Wednesday, January 15, 2014
My dad is 83. The older I get, the younger his age seems to be. Like all children, no matter how old, we take for granted that our parents will always be there.
Although I lost my mother 13 years ago, having my dad means I am still a child. Last March he was diagnosed with cancer. He was optimistic as he met with doctors specializing his care in Atlanta. Daddy's glass has always been half full, preferring to see the good, as opposed to the bad. He met all the challenges of the cancer head-on. The chemo weakened him and the radiation make him lose his appetite.
I called as regularly as possible and he told me not to worry, he was "fine". Always assuring me that I did not need to make a trip to see him. He knows how hectic it is here. In August I called him and my heart broke when I heard his voice. All optimism gone, resignation and despair had taken over. His macular degeneration was progressing and reading had become almost impossible. He loves to read. He said to me, "I can't even read the newspaper, what's the use of anything?"
I called my children and cried in my own despair. My son, the image of my dad, made flight arrangements and I was able to spend almost two days with him before I rushed back in time for Labor Day. I would like to believe that just being able to see me made him better, my ego being what it is, but he was almost back to his old self when I left.
He was all set to have the shrunken tumor that was wrapped around his esophagus removed and obediently went for his routine PET scan only to find that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. Surgery was cancelled and a new regimen of chemo was started. This time, he is not as sick as before. He is tired and has to rest a lot, but he feels pretty good. I can always tell how he feels by the tone of Mama's voice when she answers the phone.
I am just not ready to lose my dad. Many prayers have held him up. More than he will ever know. He called last night with the results of his last PET scan. Remission. He is in remission and I am so thankful.