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Friday, January 24, 2014

F*ck Cancer

For reasons that are not completely clear to me, we always celebrated my father-in-laws birthday on December 2nd, but his birth certificate listed the 17th as his actual birth date. On December 17, 2013 my father-in-law turned 64 and my sister-in-law gave birth to our second niece; officially, they shared a birthday! They were released from the hospital the following day and while everyone was ready to race over and visit, I wanted to give them space… but I am so glad, for once, that we didn’t wait. 

Just a few days later, my father-in-law ended up in hospital with side effects from an aggressive chemo treatment. The effects were so bad, he was there straight through until New Year’s Eve. He was released from the hospital around dinner time, but he was re-admitted about 24 hours later.

I don’t want to list all of the details here, but he never left the hospital again. That last week was a rollercoaster. Initially we were told he may go into palliative care so DH flew home from California immediately. And then they gave everyone hope with the talk of radiation. But lastly, they suggested morphine and said it was only a matter of time… less than 10 hours to be precise. 

On January 17th, 2014 he lost his battle with cancer. Just one month after his 64th birthday. He did not go down without a fight, and he was as stubborn as ever. His extended family visited his bedside all evening, and his immediate family stayed through the night. I still don’t know how I coped with it, but I stood by while DH held his hand even during those last few breaths. And somehow watching him die, relatively peacefully, brought closure and I am happy that I fought my fears and stayed there – both for him and for DH. 

This was not how we wanted to see him go. It wasn’t his time. He didn’t deserve this, and neither does his family. I understand that his pain is over now, and he will no longer suffer, but I wanted him to meet his grandchildren… our future children. I wanted him to be a big part of their lives, and it makes me so angry that he will not have that opportunity. He won’t get to see the son that he raised become a father… and that devastates me. He would have wanted to be there, and it won’t be the same without him.