Health & Medical Cancer & Oncology

How Do You Cope With Someone Who is Terminally Ill?

This article is intended to help others whose parent may be in the last stages of lung cancer.
Here is what I did to make a difference in someone Else's life even if just for a short time.
I know now that the decisions I made were the right ones.
Although it was the worst time of my life I found it to be the best two weeks of my life.
When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer the doctors told him that he had six months to live and that they could not do anything for him.
After his diagnosis almost a year and a half later my mother was the one to unexpectedly pass.
We thought for certain that dad would be the first one to go but as things would have it he managed to surprise all of us.
I being the one who lived the closest and the oldest became his primary caregiver.
I would bring him to his appointments.
Also I would take him shopping and he always had me hold his wallet since he sometimes left it in the shopping carts.
I would clean his apartment (he wanted to keep his independence as long as he could), go and shovel the snow off of his car when it snowed.
He insisted on driving even if he knew that he should not.
Thank the lord he never went far.
My siblings living at least an hour away did what they could for him.
At the time I just did what what expected of me.
In November of 2008, something told me to go over and bring him some ham that I had prepared the night before for his lunch.
I found him sitting in his favorite chair in just his underwear and I knew his time was coming and that it wouldn't be long now till he would be with mom again.
I can still picture him sitting on the side of his hospital bed after he had been admitted to the hospital, and the doctor had told him that he was in respiratory cardiac failure.
I chose to put everything else on the back burner.
I spent day and night at his side.
We were talking about nothing in particular one day when he turned to me and said: "You know Nick we've been on a long journey you and me.
" You see my dad had his own unique way to say goodbye to each and every one that he loved and this to me was his way of saying goodbye to me.
I knew then that my decisions over the last two years were not for nothing.
Many, many times he would tell us that he loved us.
I simply looked at him and replied that we still had a little way to go.
That last two weeks that I spent with him in the hospital is a gift.
Not only will I always cherish every second of it but I will always remember the good moments.
I could not for the life of me leave him alone and I stayed with him day and night.
I truly believe even to this day that my mom whispered in my ear for me to stay...
His great-granddaughter was to do her first communion that spring.
The whole year before, dad kept telling me that his gift to her was that he would purchase everything that she would need for that day.
You see dad was very religious and attended church every Sunday.
He loved her very much and he always made certain that he had ice cream in his freezer for just in case she came for a visit.
On the same day that we talked about our being on a long journey, he made me promise that I would do this thing for him.
He had also made a friend during the previous year which he had met in church and he wanted to make sure that she would get a new outdoor swing for Christmas.
Without hesitating I made him that promise knowing full well that it would be an honor and my most humble pleasure to fulfill his wishes.
In all that I will ever accomplish nothing will ever measure up to the most bittersweet two weeks that I had with my dad.
I hope that this article will help someone who may be second guessing themselves when having to make decisions regarding one of their terminally ill parent.
I know it is not always easy.

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