On Monday night, I was lying in bed nursing P. with my phone in one hand, waiting for my mother to call with what I knew would be bad news. P. was thirty-seven days old. She is so new, so fresh. She is at the beginning of it all.
My stepfather is dying.
A month ago my Mum was with me, helping while Q. was overseas. My stepfather was doing so well she said she almost felt she could have left him alone. My youngest sister, who went to stay with him, said he was the best she’d seen him in years.
With hindsight, this appears to have been the final rally that some patients get before they start that last downward spiral.
He is in hospital and is being made comfortable. They are looking into the options to see if he can be brought home and receive hospice care.
We don’t know exactly how long he has, but it is not long. We were originally told days. It is probably more like weeks, but things can change very quickly as we have learned.
All five of his children (one son, one daughter, three stepdaughters) will be here as of this afternoon. We will all get our chance to say goodbye, but we will all probably have to leave again before the end and leave him and my mother, which breaks my heart.
He was well enough yesterday to come out of the hospital to meet P. (as she is too young to be vaccinated and I cannot risk bringing her in to the hospital itself). We were able to get some pictures of him with his four grandchildren. He will probably not get to meet the one currently occupying labmonkey’s uterus.
My stepsister and stepbrother lost their mother nine years ago. Now they will have lost both parents. They are 36 and (almost) 38. That is too young, My stepsister and her husband are here with their two kids (7 and 4) on a prearranged two week vacation. She wants to be with her Dad, but her kids need her too. I am hoping to hand P. off to someone this afternoon so Q. and I can go in to see him, even if just for an hour.
It’s not enough time.
There will never be enough time.
We knew the cancer was going to come back. We knew it would kill him eventually.
We never thought it would be this soon.