Friday, 24 August 2007

Flashback Friday ...goodbye to my Dad

Two years on a Friday ... though it was 26th August our world was rocked by the sudden death of my dear father. He had a successful bone marrow transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.One of his five brothers were a match. It was battle to get through that. He spend a week or more in ICU. He came home and was going back for blood tests. He had to be readmitted for minor complications in mid August.

He was actually in hospital with an infection caused by graft vs host, and also been having blood/platelet transfusions.Then he caught some bug ... had gastro type symptoms ..his bowel broke down suddenly in middle of the night and there was nothing they could do. They kept him alive barely.

They called my mum in around 7.30am because he had a bad turn and she called me ... not to say he was dying but that she was going down to see him. We had had these calls before. She hadn't been for a few days because she had a cold.Dad was still on infectious precautions protocols (whole Haematology ward always is). They said to come anyway ... I rang myself and the RN put me onto the Dr ... so I understood the situation was bad but not grave. I left immediately.

I waited outside ICU for Mum to arrive. Then we got the tap on the shoulder and were motioned into a conference room ... four of them ... two Drs, Social worker (I think) and Chaplain type person. The Dr explained that though Dad was alive (back in ICU) there was nothing they could do and the ventilator was keeping him alive. He had a cardiac arrest because he massive bowel infection (hole in bowel had burst). I was thankful I had chosen to go with mum that day. They were waiting to turn it off... but they gave us time to call the family in.

I am so grateful they did ... Mum and I went to see Dad and wait.He was in ICU private room -peaceful and 'sleeping' ... we called my brother , sister, Matt, my Dad's sister and brother, mum's sister and two brothers, partners, cousins, and a few close friends ... in the end we had about 15 people there to say goodbye. It was very,very emotional.

I was also nearing the end of my two week wait.I had last seen my Dad the day of my frozen embryos transfer. It was by chance we saw them in the main corridor at Westmead Hospital. If you don't know WM is 6 levels , 4 or more wards per levels and a major teaching hospital. We hadn't discussed IVF with them. We decided if there was disappointment we wanted to deal with ourselves and not burden others.

I hadn't been back to see dad either as I had a little cold and we planned to go that weekend coming. So it was I never got to really say proper goodbyes. We didn't know ... I just hope he knew how much we had loved him. I hope he wasn't alone thinking no one cared those last few days when we didn't go to see him mid week.

We said our final 'goodbyes' and they let Dad go peacefully surrounded by love. Then we went downstairs and I started vomiting. I had a headache too.I had my own car so I had to drive home ... I was vomiting so much,so violently I had to pull over ...I was a mess. Matt drove past saw me stopped and he stopped too. I was then ok to drive home. I hoped that my FET was a success for Dad ... but it was a bust.

My biggest regret I guess was not telling Dad we were TTC (& IVF) after we lost Charlotte. I feel bad for the secrets.In another way it was a good thing because I went to visit Dad more times than I would have otherwise (IVF appointments were there).Life was so busy with work , but since I was there anyway.

Dad shared with us in his last weeks -that he hoped if anything happened, Mum and B would get together.B's wife , a long time friend of my Mum, passed away 6 weeks before from a brain tumour (58). They were all good friends. So they are seeing each other... and I know Dad approved.

I am so sad too Dad didn't get to meet my boys and they him ...


tiff said...

Sorry this is late, have not logged on since Thursday.
Thinking of you, Trish. Hoping this week and the next are peaceful.

Mel said...

Trish I am going back through your blog and reading some of the earlier entries while you are away.

Not being able to say goodbye is the worst feeling and I think it is the one that hurts longest sometimes. I'm sure your Dad did know though how much he was loved and I am glad that you got to spend time with him while he was ill.

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