My father passed away 5 weeks after his condition became terminal, or should I say from when we found out his condition was terminal. There was a large gap between this and his previous appointment. He was starting to feel weaker around Christmas time, and I know I was telling him to make an appointment with his consultant, but he kept saying that he had one in a few weeks time, Ill wait till then. I could see his condition was really starting to get him down, like I hadn't seen before. I know he was in pain, but at this point he wasn't able to hide it as much as he had used to do.
They were unable to give him any further blood, as it was putting too much pressure on his kidneys. His creatine levels shot through the roof and he was diagnosed with acute kidney failure stage 5, 3 weeks after his terminal diagnosis.
He at this point decided to stop working 3 weeks before he passed away. Even though he knew a week before we did, it was the moment when the doctor told us that I guess it became all the more real to him and perhaps knew then that the fight was over. I think he needed that week to accept the news himself,and when the consultant told us, he thanked her for everything she had done, and we kind of went into shock.
He became extremely weaker by the day, things started taking him longer to do. It even surprised him as to how quickly he began to deteoriate but it was only in his last week where he stayed in bed coming down the stairs only once a day to meet the many friends who came to see him. He did however go to the bathroom un aided, he struggled ALLOT but he was determined to do it himself and did even on his last day, despite the breathlessness and extreme dizziness caused due to to the lack of oxygen being circulated.
His last week I was actually staying with him as my mother was away on a pilgrimage, the doctors had advised that he was unable to go as the medical et up in the middle east would not be able to accommodate him as well as they would here. We enjoyed each day together, his appetite decreased but I just gave him whatever he asked for. It was usually fruit or a drink with lots of crushed ice, i would add glucose to him for energy. Each day as he got weaker he couldn't actually believe it himself, it took him a a whole day to shave but as always he was determined to do it himself.
He was taking fentanyl for pain and an oral dose of pain killers and thats about it. On the day that he passed away he went to the bathroom by himself at 4 am- he was always breathless after this trip but this time he couldnt catch his breath, my mum called me as she was back now at 8 am. i was there at 8.10, he was really breathless so i assumed he would need oxygen i called everywhere! on a sunday i couldnt not get hold of anyone, dad was adamant he didnt want to go to the hospital he was still talking it took him a while to get the words out but he did. At 11 am he said OK, and he said " they will give me some oxygen and ill feel better, but they might give me an injection too" I know what he was saying. He was preparing us. The ambulance arrived in 2 mins, within an hour we were told his toxicity in his body was around 6.5 and that it was a matter of hours.
They couldnt give blood or oxygen...makes sense now I guess your blood carries oxygen around the body and his blood couldnt do tha. He remained breathless for a long time and he said amidst that go home Im fine - I could see he was in pain as he kept rolling to his side, and my mum rubbed the lower part of his back. It was his kidneys aching. It took us this long to work out what the pain he always talked about was, noone ever mentioned it to him before, infact they suggested he have radiation many a time. He always said no because he knew how it affected the other organs but when the pain got to much he had additional radiotherapy not so long ago, he never yelled out just closed his eyes and bared the pain.
My mum told the doctor that if it was only a matter of hours, to make him really comfortable and to just to take his pain away, the doctor topped up his morphine on her request. He was still breathing quite heavily for quote a while he was aware that we were there we told him we were right there, I told him that I loved him and he closed his eyes and went to sleep. He passed away at 3 pm that afternoon.
I am so proud of my father for his strength his courage and his positivey throughout all of this. We had no drawn out speeches or long conversations as he was not that type of man. He enjoyed his last few months because he accepted his condition. He was only saddened when he spoke to us about his will, funeral etc but I think he was more sad for us.
Its taken me a long time to come back to this blog, and writing this is painful but I have learned so much from this..how important it is to contribute to Myeloma charities, here in the UK these charities are reliant on donations and not Government finding. Additionally I am now a blood donor and am so greatful for all the blood donors that my father was reliant on during his treatment.
To all of you that are reading my blog and are going through this, I am thinking of you X