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Sunday, December 31, 2017

In Memory of My Beloved Dad

Not a day passes by without thinking of my dad including this final day of year 2017. My tears would ooze like broken pipe whenever saw his photos over the social media as well as the Photobook I had made for him. It's often heart-wrenching to reminisce about the moments that my dad suffered the pain due to pancreatic cancer. He was used to be so strong and energetic until the long week that he had non-stop coughs accompanying with unbearable abdomen pain. It was 16th June that he had gone to have abdomen ultrasound with an request for CT scan on the next day. When the doctor announced on the bad news that the cancer was metastatic and could easily take up one's toll within 6 months, we were merely able to withhold our tears while my dad remained his calmness. I believed that his heart was turning upside down when received the news, but he still fetched us for lunch and even consoling us that it wasn't the worst case yet.

We decided to get for second opinion from another hospital and the doctor had patiently explaining on the condition with chemotherapy as the only option. However, a biopsy was suggested to be carried out to confirm the tumor condition. The weekend was terrible as we had to continue our celebration of Father's Day, knowing that it could be the last celebration. Dad had the very scrumptious Japanese meal with his favorite eel fish on Father's Day and mom had been willingly to try her very first Japanese dish too. I still remembered the walk we had along the park and I wished that I had been holding his hands tightly on that night.  

After diagnosis and biopsy, chemotherapy sessions were scheduled in July. My dad was a brave warrior whom had faith in the upcoming battles and persevered in jogging every day before the chemotherapy schedules. After Raya holidays, the chemotherapy [Gemcitabine and Cisplatin] was undergone. Side effect i.e. high fever at night with high white blood cells happened after a week that he had his first chemotherapy. The hospitalization period began with my dad's appetite deteriorated after weeks of chemotherapy. It was traumatic when faced several patients surrounding the oncology unit leaving one by one too.The next side effect was skin infection at legs and he had drainage tube to reduce accumulated water in the stomach. It was so devastating to see the pain of your loved one and I never think that it would happen to me at this age. The birthday celebration of my dad this year was the most heart-shattering in which he hugged all of us one by one and told us how much he loved us with his hope for the family.

Due to the tumor market showed increment, he had changed chemotherapy [Abraxane] after a month. It seemed that cancers were under control with tolerable side effects such as weight loss, loss of appetite and terrible oral ulcers. However, those were the signage whereby my dad’s days were numbered unexpectedly in which he became so thin and had fatigue. The nights that spent in hospital accompanying him was unforgettable, the cold surrounding was the sore companion with the sadness accumulated in my heart. He lost the battle on 10th October without the chance of saying goodbye. The date was so perfect that I did not expect it was the last day he lived. The phlegm built up at his throat and he had difficulty to breathe with foods indigestible that evening. I was mourned with pain at the thought that he would be hoping each of us standing by with him even at the last moment. That phone call message was so hardly forgotten. It was like reminding you that with his absence, you had also lost the moment to call "daddy"/ "dad". He was a brave father, willingly to battle in order to see siblings’ graduation. The words of the cancer specialist who treated my dad was repeatedly read every night:

Your father was a brave soul, withstanding the insult of the terrible sickness with such composure and dignity. The disease was very advanced, but he put up a good fight. Please send my regards to your mother. My condolences.

Until now, the daily tasks would somehow trigger remembering of my dear dad fetching me to study, work and several ingrown nails operation. Other splendid moments like waiting at market for mom to finish her bargain of price for vegetables, grocery shopping, our daily dinner, evening chats over the workplaces or politics, piled rantings over the work, drying clothes, etc.  All these good moments were bursting away like soap bubbles. I appreciated that I had the chance to help him for cutting nails with the trust he had in me for carefully trimming his nails. The smile and satisfaction will be etched in my mind. I hope that my beloved dad is resting in peace at painless world now. I miss him so much!

An important life lesson I’ve learned is to value every day. You never know what’s going to happen. You’re not guaranteed another day, so live each day like it’s your last and try your best to keep a positive outlook.

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