Thursday, June 25, 2009

My father in law is dying

It's lung cancer.

It's the third time for him.

First he lost lymph nodes, part of his throat, the boom in his voice. But not his strength of will, not his desire to live.

He was winning, we thought. He was best man for my husband at our wedding, welcomed my daughter as his grandchild, and held our new baby glowing with the joy.

Then, it was his leg. He lost part of his calf this time, and a lot of weight. It was chemo this time, not just radiation, and it took its toll on his energy and his internal strength. He seemed old, suddenly. But he was fighting.

In April, we brought Norah up to celebrate her second birthday. He was well enough to come to the birthday party, eat cake and sing. He had a pain in his side and was waiting for test results. He hid his worry well.

Just 6 weeks later, we were back to help take care of him, maybe to say good-bye. He was still able to enjoy seeing the girls, hold them.

That was Memorial Day. It hasn't been another month, not quite. Now, he cannot get out of bed. He's in Hospice care. He doesn't want to see the girls. He's afraid he will scare them. He's so thin, so frail. He doesn't hope for recovery now, but for relief from the pain. I think he hopes to die.

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