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A Bereaved Offspring


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My dad loved to fish.  In fact, his passion for fishing was unbelievable. 
Sometimes I think he loved fishing more than me.  He would be a father, yet always know how to be a friend and he was always full of energy.  My dad was always a hard worker and he would work  twelve ours a day at times.
Dad used to get the worst pain in his left shoulder. The pain in Dad's arm got so bad that things like creams and chiropractors just did not cut it. 
He went to a specialist who works on muscle problems for athletes.  He examined Dad and asked him to do an x-ray on his left shoulder.  The x-ray showed that Dad did not have much cartilage in his shoulder, so they would have to saw down the bone for Dad to move his arm freely.
Later that afternoon I received a phone call from my local doctor, all he said to me was, "Can you come as soon as possible?"  I knew that something had gone wrong. 
I asked what it was that he had to tell me, but he said that he would tell me as soon as I got there.  When I reached his office, the secretary just sent me in.  Dad was in another room while my mom and my brother waited for me. 
Then the words came out "they found something in his x-ray."  When I went into the room Dad was in, he was just sitting there silently.  He looked up at me; it was so hard to hold in the tears while I gave him a hug.
Dad had a carcinoma in his left lung, which had deteriorated his two ribs and also his spinal cord. This was the biggest shock that rocked my whole family and the fact that they found the cancer by accident. 
The next few weeks after that were such a blur that if you had asked me in the afternoon what I had for breakfast I could not tell you.  All we knew was that Dad had an aggressive cancer that was malignant and spreading all over his body, so they had to do what they could and fast.
Over the next six and a half months Dad had to go through numerous surgeries.  The one that was most emotional was when they had to cut into his spine to remove the cancer, which was stopping him from walking. 
The surgery was a success, we must have had angels looking over us that day, but of course it was not the end of it.  The cancer had come back within two weeks.
Sometime later, we received a phone call from the hospital asking if we could get there as soon as possible. 
When we arrived Dad was lying there with his eyes closed.  His breathing was so bad he could not open his eyes.  The doctor came into the room and said that Dad was in a semi-coma due to a hemorrhage. 
We were told to say our goodbyes, I was not ready to say goodbye.  Friends and family always said that at least you have the opportunity to say goodbye and that his death did not happen suddenly in an accident. 
The truth is that either way it is just as bad and that you are never prepared for it even if you are expecting it.  From the day my father was diagnosed to the last day was the hardest six and a half months I will ever face.
Everyone kept repeating that when a door closes another one opens.  It is difficult to understand this during a time like this. Hope is something that you do not have to understand or believe in, but the nature of it is comforting.
Dad you will be with me always.