A Lost Daughter, Dealing With Her Father's Death


My father passed away one month ago today - July 9, 1999. My father's killer was Throat Cancer. He was diagnosed in July of 1998. I moved 500 miles away from home 3 years ago and in some ways, I regret I did. I missed out on the last few years of his

life. This is one of the times which you wish you had the ability to see into the future. My father was only 54 yrs old. He smoked, was an alcoholic and a workaholic for most of his life. He stopped smoking and let up on the alcohol about 5 years ago. He went through two major surgeries in 1994. Both were due to blocked arteries. One was the "Y" tube, which runs from the heart to the legs. This was almost completely blocked, which caused his legs to become numb and become painful. The other arteries,

were the ones located in the neck. One side was blocked 70% and the other was at 50%. The doctors felt the side at 70% was more critical than the other. So, he underwent the surgeries. My father had a choice, either he went through with them or risk having a heart attack and dying. In a way, the time from his surgeries to his terminal cancer, he was given a second chance to live a life he neglected before. He did fulfill the limited time he had. He went on vacations with my mother and stopped working as much.

He was diagnosed with Pallet Cancer in 1997 and was able to win the battle with Radiation. Then in 1998, he was diagnosed with Cancer, this time it was located in his throat, which unfortunately could not be beaten. The Doctors tried Radiation again, this time it was much lower. The treatment did not stop it. He could no longer eat or drink through his mouth. He had a stomach "G" tube surgically inserted and was able to receive food that way. In February of 1999, he had some tumors form in his neck and the doctors tried to surgically remove them, but were unsuccessful. From this point, the Cancer was spreading rapidly and they thought maybe Chemotherapy

might slow it down and give him a little longer to live. Unfortunately, that did not work either. It had only made him more weak. He was losing weight rapidly and even though he was able to receive food through his tube, it was not keeping any weight on him. I got married May 29th, 1999 and my dad was able to walk me down the aisle. He made it through the ceremony and part of the pictures, but left shortly after. That meant so much to me. I will always treasure that precious memory. After the wedding, my father's disease started to take it's toll. He started Home Hospice and within a

month and ten days, he passed away. He was such a good person with such a big heart.

Even when he was drinking heavily, he always made sure his family was taken care of. I miss him so much and I hope that someday soon, the pain will ease and I will find a way to have him in my life spiritually. I am starting a bereavement/grief group tomorrow, so hopefully it will help shed some light on my foggy life.

Thank you for your time. Please let me know if this story has helped you in any way.

Annette Padilla

You can email Annette: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 07-09-99
date of post 08-09-99


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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW