In remembrance of Stephen Taylor Part 5:  Steve Died – 3 Months 13 Days After Surgery

6 February 2023 Chris wrote:

  • Hello Stev, never heard from you. How are you getting on. Sorry I did not write earlier.

8 February 2023

Dear Chris Teo,

This is S, Steve’s daughter. Thank you for reaching out to check on my father’s condition.

It saddens me to send you this news. My dad passed away on Friday 30th December 2022. Although it’s all been quite difficult to take in, we find comfort in the fact that dad passed away very peacefully with myself, my mother, and other loved ones present. The funeral service took place between 4 to 7 January 2023. It was a magical experience, hundreds of friends and family members attended what was a true celebration of dad’s amazing life.

I know that my dad updated you about his condition whenever he could. However, he was admitted to hospital on 25th December 2022 and was no longer able to reply emails since the Christmas period. Before my dad passed away, he asked me to update you about his condition and also thank you for all the help and advice that you had given to him over the years.

The operation went smoothly. The lump was removed on 17th September 2022. The surgeon informed us that he had removed most of the cancer (around 90%), but that he could not remove more than this in fear of hitting a nerve. The surgeon advised my dad to have radiation … Dad opted for palliative care. My dad passed away around 3 months after the operation.

Once again, thank you for all your help and advice. You were a crucial part in helping my dad in his fight against cancer. My Mother and I are extremely grateful. Warm regards, S.Taylor

8 February 2023 Chris wrote:

Hello S, I am sorry to write you again. I hope I don’t disturb you too much. I have a few questions to ask:

The last email I got from him was 4 Dec and he died on 30 Dec. In his last email he said he wanted to go away and stay with family and forget about the problem, did you manage to do this?

After that what happened?

a) Did he go to the hospital for any treatment?

b) If so what treatment — radiation? chemo? how many times?

c) You were with him when he died. Did he suffer before he died? Any pain?

d) Did he die at home with the family or in hospital.

Thanks so much. Chris.

13 February 2023.

Hi Chris,

In response to your first question, we did manage a short “staycation” at my dad’s favourite hotel, The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, from 11 to 13 December. By this time, my dad was already suffering with a lot of pain in his wound. A long car journey to another city would have been too much for him. So we settled for a nice hotel in Bangkok.

Despite the pain, my dad insisted on taking my mother and myself to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel to celebrate their 28th Wedding Anniversary, in what would be our last holiday together as a family. We feel extremely lucky to have had this holiday together. Please find a family photo from the short “staycation” attached below.

(Picture posted with kindly permission of the family. Thank you!)

a) My dad did not go to the hospital. He stayed at home. Since no other medication could help to subside the pain, the doctor agreed to prescribe morphine for my dad in mid-November. I believe he initially took around 1 cc of morphine, once a day. The doctor who prescribed the morphine told us that my dad could increase the dosage as the pain became greater, and also warned us of the side-effects. Therefore, as the pain in my dad’s wound became greater, he gradually increased the dosage from 1 cc a day, to 1 cc 2 times a day, to 1 cc 3 times a day, to 2 cc 3 times a day, and so on. By the 20 December, my dad was taking 4 cc of morphine almost every 2 hours whenever the pain was extremely bad. If there was no pain, then he would not take any morphine.

b) My dad did not have any radiation or chemotherapy. He opted for palliative care. In addition to the pain in his wound, my dad also had a very bad sore throat. It became increasingly difficult for him to eat solid foods. By the beginning of December, he would prefer to eat liquid foods such as soup, oatmeal, or Thai porridge. It was also evident that my dad began to eat less and less. He warned me that he did not have much time left.

On 24 December, my dad had unbearable pain. He remained in bed for the entire day and refused to eat anything at all. He would only get up to use the toilet, with myself and my mum supporting him while he walked. Also, my dad would only drink water and he took 3 cc of morphine before he went to bed.

On 25 December, my dad’s unbearable pain continued. He refused to eat or drink anything. He even refused to drink water. On this day, my dad rolled onto his right side (the side where his wound was) while he was in bed. As a result, the wound broke and he began to lose a lot of blood and yellow liquid. Therefore, my mum and I decided it best to call the ambulance.

c) My dad was admitted to N Hospital on 25th December. We decided on this hospital because my dad preferred it. He said that the doctors respected his decision to refuse radiation and chemotherapy. At the hospital, my dad received oxygen support, IV fluids, and morphine.

Having witnessed my dad in unbearable pain for the previous two days, it was at least good to see him free of any pain. He did not suffer any pain over the next 5 days while he was in hospital. However, since his wound broke on 25 December, he was not able to speak anymore.

My dad fell into a semi-coma while in hospital. He would only open his eyes when the nurses cleaned him or when they used the suction machine to remove the saliva.

d) My dad passed away in hospital on 30 December, free of any pain and very peacefully with myself, my mother, and other loved ones present. Before he passed, he opened his eyes widely and looked for myself and my mother, as if to say farewell. It was heartbreaking, but as I mentioned, it comforted us to see that dad was no longer in any pain.

Warm regards, S. Taylor