I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this post or not. But if there’s one thing I’ve discovered about my blogging this year it’s that writing has become a sort of therapy for me at times. Talking and chatting to you all, whether that be in the form of sharing a healthy recipe idea or recapping recent events is not only fun but rewarding.
I am not asking for pity, I am writing this both for my own “therapy” of sorts and also because I hope it might help others.
I guess I’ll get straight to the point and explain the title of this post.
My father has been diagnosed with cancer.
He has cancer in his esophagus which has spread to his lymph nodes.
While sitting in the small, cold room I remember his doctor saying “It’s Stage 3.”
His parents both died of cancer at younger ages (his father at 53, his mother at 65). I never even had the chance to meet my grandfather.
Esophageal cancer doesn’t exactly have the highest rates of success for recovery.
Could the odds be any more stacked against him?
This is a very recent development, as he was only diagnosed 3 weeks ago. The initial surgery to insert the chemo pump into his chesty cavity as well as a J-tube feeding tube into his stomach to assist him in eating he will *most likely* be needing later on in his treatments was done this past weekend. He has chemo-radiation treatments already scheduled and they should begin in a couple weeks at the latest.
I do not want to go into all the details behind this moment, this experience, this anxiety that has overridden much of mine and my mother’s life at this time but one thing I did want to do?…Reflect on the positive.
Regardless of how terrible his situation may seem, I am determined to remain positive and hopeful because if you don’t have hope….what is there left?
Without hope, where would the world be?
With that being said, I wanted to make a short list of all of the POSITIVE things that have come out of this cancer diagnosis. While I would never wish this situation on anyone else, perhaps you have a relative that is dealing with cancer or another medical crisis and these positive reflections may help you too.
And, remember, I am not in ANY way trying to make this a condescending or hurtful post to any of those out there who may be suffering from an equally devastating sickness or has a relative who is suffering through a similar one. I am only trying to bring a bit of light to an otherwise dark time in mine and my family’s life.
My father is finally REALLY listening to my nutrition advice
Both of my parents have certainly looked to me more often for food and nutrition advice (or maybe they just like me to cook for them?….) ever since I earned my Bachelor’s degree this past year in Food and Human Nutrition. That, and I basically thrive on all things food and nutrition (seriously…obsessed!).
My father, with his recent medical diagnosis, is actually starting to really listen to my advice and make the point to try the tips I have given him to help his body decrease inflammation and take in as many good-for-you nutrients as he possibly can. Especially since he is currently on a pureed food or very soft food diet due to having a difficult time swallowing anything with his esophagus.
I have to admit, it’s nice to seem like I’m helping him in that way and using my degree and knowledge to contribute to his overall health!
Father-daughter time has become even more precious and we appreciate each other more
Without digging up all the dirt on our history, my father and I haven’t exactly had the greatest relationship, particularly in these past 3-4 years. There have been many fights, including screaming ones. And going days without talking to each other.
With that being said, I would do anything for that man. He is and always will be my father. My dad who took me on countless hunting trips with him, who taught me how to fish, who taught me how to drive. I love him. A lot. And now we definitely make a point to be nicer to each other. Even the “I love you’s” have become more frequent.
Our food shopping bill has gone down considerably
Because my father has only been able to eat pureed or very soft foods for at least a month and a half now, we are noticeably having to buy less food because his diet is limited. At least we are saving money in some way.
Thank goodness for good medical crisis coverage on our insurance!
Money does not grow on trees around here. When my mother found out that her insurance, which also covers my father, would assist us with a large and decent amount of money to help cover medical bills we were thrilled. I remember that look on her face of relief. It was nice.
My father has become considerably easy to shop for Christmas this year.
He needs comfy clothing since he will be sitting often and recovering from treatments and some good books to read in his downtime. That’s easy!
My Christmas list is the shortest it has ever been this year.
I can only think of two things to put on my Christmas wish list this year:
1. My father to successfully defeat this cancer
2. An engagement ring.
The love and outreach we have received from the few people we have told has been felt, heard, and greatly appreciated.
My mother and I chose to not tell many other people about his diagnosis right away because we both didn’t want lots of questions and lots of pity. I have told a few close friends, Wade, Wade’s parents, and my mother has told a few of her close friends. Their love has definitely been felt and I have broken down in tears a few times with the sweet messages from my friends. Thank you.
Yes, this is a dark time. But we will NOT back down, there WILL be positivity, love, and hope ONLY from now on through these future endeavors.