...and I'm sitting here typing.
These last few weeks have been so...fucking horrible.
Last Friday we got the results back from the oncologist about my dad.
His prostate cancer has returned, except it has mutated into a rare and aggressive form that is attacking the liver and lymph nodes.
I love the oncologist - I do. I find him to be extremely responsive. But I also find that he's also very...matter of fact. Which, I'm sure in his line of work he needs to be. So he said we had two options..
We could start chemo or we could choose no treatment.
The reality is, there is no cure for cancer.
Only a treatment that, most likely, will have to be administered for the rest of his life - however long that may be.
Friday we got the news, his first treatment was scheduled for Tuesday. Not a lot of time to digest or process.
Oh. And in the middle of all of this, was my birthday.
I'll just shorten it to say this was, quite possibly, the worst birthday I've had yet - putting aside the birthday that came around post 9/11 in 2001.
So his first treatment went insanely horrible.
He was a complete corpse by the time he got home - after 9 hours at the hospital getting chemo, blood tests, CT scans. He had to be physically carried into the house and up the stairs.
His words were so slurred, we had no idea what he was saying.
The only bright side was that he wasn't incredibly sick - no vomiting or anything like that.
He's just now coming back around - in time for his second dose on Tuesday.
I spent the first few days bawling in bed. I feel like...he's been through so much, that him getting so sick now is so unfair. Every step forward he takes...he gets knocked five steps back. And after that I got into Go Mode - and it's been Go Mode ever since. Truthfully, I've been in Go Mode since 2009 when he first got sick.
My heart is breaking every day. He's so frail now. My Superman can barely walk. And every time I look at him, I know deep down that there is a very real chance that he will not survive this treatment or this sickness.
The doctor doesn't give a time frame for his life - they're doctors, not God. But I guess..he didn't walk in a say "he's got three months to live, there's nothing we can do." He said it was treatable and it will help to ease the pain he's in. I am thankful for those "silver linings".
The first cycle is supposed to be about four weeks of treatment - and depending on how the cancer responds, the next course of action will be decided.
My mom's a wreck. She cries all the time. I can't imagine losing the person you've loved for almost 50 years. Watching them slowly disappear right before your eyes. The day the doctor told us everything, after he left the room, my mom hugged my dad and cried. He has short-term memory loss, so for the most part he has no idea what's wrong with him. But as always, he hugged her back and told her not to worry - everything would be fine and he was going to beat this. That made me cry. Because for the first time in weeks, he sounded like my dad; reassuring and loving - but he didn't know enough to be scared for himself. What he said to her was completely reflex and habit.
So it's now almost 4 in the morning...and I'm up. And after writing all of this, I'm crying. Mostly for selfish reasons. Because I don't know if my dad is strong enough to survive the chemo and to fight the cancer. He's 72. He takes so much medication..it's mind blowing. He was supposed to die three years ago at the kitchen table. But for some reason he didn't, and he has suffered every day since. I know if he knew better he'd be miserable the way he is - because this isn't living anymore. And yet, I still can't come to terms with losing him or letting him go.
I thought writing this might be cathartic for me....but it's not. It's hard. And it hurts. And sometimes it hurts so much that I can't breathe because he's dying and I can't stop it. I can't fight it for him, and I can't do anything but be helpless. And that fucking KILLS me.
Now I'm tired and maybe I'll lay down for a little. But before I go..here's something for you to share.