Monday, December 13, 2010

If I die young...

It’s been two months since I last wrote a blog entry, but there is a reason for this. Many of you do not know that Ms. Edlund101 has been through a lot of trauma in these last past weeks. As you can see, the last entry I wrote was on September 27th.  I was even prepared to write another blog entry the next day, but then a life altering event turned my world upside down.

The evening of September 27th I went on a date with a guy I thought I liked. When I got home, I checked my cell phone and I saw that I had several missed calls from my mom and aunt. Automatically I think, “Oh no, what now.” I called my aunt back and she informed me that my dad collapsed at home and had been rushed to the ER. I didn’t think it was much more then that flu or some other virus. The urgency of this situation really didn’t faze me. I told my aunt I had to work in the morning and I would have to ask my boss if I could leave early the next day. At work the following day, I got a phone from my mom and she made it imperative that everyone in the family needed to be at the hospital as a family. That morning my Dad had a blood transfusion and the doctors were going to tell us exactly what type of sickness he was dealing with after he had a series of tests done: MRI, and a liver biopsy, etc.  I ended up leaving work, knowing that the family was now in a state of emergency. That afternoon I got to the hospital in Murrieta and of course, we sat around all day waiting for answers. This was just the first of taste of what these so-called “doctors” did to leave a bad taste in my mouth. No sense of urgency what so ever. The nurse came in and said, “Oh the doctor will be talking with you tonight, I just don’t know what time.” Then she came back in at about 10pm after we’d been waiting anxiously all day and announced, “Oh the doctor said he’s not coming in tonight, he’ll be meeting with you tomorrow morning.” Are you freaking kidding me? Come to find out no one will know any results of lab for the liver biopsy for a few days. I ended up staying at my parent’s house in the meantime. When we got the results of the liver biopsy, that’s when all shit hit the fan. Now, I’m not savvy in all the doc talk, but I think it was the oncologist that informed us that my Dad had stage four melanoma cancer of the liver. Multiple tumors had formed on his liver and spine. And this would explain why my Dad was having so much pain in his back. Of course my Dad would undergo treatment to find out if they could shrink the tumors since they said it was at its last stage and they didn’t know how much could be done. When I think back to this today, a vivid image flashes in my mind---how my dad looked the moment he found out he had cancer. He just gazed out the hospital room window with this distraught and shocked expression upon his face. I believe he was thinking, “Is this really happening to ME?”
At the end of the week they released him from the hospital. But he would go back to the hospital regularly for treatment and blood transfusions until they could get him into to the clinical trials at UCLA. He had to leave the hospital using a cane due to the fact that he was having trouble walking. After that I didn’t see my dad for a week. When I came back to my parent’s house in Temecula and saw my Dad, it was like a shock to the system. He had lost a good amount of weight. The t-shirt he wore regularly around the house for years was like a tent on him. He looked comparably to an eighty-year old man. And now my Dad was longer using a cane---he had downgraded to a walker. My heart just broke. I sensed it was the beginning of the end. This once strong man was now incredibly weak and at the mercy of others. I can’t even begin to explain the pain that rips through me knowing he had to sleep in the downstairs bedroom because he was no longer able to walk upstairs. And not only that, but the excruciating pain he was in.
 Another week went by. I came for another visit only to find out that the doctors were basically letting him sit there and rot while they took their sweet time getting back to us with what kind of treatment and hospital he would be going too. And you want to know why? These moronic pieces of shit doctors had lost my dad’s liver biopsy, so until they could find it; my dad was at their mercy. And they wouldn’t take another sample unless my parents paid for it. UNFUCKINGBELIEABLE.  And I call tell you right now you those two weeks were crucial for his survival. We all know how fast cancer spreads. Anyway, the last week I saw him at home was the weekend of October 24th.  He was at the point where he couldn’t even use a walker---the muscle mass in his legs were gone. He was now resorting to a wheelchair. To make matters more disheartening, he wanted to be with my mom upstairs, and it was too much trouble to get him up and downstairs with the wheelchair in tow. My mom decided to permanently keep him upstairs. So my Dad was confined to our movie theater room for the rest of his stay at the house. His day consisted of basically watching television and sleeping. The next time I would see my Dad would be when doctors finally released him to UCLA Santa Monica hospital. I got a phone call on November 1st with even more bad news. The tumors had spread to his brain, and he could no longer go into clinical trials because of this. I was in complete devastation. That same day, I planned on going to the gym to get my mind off things. But all I ended up doing was sitting in my car in the gym parking lot crying hysterically. I just couldn’t believe it was happening. I hated to believe that the end of coming. All I keep thinking about was, “Oh my god, I’m not going to have a dad anymore. This can’t be happening. I’m too young for this shit.” My brother told me a few weeks before, when he was in the hospital at Murrieta, that the doctor told my Dad that he had six months to live and he should get his affairs in order. My mom was not supposed to know this. She was on the verge on a nervous breakdown as it was. On November 3rd I went to visit my Dad at the hospital in L.A. He seemed in good spirits and very hopeful that the treatments of radiation and chemo were going to work. Well the day I came to visit him they stopped the chemo. His white blood cells were really low and he got an infection of some sort. To all of our dismay, the doctors didn’t plan to start it up again. But they would continue to do the radiation. The night I left the hospital, my dad was his usual grumpy self. It amazed me that the disease had not affected his personality. I called my dad for the next several days. I even said happy birthday to him. His birthday was on the 8th of November and he was able to say happy birthday to me…mine was on the 10th. (Yeah happy fricking birthday) I wasn’t able to go see him as much as I liked. I had to work and then I got really sick that next whole week. The hospital obviously didn’t want sick people in the building, so I missed a whole week with my dad. And let me tell you….in a whole week I’d never seen someone ill decline as fast as he did. I finally went back to the hospital on November 18th. What I saw when I walked into the hospital room is something I will never be able to get out of my mind. There was my dad, only the shell of the person who he used to be, laying on the bed, his eyes rolling back into his head and he was moaning in pain. I broke down outside the hospital room. When I finally was able to pull it together, I walked back into the room where the doctors were gathered around my father. My mother was also at his bedside. The doctors stated that there is nothing more they could do but make him comfortable. The melanoma was all throughout his bone marrow and so they would cease future treatments and instead up the morphine. Worst of all, the brain tumors had gotten bigger. The radiation had done nothing. Basically the doctors told us that his body was shutting down. My dad was still coherent at the time, and I knew he could hear everything they were saying. When I walked in the room that day he saw me and mumbled my name. Even when his sister showed up, my Dad knew she was there and he even said her name. That day we also snuck my miniature poodle into see my Dad. He adored and loved my dog so much. I could tell he was so happy to see him. But of course we got bitched at by the nurses and doctors, so my brother had to take the dog home. I stayed over night at the hospital with my mom that day. At 6:00am on November 19th, I woke up to the sound of my dad breathing irregularly. It kind of startled me, so I got up out of my makeshift bed and went to check up on him. I talked to him and put my head on his chest, told him that I loved him. Amazingly, he lifted his arm and put his hand on my arm, which was strewn across his chest. He did his several times. I kept telling him, “I love you, Daddy….I love you, Daddy.” Then I went back to my makeshift bed. At 8:00, I woke up again. My Mom was knocked out by choice. She had taken a sleeping pill, hours before hand. At this time a nurse came into the room wheeling a vital machine (sorry I’m not technical in the medical department, so I don’t know the exact name) she said was going to take his vitals. After a moment, the nurse looked at the machine rather oddly and then left the room. She came back with about six other doctors who gathered around my dad’s bed as though they were in a medical emergency on some television show. I asked what was going on and a lady doctor came over to me and gently said, “Honey your dad’s body is shutting down. He’s getting ready to go. We don’t know when but it could be hours, or moments. We just don’t know yet.” I cried heavily and went to my dad’s beside. Just hours before there was still some life left in him, and now he was completely incoherent. My mom finally awoke and lay beside him, telling him how much she loved him. And I did too. The nurse told me to tell my dad that it was okay to go---we would be okay. Then I watched my father, the person I’d known almost 30 years, take his final breath, like a fish out of water, and leave this world. It was 9:00am on November 19th.  He was 60 years-old. The cancer took his life in only 1 month and three weeks.

 So as you can read, I’ve been in no mood to write any blogs. Some of you thought I had given up. No, not exactly. I just needed some time after the trauma I’ve been through. I’m trying little by little, day by day get back on track. And I plan to eventually get back on track with this as much as I can.

                                                          Father's Day 2009....
                                                   My Mom and Dad on my Dad's birthday Nov 8th
Maurice when we brought him into the hosptial the day before my dad died.

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  1. Oh, heart breaks at your story. I know what you are going though...I lost my dad in a similar way a few years ago...but we both were older, I had my dad in my life longer than you did.

  2. Jen, once again I am so sorry! All I know is you are so strong and you should be very proud of that. Love you girl!!

  3. I am so sorry!! Is such a terrible thing that I don't know what to say. I just can say that I'm so sorry and that you've been so strong. Keep like this.