My father, Roger Kramer passed away from lung cancer on June 2nd, 2019 after his 129 day battle. His cancer progressed quickly after his diagnosis on January 24th 2019. The cancer spread to his C2, eating away at the bone and fracturing his neck. After finishing chemotherapy and radiation, a PET scan t revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. I was honored to care for him in his final days and he passed away 4 days later. We not only lost a father but Craig and I lost a dear friend and community member. A Fatherless Daughter is a blog series that highlights his last few weeks and the struggles we have had to overcome as a family as my dad’s cancer battle came to an end.
May 28th 2019
Dad had a PET scan today. The results suck.
Cancer has spread just about everywhere it can go. His femur and hip, a couple spots in his colon, his lungs lit up, they keep calling it “bad acting” cancer. It’s very aggressive and unfortunately we don’t have much time left with him and Dad will be referred to hospice care.
We’ve got lots of plans to make. We’re okay. Cancer sucks. That’s all we have to update tonight.
May 29th, 2019
Here’s the Kramer family update:
We are okay. We are working on planning out our next few weeks.
There’s an odd sense of calm in the midst of all this. We are getting family pictures taken on Sunday. We are planning a baptism for Gannon and Georgia so dad can be there. Karl is on his way home from Houston as we speak. Last night mom, dad, Carver and I went to see where the plot is in the cemetery. We are talking about funeral arrangements and wishes. Mom and dad are going to finalize things with the lawyer.
Is it morbid to be doing all of this? Maybe. It does not feel that way. We talk about it openly and often. Carver knows Papa Moo is going to be with Jesus soon. His response was, “Okay! Me pop tart?” ? He came with out to the cemetery last night. We need to keep talking about it for his sake and ours.
How are we doing? Sometimes we are sad and crying and can’t even explain why. Sometimes we are laughing so hard we can’t breathe. Sometimes it feels like we can’t breathe at all.
We are all fielding tons of phone calls and messages. If we don’t get back to you, don’t take it personally. Maybe we are busy or maybe it just takes too much emotional energy to open the message and respond and keep up a conversation and it’s easier to just say nothing.
Dad is doing actually really well. He’s on less pain medication every day – the radiation to his neck is really starting to work to keep him comfortable. He needs more oxygen than he used to. He gets tired out easily.
Lots of people ask if dad is well enough for visitors or phone calls. The answer is YES! Dad is still the same as he was – probably even clearer since we have half the amount of narcotics on board. Please call, please visit, please send a message on facebook. If you’d like to arrange a visit, please message me or mom. Drop ins are okay but we’d prefer a little notice in case mom and dad have a scheduled meeting or visitor.
Lots of people want to help. I am cautiously offering the opportunity to provide food. We have a ridiculous amount of family coming, mom is STILL doing childcare through all of this so nap time is between 1 and 3 pm. Please feel free to drop off a casserole, hot dish, sweets, meat and cheese, preferably in a freezable container that does not need to be returned to you.
I think that’s enough for today. I was going to elaborate more on the behind the scenes of this post but I’ll save that for a part two tomorrow. It’s a rough week. I just realize now how little time we actually had with him after his diagnosis of terminal cancer. We were hoping for two weeks and we got about three days.