Friday, February 13, 2009
This is how I'm feeling. Two years ago today, my dad had his cancer surgery. It was an awful day for so many reasons. We were just getting on the roller coaster of being diagnosed and getting a poor prognosis. Colon cancer with liver mets. Seven visible spots on the liver with likely many more not big enough to be seen on MRI.
I was so afraid that I was going to lose him. Every moment suddenly became even more precious, and I couldn't look at him without fighting back tears thinking that he might be taken from me soon.
The care he received in the hospital was horrific that day. I was so afraid to leave him, because I saw how little attention anyone was paying to him. His pain medicine pump wasn't working immediately after surgery. It took a few hours before anyone believed him that he wasn't getting any relief. He was dehydrated and no one considered that was why his heart was beating so fast. He was transferred to an ICU stepdown bed and no one even checked him for two hours after he was there. None of the right things happened until I begged the oncoming night shift nurse to call the surgeon. The lack of attention to detail made me embarrassed to be a nurse.
But here we are two years later, and he is still fighting hard. Lord knows it hasn't been an easy road for him or my mom, but he's still here. He has good weeks and bad weeks and lives his life around his chemo schedule. He's amazed everyone, including his doctors, at his endurance for the chemo that he'll likely remain on the rest of his life. If you didn't know him, you'd probably never realize he is a cancer patient. Here is a picture of him with my sister and me, taken on Thanksgiving:
Dad,I'm amazed by your strength and sheer will to battle this disease.
I pray that you'll stay strong and keep fighting for a long time to come.