Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stuck Like a Dope With a Thing Called Hope

Ugh, I don't want to write this post.

My beloved dad went to the hospital via ambulance Monday night; he came home on Friday. He's been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, two marble-sized tumors in his brain, which are inoperable.

Ugh ugh ugh.

On the bright side (where I live), "inoperable" doesn't mean "untreatable," and he's planning to go forward with treatment. I talked to him just after he got home, and he sounded great — a little hazy (he didn't get much sleep) but like himself, his customary dry, deadpan wit intact. Example:
  • Me: Did you kiss your chair before you fell into it?
  • Dad: I didn't think of it. I kissed the car, though. Or the chauffeur. I kissed something.
He's had two transfusions, Mom says his color is great, and his kidney functioning (which had been pretty tweaked) is now practically normal. He says he feels fine, and his appetite seems to be back; he spoke with great enthusiasm about his upcoming fish 'n' chips dinner, and with great disgust about the swill served to him in the hospital ("What could they possibly do to tomato soup to make it so utterly tasteless?"). When he talks about his diagnosis, he sounds calm and stoic and ready to get it done.

Mom, in contrast, is a wreck. She never handles stress well and has a tendency to make any situation all about her. These are the times when it's excruciating to be 3,000 miles away.

Martini and I are scheduled to come out in late August, but I suspect I won't wait till then for a return visit. I wish I could magically be there right now, as they adjust to this new phase in their lives. (The hospital visit was precipitated by a seizure, so Dad can't be left alone now, ever, and scheduling 24-7 care will be the next challenge.)

(Of course, Mom responded to this news by saying dolefully, "I guess I'll never leave the house again . . ." Yes, Drama Queen, that's exactly right. I'm trying to cut her some slack, but her martyr role is the one that drives me most crazy.)

I may well be Cleopatra, Queen of Denial, but I'm choosing to look on the bright side of life until I can't any longer. I've heard of lots of people with inoperable brain cancer; the brain is tricky and can be challenging to operate on. My Aunt Di had Stage 4 cancer last year and is now cancer-free. None of this is necessarily a death sentence. Or an immediate death sentence, anyway. So let's dig deep, get through chemo (which is going to suck — my dad hates throwing up, hates it hates it hates it), get through radiation, and get to the other side, that's what I say.

Any prayers, good wishes, vibes, or virtual strength you can send to my family would be most appreciated.

In weight-loss news, I quickly dispatched the five extra Meryl pounds I brought home (Bugles and sangria were simply short-term visitors) and tried to resume some good habits this week. I got back on Fat Secret and logged a few of my meals, and took my first walk since my knee injury — down Cardiac Crest to Trader Joe's and back up again. My knee protested loudly and I was as slow as a matriarch sloth (Mimosa pranced ahead like a frisky colt), but I made it — and wasn't any more crippled the next day than I am any morning. I'm hoping to do a Beginners' Boot Camp next week, when zumba resumes (this week was April vacation; no zumba but lots of fun with my kids): zumba, weights, physical therapy, core work, log my food, keep my calories low. It's a crazybusy week, though; we'll see how it plays out.

Love and strength to everyone this morning! I got it in spades.

— Lady C

6 comments:

  1. Oh, Lady C! Sending you so much love and peace right now! My dad was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer a year and a half ago. The medicines are amazing things. It sounds like your dad has the right attitude. Fight, fight, fight! And, speaking from my dad's experience, those hospital curmudgeons fight hard (Oh, the griping I heard about compression stockings, soft-solid hospital food, and IV bloat).

    If you ever need a kindred spirit, my door is always open! Sending you and your family so many warm thoughts and so much love.

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    1. I LOVE stories like your dad's!!! Thank you so much for reminding me. Yes, excellent point about the curmudgeons -- strength through grouchiness. I'm so grateful to have you in my corner, dear one.

      xxx

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  2. Let me know what I can do in California...physical or companionable. I love your parents (and you) and would be honored to help in any possible way. Sending all great good vibes to all. J.

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    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful offer, my friend. I will pass it along to Mom and keep you posted. I'm so grateful for my California sisters!!

      xxx

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  3. So sorry about your dad. Sounds like he has a PLAN which is good.

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    1. Absolutely! Mom just called and said the first radiation treatment went very well. A whole lot of collective wit-mustering going on! Thanks for being there, glamorous one.

      xxx

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