Saying goodbye too soon

My dad has always taught me to be strong, independent, and to never take hand outs; nothing comes for free. That being said this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do- ask for help in making the final arrangements to put my father to rest and get my family through the grieving process.

18 months ago my dad was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer at the age of 47. This particular type of cancer is extremely rare, doubling in size every 30 days. Without treatment he was given 6-8 weeks, with treatment he was given 6-8 months and told that no one really makes it past a year. My dad- fighter that he is- found this news unacceptable and we began our long journey. He was diagnosed officially terminal April 2017, however, having always been the main provider for our family he couldn't stay at home "and just die." He decided to go back to work, keeping a bucket under his desk to throw up in all while continuing treatment just in hopes to extend his life for what little time he could. It wasn't until he threw up 17 times in one day and couldn't remember his password that we decided that he should just stay home for good. After continuous rounds of chemo(he didn't stop until 4 weeks ago), immeno therapy treatments, a clinical trial treatment in Jamaica, and being directly injected with radiation into his liver that we find ourselves at the end of his battle.

My father is the strongest man I've ever met; even through all the pain and drugs he still manages to bust out into song or crack a joke and make us all laugh and smile. As the oldest it breaks my heart to see my little sister Sarah, who just turned 18 and should be focusing on senior prom, graduation, and college and my youngest brother Seth (13!) who should be focusing on his baseball game next week or going into high school overwhelmed by grief, sorrow, and an anger that their dad is being taken from them so early.

My mom hasn't left my dad's side and hasn't been able to work in 5 months spending her days taking care of him around the clock. After 21 years together she finds herself trying to pack another 21 years into months and now days. 2 weeks ago we were told that his liver has been completely over taken by the tumor and he now has new tumors on his spin and in his sternum; not to mention all the tumors in his lungs and rib cage have grown exponentially. He was officially given 4 weeks.

This is the man who became my brother Clay and I's dad when we were 7 & 1 1/2 with no questions and never considered himself anything other than just that. It hurts deep in my soul that I don't currently have the means to give him the service he deserves and to not be able to provide the way I would like for the rest of my family. Understanding that we all have heartaches and different trials and tribulations in our lives it is with a very humble heart that I appreciate whatever little you can spare, even be it simply a prayer or good vibes sent our way. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening and for your compassion.

Humbly, Sincerely, and with Much Love,
Rochelle

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Rochelle Sapp 
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