I talked with my Dad late last night, maybe because I wasn’t ready for it but he had also put out the word he needed a little time. I will use that as my excuse. Anyway, I prepared myself not to cry or seem as if I was not crying - then I prepared myself for him to cry.
The conversation started off with my regular, “What are you doing?” (I described this in another post as my standard opening with my parents.)
My Dad responded, “Watching TV.” Then we did our regular; talking about what he was watching, had done during the day, how long it took to get it done, and what he had to eat for dinner. He always asks about the family and my work.
Andy was A-OK (if you’ve been reading my posts you know I brought that back from a previous post.)
He told me some of what Mother had done during the day (she is a busy woman helping him and then herself last). If there was ever a saint that walked on Earth (and there have been), she is one of them. To raise me and my brother, and be married to my Dad that in itself is probably enough to be raised to Sainthood, but now in her elder years to be there for my Dad qualifies her for a gold star on top of her Saint crown.
During our discussion he mentioned going to the ‘lung doctor’ in the afternoon. This was just a follow-up and things were reported as ‘looking good’. Being new to all of this I’m not sure how things can be looking good when you’ve got a terminal prognosis but I guess we’re all used to receiving good news and being told that things look good (in this type of situation) and that is about all you can expect.
He told me about an appointment next week with his ‘cancer doctor’ (often elderly people see a lot of doctors, and I figure that as we get older specific physician titles like endocrinologist, cardiovascular surgeon, oncologist, & orthopedic re-constructive surgeon) are hard to pronounce and remember; it’s just easier to call them by the body part each treat, I guess. :-)
Then he asked, “Did your Mother tell you about the doctor and what he said?”
A strobe went off in my head, and the words “Danger-Danger” sounded. We had approached dangerous ground.
“Shields-up!” I screamed inside my head.
“You mean about the cancer?” I asked. He said, “Yes”, and I commented “Yes, she told me. I am really sorry this is happening.”
(An aside from the story)
To my readers: Did you experience pain when you read that? In your eyes, your back, your neck? Did it cause a shiver over your body when you read it, like I felt when I just wrote it?
My Dad responded, “Yea, but this is not that time yet, is it?” and he continued on, talking about something else. I thought, “Wait, nothing more?” then I stopped myself and let it go. He wasn’t ready and I wasn’t ready so why make it into something?
We ended our conversation and I sat back in my chair thinking about it, then I wrote this post.
Andy is still not “A-OK”,
...and I'm starting to believe he'll never be “A-OK” again.