America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

21 December 2007

Update on my father's condition

It's not so much that I want the whole world to know and feel pity or anything.. I have to get this stuff out of my system, and this blog is as good a listener as anyone. At least it doesn't judge me.. Here's where I "spill my poison", as the saying goes.. and no one has a gun to your head forcing you to read..
My father has lung cancer, stage 4, inoperable. Tumors have spread to his liver and to his bones.. His clavicle has been fractured by the tumor which grows on and around it, so pain is a big issue right now. When he was here a month or so ago, the doctor told him that chemotherapy would not be very effective, so my father declined the treatment. He decided to return to Turkey. As it turns out, he's started another round of chemo over there, and continues to treat the pain with morphine and other narcotic drugs. Last week he sounded quite cheerful on the phone.. Still on his feet, still trying to build his musical instruments, still smoking cigarettes too.. what's the point of stopping now if it gives you comfort? I wouldn't.
When my brother and I took him to TF Green airport the other month for his connection to JFK, we sat there with him at the gate, not knowing what to say or how to act. When it was time to board, we stood with him in line, said our farewells, hugged, kissed.. He entered the ramp to board and started walking away from us.. and just before turning the corner, he stopped, and he turned around and he looked at us for a moment, waving.. realizing that maybe, it was for the very last time. I almost fell apart right then and there.. and then he continued.. out of sight. As my younger brother and I walked down the concourse and away from the gate, I had to stay a few paces in front of him to hide the anguished and tearful look on my face.. and perhaps it would have been like looking in the mirror, had I turned around to face him, I don't know.. and who the hell knows what my father's face looked like after he turned the corner away from us.. I think I might have an idea, but it hurts to try and imagine it. Thanks for reading. 

8 comments:

Metin said...

I am sorry about your dad's condition. And I am equally moved by your moment of goodbye at the airport. It's a very touching reminder of the realities of life and death and loved ones. Especially during the holiday season, it is imperative to be grateful for the things we still have, and the love we still can define by our own means, rather than try to get the next best materialistic thing we do not yet possess.

It's never too late to tell our loved ones how much we love them, and never too much to do it over and over. That's what keeps us going . . .

Happy Holidays!

Ardent said...

After reading your post I had to wipe away my tears. I felt your pain and it bought back my own pain. Life can be so cruel, I hope the chemo has some effect.

On my father's last days in hospital, all the family was with him 24hrs, we rotated shifts at night times. He was so weak but he would talk and wink at his grandchildren, getting them to laugh, trying to reassure them that he is O.K. We thought that he must not know how little time he has left but I realized he did when he spoke to us all individually. I had to walk out of the room to break down when he called my husband over and said to him, 'Make sure that you look after my daughter well.' Not that my husband has ever done anything wrong, but instead of thinking of himself he was still thinking about his children.

Bayrams and New Years are never the same, pointless but I make a big effort for my children.

I feel your pain ...

nhrider said...

Murat,

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Thanks everyone..

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Must be painful Murat! Both for you and your brother as for your father. Hope he doesn't suffer that much. Wish you and yyour family all the strength.
3 years ago, I had to say goodbey to my mother, knowing that the next time I would be in Holland was for her funeral. I never felt so helpless when I kissed her goodbey.

the Husband said...

its amazing the number of us who comment and read here who have had similar experiences....I remember getting a phone call from my mother saying if you want to see your father again get home now.....problem was I was in Hong Kong and they were in Bolton, England......anyway I made it but the hardest thing was turning away from him and walking out of the hospice after a week there knowing I would never see him alive again....and being back in Bolton 3 weeks later for his funeral....
I tell you it sucks and trite as it may sound Mike and the Mechanics had it right...all I can say is make sure you dont regret not saying whatever you need to say in the next few weeks/days/months...

Celal Birader said...

Hey Murat .. I'm really sorry to read this about your father. May God give you, your father and your family consolation and hope.

Ahmet Turgut said...

Murat, I pray and hope your dad gets better. If you talk to him, "selamimi soyle"...Happy New Year to you and your family...

Ahmet Turgut