from him to access his bank account. However, he was pretty drugged up so he couldn’t give me the right codes. He ate a little that day and went to bed early. The next day, Wednesday, his GP came to check on him and he felt that, since my dad was struggling with constipation, it was best to go to the hospital again to have the “plug” removed. So I got to ride in an ambulance. But I also saw just how bad he was, then. How jaundiced. So I sat in the waiting room for three hours waiting for my dad to get treated. When they finally got me he was in the bathroom. And then he sent me away. I told him I’d be happy to stay with him, but he said no. So I left, feeling like a bitch. My brother came to pick him up the next day, so he got to ride in an ambulance, too. One of the ambulance guys helped my dad up the stairs and saw to it that he was OK. Very nice and helpful guys. So, my brother and I spent the day helping our dad into his bed, and then into the living room, back into bed and so on because he was in such pain. I don’t think they gave him pain relief at all when he was in hospital, even thought they have his journal and all that. And we tried to call the Home-Aid people to have them come give him something, but they didn’t answer the phone because it was after hours and we had to call a special number and we couldn’t fine the piece of paper with the number on it. So dad was delirious with pain. He had fast working morphine tablets, but they didn’t touch the pain at all. It was terrible seeing him like that. Eventually I went to bed and I could hear my brother helping dad. My brother stayed up with dad all night long. Around 6am he went to sleep and I got up and helped my dad from the living room into bed. He still said he was feeling constipated, so I had to give him an enema…. He even said he was sorry. But seriously, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. And then I had to help him from bed into the bathroom. And he was so weak. He fell onto the toilet and I’ve never heard such a whimpering sound uttered from my dad ever. It broke my heart. Eventually the Home-Aid came and she got an ambulance for him, to take him back to the hospital for pain treatment. So, he came home from the hospital on Thursday and this is Friday. Going back to the hospital. The same guy who helped my father up the stairs came back and this time they put him in a chair and carried him. So my brother went with them and I was left scared and alone. And dad’s lady friend came by and we talked. And when she left I was left feeling more alone and scared…and I had a small breakdown. I couldn’t stop crying. Luckily, I think hubbies “Lene is distressed”-senses were tingling, because he called and he calmed me down. My brother came home and he said dad wasn’t in pain any more, that the pain treatment was working great. On Saturday I went to visit him, but he was sleeping the whole time. He was responding to touch and being talked to, so I hope he registered that I was there. After spending some hours with my dad I met up with mum and my brother down town and we had a much needed relaxation. Having a few drinks, trying to not be too depressed about things. On Sunday the hospital called and said dad’s kidneys were shutting down. He hurried to the hospital and called me to get my ass there. While I was waiting for dad’s lady friend to come get me, I called hubby and told him what was happening.
I went to the hospital and came to dads room. He was… I don’t know.. He looked nothing like himself. My brother went out to have a smoke and I sat down and held my dad’s hand, talking softly to him, telling him we all loved him. My brother came back and dad’s lady friend left the room. And dad’s breaths became more erratic. And then he died.
When we got home I called hubby and told him the bad news. He was shocked. It happened so fast. In retrospect it was a good thing. He didn’t have to suffer any more.
I called the funeral place on Monday and they were amazing. I can’t tell you how wonderful they have been. Since my dad wasn’t a religious man at all, we decided to have a civil (?) funeral for him. It means that it’s not a priest spewing nonsense. They put me in touch with a guy from the Norwegian Humanist Association and he was, I think, the perfect guy to have the funeral.
It’s been a tough month for me. It’s been a tough month for everyone involved, I think. We started cleaning out the house, throwing things away that were old or in disrepair. He was a… I won’t say hoarder, because it wasn’t that bad. He had a lot of stuff. He did a lot of stuff. When he was competitively shooting, he made the club great. He put a lot of work into making a club magazine and stuff like that. So, in that regard, he had A LOT of paperwork lying around. He was in the home guard…and because of that he had A LOT of paperwork. He was an avid TV-watcher, and he recoded A LOT of TV-series and so on, so he had A LOT of DVD’s. And he had inherited A LOT of stuff from other people. So yeah. A lot of stuff to sift through to see what’s safe to throw away and what needed to be shredded.
We almost finished the attic before we had to leave, hubby and I. So now my brother is at the house and it’s his job to empty out the house so we can sell it.
Hubby and I drove home yesterday. Nine and a half hours by car. I’m exhausted, and I know there is a lot to be done.
I still feel so guilty for not being able to help dad with his pain. I feel like it was our fault that he was pushed into going to he hospital and that. But logically I know that it wouldn’t have made that big a difference. He might have hung in there for a few more days, but it would have ended the same way. He cancer was spreading to his lunges and making it harder for him to breathe. Sometimes I hate that little voice speaking up. It’s very destructive.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I didn’t feel like putting up a lot of pictures of a dying man. So, here’s one of a very alive one. One that represented my dad perfectly.
I love you dad.