Dad Continues On

Turns out, glioblastoma is an asshole no matter how you slice it. Even if you do slice it (out), it still will sit around waiting to kill you. But not right now, say the doctors. In a little while. Of course, a little while could be 15 months. It could be eight. Or four. If you believe the miracle articles or the people who know a person whose second cousin beat the odds, if could even be three years.

Or, you could be us. Both Debra and I have friends whose fathers died from this very thing. They did not beat any odds.

After his second opinion my dad seemed to feel lighter. Because 15 months IS better than four. His doctors are frank explorers willing to try anything they can, anything that has ever appeared to work, anything that won’t kill him before the cancer does. They respond to emails in a heartbeat. They talk to each other. They do everything your best version of a doctor is supposed to do.

He started radiation and chemotherapy two weeks ago with all of the confidence of a man who has never had a serious illness in his life. No side effects for six weeks, he heard. Which, I should think is obvious here, is not what I heard. Or, for that matter, the reality. The exhaustion. Side effects from the pills, from the beam. And some other fun creeping things (but not the cancer – they say it won’t creep during treatment). I can’t tell how he feels about it but I’m proud of him for meeting this and moving into it with whatever fear and anxiety and panic he has tucked into his pocket. That makes it sound like I want him to hide those things, but it’s his ability to hold them close without letting them hold him. That’s what I mean.

If I told you all my thoughts, there would be so much spilling on to the page. Ugly stuff. Selfish. Sad. Frustrated. A little angry. But I want to end on this note, the proud of my dad note, and save the rest for wallowing in later.

5 Responses

  1. Oh, I am so sorry that’s the diagnosis. Yes, 15 months is better than 4, but still… I’m glad he’s going into treatment with a good attitude, and hold onto that feeling of being proud of him. Even if there is so much sad and ugly, I’m glad you can hold onto the good things.

  2. Sending you and your family love (especially your dad).

  3. I’m so sorry your family is going through this. Thinking of you and hoping for as much time as he can get.

  4. This is fucking heartbreaking. I’m sorry. Big love.

  5. I’m sorry you are having to go through this, sweetie! Hugs and love.

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