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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Loss of my Father to GBM: Part One

This might as well be the hardest post to start. It has been a good 5 months.

 For three months I was on auto pilot. It was my full intention to write about my family's journey through out the process but I just couldn't handle it  all. Taking care of a love one with an illness is the toughest thing a human doing can do. Being a caregiver to someone with GBM is soul sucking.

I know it's not easy to write about grief. Yet I am a bit hard on myself for not writing about it sooner. In November of last year I mentioned that my dad had an undesirable MRI scan result.

That news turned my life upside down, down upside, sideways and everything in between. I feel like I need to work my way up to the moment I actually lost my father to understand where my feelings stand. I will begin from that day I got the news of the MRI.

November 20, 2013 (exactly 8 months ago!)

I called my parents late that night to confirm with them that the kids and I were heading to Miami from Orlando for Thanksgiving break. My dad usually answers phone calls right away unless he is in the shower. So I didn't give it much thought. All of Thursday passed and I still didn't get a phone call returned. I didn't really give it much thought however until I tried to call again on Friday. First I called my mom's phone, no answer. Then I called, my dad's phone and still no answer. So I called my dad's phone again and my brother Carlos answered. I found it strange that he would answer my dad' phone. But that's as much thought as I put into it. I spoke to my brother and I spoke to my mom and I spoke to my dad. Although I spoke to all three it was by far the shortest conversation. I called later that night and I mentioned to my mom that it was odd that everyone spoke to me for like 2 seconds and they didn't even want to tell me where they were.

I'll never forget the words my mom said to me next, "We didn't want to tell you because we knew you were going to be driving down with the kids by yourself and we didn't want to worry you." Of course this is the translated version since she said it to me in Spanish. My heart sank right there. I mean, when you start with "we didn't want to worry you" all a human can do is WORRY.

That's when she told me that my dad had an MRI on Tuesday the 19th of November because he kept forgetting things and repeating himself. The MRI revealed a mass in the middle of his brain (the corpus collosum to be specific). They were instructed to admit him to the hospital on Wednesday (the day I tried calling them) to have a biopsy done. His doctor explained that they would have to really be aggressive to get him admitted since he never had headaches nor dizziness.

My dad could no longer be left alone. So when they took him to triage my other brother Beto wanted to go with him. My brother was instructed to stay outside. My brother was worried that my dad was going to say he was perfectly fine and feeling great. My dad walked out and asked "Beto, these people are asking me why I am here, why  am I here again?". That's when my brother was asked in and my dad was admitted.

Obviously this was told  to me on the phone. I tried to keep it together on the phone, but when I hung up I broke down! My hubby and I were going through something and we weren't even talking. I felt so alone so I ran to my in-laws and just broke down. At the end of my breakdown I felt like I overreacted since a biopsy hadn't even been done yet. But since the MRI read malignant and the size of 5 cm sounded disturbing to me, I knew...I just knew the reality of the situation.

Needless to say, I was filled with many emotions. Hope, however, was the least, since the last time I was hopeful when it came to cancer was when my nephew was diagnosed in 2007. He passed away a year after his diagnosis. So let's say I don't fuck with cancer. You say cancer to me and I am scared shitless. I was already angry at my hubby and now I had something else to be angry about.

As you can tell, I skipped the denial stage and jumped to the anger and bargaining in one straight swoop. 

So I drove down to Miami on Saturday morning never imaging that it would be the last time I would reside in Orlando. Never imaging how much my life and that of my entire family, would change drastically.

In the next couple of posts you will see that the longest stage was the depression. But we all knew that would happen with me.

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