I guess the first thing I want to do is apologize to those who I asked for assistance, then basically dropped off the planet. After I had asked them to sign an NDA and start a conversation with me. Sincere apologies.
The short of it was that I was having difficulty finishing my research and the more I got into the rabbit hole, the more deeper I got lost, but normally that wouldn't phase me, but my father in late Oct got diagnosed with stage 4 stomach lining cancer, with a prognosis of 3 months to live.
It absolutely derailed me mentally. I basically focused all my energies towards that, and, it was a surreal experience in that he had fainted one day, then they said it was just a stomach ulcer, then maybe it was cancer, then it was cancer, and then it was stage four cancer, so in the course of a week, my dad was given a 2 year prognosis (as he has severe diabetes and they thought his bleeding was a complication to that), then a 10 month prognosis, as they thought it was cancer, to 3 months as it was definitely stage four and growing super aggressively. In the end, they figured it had just started 8 months prior, but we didn't notice the signs as my father felt zero pain.
He passed away late Feb, I was with him to the end.
I'm not really over it yet, and while I'm in my 40's and we had a very good relationship, there are so many things that I wish we could have done more with each other. It's hard to say that I regret anything, because I made certain choices with an understanding of the trade-offs. I've always been a bit too rational for my own good, it is what makes me good at what I do, but I feel so deeply sad that I made those choices. What I did was stay busy, What I did was make sure everything was taken care of, What I did was to assure my father that everything was fine and that I would take care of Mom and everyone else. But what I wish I did was take him out to Morton's before he got too sick and just feasted for the night and get drunk together.
I didn't do that because I thought he wasn't going to die, that he was dying, but he wasn't going to die. And it wasn't clear to me that he was going to pass until he didn't have the strength to speak to me anymore, but just look at me. Then I realized that he was going to die, and I sang to him, I held his hand, I brushed his hair and I cried and cried and cried with a deep pain through my chest and I wished we had more time to do something crazy together rather than having just let things just pass as they did.
On a medical front, I flew him to NYC for treatment and took him for palliative radiation etc, and all the things you do for cancer patients, but, I didn't see what was going on and even when the doctor said, just take him home and enjoy and eat whatever, I thought the doctor was nuts to say something like that to us. This is my dad, he has never complained, he has always endured, he has always supported and he has always been my dad, he isn't going to just pass away in a month. But the cancer spread organ to organ every 10 days, and even when I got the cancer marker results back, I thought this can't be right.
I'm thankful he passed away peacefully, I'm thankful that the entire family was there and my boys got to know their grandfather. I'm thankful that I was in a good financial position to take care of all the costs. It is strange that after his death, I can see with such clarity his last moments and my own actions still denying that he was going to die and I just wish I just went outside, got him some beer or peking duck (that was his favorite) and fed him and we just enjoyed that together...
Dad. When I die and see you above. I promise the first thing we will do is go and get a medium rare rib eye USA corn fed prime with a few pints of sam adams and enjoy it together.