Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm Back!

So it's been a long, grueling summer for our family. Most of you know the details, but for those of you who don't, I will share some...

My last post was written immediately following the River Run that I did on May 9th. If I had only known how much my life was about to CHANGE, but hindsight is always 20/20. Anyways, after my first 10K that morning, I called my dad. The person I always called when I needed to share anything. Since my mom passed away 6 years ago, I shared my joys and my trials... all of them... with him.

That morning he sounded like he had laryngitis. His throat was froggy. I asked him if he was OK, and he said he felt better than he sounded. I brushed it off, and went on with my day. Sunday was a busy day, and we did not talk. I called him Monday night after a big storm, and he still sounded bad. He said he had slept through the storm. I started to worry, but still only sounding froggy, I thought he had caught a bug.

Tuesday, May 11th, my dad's boss called me to tell me he had sent my dad home from work ill, and that I should go and check on him. I truly believe in God and his planning. Normally, I would have 6 daycare kiddos to worry about, but at the exact moment that dad's boss called, my aunt walked through the door. I immediately jumped in the car, and rushed to find my dad. When I arrived at his house, he looked as if he had had a stroke. He speech was slurred, and he was very lethargic. I immediately rushed him to the ER...

By the end of the day, dad was doing much better. They pumped him with saline fluids, and had started him on IV antibiotics to treat him for the "septic shock" he was diagnosed with. If only.

Wednesday morning, dad's "septic shock" was gone leaving the doctor's suspicious of something else. Dad's health is no longer improving. I call my little sister Erin (who was stationed with her family in Okinawa, Japan. She and her family jump on a 24 hour flight home.

Thursday morning, dad is diagnosed with cancer. The doctors still don't know the origin, type, or stage that it is in.... or at least they don't want to let on to every ones worst fears. Dad is taken in for more testing. His health is decreasing, and well, let's just say I really didn't need much more information.

Friday, our worst fears are true. Dad is in stage 4 of an untreatable cancer. They will never know the origin of it because it was all over his body. Dad is barely coherent anymore. The doctors are asking us to move him to end of life care, while I get to break the news to my sister fresh off her flight...

Monday morning we moved dad to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice where he lived 12 more days. Erin and I hardly left his side (only to eat and shower) we spent the nights with him, and did everything we could to keep him pain free, and to let him know how loved he was by all of us. We went through the toughest days that anyone could imagine.

So this is just one of a few posts to explain my summer.

This is in loving memory of a dad who showed up with chicken and noodles on sick days, the Christmas gift you always wished for, but knew was out of your reach. He brought bags full of Popsicles for grand babies (I mean MORE than anyone could eat), and his arms were always long enough to reach around you and hold you when you needed it. His hands could warm your ice cold fingers on a cold day, and his smile could melt your heart. Seventeen days will never be long enough to say goodbye, thankfully we will see him again.


  1. Beautifully written, Mandy. Your dad was lucky to have such loving daughters.