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by, 16-Sep-2011 at 10:34 (503 Views)
I don't know whether starting blogging with something like this is the appropriate thing to do or not, but here goes anyway...
I'm just home having rushed away a fortnight ago. I mentioned up in the mature topics forum that the doctors thought my dad had cancer: it turned out they were right. It wasn't in his lung, but in the sac that surrounds it, so they couldn't operate: all they could offer was chemo. Fifteen days ago he went in for his first (as it turned out his only) session. They took him home afterwards, but in the middle of the night mum had to call the ambulance and have him readmitted, and the doctors contacted us and said "we wouldn't want you to have any regrets..." - translation: get the hell down here right away.
Wife and I did just that: we were on a boat that evening and drove through the night to get to get to my parents' house.
I knew Dad hadn't been well for a while - he had a history of heart trouble, and in the last few years the spectre of memory loss and dementia was creeping up on him - but he'd come to England in May and he looked reasonable then. To see the shrunken husk of a body that was left - barely nine stone of him - was awful.
He lingered on until Wednesday morning. The lingering was, in many ways, the hardest thing. The cancer had caused pleurisy, and the loss of lung capacity hit his brain function. There were already indications that his organs were shutting down on Saturday, so what was there to come back to? An existence as a wrecked body, maybe; but not a life the way he'd lived it, full of laughter and music...
And then there was the funeral, of which more later.