Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ride #2

The Ugliest Word Possible- Cancer

This post is especially one that I don't know if I want to write. And just to forwarn you, I won't proofread- writing it is hard enough so you will just have to deal with the bad grammar! Even writing the title has got me tearing up to be honest- darn pregnancy hormones.

I've pretty much decided that cancer is the ugliest word I've ever heard. That it is just something that no one really understands until they live it. I've had distant friends or people I know have cancer, but with my dad that all changed. It is in my face and on my mind pretty much every day. Of course it doesn't help that we have the word Pancreatic in front of it.

Let me say, I have been SUPREMELY blessed. In that my dad has and is beating the odds. It is past the year mark and I'm so thankful that he is still here. But with that comes the bitter sweetness. I'm trying very hard to just embrace every moment I get, but it sucks to know why I'm having to do that.

I love, love, love to see him and Sariah together. She gets so excited to do lunch with Papa. To play with his pens, or whatever fun things she can grab out of his shirt pocket. She especially loves the "glowing finger" caused by the sensor that he often has strapped to his finger at the hospital. But with this comes the pain of knowing that as much as I cherish these moments, she won't remember them. She won't remember how much she loved him and the times that they play together. Even more she won't get to grow up with him. Learn all of the amazing things that he has taught me- from him. And now as I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy, I always have this hope/fear in my mind that I really want my baby to at least meet him.

The up and down of chemo and cancer is yucky. Everyone always asks me "How's your dad?" And most of the time I really don't know what to say. On my bad days, I want to scream he's dying. Of course I never say that. I know they are just being nice and are concerned. But there are times I that I think people expect me to say he's doing great, or he's feeling better. Usually I just say he's hanging in there. I don't know what else to say really. But lately has been harder for this question. He's been off chemo for a while because chemo was doing a better job of killing him then the cancer. He was loosing a lot of weight, seemed to be in the hospital more than out, had no stamina and the worst was that he wasn't himself. He didn't laugh as much or joke- it was like all his energy went into just surviving and trying to do anything more than that was to much.

So being off chemo has been a blessing of sorts. Sometimes I am so happy to just have my dad back. He has more energy and is more here than before. Ironically, he seems "better." And who knows, he has scans again next week to see what has happened while he's been off. It is scary. Pancreatic cancer really isn't one that you want to just let do its thing. I'm trying to prepare myself that there will probably be growth. How much..well let's just say I try not to think about it too much.

So the week after that, starts chemo again probably. And some days, I want him to fight and do everything possible to stay on earth as long as possible even if it means pain and sickness for him. Because I'm selfish and I'm not ready to have him leave. Other days I feel like it isn't worth it. All this chemo and being sick and just seeing him hurt all the time. Those days that I really honestly think about him, I want him to go. I want him to be with Christ and his Heavenly Father again. I want to stop being the selfish daughter.

The worst part lately...dreams. You know they say you dream more and more vividly when you are pregnant. I wish I wouldn't. Not often but sometimes, cancer has to show its ugly face even in my dreams. I wake up crying in the middle of the night. And unlike any other nightmare where you can calm yourself down by saying it isn't real, well this nightmare is real. Dreaming about my dad dying well that isn't a dream. I usually just go to the downstairs couch and cry until I fall asleep. I feel like it is part of my daily life and the least it could do is stay out of my sleep.

Okay if you've made it this far in the post, I've probably thoroughly depressed you. In fact I've sat here crying the whole time I've typed. But there is some light here and this is what carries me through. My dad is amazing. I've always thought this my whole life. He is so knowledgeable about EVERYTHING!! There isn't a topic I could bring up that he doesn't know something about. He has taught me about Christ and God in ways that I just pray I can do for my children. I have never doubted his testimony and his faith the in Gospel. I've never doubted his love and concern for my well being. I love to see his name on my phone in the morning because it probably means he wants to do lunch. And I drop everything do meet him as often as possible. I no longer take for granted the people I have in my life. I soak up every moment I see him with my daughter. And I KNOW that while it may feel like a long time until I'm with him again that I will be with him again. That there is so much more than this earthly life and for eternity I'm blessed with my daddy.


Shauna said...

okay I too am crying...what a beautiful un-airbrushed post! Thank you for sharing, your strength and story is a blessing to those who will read it. I know that there is nothing anyone can say or do that can take away your reality and your pain. I admire your courage, your fathers courage and your mothers courage. Your testimony and father is an example and inspiration to all. My prayers are with you. Love Shauna

Alaska Law said...

I went through a similar experience with my Grandma. It really stinks no matter how you look at it. I second everything Shauna said. We're praying for you too!

kristin elaine said...

Sammie you have a strength in you that I can only hope to achieve. I love you! Kris

KC Mom said...

It just sucks and there is no other word for it. I'm so sorry you are losing your dad and I'm so sorry he is suffering.
Your testimony is so strong and I admire your strength. You and your Dad are in my thoughts and prayers.

McAtee Family said...

I'm sorry - that is so stinky and I have no words that will make you feel better. Just know that we all love you!!

Hey - if it helps, I remember a few little things about my life from 18 months. I remember going to the temple with my parents and I know it is a true memory b/c my parents kept it a secret from me until I was 12 (long, long story). So - I truly believe it is possible that Sariah will remember her grandpa - with fondness and love.

Lisa said...

I think you may be surprised by what Sariah remembers. I can remember things from her age, not many things, but things. Sariah also has the benefit of videos and pictures to help remember. And yes, life sucks sometimes. But you aren't alone. You can call if you need to talk (I'm usually awake in the middle of the night anyway). And this may not be much consolation right now, but it does help me to remember that our family is forever. And in the grand picture of eternity, the short time we will be parted from Dad is just a drop in the bucket.

Alanna said...

Beautiful and honest.

Lechelle said...

I'm sorry Sam.

Sending you hugs and prayers.