Sunday, October 26, 2008
In Memory of My Dad, A.K.A Bubba
My dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in the right lower lobe of his lung in July 2001 (the same week I found out I was pregnant with Tucker). He had surgery to remove the right lower lobe in August. No chemo or radiation was recommended. In the summer of 2003, the cancer had returned in the upper lobe of his lung and was removed (again in August, almost 2 years to the day of the previous surgery). This time he did have chemo and radiation and lost all his hair. He did pretty well for awhile and even made it to the Women's Final Four in New Orleans with my mom and their friends. By this point he was on oxygen all the time but seemed to be doing pretty well. Sadly in October of 2004, he went into the hospital and they found the cancer had returned to his left lung and throughout his chest wall. Amazingly, he wanted to do more chemo. He also had tumors blocking his bronchial tubes, meaning he was not getting any air. They transferred him to St. Francis to use a laser treatment to literally blow-up the tumor so he could breathe more comfortably. Though I was initially against transferring him because he was so weak, the other option was to have him go home and he wasn't ready to give up yet. He spent a week at St. Francis and he was able to laugh and joke and was more like the dad I remembered, the same guy who told me jokes to take my mind off the contractions when I was having Tucker. He came home on a Saturday and was admitted to Hospice on Sunday. Monday I got a call at work from my mom and was told he was not expected to make it through the night. I went home, packed some clothes, and headed to my mom's. (Thankfully my m-i-l was watching Tucker and just took him home with her). My father had requested that just my mom and I be with him so that's exactly how it was as he slipped away at 4 AM on Tuesday, October 26th.
I've thought for awhile about what I would write here today. My dad was a wonderful man. He was always laughing and telling jokes. He was a fraternal twin and grew up in the same town I grew up in. He didn't complete high school but that didn't stop him from working hard. He loved the outdoors and was always the happiest walking in the woods or working in his garden. He was so happy when Tucker was born and it was Tucker that started calling him Bubba. (Other than me and Michael, my dad was the first person Tucker gave a name to, starting to call him Poppa and then somehow that became Bubba). Though Tucker was only 2 1/2 when my dad died, I hope he remembers him aside from the stories we tell. Tucker still sends all his balloons to Tucker and leaves a pinwheel for him on his birthday.
I miss my dad and wish he were here to watch Tucker grow up. I do believe he is watching from Heaven though and that does give me some peace.