Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rest In Peace Dad, You Legend.

I don't know what to say... my dad passed away last night.

I cannot even begin to find the words to start talking about it. I don't even know how to say what I am feeling, but I am sure that I will flesh it out over the next few days/months/years.

I was with my dad when he died. He looked at my mom and I before he went, that much I am sure of.

I cried last night, but I know it was not nearly enough to even begin to make me feel better. It will come, I know it will. It's barely begun to sink in.

My dad is gone. My dad is gone. My dad is gone. My dad is gone. My dad is gone.

Rest in peace dad, there are no words in existence that could ever truly do you justice. You are at peace now, and you will sorely missed, so so so so much!! <3 nbsp="" p="">

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Zyprexa, An Atypical Antipsychotic

I was exhausted around 10pm tonight, something which (if you know me) is an incredibly odd occurence. Even on those nights where I have to go to bed due to some early obligation in the morning, I will still end up going to bed at around midnight or 1am. I spent most of my weekend working on two English assignments, a poem and a novel. My brain is fried, which probably explains my extreme case of wanting to sleep.

Random context aside, WHAT THE ACTUAL F%$K?

I did plan on sleeping early, right up until the point where my mom called me frantically. My dad had slipped and was sitting on the bathroom floor. He did not have the energy to pull himself up. He had a bout of Chemo around 6 days ago, so it is to be expected that he will be drained. It is so strange though, because during his first cycle of chemo (a few weeks ago), you would never say that he had undergone it. He seemed perfectly normal, as normal as somebody with cancer can be. Yet this time, the effects seemed to be sharp. Each day he seemed to be exhausted, sleeping for ridiculous amounts of time.

Tonight has been a scary affair. As I've mentioned already, my dad could not even pick himself off the floor. I had to help him up. He struggled to walk, in the sense that he either had very little energy to do so, or he just didn't seem to have any correct control over his muscles. Even when he speaks, it seems like he struggled to formulate the words. My sister and I know that Chemo is draining, but this is something that just seemed extremely odd. My dad went from being the perfectly able, strong adult, to a feeble elderly man. It was shocking to say the least, it made me fully aware of my dads mortality (which funnily enough, is the topic I wrote about in one of my essays - John Keats sonnet, When I have fears that I may cease to be). Anyways, following my dads chemo earlier in the week, he was extremely nauseous. We enquired with the doctor, and he gave us some medicine to counteract these side effects of chemo. My sister and I could only pinpoint (or suspect) that my dads worsening condition could be attributed to the drug he had been given, because that is when his condition started to go to hell. Remember my blog on Thursday night? Yeah, that is the day he first started taking that drug.

So what is this drug you ask? I know Google isn't a doctor who has multiple qualifications, but hey, its a good starting point for learning more about the unknown. These are just some of the articles explaining what this drug is:

Read this, thisand this...

So again I ask you, WHAT THE ACTUAL F%$k?!?! Am I reading correctly?!?!

Please explain to me, random Internet user, why my dad who has cancer, is on an anti psychotic drug which is normally used for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia? Just read through the articles above. NONE of them have anything to say about the drugs relevence to anti-nausea (which is what we requested in the first place). Many of the side effects are what my dad has shown or is showing tonight. My sister was telling me how earlier today he was trying to explain how he couldn't feel anything. Numbness is one of the possible side effects.

We are going to the doctor tomorrow, he is meant to have a shorter bout of chemo. In this condition, I doubt that will happen. Thankfully, he finished his trial of that drug tongight, so hopefully the side effects will kindly piss off during the course of tomorrow. Man, its freaking worrying! Some of the drugs side effects are fatal! That doc better be prepared to explain himself tomorrow, because from my perspective, his prescription was a death just waiting to happen O_o


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Seat Belts, Side Effects and Strange Interpretations

It's odd the way the human mind works. I updated my iPhone to iOS 7 today, and in doing so I decided to do a cleanup and uninstall any apps I don't use. I have used the blogger app a whole once since downloading it, and even that was a petty little test post. I uninstalled it this morning, but it's been on my mind all day for who knows what reason. I'm having one of "those" night at the moment, but I'm too garsh darn tired to drag myself out of bed to type at my computer. Yet here I am, clicking away on my redownloaded blogger app. Sorry, I know that's random, but I thought it was worth sharing :)

I've been having an odd week to say the least. The other day it crossed my mind that I may actually be very nearly over Amber. Quite frankly, I'm tired about writing about my problems "caused" by her, and I'm sure you are equally exhausted just from reading my ramblings that go on and on and on.

But honestly, it crossed my mind, and it's a scary thought. Even my sister asked me the other day, "how are things with you and Amber?", and I just shrugged my shoulders, saying I think that I'm thinking about her less.

That's the reason it scares me though, because I know I will think I'm moving on with my life, but some stupid memory or issue will pop up in my silly brain. It did! Last night once more in a dream. Amber is in Cape Town with varsity friends, presenting her work at the Loeries this weekend. So in my dream last night, I was saying goodbye to her at the airport. What annoyed the hell out of me (in my dream) is that she walked to the departure terminal without saying goodbye. I was like HEY WAIT WOMAN, I MUST SAY GOODBYE! So I ran up to her and said goodbye. She sort of shrugged, gave me an awkward hug, then walked through the gate towards her plane, without so much as a hint of looking back.

It seems utterly silly and possibly meaningless, but I was sad this morning. Being an English student, there are a million ways to interpret the meaning behind the dream itself. Is it just a dramatic metaphor which illustrates my fear of seeing Amber leave my life? Or is her being disinterested in saying goodbye a reflection of her lack of interest in this friendship? 

My dad is really suffering from the recent bout of Chemo. During his first cycle a while back, he was on trial medication. It was pretty magical stuff, because he didn't seem to have any side effects which normally follow chemo. 

He has been feeling nauseous, to the point where he doesn't eat at all. His memory is shocking to say the least. He can remember normal things, like his birthday, ID number and so on, but he forgets a variety of other things. Today he went to the shop to help close up. He got lost on the way home, like big time. The other day he got lost on the way to my uncles house. Needless to say, he won't be driving anymore anytime soon, but hell it's worrying all of us. Apparently memory loss is a normal side effect, but seeing my dad act as helpless as a child is heartbreaking to say the least. 

We had to go fetch him. He was with my mom, but long story short; she was in a  separate car to him, and she couldn't get him to follow her. When we got there, I told my dad to move to the passenger side, I would drive him home. He couldn't even remove his seatbelt. He sat there fumbling for a little while before he asked me to help him (I hadn't noticed, I was talking to my mom). Thank God he never crashed into anybody. How can he remember how to operate a car but not a  seatbelt? Heartbreaking I tell you...

The worst is, I think he is very aware of the problems he is having. It is probably freaking him out more than it is freaking us out. It's normal supposedly to have such hectic side effects. I just really hope he can pull through it.

Reason I am blogging in the first place, is because I really am feeling a little down tonight. I am generally pretty strong, I have been trying my best for my mom and sisters sake, but hey I'm human too. I need my own timeout now and then, and this is it.

I defaulted to wanting to talk to Amber about what's on my heart (not about her, about my dad and family life), but she is in Cape Town, and her replies were scarce. I know she can't be blamed for that, she was probably out and about exploring, so I should feel lucky to receive a reply in the first place! I just miss having a good friend to pour out to. For some reason, I really didn't feel like talking to Gareth. This is probably a result of my dream last night. I had Amber on my mind, so I wanted to talk to her.

At least I have you, random Internet audience and dear little blog. You have been a source of comfort in more ways than you could know. I am sane and normal because I offload here, and if I didn't? I would be a different person, a complete mess. So thank you, for reading and being here for me.

Gawd it's late! It's now 1:26am. I think I can finally sleep, now that this is all off my chest. Be proud of me, I typed all of the above on my phone ;) later peeps!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Smoking 101

Last night saw my mom, sister and myself confronting my dad again. Yesterday was out of hand, and we pieced together that he had smoked 4 cigarettes through the course of the day. CIGARETTES? He was meant to be moving off of them, via cigars. Yet he went back to cigarettes. So I made him a promise last night. If you know me, you know that I only make a promise that I know I will keep. I told him that for every smoke I know he has, I will be smoking one myself (my sister said she would too).

He told us he was done, he would kick the habit. No doubt, we were skeptical, but hey he said he was done. SURPRISE! Today he went to buy a cigar from the garage. I specified in my promise that cigar or cigarette, whether he has one puff or twenty, for every one he lights, I will be smoking a cigarette myself. He went outside to light it up, to which my mom obviously disagreed. He swore at her, something along the lines of "fuck you" and "voetsak". Now, if you know my dad, you might be wondering WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? That guy is not my dad, we don't know where the soft hearted, selfless guy has gone. Instead we have something along the lines of a drug addict.

Earlier, after finding out that he had bought the smoke, I stormed out the house and I went to buy my own small box of cigarettes. After hearing what he said to my mom, I grabbed them. Ripping off the packaging and grabbing a cigarette, this was the last straw for me. I put it in my mouth and had the lighter ready, to which he had the exact reaction I wanted. "Don't do this to me". I told him that I had never smoked a cigarette in my life, I told him that he spent years telling me not to smoke, because it was a shit habit. How could he persist and carry on, after everything we have told him? I lit the stupid cigarette, and I smoked it. My sister did too, after months of not smoking. Keep in mind that my sister quit 12 years of smoking OVERNIGHT after my dad was diagnosed.

It was surreal, something that is hard to describe. I was the one sitting at the bar counter, smoke in hand, lecturing my dad while he sat on the couch, telling him how he must pick himself up and fight for his life. It was just bizarre to witness the roles being reversed, my sister and myself playing mom and dad with the naughty child being my dad. I enforced my promise, saying that the next time he wants to light up, he must remember that we are going to as well.

I feel like utter shit now. I could never understand all those years when I was small, and my dad said it hurt him when he had to repremand me and such. How can it hurt him when he is the one doing the yelling and being the adult? I know now. The sight of my dad being defeated, his son and daughter trying to put him back on the right path... it's ripping my heart from the inside out. I want my dad back, I want him to get better!

You might be thinking that we are making a hell of a big deal over this smoking thing. Yes, we are, but its one of many, MANY things that are wrong with my dad at the moment. He doesn't do anything but "exist" at home day after day. He doesn't watch TV, walk, read, anything at all. I firmly believe that he only resorts to smoking because it is habit, and he has nothing better to do. The truth is, he has lots to keep him busy, but he chooses not to.

My sister has booked a session with a councilor tomorrow. I hope she can get into his head, because we sure as hell hit a brick wall each and every time we try to.

P.S - I never inhaled the cigarette, I just puffed on it. That alone has given me a headache (something I seldom get) and made my mouth taste absolutely disgusting. My hands smell like smoke too, and I freaking hate that smell. It could never become a habit based on that alone, the smell and aftertaste make me wanna die >_< heres hoping the message went though, because I sure as hell don't wanna touch that shit again!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Road Gets Tough

This has been one hell of a week. My dad has stage 4 lung cancer, the most advanced. Apparently the doctors knew about this all along, but it was news to my whole family. We took the results of his latest scans to another doctor to get a second opinion. The pain in his shoulder? That is supposedly nerve damage caused by the cancer the self. If that is the case, it is irreversable, and nothing can take the pain away. My dad needs to learn to live with that pain in his shoulder. It makes him a completely different person, and I know if that pain wasn't there he would return to being himself.

He has lung cancer, yet he has refused to give up smoking. He smokes behind our backs like a rebelious teenager! I've spent the last few months watching my mom and sister moan at him, telling him to quit. I sat back, thinking that he needs to make up his mind whether he wants to quit or not. I mean, I would get pissed off too if I was trying to kick some habit and everybody was in my face about it. So I sat back for many months, knowing that surely, surely he would give it up at some point. He hasn't, and it's really getting to me. He is acting like a drug addict.

I've spent this whole week being beyond tired, physically and emotionally, and I couldn't quite understand why, until I remembered that I lost it on Monday night. My dad is the gentlest person, yet he is also the most stubborn. This whole condition has changed his whole personality, and I can't quite help but wonder where my dad has disappeared off to. On Monday night something snapped. My sister picked on something, as did my mom. The arguing started getting louder, with my dad denying that he is a smoker. Months and months of ignoring his bullshit attitude came spilling out, and I let him have it. I've never, never spoken and yelled to my dad like that before, but it was stuff he needed to hear. I hope I never have to do it again.

I told him that he is a smoker, hiding away, thinking we don't know what he is doing. I told him that I want him to stop his bullshit, and to stop his smoking. I told him that if he doesn't stop, I will have one for everyone that he himself has. I told him that he has a problem. I told him that he has cancer, and he needs to wrap his head around that and start facing it head on. I told him to stop acting like he has given up, because I miss my dad, the strong hard working guy who persevered no matter what the circumstances. I told him that I want my dad to be alive to watch me graduate. I told him that I want him to be alive to read my books one day. I told him that I want him to be alive to see his grandkids. I told him a million things, which I can't remember most of, and I can't detail here word for word. When I was done, I was shaking, I had let everything out. I have spent this whole week feeling drained beyond my understanding, but I now understand that it was that evening that sucked everything out of me. He hasn't listened, because he still smokes behind our backs.

Dreams? Don't even get me started on the dreams I have been having. They are beyond bizarre, but oddly vivid. Every night has had appearances by family and friends, in completely odd scenarios. I haven't spoken to Amber for probably the longest period of time since I have known her. As a result, she now always makes a cameo appearance in every dream, in one way or another. The random girl at the bar. The strange girl at the show. The odd girl at my house. Stupid brain. Stupid, silly, annoying brain. Its just odd because she isn't even the focus of my dream, but she always appears somewhere! Its ridiculous, you have no idea.

Dreams aside, I think if this keeps up, I might actually be on my way to moving on with my life. I have family issues to deal with before anything else.

This song has been in my head the whole week. It just seems fitting, the lines, "Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough". Come on dad, you can fight this!

Why the hell am I still up? I have an early lecture tomorrow >_<

About Me

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South Africa
BA English and Communication graduate. I like to write stuff!