Sooooo.....Ez and I are squatting at Dad's house for awhile. Considering the whole reason for this blog was to keep family up-to-date on the goings-on of the kid, I'm guessing that if you're reading this, you probably know all of this already. But I'm going to say it anyway...
When Dad went in for some testing to see why his leg and hip were getting so weak and got the news that lung lesions were spotted on chest films, I immediately went into denial. "Oh, okay" I said. He'd had prostate cancer before and lung cancer would be alright. He'd be okay.
I booked flights for myself and Ezra for a couple weeks, about 2 weeks from then. We'd spend some QT with Dad, I'd pack his freezer with ready-made, homemade meals, drive him to and from any necessary treatments, etc. All would be okay.
Then it was preliminarily determined that his lower-limb weakness was due to metastasis. Radiation started the next day.
Then he had a serious decline over the final weekend - which was the end of his radiation and the weekend prior to Ez and I flying out. He'd lost sensory from the waist - down. He was severely dehydrated and in an enormous amount of pain. He was so bad that he had been unable to even reach a phone to call for help.
He was admitted to the VA the day before I arrived.
Stage 4 adenocarcinoma.
The day after I arrived, he was moved to the hospice unit of the VA.
Whatintheholyhellishappening? How did this snowball SO fast?
He had a streak of really bad days. Lots and lots of drugs to combat the pain. That led to some pretty scary times. For the last couple of weeks, he's been improving and finally got back to being "Dad" again. He's lucid, he's talking, he's Dad. Just, in a bed.
Am I absolutely heartbroken? Yes. Devastated? Yep. Overwhelmingly sad? Uh-huh. Angry and pissed and bitter that this is happening to MY Dad? Hell yeah.
He's my Dad. He's funny, he's kind, he's generous. We disagree on most things, politically speaking, and if you ask him, he'll tell you that he has no idea how I came to be such a bleeding-heart liberal ;-) I know exactly how & why...it's because he taught me to do the right thing and to stand up for what I believe in. (See how I did that? I just blamed my FoxNews-watching-conservative-father for me being the polar opposite.) He makes the best pizza. He likes to shoot guns. He has some pretty crazy stories from his time in Vietnam. He's also got some pretty crazy stories from his travels within the US. He'll buy an outsized jar of pickles at Sam's Club simply because it's a good deal....even if it'll take him a decade to go through it. He insists on stocking his "beer fridge" next to the pool table with shitty Coors Light for his buddies, because damnit, that's what they drink. He's easy-going. He's read every book in all the local libraries. He'll put hot sauce or garlic on anything.
I'm so lucky that he's my Dad. And I'm lucky that I'm getting to spend time with him and tell him just how lucky I am and just how amazing a father he is and just how much I love him.