I have never wished death on anyone in my life until now.
But not because I hate that person, I love him with all of my heart. But he is suffering from a cruel and horrible disease. Cancer seriously sucks.
My father-in-law, a caring man whom I always thought of as my second dad, was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago with Melanoma, the worst of all cancers. It started out quiet – he went in with my mother-in-law to an appointment to check on her breast cancer remission and casually mentioned a mole on the top of his head.
That was it. He felt fine. Active. Healthy.
The mole was found to be cancerous and 5mm deep. It was removed. He slowly started to recover. Then cancer cells started showing up in various parts of his body. His lung, pancreas, and other organs.
He had a gene that made the new drug Zelboraf respond to the cells and got insurance approval to take it. This drug held those tumors at bay – and even shrunk them down to pinpoints – for almost a year. The problem is that this drug is only a temporary fix and less than half of the melanoma sufferers will respond to it. He was one of the lucky ones.
Then the cancer came back, meaner and more aggressive than ever. It was like the cancer was PISSED. It quickly and aggressively spread throughout his body, including his brain in a matter of weeks. He began more chemotherapy treatments. He had hope. We all did.
By Christmas 2013 there were no less than 30 tumors in his brain. He needed a cane, then a walker, then a wheelchair all in the course of a month. His speech started to slur. Although he could carry on conversations, putting words together started to become difficult. He dropped down below 100lbs and was constantly cold and in pain.
His decline was slow at first, then started to speed up in the final 2 weeks. He stopped getting out of bed and started sleeping more and more. We knew it was time. We knew he was hanging on for us. We told him he needs to let go.
He began the “dying process” on Sunday. Sleeping a lot, breathing differently (called Cheyne-Stokes). When he was awake he was combative and disoriented. He had to be administered sedatives to keep him relaxed.
As of today he’s still hanging on. We all need him to go, but for some reason he won’t. He has always been the type of person that didn’t want to leave those who needed him. We do need him, but at the same time we need him to let us all go now. We need to start healing and stop holding our breath.
We love you, Dave. We always ALWAYS will. It kills me that my children will never really know him, only in scattered memories and stories we tell them.
Readers, hug your family a little bit tighter tonight for me and my extended family. And please say a prayer that everyone will get through this.
And PLEASE get any suspicious skin moles, spots, anything checked.
My father-in-law went peacefully just before 1am last night. Thank you for the prayers. I can’t believe he is gone.