Learning To Love You More




Assignment #31
Spend time with a dying person.

Vincent Friedman
Long Beach, California USA
Email Vincent



I visted my father.
My mother and I never really got along so my father and I always had a very strong bond. About a year ago he was diagnosed with cancer. They found it on accident when they were removing a kidney stone. I was told this a couple months before I left for a years worth of traveling abroad.
He was given two options after many tests and whatnot: bladder removed or try kemo and radiation. He chose kemo because really hes a proud man and wouldnt want to rely on the bag.
While i was traveling him and i kept in contact via email and occasional phone calls.
The day comes up after spending 6 days a week being given radiation and kemo for almost a year where he is given his final test to see if the cancer is affected.
i call him. "the cancer is gone. the doctor says there is no longer any trace or cancer left."
i felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and i let out a long sigh of relief. my father is healthy again.
i continue my travels and i continue to send emails but they stop. 2 weeks go by and no ones answering the phones.
my brother finally emails me telling me our father is in the ICU because the doctor had punctured his bladder while putting in the catheder. the kemo and radiation had damaged it so much that the doctor had punctured it and didnt know. so for days the fluids from his bladder filled his body.
he told my family not to inform me in fear of me getting worried and ending my trip early.
after the surgery to drain the fluids and stitch him up a new doctor comes in and informs us the cancer is still there. the kemo and radiation didnt affect it at all.
what had happened was that the cancer is a rare strain that learned to build a resistence the radiation and kemo.
they then immediately removed the bladder and performed an experimental surgeory where they remove the bladder and colon and build a new bladder out of a piece of his small intestine.
by the time hes out of the hospital im home. him and i spend time and i bring him things at home when he needs them.
hes unable to eat because of the surgery he becomes violently ill if he eats or drinks anything.
he loses 40 lbs in two weeks.
one day i notice him walking funny. "its my back, i threw it out."
i dismiss it seeing he has a bad back. 3 monthes go by and it progresses to where he becomes bed ridden and will not allow us to call paramedics. finally we do it without his permision.
doctor says hes has an infection in his lower lumbar. they are forced to perform sergery. and drain the fluid.
the kemo had attacked all bacteria including the protective ones.
the doctor says the infection came from an infection in his mouth that had traveled easily through his weakened body.
by this point the muscles in his legs have attrified and he can no longer walk.
3 monthes go by in the hospital and hes forced to move out of his appartment. us kids move out for him and my sister volunteers to take him in when he gets out.
hes released but if he goes home medi-care wont pay for the anti-biotics so he has to go to a home for another month where he'll get it for free.
while there his father passes.
hes the only son.
4 monthes have gone by since he was put in the hospital and he was released last weekend.
he's complaining his back hurts and i pray to god its nothing worse.