Wow wow wow. Life is a trip.
I'd been worried about my dad for awhile. Intuition, let's call it. During our camping trip in the San Juans I got a call from him, a sweet call saying he missed us and that he wanted to see how we were doing, that he wished he was there. He was supposed to be there, sharing site 88 and campfires and hot dogs but it hadn't worked out with my mom's work schedule and they had stayed home. His message caused the feeling of worry to persist, and then days later a ranger came to our site, said we had a message, to call Ryan about an medical emergency. "I knew it!" I couldn't think. We drove somewhere on the island where we could get cell phone reception. I call my brother Ryan and hear the words, "dad" and "hospital" and "brain tumor." My family sits in the truck and I slap my leg and listen and think, "I expected SOMETHING but never this."
He has fallen a few times, he was biting his tongue in his sleep, he was forgetting to shut the car door, driving off, with it open, he was dropping things he never dropped, struggling to pick things up that were already in his hand, struggling with his bath robe, trying to put the arm on his head. It was a private struggle, but one which was showing itself more boldly each day, and so they finally took him in.
The tumor was on top of his brain, easy to reach, and also evident in its intensity. A grade four Glioblastoma multiforme is changing all of our lives with every cell within it. And though they took it out, cells hide in the shadows of his brain and he faces a war more intense and personal than Vietnam.
My mom had cancer in January. My dad has cancer in September.
The clock ticks, and nobody knows except that there is a fight ahead of us all, a fight for normalcy that will never return, a fight to hold on to every precious moment, a fight to love and let go of frustrations, a fight for the best life that can be lived now.
I love you dad, my fighter.