It's a word that everyone hates and no one wants to hear or say: cancer.
Dad was put in the hospital one day last week after a CT scan revealed a mass on his right kidney. Cancer immediately crept into my mind, but of course you try to remain so positive and convince yourself that it's a cyst or a benign tumor or maybe just they were wrong. But then more tests reveal that indeed, the mass is cancer, and your world gets rocked. The roller coaster of emotion that begins once the diagnosis is concrete is quite a ride. Your mind races from one end of the spectrum to the other, whether you really want it to or not.
I've had a positive attitude.
I've had a negative attitude.
I've wondered how long it will be until he is cancer free.
I've wondered how long it will be until cancer takes him away.
I've been convinced that it's no big deal.
I've been convinced that it's the end.
I've decided it's just another Christmas.
I've decided that it's his last Christmas.
I've wondered if Kate will understand.
I've wondered if I understand.
Today they are. Tomorrow, who knows.
Lots and lots of people are praying for my Dad and it helps me. At the moment, it's all we can do. Actually, it's probably all we can ever do but we like to pretend we have some sort of control over this life we live. What a bunch of crap. We have no control, and we never have. It's never more evident than when something like cancer sneaks its way until your life and you can't just wish it away.
When I was growing up, cancer was part of my life for a while because my grandma has been through it..three times actually. She's had breast cancer twice and ovarian cancer once. She's still alive. Perhaps in my head, people I love don't just have cancer and die. They survive it because Grandma did. But then shortly after Nick and I got married, we lost his aunt to cancer and that comfort that I found in knowing that cancer couldn't kill the people I love was gone. But that's been a while since we lost her, and you get comfortable again and don't worry about it happening to anyone you know and love...until it does.
For now, I'm happy because it doesn't do much good to be anything else. I have too many blessings in my life to mope around over one bad thing. It's something to deal with, and it's something to live through. Dad has decided he's not giving up, so why should I? I'm sure there will be ups and downs, but I'm sure that I will make it through them. I mean, what option does anyone have? There are too many thoughts to process some days anyway. All I can be assured of is that today, my Dad is alive and so am I. Tomorrow, we could both be gone.
The universe is funny that way. Today I will just keep breathing.