Pawpa’s Last Days
One of his doctors came in and told us that Pawpa has pancreatic, stomach, and lung cancer and he is still waiting for the CT results to see if it has spread to his brain. He said the only treatment option is chemo but that it is ineffective with pancreatic cancer and the side effects are terrible. He said again that they will keep him comfortable. He said he would discharge Pawpa to go home as soon as we are ready. Granny told him we’d be ready by Saturday evening. The doctor then recommended Evergreen Hospice and said he would call them for us.
A nurse from the hospice came in about an hour or so later. She explained what hospice does and what they can do to help us take care of Pawpa at home. They’ll bring a wheelchair, hospital bed and other supplies. I couldn’t stop crying.
Mom slept most of the time. After the nurse from hospice left, Granny told me she wasn’t ready to lose Pawpa. She talked about how they grew up together. She was fifteen and he was seventeen when they got married. She also talked about how much she loves him. I know this heartbreaking for her. She said, “He told me last night he wants to go home and die with dignity.”
The only justification I can think of for all these cancers to invade my Pawpa’s body is so he doesn’t have to suffer for a long time, but still have time to say his goodbyes. Less than three weeks ago, Pawpa was fine, and then boom, terminal cancer.
Pawpa’s favortite aide/sitter, Tim, came in around 4pm. Granny was exhausted but needed to run a few errands. So she and Mom left. I recognized the aide from my past. We’d had a one night stand about five or six years ago, when I worked at the bar. I tried to ignore him at first.
I sat there, next to Pawpa, holding his hand and trying to keep my tears in check. Pawpa was sitting on the side of his bed. He opened his eyes as wide as he could and looked at me. Then he fought back tears long enough to tell me how much he loves me. I couldn’t control it any longer and burst into tears. He rubbed and patted my shoulder. I got up and hugged him and we cried together. Tim was silently watching, waiting for us to settle down, and then he helped Pawpa back into bed. Tim was great with him and Pawpa looked at me and said, “I made a new friend before I died.” He was amazing with my Pawpa and I’m so grateful.
I started crying again and had to go outside his room to collect myself. When I came back Tim tried to comfort me a little. Later, he told me that Pawpa told him that his last wish is to go home and die on his porch. Pawpa took a nap and Tim and I talked a bit. I was careful to avoid bringing up our dalliance. We talked about his job. He told me how difficult it can be sometimes, especially now that they have him working at the Cancer Treatment Center also.
Granny called me around 6:30 to let me know she was heading back up shortly. I’m not sure why, but after that, I decided to talk to Tim about our past. He remembered me and we talked about what a small world it was. We changed the subject when Granny arrived. She had Jess, Mark, McKayla, and baby Logan with her. Tim’s shift was over at 7 but he stuck around until about 7:30. Granny hugged him before he left.
McKayla gave me a big long hug and then I played with baby Logan. I kept thinking about how sad it was that Logan would never really know his great-grandpa and that, of course, made me start crying again.
I hadn’t eaten all day and was starting to get a migraine. I left about 8 or 8:30. I cried the whole way home. I cried on and off until I went to sleep. I woke up crying three or four times. I swear I’ve never cried so much in my life, but it beats the alternative, even though I feel like a big titty baby.
On this day..
- Bye Bye, Bug Guy aka Patrick - 2009
About BipolarChick (599 posts)
I’m a thirty-something bipolar woman, an advanced tech agent with a pay tv provider, tax preparer for a local charity, current Tulsa inhabitant, and I’m one credit shy of an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. I’m working on recovery from self-injury and working toward stabilizing my bipolar symptoms. Recovery is very important to me. I’ve been mostly single the past few years and plagued by a seemingly never-ending series of jackasses, assholes, and married men. I have no children of my own, but I have lots of nieces and nephews I love to spoil.