I'll save it for another day.
I'm having a tough time trying to get my thoughts out about this, but it's a bit hard for me. I know that this is a baseball card blog, and I know that I haven't been on here a lot the last two years. I also know that I try not to talk about personal things about my life, but that's happened from time to time (the death of my grandmother, losing a job, the struggles to find another, and ultimately finding one). But today, something has hit me...hard. And although this has been going on for quite some time, as I've already seen my siblings post on FB about it, I guess it's time for me to pour my heart out about it as well.
Late last year, my parents had announced that were taking a trip to the Philippines. It would be the first time they'd go home in more than 30 years. They'd be seeing family, friends, and classmates (at least my dad would...I'm sure my mom would figure out how to get her friends together) they haven't seen in years. They'd be visiting places they had not been to in a very long time. We were really happy that they'd be going.
After getting through with the Philippines Embassy (and the funny story about getting passport pictures), they went to get physicals. My mom was okay. But the news my dad got was (cue the clickbait headlines...) shocking.
He was diagnosed first with rectal carcinoma. Translation: rectal cancer. From what we were told, they caught it early, and it was treatable. As shocking as it was, hearing that it was caught early and that treatment was going to be radiation or surgery was a big relief. The more important thing was that he'd survive this. He was scheduled to get a cat scan so the doctors could figure out how and where to begin.
Then we got the results of the cat scan.
They found cancer in his liver. And it was more serious. Now, I'm not fully aware of all of the details about this. I know that apparently this has been developing in him for about a year now, and who knows how many tumors they were able to spot. His liver is functioning, so they said chemotherapy was the way to go. Shrink the cancer in his liver and it should also work in the rectum. The doctors said that it's not genetic, but for us kids (and his grandkids) we should seriously consider getting checked once we all reach 45-years old (which for me is about 4 years from now).
For the last year now, my dad has made it a habit to call me on a daily basis, right around 8-9 in the am. Today, he's on his way to the hospital to get a port installed to prepare for the chemo cocktail. He's supposed to stay in the hospital for a few hours afterwards for observation. As I started writing this, he called. I certainly was not expecting it. But he said he was on his way to the hospital and just wanted to say hi. We're making plans on seeing him later tonight after everything settles down.
So for now, as you'll see on the top right corner of this humble, little blog, I have a picture with two ribbons: a blue one for colo-rectal cancer awareness, and a green one for liver cancer awareness. It's my one way to show support for my dad virtually.
I'm not expecting anyone to get through this entire article. Nor am I asking for sympathy. This is not a pity party. This is a call to arms. I am asking for a couple of things though:
- Prayers for my dad. He's agreed to the chemo and all the after effects. Pray that all of this does its job and helps rid the cancer.
- Prayers for my mom to help her stay strong. She's a strong woman already, but all of this has taken a toll.
- Prayers for my family that we can show and supply all the support that he's going to need.
And while this last request might sound cliché, please consider getting checked and screened when that time comes. Health is something we've all taken for granted from time to time and may have been set lower on our priority lists. But it's better to check now and make sure you're healthy instead of finding out too late that...something's not right somewhere.
Dad, I'm praying for you. You've remained (for the most part) upbeat and positive throughout this entire ordeal. I know that the trip you and mom has been postponed indefinitely. I do hope that when all of this is over that you two can go back home.
I Love You. See you tonight.