Crazy to think that it will be 18 year ago in July that my dad died. It is the single most defining moment in my life and I will be writing a few posts about it.
In late 1992, my dad had been complaining about back pain and how much his lower back hurt. His doctor put him on some pain relievers and sent him on his way. A couple weeks later, he was shoveling snow of the roof of the house and fell off the ladder. Again, the back pain came back, but he attributed it to falling off the ladder!
At the time, he was traveling quite a bit, and apparently was really busy with work and didn't notice the pain got significantly worse.
On Christmas eve, the pain became so unbearable that he brought himself to the ER on Christmas morning. I went with him while they ran test after test after test. It turns out that his lower back pain was due to an extremely inflammed/enlarged spleen, an indication of Leukemia. After some initial tests were done (which took all day), they determined that he would need to be admitted to the hospital and my mom needed to come down as soon as possible. I remember watching my dad in his hospital gown pose against the fashionable curtains in the ER. He would pose like a model, which made me laugh so hard I remember the nurse coming in and politely asking us to be a bit quieter! I also remember when my mom got there, we went to a little cafeteria with a refrigerator vending machine that had sandwiches in it. I remember my mom and my parents friends talking in hushed tones while I sat at the table, bored out of my mind from being at the hospital so long. I don't remember them telling me anything then, but I assume they were discussing my dad's diagnosis and what that meant. I also remember going with my dad up to the room he was admitted into and the nurses drawing what seemed like copious amounts of blood into many, many small test tubes.
I remember my dad getting morphine that night before I left and that he had a severe reaction to it. Why do I remember these crazy details? I have no idea. What a minute details that I remember so vividly.
The final diagnosis that evening: Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Onset: 44 years old. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001569/
Thus began the most defining point in my life.