Funny the things we don’t realize or think about until something happens. It can be the most innocent of things. It can be an e-mail showing compassion about an unrelated issue. It can be sitting over a lunch coffee with a friend. And suddenly tears well and the realization hits.
I am scared.
It is not a secret that my dad was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer about 6 years ago. My dad is very open about it in the hopes that it will promote men to get themselves checked. It is often genetic in that my grandfather, my uncle, and my dad each have(had) prostate cancer. There is a very high chance that my brother and his five boys will have it as well. Aggressive prostate cancer is something that directly impacts a significant percentage of men in this country. It is something we hear little about and yet, it is there. It is real. It touches lives and has an impact.
My dad took action. He changed his diet to a large extent. He went under the knife. He endured radiation. These things didn’t work. He is now on medication that was, until this year, controlling the cancer. Earlier this month my dad discovered that the medication did not work as it was meant to; it didn’t work as it has in the past. Suddenly he was looking at “next steps.” Suddenly we were in a place where we didn’t think we would be so soon.
The doctor switched medications. My dad will have his PSA levels checked again in August. At that point, if the levels have not diminished… we will take the “next steps.”
If you have read here long enough or you know me at all, you realize that my philosophy on life is a tad different. Hey, everything about me is a tad different! My thoughts have been, largely since my eye sight became an issue, to live a quality life. Quality, experiences, appreciate all that one can while you can. The reality is that my dad has time to experience and live more of his life because he has had to accept his mortality. Cancer can do that to a person; a family; and friends. As he says, he could die of a stroke or in an accident before the cancer takes him.
And that is true for all of us.
Thursday I received an e-mail from Teri. It doesn’t matter what the e-mail said, just that suddenly I realized that the tightness in my shoulders and the underlying stress have a source… tears well… I am scared.
I am not necessarily scared for me as I have had years with my dad, who is the most amazing man in the world I might add. I am scared that my daughter is not going to have that same time with him. Cart before the horse right? I mean, nothing has happened yet… but…
I am just scared.