One last trip…

I had this crazy urge to blog, i’m on a bus that just left Kingston en route to Toronto so this stirkes me as rather absurd.
As most things in my life seem to these days.

My dad dad passed away at 1:24pm on Feb 28th 2015 and that was the catalyst of a massive shitstorm that left myself and several people I care about emotionally devestated and simotaniously crippled at the same time.

This isn’t about that though.
This is about the house.
My dad’s hosue specifically, my childhood home.
I don’t begrudge my mom for selling the place, in fact if I was in her shoes I would do the same.
Yet, I feel lost in a way.

Yes, it’s just a house, but it was the house that everyone knew.

More importantly, it was the only house that *I* knew.
I came home from the hospital to this house and my tiny room upstairs was always mine, even when I shared it with my sister for many years.

No matter how crazy my life would get, there was always the big white house on King street that everyone knew and it was the place that I would always come to when I would make the long trek from
Montreal to Ontario.  No matter where I was, no matter what I was doing or what shape I was in, there was always a place for me there..

So many memories contained within those walls…

No, i’m not OK actually.

I call my dad everyday now, ever since I got the news that basically changed everything earlier this month.  Life is much, much too short and I don’t want to have that guilt of knowing that I didn’t call my dad that one last time.

Today was no different, I got up early and called my dad.  He has lots of company these days and he tires easily so I try to get to him before everyone else does.  So I was shocked when my phone started ringing at 10 am and it was my mom saying the words that no one ever wants to hear:

“The Doctor was here to see your dad today, they’re not expecting him to make it through the weekend.  How fast can you get on a plane and get here.”

Not a bus or a train.  A plane, because the flight it short, I would get home much faster.  At that moment, it felt like my mom reached through the phone and sucker punched me.

You see, I’ve been pretty far removed from the whole situation with my dad.  I basked in the blissfulness that was my ignorance.  I knew what was coming, I’ve known it since June when the diagnosis first came to light.  Yet I was able to pretend that it wasn’t happening because I didn’t physically see it.  So my first instinct was to say no, if I didn’t go home then this wouldn’t happen.  The last time I fell apart this hard was when I got the news that Jason had passed away.  Yet this just seemed to be somewhat more insulting because it’s my dad.

Had Nick not been there to hold me up, I would have fallen to the floor.  Bawling.  I would have won an Oscar for my epic ugly cry.  Except it wasn’t a performance, this is my life.

I’ve never flown anywhere before.  I’ve never had the luxury of going anywhere special, being a Chef doesn’t really give you the time or the affordability to take any significant time off.  So clearly I have never stepped foot into Montreal’s airport, which is pretty daunting under normal circumstances, even more so when you’re crying so hard that you can’t breathe, let alone think and try to plan an emergency trip home to see your dad to say good-bye.

Also, I am afraid of heights.  So going on a plane alone?  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Thankfully my other half is much more well traveled than I am and will be able to accompany me to Ontario.  Today has been tough so i’m just trying to keep it together for my family and do what I can from here until I get there.  So I’m OK right now, but that doesn’t last that long.  It comes and goes.  I will forever be astounded at just how hard and fast those feels can hit you.

So if you ask me if i’m OK and I say yes I might be lying.

I’m sorry. 

 

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Tick-Tock

“3 months, maybe a year, no one really knows for sure.”

This is what my mom said to me the other day when she called to update me on the situation with my dad.  The prognosis was never good, however I (and most likely him and a few other people) thought that we had more time and suddenly it would seem that there isn’t nearly enough.  The emotional roller coaster I am on right now is my worst nightmare.  Today is an angry day.  Fucking doctors and their need to make money at seemingly any cost.

What ever happened to the oath that Doctors are supposed to take.  You know the one where it says:

“Whatsoever house I may enter, my visit shall be for the convenience and advantage of the patient; and I will willingly refrain from doing any injury or wrong from falsehood, and (in an especial manner) from acts of an amorous nature, whatever may be the rank of those who it may be my duty to cure, whether mistress or servant, bond or free”.

Evidently none of that matters if the person you’re treating is going to die sooner rather than later.  Except that stupid radiation treatment (that I always thought was pointless) ate up time.  Time that should have been spent with family and friends, cherishing those last moments.  But no no, that cancer “needed” to be treated.  Doesn’t matter that your patients lungs are so riddled with a fatal lung disease that the tiny cancer tumor that wasn’t even a inch long, just HAD to go.  Had to bust out that biopsy “just in case”.

Oh hey, maybe we can do a lung transplant, except we can’t because you’ll die on the table from the anesthetic because your disease is too far advanced. Too late for you because your family doctor is a useless twat who ignored your constant stream of lung infections and wrote them off as ‘nothing’.  We’re going to give you a radiation treatment to kill the cancer cells and in doing so, we’re going to destroy your immune system.

You’ll have an amazing Christmas with your family but that will be short lived because of the radiation treatment.  You’re going to end up with a vicious lung infection that will almost kill you in your sleep, yet you managed to get yourself to the hospital just in time.  Now you’re completely dependent on oxygen 24/7 because we’re doctors, we have God complexes, we’re greedy as fuck and don’t give a flying fuck that you’re family is going to be the one’s who are left to pick up the pieces while we steal your dignity and your life.

I have no words.  NONE.

Although I can only hope that karma bites them in the ass or they get struck by a bus.  Can’t suck away all my hope, it’s not much but right now it’s all I have.

This is a game changer, because now there’s an actual time limit and time?

It goes by too damn fast and it scares me to death.

 

Tea, toast & tears.

It wasn’t enough to get a letter today from the government informing me that I apparently owe them $758.00 because they ‘re-assessed’ my taxes.  That’s not a huge deal because I have the T4’s to be backing up that bullshit claim.  That’s the one downside to doing your taxes online, you need not hand in your slips, but it’s a damn good thing that I hold onto these things because them ‘readjusting’ the amount of taxes I owe is ridiculous.  Evidently the people at revenue Canada can’t do math?  How do you just “decide” that I didn’t pay as much as I said I did?

There will be none of that thank you very f’ing much.

So I can just add that to the great big pile of stuff I just don’t care to deal with but can’t ignore…

Alas, this isn’t about that.

It’s about my dad. 

Back in June he was diagnosed with lung cancer and emphysema.  Before you put on your judge-y pants, my father quit smoking over 30 years ago so this disease?

Not just limited to smokers.

So there is no cure for emphysema and while my dad was able to kick cancer in the ass, it doesn’t change much.

In fact, it doesn’t change anything at all.

They figure that he’s had this disease for years and it went largely ignored because of our family history of having lousy lungs, so the time that we have is extra precious because we thought that we had more of it.  Something I think that we all take for granted.  Sadly most people don’t get to living until they realize that they’re dying.  We’re pretty candid in my family about pretty much everything and death is no exception.  As soon as the diagnosis was announced my parents made sure that everything was in order and my dad planned his funeral.  So all of his wishes are laid out and we know what he wants and we’ll be certain to make sure that we send him out the way he wants.

Aside from that, life is pretty normal more or less.  It’s always in the back of our minds because it’s not going anywhere, there’s no cure.  Emphysema slowly cuts off your air until you stop breathing.  It’s cruel and while it’s something I try not to think about too hard, I try to make the most of the time I DO have with my dad.  I’ve been trying to get a family picture done twice since I’ve been home because it will most likely be the last.  It never seems to work out and I wonder if it ever will.  I went home in July after I heard the news and Christmas was one of the best one’s my family has had in a long time, it was nice.  Life goes on as it should and while my dad puts on this front of false bravado, I know it’s a ruse.  He’s trying real hard to be brave but I know he’s scared and it breaks my heart because I can’t imagine dying in such an agonizing fashion.

Shit got real when I came home and my dad was outfitted with his oxygen supply.

It got even more real when I seen him at Christmas and he was complaining that he was gaining too much weight from the steroids to help him breathe and yet all the weight gain makes it more difficult to breathe.  Seeing how frustrated he was because he couldn’t catch a break and breathe like a regular person.

Today as I was sitting in class, I got a text from my mom.  Dad has a lung infection, he’s in the hospital.  You should call him.

All of these things take on a whole new meaning when you have emphysema.  So I called my dad, we tried to have random small talk, he asked me about school, listened to me bitch about what douche-bags the tax agency is and tried to be all nice and normal all the while ignoring the fact that you could hear hospital sounds in the background while they tried to find a place for him.  Tried to keep things light and airy when he said he’s trying to stay on this side of the sod (grass) a little longer.

I tried not to fall apart as my dad said I love you to me and heard him start to cry as we were hanging up.  That happens every time we talk now because neither of us knows if that’s the last time.

My father is dying a slow death and it fucking sucks. Part of me really wants this to just be over because the wait/wondering is brutal and scary and emotionally taxing.  I can’t even imagine how terrifying it is for him.  Yet part of me wants him to at least stick it out long enough for me to finish school so he can see me graduate from university.  It’s a really big deal for me and it would be extra special if he was there to witness it.  I know he’s already proud of me, but that’s not really the point.

I can’t handle the feels.

Thank God for Nick.  While tea and toast when I get home from school won’t make it all OK, his hugs are amazing and he doesn’t mind when I come home and fall into his arms as I ugly cry about the injustice of it all.

I just can’t even.

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