Cancer Sucks

cancer-sucks1     

     When you find out that one of your parents is sick, you can’t help but want to try to do something.  And when you live seven hours away from that parent, you can’t help but feel helpless.  The most you can do is to make phone call after phone call and to sit on pins and needles waiting for some kind of news, whether it be good or whether it be bad. Last night I finally got some news, but it was anything but good.  My dad has cancer.

     My dad has been a smoker for pretty much his entire life and not just any old smoker, either.  The man is a walking chimney.  My mom and I have begged and pleaded with him for YEARS to try to quit, but as science has proven, it is a viciously addictive habit that’s extremely difficult to break.  A couple of months ago, he developed a sore throat that not only persevered but also got worse as the weeks went on.  He was referred to an ENT doctor who scoped him and found a growth in his throat that needed to be biopsied.  Last Friday was the biopsy, and I was anxiously awaiting a call from my mom to see how it went.

     Wouldn’t you know that I finally got that phone call right at the exact time the long-awaited dog trainer showed up at my house to talk about taming the Tazmanian Devil?!  I was completely stressed, trying to hold down the fort here as a single mama with my husband traveling non-stop all over the globe for weeks, while at the same time worrying incessantly about the welfare of my pop.  Needless to say, my brain was on complete overload when I answered my mom’s phone call.  I was desperately trying to absorb all the details she was relaying, knowing full-well that the dog trainer was tapping her fingers waiting to get on with her presentation.  My dad’s procedure was much more involved than they realized, and he was in a lot of discomfort and extreme pain.  They expected to get the results of the test back on Monday, so we were gonna have to just wait it out over the weekend.  I so badly wanted to just drop everything and hop in the car to drive down and give both my parents a hug.  Instead, I had to shelf that desire and shift into mom/wild beast handler/chef/chauffeur/maid zone once again and wait for Monday to finally arrive.

     I auto-piloted my way through the day yesterday checking my cell phone every couple of minutes for messages.  When I still hadn’t heard anything by yesterday evening, I called my mom and received the news that I’d been dreading.  The growth is, in fact, cancerous, and the doctor has ordered a cat scan of his entire neck area to be sure the cancer’s not anywhere else.  He will then have to undergo radiation every day for six weeks, which will likely exhaust him and leave him in even more throat pain.  The good news, though, is that if it is limited to just that one small area, the success rate of the treatment is 85-90 percent, which is highly encouraging.  While my head was spinning with all these details, the usual three-ring circus had commenced in the background at my house, with my kids fighting and the dog chewing up everything in sight.  I didn’t have a chance to even process any of this when I hung up the phone, and I was pissed. I was pissed that my mom had to deal with this reality alone.  I was pissed that my husband was 10,000 miles away.  I was pissed that my kids wouldn’t shut the hell up to give me even a minute to think.  But mostly, I was pissed that my dad had cancer.  

     As I was tucking the kids away in bed last night and getting the hugs I so desperately needed, I was thinking about what a stubbornly tough cookie my dad really is.  I mean, the guy’s survived Vietnam and two strokes, so I have no doubt that he will kick this cancer’s ass. While I stood there lost for a split second in my own thoughts, my daughter’s sweet little innocent six-year-old mind brought me back into reality. She asked me if boogers really do have Vitamin C in them like the neighbor kid told her and if she should be eating more of them to stay healthy. Leave it to kids to take a frown and turn it upside down.

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24 Responses

  1. That sucks! Sending prayers and blessings to you and your family. Visualizing your Dad healing and kicking cancers arse. Do boogers really have vit C?

  2. Man, I am so sorry. But your dad sounds like a tough bird and I’m hoping that he does exactly what you think he will, kick its ass and take its name.

    If you need anything…

  3. I am so sorry. Your dad will be in my thoughts for him to tolerate therapy well and for it to be localized.

  4. I’m so sorry. Thinking good thoughts for your dad.

    And ewww. boogers do NOT have Vit C. Maybe B12, but not C.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s cancer. My mom was also a lifelong smoker and she developed lung cancer. You’re right – cancer sucks. I’m glad your father has a good prognosis. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  6. I’m sorry to hear about your dad… Vietnam vets are tough – my dad’s one of them – so I know he’ll be okay!

  7. I know how bad cancer sucks! I know how hard it is to process the whole thing and wrap your head around it. I will be keeping your father, and your whole family in my thoughts and prayers. He’ll kick cancer’s ass!

  8. Sending blessings to your family, my mom just had a rough year too. I live close to my mother though. Her year started off with surgery to remove 2 growths from her throat, that turned out not to be cancer, and then after that, she had surgery to remove half of her colon because she had a tumor the size of a softball. That turned out to be cancerous, but they caught it so early, that it didn’t and couldn’t spread. While that doctor was in there though, he noticed that her uterus was fibrous, so then he sent her to another doctor. That doctor decided that she needed a hysterectomy. The two doctors then decided that they would do the colostomy bag reversal and hysterectomy at the same time, so she is just now getting back to normal after all of that. I have seen her scars, and she looks like mincemeat. They even messed up her belly button. I am thankful that she is still here though. It was killing me that I had to just watch her go through all of this, but she said support is all she needed. She also said she knew my gram and gramps were watching over her, and that is the reason why she is still alive. Her best friend’s husband had throat cancer, and after all of the treatment, he is doing just fine. The treatments did mess up his sense of taste a little, but he said it is better than being dead. I am sure your dad will pull through okay. As long as he is as strong as you have said he is I am confident that he can pull through.

  9. just so so sorry. he can beat this thing!

  10. My mother in law survived stage 4 tounge cancer (smoker), just remember that anything is possible!

  11. Oh wow. It is so scary to find out a parent has cancer. I’m thinking of you and your dad and praying. He sounds like a wonderful person! Those statistics are really good, if it is localized to just that spot, so that’s great. Still, cancer is terribly scary and earth shaking news. Sending you all my love and hugs. ~Susan

  12. My thoughts are with you and your family. My wife just dealt with cancer in her family and I hope your pop knocks it out lickity split. He sounds like a badass dude, so no doubt he’ll manhandle the cancer and make it his bitch. It’s obvious a strip of the old man lives in you – the way you’ve been dealing with the household burden while hubby’s working hard. Hang in there – keep showing the family love – and know the virtual world is pulling for you.

    Oh – and tell the daughter boogers do have vitamin C, but her brother needs it more than her – then teach her how to flick… Just trying to help…

  13. There are just not words to express how sorry I am for you. So instead, I will pray for you and your family.

    Oh, and btw, Sedg311 is lying. Boys don’t need booger VitC; oranges VitC sure, not boogers. However, boys dooo need boogers flicked at them cuz they’re just wutzes (I recently learned that word and liked it. It’s like my other favourite word – wazzuk!) Go take your mind of the cancersux news by teaching her how to flick.

  14. I am sooooo so sorry!! I can’t even imagine what you must be feeling/going through. Cancer is an asshole and needs to just go away!! Your Dad sounds like a fighter, and I hope he pulls through this. Just hang in there and know that there are people out there thinking of you and your family.

    And thank goodness for bogger eating cutie pies!! 🙂

  15. You are right. Cancer does Suck. Big Time! Keep us posted with news of your Dad, and hang in there!!

  16. Yep, cancer sucks alright. Good luck to your Dad for his treatment and good luck to you also. Lots of positive vibes from Australia!!!!!

  17. ohh I’ve just seen this; I’m so sorry, that really sucks as I know you’d been having a tough few days anyway judging from your tweets. hope your dad continues to attack this in the tough positive manner he’s clearly shown in the past, and I’m thinking of you

  18. Sending lots of love your way. Your dad can beat this. Stay strong!

  19. I am so sorry to hear this news about your father. I’m hoping and praying that it was found early, and that he will be cured. He sounds like a strong and tough man, and I wish him and your entire family lots of luck.

    • Thank you so much for the thoughts & prayers. It’ll be a tough road ahead for him, but I’m hoping his stubbornness will really help him to pull through all of this.

  20. Hey Jenny…I am sorry to hear about your dads news. I have gotten behind on reading these and just came across it. Let me know if you need anything…I am not that far away you know! I can hop in the car anytime! Love you guys!

    • Thanks, Lorri. It’s gonna be a long 3-4 month treatment/recovery process. Please just continue to send positive vibes and prayers because I think that’s really all we can do. It sucks being so far away from them. 😦

  21. Cancer sucks! Being a survivor myself and diagnosed while pregnant 9 years ago, it’s a love/hate relationship. I lost both my parents to cancer. My mom in 1995 to Breast cancer and my dad in 2008 to Lung cancer. I struggle daily to try and wrap my mind around why cancer had to take 2 of the most important people in my life when I still feel like a kid myself and need them in my life. My dad lived with me the last 4 months of his battle and I cherished every minute of it. Our early morning coffee and donut together. To the nightly reruns of MASH. The nightly hugs and kisses goodnight and tucking him into bed, while wrangling 2 dogs and a first grader to settle down for the evening to. Have faith and know that whatever happens turn to your friends and family and those hugs that are readily available from your little ones, they help to ease the tension.

    • What a precious memory you have of your dad. I’m sure that helps to heal your grieving heart. You have certainly had your fair share of cancer. I can’t imagine being diagnosed while pregnant! Are you ok now?

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