No one tells you what it’s really like. They don’t tell you that it’s going to change your life forever. Instead, they offer positive albeit transparent quips about how we are going to take things one day at a time.
I talked about how my mom and I knew it was cancer in my post, My Dad Has Cancer. You would think that the initial diagnosis would be the most devastating part – that after that shock to your system, you could buckle down and get treatment. That’s not how it went for us – for me.
My dad missed out on a lot of things in my life growing up and I only really got to know him when I went to college and moved closer to where he worked. We became super close and good buddies. He was my guy and we made some awesome memories together. He was there to take care of me when I needed it, too. When I was dating Matt, one of the most important things to me was that Daddy liked him, and he does. And at my wedding, my dad surprised me by dressing in is Blues (his fancy Army Blues) to dance with me.
When his diagnosis came, I felt sick.
Not my Daddy.
I was so angry at first. But I put my anger on the back burner and did my job – to buoy him up and get him healthy. Yet, after each blow that was dealt us, I felt that anger creep back in… That anger which turned to sadness and hopelessness at times…
My dad’s surgeon botched his surgery. He screwed up so badly that the cancer became a new Stage. He messed up to the point that my father is worse off now than he should have been. But that’s a story for another time.
No one told me how to be okay with everything that was happening. Sure, I have a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but this was different. This was gut-wrenching. My heart literally hurt in my chest for him… my daddy.
No one prepares you for the raw feeling that you feel after months of taking care of someone and being scared all the time. Then, suddenly, its over. My dad is luckily still with us and “tentatively” in remission. But, I still worry.
I have been permanently changed by my dad’s cancer (besides the fact that is a genetic type of cancer and I will begin screening for it next week, at age 23). I have become hardened in some aspects… things that I used to find important not seem frivolous. But I’ve also become more aware of others going through illnesses and other struggles.
It’s now possible for me to say, “I truly understand, and because of that I am here for you”.
I have news about BA. BIG news.
NO. NEW. CANCER.
That’s right! No new cancer! As far as the docs can see, there are no new cancer cells. That means that the cancer which started in BA’s intestine and lymph nodes, has not spread. The aggressive treatment that BA went through seems to have worked.
The next step? Reconstruction. BA has surgery in January to repair his intestines. The doctors initially did not know if he would have been able to get this reconstruction surgery… in fact they believed it was unlikely. But, a miracle has happened.
I feel like whenever someone has a tragedy such as cancer happen to them, they always want that miracle… I wanted that miracle for my dad… for my family. But I didn’t exactly know if it would happen… I wanted to believe that God could cure cancer. I wanted to have that kind of blind faith. But last time I dealt with a loved one who had cancer, God didn’t cure her.
I’m starting to sound quite faithless, aren’t I?
It’s not that I thought He couldn’t help BA… I was just not sure if He would.
This journey has been nothing, if not trying on my faith. Both our “team” and our “fight” was not what I’d thought it would be. It seemed that whatever could go wrong, did go wrong. We had some struggles that many loved to talk about but no one really understood. The emotional journey has certainly been difficult, still we have not been alone.
Hearing the doctor give BA a chance to recover was like being able to fill your lungs with air again. Truly, we have been watched over.