I went to visit the paternal unit today after work. I was naughty in that I hadn’t seen him in nearly a week. Looking back, and hindsight is always 20/20, I should have come sooner.

My father had been moved to another room, as he was originally in a short-term stay ward. He was moved, but I didn’t know to where until I got off the lift. He’s in acute care now.

I walked into his room. I was at first happy to see that he doesn’t have a PSW (personal support worker) watching him. But there’s a reason why there’s no PSW, he’s too weak to move. He was sleeping when I walked in, and kept sleeping for about half an hour while I sat there quietly keeping him company. He opened his eyes, looked at me, and in the smallest voice (barely a whisper) he said “you’re here” .. and gave me the most beautiful smile ever; then he feel asleep again. Went through this again 15 minutes later.

When my father was able to keep his eyes open he told me he has cancer. He asked me to feel the site, where the tumour is. I nearly balled my eyes out … the tumour is so large and hard.

HIs nurse, Mario, walked in during one of my father’s sleeping episodes. He informed me that my father is NPO – nothing by mouth. Seems he choked twice today, both times requiring intervention. The second choking incident was over him taking a sip of water. My father is to go down for more tests tomorrow, to make sure his esophagus is clear; if it isn’t they will insert an NG tube.

The nurses won’t tell me anything. I put in a request to have his oncologist to ring me in the morning, as I am sick & tired of the run-a-round.

My father isn’t very demonstrative, which is where I probably get my slight distaste for indiscriminate hugging. But tonight he tried to grab for my hand. Tonight my father leaned into my arm when I was adjusting his pillow. Tonight, my father begged me for no medical intervention.

I am still crying.

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