Hello there Guy’s – I hope you are all well!
I created this wordpress blog / site in August 2014, to start blogging about various things, however not long after setting it up – my father died. In the spirit of keeping things anon – I wont be putting anything which can identify me in the post or my family, for one simple reason. I want this post, along with any future ones I publish here to help people, to help inspire them and to let people know that though times maybe hard for them, that there are people out there who suffer just as much as them – also security for my family too!
Since this tale is about my father, I thought it was time I placed my story here regarding my father. Warning, this is a LONG story, please be warned.
I live in the UK and my family consists of me, three sisters, mother and until recently my father.
The story starts around August / September time 2013 for my father. He started getting terrible night sweats and not just a little – but bad night sweats. He would soak the bed with sweat, however he was OK during the day. He had spent years suffering from Arthritis, so had no more than normal pains associated to that so a few things like a bit of pain went un-noticed for a while, along with a few odd other things too.
Over the next couple of months his doctor had sent to him a local hospital for various check ups, tests and other things but never really getting ” to the bottom of it ” which we as a family found annoying to say the least – after all, anyone wants their father or own loved one to get better, dont they?
Christmas / New Year (2014 now) went by, he was never right and the night sweats though started being intermittent now where getting daily occurrences and during the day he started getting them a bit more. In addition to that my mother and I would be cold / freezing in the house but he would be hot wanting the back door open – which was a bad sigh for us – yet his doctor still “found nothing”. By March he got taken to hospital as he was starting to have issues walking and a bit more pain and it was a terrifying time for us.
After fifteen minutes in hospital a Junior Doctor diagnosed my father as having High Grade Non hodgkin’s lymphoma and that’s when the devastating blow and roller coaster ride for us as a family began. We where perplexed to say the least as his own GP / doctor had spent five months doing various things and checks to see what the current issue was, when a Junior Doctor took only 15 minutes to diagnose it! Cause if a Junior doctor can “find” this issue so quickly, why did his doctor or tests of the hospitals? This was around March / April 2014
Not long after the diagnosis my father had started getting Chemo Therapy for it – he was getting 6 sessions of it – each session being three weeks apart until getting follow up Chemo in two sessions to protect his soft tissue and brain for “just in case” for the future.
The Chemo Therapy sessions where only day ones and he was home after getting the treatment. First couple of them went well without any issues, then the remainder three he took that bit longer to recover from each session. In the last three sessions, during each one, he went back to hospital as with the treatment and his white blood cells being low he got some infections.
Though it was tough on us as family, however we had supported him during this period – after all, what are family’s for?
After he got his last treatment, he got told that there would be a few weeks then get a scan to see how the treatment went. As at the start of the treatment he got told that the type of cancer he had was, “highly treatable” from the doctors and some of the research I had carried out showed this. When the results of the scan came back – they showed that he was all clear.
As a family we where over the moon, we where happy at this – after all the treatment had worked! For around 2 / 3 three weeks he had went and bought new clothes as he had went from being 20 Stone in weight to around 14 Stone in weight (sorry, dont know the KG version) so he needed a new wardrobe!
Though one thing that was a bit odd was that he was still feeling tired and not really showing any “major” signs of improving though we just put that down to his recovering. A bit concerned, my mother took him back to hospital as we though it was another infection.
To get the bottom of this his consultant decided to do another Scan on him to see what was happening – that’s when they found it again. His High Grade Non hodgkin’s lymphoma had came back, but with vengeance. If the earlier incident of five months going untreated was a big blow to us, then this was more an utter cruel blow to us! After all of we had gone through, thinking we had eventually beaten it and had 3 weeks of having the idea of him being clear, he was not.
They had gave him only a few months left to go before dying.
Obviously there was tears and during the last month of his life we had moments of downs and ups, as anyone would during this time. However when the time came for him to came, he asked to be in the hospital before he went. When he eventually died, he was surrounded by his 4 children, wife and brother. During this time there where things which happened, such as the TV would be on with a random documentary, film or program be on and the most random thing, such as a child saying to his father, “I Love you daddy” would be enough for my dad to start crying and us, the family consoling him. Why was he crying? He had worked hard all of his life, to better not only himself but to provide for his family. To advance in life, to get a house (Which he did), to see his grand children grow up (which he wont now) along with looking forward to spending time in retirement with his wife (my mother) and do things that old couple’s do. However now that he had been given this “death sentence” so to speak, he was not going to get that done. In his life, he was wanting to live old and if he was going to die, then on his own terms not like this.
But that is life, I suppose – you can never fully appreciate or understand things like this – after all we did not choose for cancer to enter our lives like this, but it did. There was times during this, for example when I would finish work and got home to make my tea and my mother would be upstairs with my father in bed and I would be making my tea and eating it, then randomly I would burst into tears, wondering why cancer was doing this and why it was taking my father.
I have spared the more graphic parts of his suffering, as they maybe too much for some – however in the later stages of his condition he was in a lot of pain and suffering and we hold dear to the fact that he is now in peace and no longer in pain. He died on the 6th of October 2014 at 11.35 in the evening, it was a Monday. That date, time and day will NEVER leave my memory, along with the funny, warm, gentle giant I know as a father.
He will always be loved. During his time at being treated at the local hospital the nurses there, doctors and consultants could not have been more pleasant to deal with and I will always be thankful for their support during my fathers suffering. They where the best at their job.
From this personal experience I have learned that cancer is a thing which needs to be cured, more so than ever and awareness raised of it. It is because of what has happened with my father that the respect I have for those who are suffering form it and have fought it and won. Though the cancer was not in my body or ravaged me, it has ravaged my family and thoughts and our lives.
I applaud, praise and have nothing but undying respect for all the nurses, doctors and people who give their time tirelessly to fight it and cure it. There are still times to this day now that I still feel angry or bitter about what his doctor, during the first 5 months did not find along with that my father is gone and can no longer see what has been done or spoken too – the little things. But as time does go on, you manage to cope that little bit more. I am a good natured person, who does not believe in violence or hatred and hates the times when he has anger in his being / should because of this, but these moments are fleeting now. People often think that cancer only effects the person who suffers from it, but what they don’t know, if they have not experienced it – it also effects the family too.
Thanks for letting me ramble on! I hope this helps people!
I will be writing more blogs soon, in the next few days.
I have created a twitter account in association with this, https://twitter.com/life_wonderer or you can add me via @life_wonderer if you want to know more! I do have my own personal twitter account, but as advised at the start In the spirit of keeping things anon – I wont be putting anything which can identify me in the post or my family – though will answer tweets to that account or any commends to this blog in the comments below!