I wrote Cancer Update 3.0 5 days ago (March 12, 2013). I told you guys that we couldn’t do anything anymore and that we just had to wait for my uncle to leave us when its time. A lot has happened then.
**This will be a long post because I will try to be as detailed as possible.
March 13, 2013
We visited my uncle just as we usually do. He was transfered out of the ICU and placed in his own private room. All my family members from my dad’s side were there except my uncle’s kids because they still had work. We were all there talking and just enjoying our time together with my uncle near us. Little by little, everyone started going home, saying their goodbyes. My dad, mom, siblings, together with two of my aunts and a cousin and I decided to go out for dinner. My uncle’s son was assigned to stay in the hospital for that night. We left at around 10pm. My dad told my brother that they would go back to the hospital at around 11pm to give a pulse/oxygen intake reader for my uncle to use instead of the ECG reader.
At 11pm, we were finished with dinner, and we went our separate ways. My dad and brother dropped me, my mom and sister at home, got the pulse/oxygen level reader and drove back to the hospital. At 11:30pm, they were back home and everything was normal.
Things went downhill from 12:15mn, March 14, 2013.
March 14, 2013
12:15a.m. – My dad was sleeping, I was playing with my younger sister, and my brother just walked into my parents room, and my mom was checking if my sister’s homework was correct. All of a sudden, my mom got a call from my cousin, Jean (my uncle’s daughter), that my uncle went under cardiac arrest. I remember looking at my sister and we both had a what-do-we-do expression. My dad was getting dressed, my brother was ready to leave, my mom was getting her purse and I decided to go with them too. My sister had to stay at home because she had to go to school in the morning.
12:30a.m. – We arrived at the hospital. My dad didn’t even get to turn off the engines yet when my brother and I opened the doors immediately and ran to my uncle’s room as fast as possible. We passed by the ER Room, the cashier, the hallways – we passed by so many people looking at us in despair because they knew that something has happened to whoever we were running to in the hospital at 12:30 in the morning. I reached the private rooms first, and I saw my cousin, Mark (my uncle’s son), almost in tears right outside my uncle’s room. I gave him a big hug, and he left because he was trying to contact his sister. I looked into the room and all I saw were these people with white coats. Honestly, I thought he was gone because they were just standing there. I couldn’t go in because I didn’t want to see him yet. My mom arrived and went in. She talked with the doctors and nurses. My dad showed up next. He told me and my brother to comfort Kuya Mark because at this point, he was already crying hysterically. He thought the same thing I did.
12:40a.m – I hear the clacking of slippers against the hospital floor, and I knew immediately that Ate Jean was rushing to see her dad. My brother, Kuya Mark and I ran to her. Ate Jean stopped at the doorway and froze immediately. Kuya Mark hugged her because she was just hard like a statue. She might’ve thought the same thing I did. My uncle’s wife arrived a few minutes after Ate Jean did. She couldn’t believe her eyes either. She screamed a deafening scream because she thought, like I and my cousins did, that the love of her life was gone.
12:45a.m – My mother informed my uncle’s immediate family that the doctors were able to revive him. I was trying to calm my cousins down while my dad and brother were seated right outside the room. All the doctors were filing out of the room, and it was our turn to get a good look at him. There was blood everywhere, and he looked more helpless than ever. I never really liked to look at my uncle like that. One, because I didn’t want to see him all lifeless and stuff and two, he looked so much like my dad I just didn’t want my dad to be ever in that position.
1:00am – My uncle’s immediate family were talking to him. They were saying their goodbyes and that they would love him forever. One of my aunt’s arrived too (Tita Emmy). At this point, we were just sitting inside the room (Except for my dad, he always stayed outside. I think he didn’t want me or anyone else to see him cry. Also, he didn’t want to see his brother that way) staring at each other, staring at nothing. The doctors gave my uncle medicine to help his heart continue working, and they also attached a machine ventilator to help him breath. The only thing you could here in the room were sobbing, the beeps from the ECG machine, and the sound of the machine ventilator. It was eerily unpleasant. My family made a decision that if ever her were to have a heart attack again or if the medicines ran out, that the doctors were to not revive him anymore. Basically, we just bought 12hours more with my uncle. That was the most important 12 hours of my life.
2:00a.m. – Everyone decided to sleepover at the hospital, except my dad. We told him to rest at home. We rented another room for us to sleep in. I don’t think anyone could really sleep at the time. I tried, but an hour later, I walked back to my uncle’s room.
3:00 – 7:30a.m. – I found out that the cardinals elected a new pope. We decided to watch the happenings in Rome. We told my uncle we had a new pope and what was going on in Rome. I kept holding his hand the whole time. At around 4am, we found out who the pope was, and my mom told me to get some sleep while she and Tita Emmy will stay in my uncle’s room to keep watch. I was only able to get some sleep at around 5:30am.
7:30a.m – My mom woke me up and told me that my uncle’s medicines were almost finished. I immediately got up, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and walked sleepily to my uncle’s room.
8:00a.m. – My uncle’s medicines were completely finished. I braced myself because I thought that once the medicines were gone, he would start to get weak. Apparently, the medicines stayed in his system for 5 more hours. My uncle’s immediate family started to cry again so everyone started to cry too. Ate Jean called her son on the phone. She wanted him to talk to his grandpa. Her son knew that his grandpa was very sick. This was what he told my uncle: “Goodbye, grandpa. I’ll miss you. You’re an angel now. Watch over me and Rian (his sister). I love you very much.” When I heard that, I tried so hard to hold back my tears. At least Gabby was able to know his grandpa.
9:00a.m – 12:30p.m. – That was the longest wait of my life. We kept talking to my uncle, holding his hand…we just made him feel that his family was there for him, fighting with him. There wasn’t much that we could do but wait. My dad was always outside the room. I went out occasionally just to check up on him. I knew he was hurting so much inside. Ate Jean’s husband arrived and informed us that he brought the kids with him. They were inside the car with their maids. My brother and I wanted to say hi to them so the three of us (me, my brother and Kuya Riel) walked to the parking lot. I was so happy to see their bright faces smiling up at us. We stayed in the parking lot for 10 minutes. We went back to my uncle’s room at 12:30p.m.
12:30p.m.- 1:05p.m. – “His heart rate dropped to 35.” The smile from when I saw my niece and nephew immediately disappeared. At the same time, my uncle’s eldest daughter, Ate Farrah, just arrived from Lingayen (about a 2 hour drive to our city). We all knew that it was close. I kept watching his heart graph on the ECG machine. It stayed on 35 for a while. I’d like to believe that he waited for his eldest daughter to arrive before he said goodbye. A couple minutes later, his HR went up to 50, dropped to 35, went up to 40, dropped to 35, dropped to 27, then 23, then, 19, then —–.
1:05p.m – I saw how slowly the color in him was fading away. I saw how slowly the life in him was disappearing. That was the first time had someone pass away right before my eyes. I decided to leave the room with one of my cousins, and accompany my dad outside. My cousin and I were both crying and my dad was being strong for all of us. My dad told us to pick ourselves up because we had to be strong too for the family. We had to help out in any way that we can. I did that immediately.
I entered the room and heard the eery long beep in the room signifying that a life has ended. The doctors were removing the medicines and tubes attached to his nose and throat. All my family members left the room one by one and moved on to the other room that we rented to understand what just happened. I stayed in my uncle’s room to help pack up his stuff and everyone else’s things.
The hospital people cleaned my uncle up, wrapped him up like a mummy and brought him down to the ground floor because they were to bring him immediately to the funeral parlor.
And just like that, my uncle was gone. It didn’t even feel as if we waited for almost 24 hours. It felt much much shorter than that. Tita Emmy told my mom that my brother broke down in the room that we rented. He said that all the brothers of my dad here in the Philippines are gone now and he couldn’t help but think that our dad could be gone anytime too. I try to avoid the thought of my dad, mom or anyone else dying because I always think of my little sister and how she will handle things.
We were all at the funeral parlor at around 4p.m. My mom and I were the one’s choosing the coffin. After that was finished, my mom and I decided to go see my uncle being embalmed. Now, before you all go WTF YOU WANTED TO SEE YOUR UNCLE BE EMBALMED YOU ARE ONE SICK MOTHERFCKER, I am not scared about that sort of stuff. I actually think its very interesting.
My family decided to go home and shower because we stayed overnight in the hospital with barely any sleep and were still wearing the same clothes the night before. After my mom and I cleaned up, we, plus my dad headed back to the funeral parlor. My brother passed out on his bed. He was too tired.
Up until today, images of my uncle on his hospital bed randomly pop up in my head. I am still very sad that he is gone. I always think about how my dad is doing. Tito Billy was the last brother he had here in the Philippines. All of their other siblings are in the US. My dad will have to act as sort of a dad to my everyone here now. At least three of his siblings will be flying from the States to visit. I hope that’ll liven up his mood. xxx
Rest in Peace, Tito Billy. At least now you are no longer suffering, no longer worrying, and you are now at peace with Lola, Lola, Tito Ocay, Tito Bing and Tito Pat.
Thank you to, you, who made it to the end of this post! 😀 May your live your life to the fullest. Take care.