I’m not always good at writing about the good days. I tend to hate the internet trend of posting when everything is perfect and beautiful and you’re a pretty pretty princess who is blessed with the grace of all things beautiful. I want people to share their joy. I just don’t like it when that’s the only thing they share. I like a realistic look at life. You can be an optimist and still be real.
One of my more spectacular gifts is the ability to see the bright side of even the darkest day. I mean… it’s a skill more than a power. A skill I have refined through the years of panic attacks and bumpy roads.
So please share your joy. I want to see your joy. I just don’t like it when it’s staged. I want to see what really matters. And sometimes those moments of joy and perfection that really matter come from darkness.
Maybe it’s my goth girl coming back. I could have single handedly kept Manic Panic in the makeup business because, when I was a teenage goth (as opposed to my current adult muted goth), theirs was the only black lipstick or nail polish I could find. Unless it was Halloween. And back then, Halloween superstores didn’t go up the day after Independence Day.
But this post is about the last day of something else and has nothing to do with my goth makeup or all of the washcloths I destroyed while washing it off in my youth. Again, I’ve perfected my pseudo gothness as an adult. But as a kid? Not so much.
So, today was the last day of my daddy’s treatment for prostate cancer.
Okay so a brief rundown for those of you joining us for the first time here
- Yes I really was a Goth Girl back in the 90s
- Yes I thought it looked cute and I still do so back off
- Yes I am a 44 year old woman who still calls her father daddy
- Yes I am a daddy’s girl and I am okay with that
Any other judgmental questions about my makeup or what I call my daddy can wait for another day. Because right now we’re going to dive back into the cancer thing.
This is his second bout with cancer. He’s acted like it’s not a big deal, and I get it. Comparatively I could see why he might say that. I mean… last time it was his entire kidney that was all gross and cancer ridden and really the only option he had there was to cut the whole damn thing out. And so they did. And then he was just a dude with one kidney recovering from surgery. But he was a dude with no cancer and one kidney so that was cool.
This time it was… well you know what cancer is never “simple” and it’s never “easy” and it’s never okay. But this time he did a really good job of making us feel like it was no big deal.
I mean.. I didn’t believe him. Not even for a second. But he put on a great show.
This time he had what was considered to be a very treatable form of cancer. You know, just his prostate. No big deal. Totally not life changing or invasive at all. It’s not like they had to shove a…
What’s that? Hold on a moment…
Okay I take all of that back. That’s like… wow. I take personally what they had to do to my dad this time. I don’t want to talk about where they had to put what things. That’s… Nope. That’s my dad I don’t want to think about this. Why are we still talking about this. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
The man has cancer let’s give him some respect and privacy.
But you get my point. I now know things about my dad that no one should ever have to know about anyone. I listened in on his calls with his urologist and his oncologist. I read emails. I researched PSA levels and treatment options. I read about what happens when one elects not to have treatment. I learned a lot. Enough to be quite certain that I made the right choice in not pursuing a career in medicine. And you know all that really icky learning I did was super duper helpful. I don’t know that it helped my dad at all to have me obtrusively asking questions and sharing opinions but it helped me.
It gave me something to do to distract from all the worry because in case you missed everything up there that I wrote MY DAD HAD CANCER.
Also, in case it’s maybe slipped your mind, we’re in the midst of year two of a fucking global pandemic.
But this post? This is a happy post. Today my daddy had his last day of treatment. He went into the oncology center for the last time and they zapped his unmentionables for the last time. And he got to hang out with his really cool radiation staff for the last time. And he took a selfie. Because, you know, my daddy is cool like that. And for his last day of treatment he chose to listen to Eric Clapton. And you know. That’s fine. It’s whatever. I would have gone a different route there. He was listening to the Traveling Wilburys in his penultimate session. That’s a better choice as far as I’m concerned. But he’s a grown man. I respect his choices.
So today we take a deep breath. Me we. The family we. The collective of people who love him we. We take a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief and we say with every ounce of earnest conviction that we can muster…
But also thank goodness. His journey isn’t over. There will still be tests and poking and prodding. And he still thinks Eric Clapton was the right choice for his last session. But still, we’re good.
PS: To the amazing staff at the Beaverton OHSU oncology radiology clinic, you made his time with you far better than we could have asked. You made him laugh. You made him type up recipes. You let him share his love of music. And you healed one of the humans on this earth that is most precious to me. Just like you have healed so many others. I cannot thank you enough.
And if you want to blame someone for the fact that he’s trying to grow his hair out to have a ponytail like George Carlin, well that one is on me. I told him it was a good idea and I stand by it.
PPS: Mama thanks for taking care of him.
PPPS: Daddy I don’t actually think you’re that cool. Don’t let this go to your head.
And for the record Fuck cancer.