This past January, my dad was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer. I tried to start this post many different ways, but there’s really no good way to tell someone that your father has cancer. Like, think about it. You walk up to someone you haven’t seen in a while, and you start talking with them. You talk for a while, asking how things are going and how their family is. Then, they ask the same things of you. What do you say? “Oh, pretty good. Except for the whole cancer thing. That kind of sucks.” Yeah… no. There’s really no good way. Dropping the cancer hammer is hard, and sometimes almost impossible.
After a surgery to remove 6 or 7 inches of his colon, Dad started chemo therapy to rid him of the many tumors on his liver and lungs. The kind of chemo he was on is a rough one, causing a lot of pain and nausea. He actually only lost very little of his hair, mostly on his arms and legs and chest, while retaining most of the hair on his head and face. He then went through 12 rounds of that chemo, with very little results. The doctors we were seeing gave us very little hope, and we had gotten to the “focused-on-time-and-quality-of-it” phase, away from the treatment one. God intervened at this time and sent us to Louisville, to a wonderful surgeon there, who was able to completely irradiate the cancer in his liver. At this point we did not believe the spot on his lung was actually cancer, just a spot on his lung, since he smoked for 20+ years. In the recent weeks, though, we have discovered that he does have cancerous activity in his lungs, and he will soon be starting chemo again for that.It is impossible to know what it is like to have a family member with cancer, until you actually have one. Daily life is strange, and very rarely constant. At one point, while Dad was on chemo, we were to a point where we did have a sort of schedule. One weekend, Dad would feel good and be doing great, and then the next weekend, after his chemo, he would not be doing as well. It was to the point where we would ask, “If Dad feels okay…” before we would speak to Mom. It was a hard time, a time that I don’t like to speak about much, because I really don’t know what to say. We were still a family. We still laughed together, we still cried together, we still watched TV together. Our lives went on, they were just riddled with cancer.