My dad handed away at residence on third February, Friday, 2023 very early within the morning someplace round 0630.
The sky determined to cease its steady rain on that Friday morning.
In July final yr, he thought that he has exercised too vigorously once more and damage his leg. The conventional treatment for that’s extra relaxation. Two weeks later, he discovered that a part of his scrotum/testicle space to be very swollen nonetheless.
He thinks it was time to cease performing powerful and instructed his son about it.
I introduced him to a close-by GP to take a look at. The GP thought that he was affected by a hernia. A hernia is when components of the inner organ push by a weak spot in your muscle, and it’s a widespread drawback in older males. The answer is likely to be a minor surgical procedure which can enable him to nonetheless dwell an honest life.
He was scheduled to have an appointment at a polyclinic and we determined he’s sturdy sufficient to go on his personal. The physician on the polyclinic examined and assume this isn’t a herniated drawback and resolve to ask him to go to the hospital to test it out.
We have been presupposed to know the results of the examine in a scheduled appointment two weeks later. However on a Sunday, six days earlier than the appointment, we obtained a telephone name from the close by hospital that we must always severely think about making an appointment at Singapore Normal Hospital as it’s cancerous.
Lengthy story quick, exterior cancerous lesions have been present in his rectum and anus. The medical doctors decide that that is “early” stage 4 most cancers.
The pure remedy is chemotherapy.
He was really helpful to do it however my dad has reservations. You and I should have heard of sufficient individuals who underwent chemotherapy however nonetheless handed away. Ultimately, we talked to him to be extra open-minded about it. When it comes time for him to make the choice, he requested what do I feel.
My now-deceased mother’s expertise registered in my thoughts. I feel if chemo will work nicely for him, I don’t wish to remorse we didn’t strive. So in my thoughts, I instructed him we must always strive, a minimum of a couple of cycles.
He went by three cycles of chemo.
Every cycle final three weeks with one week having an intravenous injection, one other week of oral chemo drug and the final week of system clearing. After three cycles, there would often be a deeper scan to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedy.
Chemo did nothing to decelerate most cancers.
The physician really helpful sturdy chemo drugs. However earlier than that would occur, Dad had a small fall.
Up to now, he had durations the place he can be immediately weak, and on this episode, though I supported him whereas he was within the lavatory, he nonetheless fell and hit the again of his head. We referred to as 995 and he was admitted to the hospital. Externally, my dad was okay as there may be only a small bump on the pinnacle.
The medical doctors determined to scan his head.
The scan confirmed that there have been most cancers cells within the mind, and within the liver.
In case you peek in my head, the spectrum of end result followers immediately narrowed to a small vary.
The mind controls areas of the physique that may have an effect on the standard of life. It isn’t that chemo doesn’t impact the rectum or anus space. There’s all the time a fear that chemo may have an effect on the exterior tumour such that my dad can’t shit anymore. It is going to require surgical procedure to regulate and use a shit bag.
I’m not certain whether or not to be grateful or not, however the most cancers tumour within the rectum and anus was not aggravated so we want one thing like that.
Dad was really helpful to undergo electrical radiation remedy to manage most cancers within the mind. He should do a 2-5 minute radiation within the head for ten working days straight.
This irritated him as a result of it meant we’ve got to go to this point to SGH each day for 2 weeks.
Fortunately, his caregiver Mar Re got here.
I made a decision to rent Mar Re to take higher care of him. I assessed the chance of end result and many of the paths of the choice tree inform me hiring a caregiver is the precise choice.
Mar Re spent 8 years working in Singapore as a maid earlier than returning to Myanmar to have a household. Ten years later, she got here again to a barely totally different Singapore as a medical caregiver and I ended up as her first employer again.
Hiring Mar Re was among the best choices I made within the final forty-two years. I can write a weblog submit simply on Mar Re. Throughout a lot of the wake, a giant portion of the dialogue finally went to caregiving assist. Maybe extra are all for that matter (let me know).
With Mar Re, I’ve somebody to assist my dad round and observe him to the hospital visits. Her presence undoubtedly gave my brother and me extra respiratory area.
The physician explains that close to the tip of the radiation remedy, it’s regular to really feel weaker.
Dad felt that his left arm was bizarre and instructed the physician and he determined to scan the mind.
Below radiation, the most cancers cells present that they have been reacting. However there have been nonetheless extra most cancers cells showing.
By this stage, mainly, nothing labored.
This hit my dad onerous.
When he was first identified, he would inform us that he had lived a protracted sufficient life and he was not afraid of dying. There have been sufficient episodes that inform me what you inform individuals and what you’re feeling is completely totally different.
I can think about how onerous of a punch these outcomes should have felt however won’t ever perceive how he felt after they hit him.
We determined to undertake palliative care. This was round mid-December.
By then Dad has turn out to be a lot weaker. To be trustworthy, chemo didn’t weaken him a lot. As I mirror again, I ponder if many of the injury was accomplished by the pure development of most cancers or radiation remedy. After the chemo classes, Dad would nonetheless wander downstairs to stroll his few rounds.
However by mid-December, he was weaker.
He has taught Mar Re methods to prepare dinner many of the stuff we usually eat. Dad spent many of the days in mattress. Mar Re did the cooking and the housekeeping. I’d assist out the place I can however more often than not, I understand Mar Re took care of every thing.
Dad was capable of go to the bathroom. Till that grew to become too tiring. So he remained in mattress.
Mar Re modified his grownup diapers often.
Identical to a child, we understand that one pack per thirty days wasn’t sufficient.
We settled upon a routine the place Mar Re did many of the issues at residence and I grew to become the logistics man working round shopping for and shoring up provides.
Dad began having an inclination to eat quite a lot of random meals he likes. As a result of he can’t transfer, Mar Re will purchase for him or prepare dinner for him. If not Mar Re will inform me, after which I’ll strive my greatest to get it.
Once we resolve to undertake palliative care remedy, SGH forwarded our case to HCA Hospice. HCA Hospice would make residence visits to examine on my father’s situation and educate us methods to higher look after him. If there’s a want for higher gear, they’d inform us. The physician would inform us to get sure drugs from the pharmacy in anticipation of… harder instances.
The knowledge offered by HCA helped me higher assess the scenario.
I can nonetheless bear in mind one of many visits. I used to be not round and was at work. The girl who got here down requested whether or not we will organize for a session subsequent week to transient me on the end-of-life drugs to be administered (if must). Normally, they briefed the relations as an alternative of the caregiver.
However the subsequent day, I obtained messages from the woman asking if they’ll go to my residence and educate my caregiver methods to administer the drugs.
That shifted the psychological Gantt Chart from additional out to a lot nearer.
Why have been they so involved?
I wish to assume they’ve seen sufficient of those instances to know the indicators that the tip of life is likely to be ahead of what we had in thoughts.
In that 1.5 months, I mainly see how an individual dies slowly in entrance of me.
Possibly as a result of mind most cancers, dad struggles to explain to us what he wished. You possibly can see seen frustrations on his face once we don’t get what he desires. That most likely pissed off Mar Re and me as nicely.
We have to ask him to nod or shake his head if we guessed accurately.
However quickly the calls for stopped.
He struggles to absorb water by way of a straw. Mar Re began improvising.
First, it was utilizing the spoon to feed him instantly. Ultimately, it was utilizing cotton wool to drip water into his mouth.
Unusually, though he struggles with ingesting, he might soak up meals higher.
However finally, each stopped.
One of many issues I needed to cope with was… when will it finish?
In my thoughts, the spectrum of outcomes has narrowed to at least one end result by now (barring some divine miracle). Considering again, I fell into the entice of discussing with Mar Re whether or not he’s consuming or ingesting that day, and what it present. In entrance of him.
Reflecting on that, whereas we spoke in English, which he doesn’t perceive that nicely, does he not perceive what we have been discussing?
Most likely sufficient. Typically I hate that a part of my mind the place I wanted to see certainty within the psychological Gantt Chart.
When an individual eats and drinks much less, you begin seeing her or him actually lose mass. Extra pores and skin from speedy weight reduction begins to point out. The pinnacle will finally take the form of the cranium because the meat went away.
He finally cease consuming and Mar Re started counting the variety of days he hasn’t eaten. With out meals and water, man can’t survive. The query is how lengthy.
I most likely wrote sufficient about monetary independence.
The literature would inform you that with FI, you may simply drop every thing and stop your job to be with the one you love. Everybody tells you to don’t take into consideration work a lot and simply be with the one you love.
They look after you however I ponder in the event that they understood what each caregiver wants. Typically, seeing that deterioration can actually fxxk you up sufficient that you simply want the break free from seeing them on occasion.
I used to be the purpose individual for one thing we’re about to ship quickly. I can’t cease my mind from making an attempt to juggle the timeline of the 2 tasks (one a piece one and one other private one).
Not figuring out the precise finish is a undertaking administration uncertainty.
I requested HCA Hospice for extra hints. They are saying will probably be days to weeks. That fxxking doesn’t assist.
By my closest estimation, what I feel is prone to occur is that on the launch date, Dad will go away, and will probably be unimaginable for me to double hat that wakes and the rollout nicely. So the one resolution is to work like a madman to iron out any undertaking uncertainty in order that anytime he passes, the rollout received’t be affected.
To the individuals exterior, particularly at work, I have to look even weirder as a result of why am I selecting to work as an alternative of spending time with Dad? I feel it could be nice if we all know how lengthy somebody has. That isn’t often the case. A few of my colleagues thought that my dad continues to be present process chemo. In case you select to inform individuals much less, then they’d know much less and they might have a look at issues extra weirdly.
I ended celebrating stuff.
I attempted to flee any firm celebration that I might as a result of… celebration simply feels bizarre when your dad just isn’t nicely.
I attempted to decide on who I meet nicely. If I’ve met up with you the final six months, it mainly means I give-a-fxxk about you or your scenario sufficient.
The day earlier than he handed away, I obtained determined sufficient to ask ChatGPT to see if ChatGPT is that good to offer me a solution.
ChatGPT gave me quite a lot of roundabout solutions however finally roll often that it’s round 4-5 days.
Dad handed away after being with out meals and little water for five days. He handed away the morning which might have been the sixth day.
From analysis until the tip, it was simply six quick months.
We tried asking whether or not Dad desires a 3 or five-day funeral earlier than.
I can inform you, making an attempt to make that out when he’s not coherent was powerful. Answering that query… can be an admittance that the tip is close to.
Our elder cousin questioned why we had the heart to ask that query. He received’t dare to ask.
My brother managed to get out that he prefers a three-day funeral.
Passing away at 0630 made planning smoother.
The timeline to run a three-day funeral is rattling tight however beginning early within the day made every thing easy.
It helped immensely that we contacted the funeral companies firm about two days earlier than he handed. My brother and I additionally had the expertise of undertaking managing our mother’s funeral 5 years earlier. HCA Hospice additionally offered recommendation on what we must always do if he handed away.
Every little thing went fairly easily.
The three-day funeral companies will probably price us $13,000-$14,000.
As a comparability, a five-day funeral price us roughly $11,000 5 years in the past (from the identical firm). At this time, it can price us $15,500 a minimum of. That’s roughly a 7% a yr inflation.
Internet hosting a funeral throughout Lunar Chinese language New 12 months is a bizarre factor.
Even with out that, you’ll battle to determine the way you inform individuals. Who do you inform? Who do you don’t wish to inform? I resolve to place up only a Fb submit and inform my secondary college mates, and colleagues. Alongside the best way, you all the time felt that you simply forgot to inform somebody. You deliberate whether or not inform your readers.
My aunt pre-empts us that we’d not get a superb turnout as a result of one, three days is a rush, and two it’s nonetheless inside Chinese language New 12 months.
I have no idea what’s so dangerous about it however probably should you go to a funeral, you improve the chance of dangerous luck for the entire yr.
These of my brother, sister-in-law and my mates who got here down mainly say fxxk-you-to-365-days-good-luck and got here all the way down to help us.
You inform your folks early if you put together in your Wedding ceremony banquet. Funerals are often last-minute stuff. Individuals re-arrange their life to take care of them.
I all the time bear in mind (I hope I’m proper!) who got here down for my mother’s funeral. I’m deeply grateful for many who got here down for my Dad’s. For many who didn’t come down, don’t fear I perceive every of you has your personal distinctive circumstances. It’s the thought that counts.
Now comes the section of adjustment.
My dad used to inform me off each time I don’t wash or depart one thing round the home. He’ll say: “When I’m not round anymore, how are you going to care for your self? Each time depend upon me to wash up for you!”
Nicely, now we are going to discover out if I can care for myself.
A five-room flat will really feel fairly quiet now.
I’ll most likely have a couple of tales to share. After caregiving to 2 most cancers sufferers, I most likely have some actually warped views about safety, particularly medical health insurance and significant sickness.
Let’s see if I bear in mind to put in writing them.
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