Reality bites

I have a vivid memory of being a child, and my dad taking me to the doctor because I’d been really sick.  I was feeling terribly nauseous, and when we were there, I puked in the waiting room.  I remember my dad cleaning me up, in my little pink sundress, and making me laugh until we could finally get into the doctor’s office and then go home.

Today, the roles will switch, as I take my dad to get his chest port put in for his chemotherapy, which will start on Monday.  I will be the one driving and the one in the waiting room.  It will be a switch from the traditional chain of events.

I’ve hesitated in writing a whole lot about my dad’s journey, for many reasons: some of it is private, some of it is because I know I wouldn’t want to read depressing stories every day nor would I want to write them, but most of all, there’s been part of me that keeps wishing, hoping, thinking and praying that maybe, somehow, this won’t be real—that one morning, I will wake up and everything will be normal, and our family won’t be facing this huge, ugly thing.

Today makes it real.  Next week, it will be my daddy who is receiving strong chemo, and having radiation.  It’s my mom who will be caring for him.  It’s our family that will be different.

I realize every day how blessed I am to have the family that I do.  We are incredibly close, and I am beyond grateful for that.  The four of us have seen one another through tough times before, but the thing that’s hardest is that you can’t fix it.  I can’t go through chemo for him, or take radiation for him, or alleviate anything.  And believe me, if I could take it on, I would, without a moment’s hesitation.  All I can do is be there, the best I can, whenever I can.  It feels terrible that we can’t fix it, or make it okay; that no amount of money or jokes or anything that can correct this.

Yesterday, my dad’s doctor was incredibly reassuring that this is curable–not just treatable–but curable, with the proper treatments.  Chemo and radiation aren’t our only options to fix this, and the truth is that doctor’s are optimistic that this will fix the issue completely.

So, at least we have hope.  The next two months will be rough, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I feel a peace that we will beat this, that it will be okay; however, I would give anything in the world to change things, to ease them and to make this all go away.

I know that many of you are already praying, wishing, hoping for our family, but please—we would be so grateful as we finally get the treatment underway.  It means the world to us.

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20 Comments

Filed under life with titch

20 responses to “Reality bites

  1. I can so relate to this. When my mom was sick, I remember sitting at her bedsides and waiting in waiting rooms and dropping her off at appointments.

    The whole time, I wanted to scream. I wanted to tell everyone that *I* was the kid, I was the one who needed to be taken care of… but sometimes life just doesn’t work that way.

    Prayers for your dad today that everything goes smoothly so he can recover and gear up for starting chemo next week.

    And prayers for you, because it’s hard watching someone you love have to go through something so hard.

  2. Thinking good thoughts for your whole fam…

  3. Mighty Mouse

    It was hard for me when my Dad moved back to California after his stroke. I didn’t realize it then, but I was really overwhelmed with the idea of taking care of him. I just felt not ready, not ready to be that much of an adult. I realized it was okay to feel that way and that I didn’t have to figure everything out on my own. It’s a hard thing to go through. I’ll be praying for you & your family Amy. You’re in my thoughts.

  4. Funny how life throws you for a loop every time you think you have it figured out. We’re praying for all of you.

  5. Ari

    Y’all are in my thoughts

    • pamela

      yes, Amy, we are praying….that the valley will not be so deep that you will not be able to keep your eye focused on the mountain top nor the climb to steep that you lose your strength. Love those mountain tops, sure as hell hate the valleys…just keep moving until you can look down at the valley.

  6. I’ve been there. It’s HARD and it sucks. But when you all get through this, you will be so much stronger. And your already close family will be even closer. Plus, you have a HUGE supportive community here in the blogosphere and we’re all thinking of you and your family, and sending you virtual hugs!

  7. Amy,
    I know when you’re in this position, not much anyone else says can bring comfort…but I’ve been where you are since I was 14…now I’m 36. About the same age my mom was when she was told she didn’t have long to live. She has “incurable” bone cancer. She’s still rockin’ it hard and is healthier than most cancer-free adults I know. That to me speaks volumes about the human spirit and how miraculous our bodies and minds are.

    It’s a terrifying thing to watch someone you love go through this, but trust me when I tell you that you will discover a bond and a perspective that most people never experience. And be sure to take time for yourself to grieve and to recover. Cancer is a family disease. It’s happening to all of you. Just hold onto each other and you’ll get through it while discovering some pretty big blessings. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  8. Maria

    I love you and am praying for your daddy…I KNOW how important daddy’s are in a girls life and how painful it is to see the strongest man you know lose strength as they heal their bodies and rid themselves of illness….as you were there when I went through what I did with my papa I want you to know you can call me anytime and I will be there for you…xo M

  9. I’m sending you all my good thoughts.

  10. Wow. Powerful post. I’m a dad with a 3-year-old daughter, my wife’s and my only child so far. My mom is a cancer survivor (and I sincerely hope to one day see you saying that your dad is, too). She went through the whole 9 yards (chemo, radiation and surgery) and is now in full remission — proof that it CAN happen, especially since she was in an advanced stage by the time the doctors diagnosed her. I vividly remember how helpless I felt when I found out she had the big C, so I felt your pain as I read this post. Really FELT it. Don’t feel bad about writing about something sad and scary like this once in a while, especially when it involves someone close to you — writing is a great release. But back to my daughter. Reading your post made me think, for the first time, about what it will be like one day when I’m old and she is watching me, as you are now watching your dad. The whole ‘tables turned’ picture really struck me hard. Be strong for your dad and don’t stop making him LAUGH. Do whatever you can do to lighten the mood and take his mind off his ordeal. If I were in your dad’s situation, that’s all I would ask of my daughter… just make me laugh. Just my 2 cents…

  11. Praying for you and for your family. It’s never easy to see your parents go through stuff like this. When my mom had cancer it was very difficult for me to see her like that, even though she was very healthy and strong throughout the healing process. It’s a very scary word!
    xoxo

  12. Thinking and praying for you and your whole family. I am so thankful that the cancer is curable, but even more thankful that your dad has an amazing support system in his family. What a blessing you must be to all of them, Amy! Actually, I KNOW you must be a blessing, as you simply radiate sweetness and love. And that sounds cheesy, but it’s so totally true. XOXO

  13. although I have only read your posts, I hope that many long days are ahead for you and your family. The strength that joins a family is bound by laughter, love and a lifetime of memories. I wish for your father, health, longevity and laughter; and for you and your family the strength to bide bye.
    Isaac Newton once said “If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Sometimes, nothing lifts you up like a good expample…I think your father taking care of you when you were younger set the tone for you now…god bless.

  14. I wrote this: http://cattails.me/2008/08/bittersweet-journey-part-four-final/ when I went to see my Mom before she started her chemo.

    She’s almost done. Her last treatment is scheduled for the week before Christmas. She’s had some damage to her heart- within the normal range for chemo patients, and repairable after she finishes treatment. A lot of times when we talk she’s confused and anxious- they call it “chemo fog”. But she’s almost done, she’s almost ready to go from patient to survivor.

    It’s a surreal journey for you as an individual and for your family. I will tell you, though, that as awful and horrible and ugly as cancer and chemo are?

    The way that our family has come together to love and support each other, the sense of urgency that Mom’s cancer created in all of us to love each other more and more often, the best test ever of our close family friends and their loving loyalty has been nothing short of a miracle.

    My best wishes to you and your family. Especially your Dad. I still tear up when I think of how you reached out to my when my world was crumbling. I’m here for you if you need an ear, a shoulder, or any knowledge I can give you.

    xoxo

    PS: this is already too long, but what the hell. One day I cried while I thanked my Dad for always taking such good care of me, even though I will never be able to repay him. He smiled and held me and whispered: “the time will come when I rely on you to take care of me, to attend to me with grace and love and dignity. that is repayment enough.”

    *sniffle*

  15. If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of cancer does your dad have? Chest ports are awesome, by the way. And there are tons of patients who have no problems with chemo!

  16. ohhayitskk

    hugs. if you ever need to talk, you know where to find me. lovies.

  17. I am definitely keeping your father and your family in my prayers!

    My grandma went through colon cancer last year and just had a PET scan yesterday so we are praying, praying, praying this one turns up clean. If it does, it will be one whole year my grandma has been cancer-free. Starting the journey, though, is terrifying. You hope and pray for the best but nothing can prepare you for chemo – especially watching your loved ones go through it. But having a good attitude about it goes a long, long way. It’s awesome that you’re at peace about it! I was the same way with my grandma.

  18. oh amy. you guys have been in my thoughts and prayers since you first tweeted about this, and you continue to be there. hang in there, girl.

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