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Judy S., VA

My father William (forever 59) went to the hospital with a shooting pain in his left shoulder on 7/17/21. We were informed that he had stage 3b squamous cell carcinoma lung cancer that was unresectable. 

He was a truck driver who continued to work even while doing his chemo, radiation and immunotherapy treatments because he had to. He went on a trail ride on 9/5/22 and had a blast with his buddies but then he went to the hospital on 9/6/22 with respiratory failure. He would then be discharged and readmitted multiple times between 9/6-10/26 spending more time in the hospital than out of it. 

My mother was able to get him from KY to VA  where he ultimately ended up on hospice and took his last breath in my home holding my hand on 11/8. My dad had a heart of gold and on multiple occasions took away from himself to help others stranger or not. Even on his bad days during treatment he volunteered to haul rescue supplies to the communities that were effected by floods in KY. 

While in KY hospitals we were never told that his decline was due to the cancer spreading, we were told over and over again that he had pneumonia. When he got to VA we took him to VCU where they told us that his cancer had spread to the bases of both lungs and that is when he was sent home on hospice. It was a punch in the gut. Bless anyone who has to deal with any lung disease or any disease at all. I hope and pray that one day all of this hard work will pay off and we can find a cure. 

A piece of my heart left with my dad and it has been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. It breaks my heart to know that I have to go the rest of my life not being able to see or speak to him. I feel bitter because I know he deserved more out of life. He was a hard working man who never got a chance to just relax and enjoy life. I was his caregiver in his last days and it took a lot out of me seeing his decline and providing his around the clock care. No one prepares you for these things and I know that I was not emotionally or mentally prepared to do what I had to do but I would do it a million times over though because it is what my daddy wanted. 
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