Below is a post I wrote some time ago. I have not changed anything I wrote back in April of 2012. My dad lost his battle in November 2013, so it was very close to the 18 months he was told back when this post was originally written. I had been going back and forth on actually posting this. But after a little thought have decided to put it up. I am very thankful for every day of the one year, six months and 13 days I had. I won’t lie and say they were all great, there were some times where his actions really had me upset with him, but I am thankful to have had them. there are many who lose someone instantly and they are not afforded the opportunity of time, but on the other side of that coin. they do not have to watch the deterioration of their loved one either, it is definitely a situation of half dozen of one, 6 of the other.
I am writing this on April 24th, 2012. Out of the request of my father, I will not post it as he does not want word of his condition to be known. I will however post this at a later date…
So as you know, my dad is sick, very sick. Stage 4 cancer that is in his lungs and in his bones. Today he went through his second course of chemotherapy. He met with his doctors first to discuss various items that he needed to address. during that conversation he just flat asked “what is my long term prognosis?” The answer he got does not warrant jubilation.
The doctor advised him that if all the treatments go well, he has about 18 months. That is not exactly what he was expecting to hear. He told me he knew it was pretty bad, but honestly thought he was going to hear a larger number than 18. But the Cancer is pretty deeply rooted to his lungs and is pretty deep into the bone. The treatments he is going through is specifically for maintenance and to give him as much time as possible.
My mother and I spoke about this very thing just last week. I asked her if she ever asked and she said “NO” that she never ever wants to know. But dad kinda screwed that up. I understand both sides of that equation. On one hand, not knowing at all so you are not so focused on “i only have this much time” which can also build exceptional amounts of anxiety. I mean we never know when it is going to be our turn, it really just happens. This kinda just gives a time frame. But I also understand the other side, wanting or needing to know. The difference between three months and six months would definitely change my way of thinking on how I would like to spend that time and who I would want to spend it with. I told my brother tonight that there are some people who are more logic and analytic based, and they may need to know the answer, and others who are more emotional that may not want to know.
Me? I am pretty numb about this. I had never had a good feeling about the entire situation. To be honest, a little hostility and anger is there, because this was avoidable. If he would have been able to put down the cigarettes years ago, there is a good chance I would not be writing this post. But I am not a doctor (nor do I play one on television) nor am I a fortune teller. He may have indeed still been in this predicament, but we will never know now, because he was never willing or able to put the cigarettes down. I am also a bit more than a little upset because my own son, Xavier Thomas will not get to know his Grandpa Gronek the same way he is going to know his Grandpa Saldivar. He is going to be cheated out of that relationship.
And lets be honest, I am also being cheated. Dad has been a friend and confidante. He has advised me on many things over the past few years and if there is anything I would LOVE his perspective on, it is fatherhood. the challenges he went through with me, the high points, the low points. Looking for words of understanding and to honestly just vent from time to time.
I look at this from my side, and I totally admit it is a biased view. But I try to see this through his eyes, from his perspective. I wonder what his regrets are? I wonder if he knows the impact this is having on his sons? His wife? I wonder if he is upset as I am that he will not get to see his namesake grow up to hopefully be a fine young man. I imagine that there is some fear there. He really doesn’t show it right now, but I know it is coming.
He asked me today to not really share this news of how long the doctors estimate, and after this has run its course, I will post this, but for now, it is just good to write it.