Rob wrote to Let’s Talk About Loss to share his story of dealing with his Dad’s brain tumour. We hope that this blog, like all of our blogs, helps support you if you are feeling confused and isolated in your grief. You are not alone. Contact us today to share your story or find local support.
My Dad had signed up for one gym class every day for a week (a 54 year old 6ft 8 giant on a mission). However, the first day he went he fell over and “twisted his knee”. I rang my Dad that night and he mentioned that he had fallen over at his first class and had to receive first aid. He laughed it off and said he would go to the doctors later in the week. On the 4th January 2017, he was diagnosed with a tumour in the left thalamus. It was a High Grade WHO grade 4 Globlastoma multiforme. At that point, deep down, we all knew it was going to be a long, hard battle.
Nevertheless, over the next few weeks Dad kept a positive mentality – something I will admire and remember for the rest of my life. No matter how bad the situation was, he was determined to give it a shot. He started his Chemo and Radiotherapy at The Christie in Manchester on 25th January and had daily working week treatment (Mon-Fri) until 7th March. Dad would go back and forth every day without fail.
My dad, my hero
Every day I spoke to him he would keep going, he would stay strong. My Dad was already my hero but now in this desperate time he became even more than that. In January me and my Dad went to a music concert at the Albert Hall in Manchester and to a Stoke City football match. All of this despite having started his daily treatment, when he was losing the ability to use his right side. He wasn’t going to give up and he was determined to do as much as he could.
After Dad finished his six weeks of daily chemo and radiotherapy, it was a waiting game for him and for us. Unfortunately, the treatment had taken its toll and he slept for long periods of the day. By April time, Dad went to Macclesfield Hospital where he was visited by close friends and family. This was such an important time for my Dad as it allowed him to say his goodbyes with dignity. A few weeks later, he was transferred to East Cheshire Hospice. A truly magical place that really did make Dad’s situation so much easier to deal with. The facilities were superb and the care he received was nothing short of outstanding. Dad eventually passed away peacefully on 11 May 2017.
My overarching lesson from my Dad’s death is that, it is important to remember how resilient and brave the person will be even as they face up to the reality of their situation. I will forever be proud of my Dad’s positive, determined outlook. It is a quality I will carry with me for the rest of my life. No matter how hard a situation is, maintaining an optimistic outlook will help you to stay strong.
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