My Fathers Journey Until the End

My name is Priti Patel and I am lucky enough to say I am the daughter a strong, loving, caring, man who fought this terrible cancer, Glioblastoma, for 16 months.

My dad was the person who kept our family together and we still are lost without him. We continue to do what he always said and did what he always did “be strong and live life with no fears, what is meant to be will happen”. I always wondered why he constantly said this to me and now I see..its because I needed these words in my life sooner than I thought.

My dad was diagnosed at the age of 60 when he noticed he had feeling of a “sinus infection” that would not go away. He then told us one day that he got pulled over by the police for driving on the wrong side of the road not realizing it. That was the day he finally realized something more was going on. Luckily the officer felt as though something was not right and followed him home with no ticket.

It was then that my parents went to the doctor and were told “you have a mass growing on right side of your brain”.

Since that day starting with surgery and diagnoisis of Glioblatoma, a Primary Grade 4 brain tumor, I did not leave my dads side. Every ride to Dana Farber for every appointment, every ER visit, every clinical trial, seizure, rehab, and finally home hospice where he was paralyzed for the last 3 months of his life supported by my mom and I.

I don’t want to remember my father as who he was the last few months because I know it was not him. I continue to live on the way I know he would want me to. He was a proud father, always cheering me on no matter what I decided to do and I miss that the most. I sometimes wonder looking back how I was able to stay so strong throughout this and it was because of him. My dad was not afraid and he took it day by day planning the next as if it just another day.

What I learned about this journey is life will throw the most unexpected curve balls at you – even life and death situations – and it is up to us how we want to spend this time we are allotted. You must be your own advocate and ask as many questions as possible, do all the research you can, and most of all live in the moment.

I wish I could say my father was a survivor but its not the case. I also know my “papa” would not want to spend the rest of life at home in a hospital bed paralyzed not able to life the life he deserved. He is still with me and not a day goes by without him popping in my head reminding me of his silly jokes or if I know I am doing something my dad would not be in favor that picturing that stubborn look on his face saying, “stop wasting money you will see why later”.

My kids loved my dad. It hurts that they will not have a loving, caring, papa that really bent over backwards for my kids. My father was a humble man and never cared about what others thought – driving his 15 year old Camry until his last days – mainly because he enjoyed it.

We miss you my loving father…you will always be with us.

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