Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Daddy

I've begun and erased this entry a thousands times. Every time I've started, it's snaked along different paths of memories and the glossing over of years. Which, in the big picture, seems like an injustice. Frustrating but it's also allowed me to focus about what I want to write.

Daddy has cancer. Stage 4 metastatic squamous cell carcinoma. I was devastated when he first told me that he had Cancer. After all, he'd kept it all to himself until his initial diagnosis. He'd been in the hospital with pneumonia in May and a lymph node on his collar bone swelled. His doctor waited until he was well to see if it would go back to normal. When it didn't, she took a biopsy.

Now his days are filled with finding the energy to fight this evil that has invaded his body, without his permission. And it's brought into focus exactly how he wants the rest of his life to go, however long that may be. He has sold his goats, his cattle and his used car business. He's put all of his financials in order and has shown my sister and I where all of his important papers are. There is a good chance he will beat this but I think in the initial stages of any terminal illness, one tends to overreact.

In the last few months my mind has gone over and held on to 46 years of memories with my dad. I vacillate between smiles and tears. Smiles because we always seem to hold on to the happy memories in crisis situations, and tears because it's not fair when circumstances dictate that you do so.

Daddy's thick hair is gone and just a few stragglers remain. We've always joked about his hair--he takes such good care of it, making sure it's styled just so and if it gets mussed, it's quickly fixed. He's having a hard time with this. He knows it's part of the treatment and that it will return when he's finished with his treatments, but that's no consolation right now.

It's a hard adjustment to see my dad change through this disease. I find myself transitioning from an adult child to a (part time) caregiver (and full time worrier), something I never thought would happen.

Another phase of life. We'll do this together. With my dog, Sandy, too


Susan Raihala said...


Anonymous said...


What a sad year for you in many ways, yet your "voice" is always so calm, peaceful and optomistic. I am thinking of you and your HANDSOME father, and hoping you enjoy a beautiful love filled holiday surrounded by family.

Please keep updating.

LeSan said...

Robin I am very sorry to hear about your father's battle. My thoughts and prayers go out for his victory over this. Your love for him came through so clear and strong in this post and I know that it is a tremendous blessing to him to have such a loving daughter. Especially at this time.
I would like to wish you and your family a very special and loving Christmas. I hope that you are all surrounded by those you love and that you enjoy every minute together.
Merry Christmas!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I am sorry to hear about your dad. He sounds like a great fella.

I found your blog by reading the comments to Kathleen's Hill Country blog. Since you work with animals, I was interested to check out your blog. I love animals and have 6 cats and a dog. I guess I'm doing my share, too, huh? Laugh.

I hope your dad gets to feeling better. I will keep a good thought for him and you.

Best, SB.