Life on the List for Lyall, Part III
Lyall’s condition continues to deteriorate and he remains in hospital. He wants to see his granddaughter one more time. After a brief return to work my husband comes home and we prepare to travel with our toddler for one last visit with Grandpa. We arrive in British Columbia and commute the 43 kilometres between home and hospital a few times a day.
It’s now five weeks since Lyall’s biopsy and he is still waiting for an appointment with an Oncologist. We feel totally helpless. On route to the hospital my husband speaks to a resident over Lyall’s cell phone which he keeps in his hospital room. Grandpa always keeps us updated on the latest technology. My husband is stern with the resident saying that the number of weeks waiting for an appointment with the Oncologist is unacceptable. The resident says that he can understand our frustration and offers to inquire about an appointment date with the cancer centre. My husband asks for someone to call him back. No one calls but when we arrive at the hospital we find out from Lyall that he now has an appointment for the following week on November 10th.
The day finally arrives and after a terrible night Lyall is so ill that he must travel by ambulance to the Oncologist appointment which is two hours away. The hospital tells my husband that it is better for him to drive his father back to the hospital after the appointment as he may have to wait until 2:00 am for a return ride by ambulance. At the appointment the Oncologists inform Lyall that he is too weak for any kind of treatment for his esophageal cancer. They estimate the time remaining on his life to be one month. He wishes to spend his last days at home. The remainder of our trip is spent with family helping to fulfill Lyall’s wish of being at home.
Before we head back to Saskatchewan I have an opportunity to sit and talk with Lyall and say my tearful goodbye. He shares with me his fear that his granddaughter will not remember him. I promise him that I will not let that happen. I cry in the car on the drive to the airport as my aching heart knows that I will never see him again. Our daughter is too young to understand most of what is happening. My husband is returning to work for a few days. We all agree that my husband will make the next trip alone as grandpa doesn’t want his granddaughter to see him deteriorate further.