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This post is probably hard to follow and all over the place.  I'm having a moment from finding my dads old voicemails and hearing his voice, so I thought I'd post over here and this is what came out 

I'm 35 and I just lost my Dad on May 13th.  I moved 1,000 miles, back to my home state, in order to care for him and he died 5 weeks later.  Prior to that I would fly home and stay with him for weeks or months at a time while he had surgeries, chemo, radiation, etc.  He did a lot of the radiation on his own, though.  

The cancer started in his mouth and to make a long, horrible story short 1.5 years later it had spread to his lungs and finally his bones.  

I have so much guilt for not moving in with him from day 1, but then I know that he was living his life and was expected to be OK at first.  I did care for him after his first major surgery (neck dissection) 

I'd sleep over his house after work and he would be so happy.  Sometimes I'd try to go back to my house I was unpacking, and I feel so guilty.  One day I was going to go over and hang with him outside and I didn't, and he waited for me that day.  Got himself outside and opened his garage (was a mechanic....his garage was nicer than his house) and probably sat there waiting to see my car pull up since I was finally home and I slept in instead.  Little did I know he would be gone 3 or so weeks later.  

I got him to gain weight over 6 weeks that I stayed with him right before moving home, and the 2 weeks I was gone all the weight came off.  I shouldn't have left him.  I'm a nurse, and I didn't see how frail and thin he was (I did see it, but I feel like I didn't) 

I pushed him to take morphine when he was on hospice (he died 10 days after starting) and I shouldn't have. He didn't want it.  (He NEEDED IT, the pain was awful....he was to the point where he would groan if he flinched)  The morphine made him so lethargic he never really did completely regain alertness before eventually going unresponsive (as is part of the dying process)  I can't stop making myself think about these things over and over and over and I feel so sick to my stomach about it. 

I knew he wouldn't beat the cancer, I told those close to me so.  I advocated for his wishes, which were to fight, so we did.  He got chemo, radiation, immunotherapy, I allowed him to have false hope the whole time.  I allowed him to think he could beat it, and I knew the whole time that it wouldn't work.  I just didn't know how long he had.  At the time I convinced myself he wanted hope, that he had to have something to fight for, but why didn't I let him know how bad it was?  (The doctors did, many times and he refused to hear it...I know this but I still feel guilty)

 

I feel like I failed him, I feel like I shoved morphine down his throat until he finally died (morphine doesn't kill people, contrary to popular belifef, but It does make them sleepy and can make them unconscious). I should have let him be alert if he wanted to be. (he couldn't eat or drink, he was so weak,)  At the time I felt I was doing the right thing, I felt I was doing right by him but now I wish I did everything differently and I think sometimes that I might die from the guilt mixed with pain and sadness.  

 

wow, I didn't expect all of this to come out.  Holy crap.  

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Dear FigsNewton,

I'm very sorry for your pain and sorrow.  Everything you expressed is how I feel too about my dad's passing. I don't think any of us can win because even if we did everything we are questioning now, I'm sure there would have been something else. 10 months since my dad passed and I am still going over the same territory.

I just wanted to let you know, I hear you. And if you ever want to talk it out please know we are all here to listen and support you.

Take care of yourself. Sending all my thoughts and prayers.

 

 

 

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