Monday, July 2

When we got to the hospital Lois and Beth were in the waiting room and said today was a bad day. Bad night. You just weren’t doing well and fighting a lot. We weren’t supposed to talk to you or hold your hand, because it just got you too excited. And the more excited you were, the more alert you would become. And the more alert you are, the more you fight the breathing machine, and that hurts you. So we are just supposed to leave you alone.

Last night you woke up a bit when we went to say goodbye. I went up to you and said, “good night dad! We’ll be back tomorrow!” and you opened your eyes and squeezed my hand and wouldn’t let go. After talking a few minutes, I realized you really needed to settle down and sleep so you can get better. I said, “Dad, we have to go now so that you can sleep. But we’ll be back tomorrow!” You shook your head and didn’t want us to go. But after a bit you loosened your grip, and I was sure that you were asleep so I let go and went to the waiting room. But Leland stayed, and so did Lois (of course) and Aunt Cindy. They were making me so mad, keeping you awake, exciting you. Finally I came back. They kept giving you a pen, but your hands were so swollen from the IVs that you couldn’t write. You were frustrated and tossed the pen down. I grabbed your hand and said, “You are being stubborn!” (You shook your head and furrowed your brow) “Yes you are! You need to settle down. You need to sleep” (more head shaking) “We will be back tomorrow – your body is tired and you need to rest it so you can fight on the inside. You can tell us whatever tomorrow, when you wake up… just go to sleep, we all love you.” You settled down a bit, and the nurse told everyone to leave you alone so you could sleep. Your vitals went down all of a sudden and your breathing became erratic. But you simmered down enough that we went home feeling confident.

But today they say you had cancer, and that hopefully they got it all out, but your kidneys are failing again and so you must go on dialysis tonight. And everyone is crying, except I don’t want to until I have to. So I’m writing while my family glumly talks about cancer and remaining hopeful. I’m hopeful. Just get better.

When we went in before you did dialysis, Leland and I sucked up our tears and went in. Holding your hands, we (I) told you that you had to get better so that we can go climb a mountain, or white water raft, or geocache. Whatever you want! You smiled and we told you we loved you. When we started to get sad (it is SO hard to see you in pain and so weak), we told you we would see you soon. But I guess when grandma and Aunt Cindy came in, they cried. I’m sure in your confused and scared state of mind, that just scared you even more, and you mouthed “help me” to them. You shook your head when they said they loved you. That really hurt them, so you better apologize when you come to. When Lois asked you if you were mad at her you nodded and mouthed “I’m going to die.” You owe her an apology too.

Everyone was upset and scared for you, but all of a sudden I was telling everyone it was okay – he is confused and scared, and he doesn’t know what is going on. But he doesn’t mean it when he says he doesn’t love us, or anything like that. He is just sad and upset and confused. And all of a sudden I was “the rock in the family,” grandma said. I am sure you will be okay soon… you just need to CHILL OUT.

Grandpa went to wait outside your room, and the nurse we’ve had all day slammed the curtain shut so he couldn’t see. She’s horrible and we don’t like her (no bedside manner). But the other nurse who is working tonight was there and welcomed him in. “I’m the new nurse for the night,” she said to grandpa. “My name is Hope.”