So, my dad's surgery is tomorrow morning.
I feel like we're heading into a situation where one day our befores and afters will be defined by what happens tomorrow. When we were hanging out on Memorial Day, I kept wondering, "Will this be the last 'normal' holiday we have? Are things about to be complete sickness and misery?"
It is nearly impossible for a pessimist who has a dad with a 7 inch tumor and 2 best friends whose fathers died of Cancer earlier this year to think positively in a situation like this.
It's also really unfortunate that he feels better than he has in 30 years and he's about to be sliced open, dissected and poisoned regularly. Sickness and misery seem inevitable, regardless of tomorrow's outcome.
I've talked to several other adult children of people who have had cancer and their tiredness/defeatedness (not a word, don't care), and empathy, and "sucks to be you and you don't even fully know it yet" shines through their advice, encouragement or consolation and gives me a glimpse of what's to come.
Also, although this should be the very least of my worries...I would rather ride a million escalators to a million post offices run by a million mean librarians than step even one foot in a hospital. Hospitals are the absolute pinnacle of anxiety-inducing situations for me. Even typing about it, the skin on my chest is burning and I can't breathe deeply and my hands are itchy. The thought of seeing my dad in one makes my heart hammer and my breath catch. I've been testing out that image in my mind for weeks now to try to acclimate myself to the idea, but it still makes my stomach flop every time I try to go there in my head.
I hate the smells, I hate the sounds, I hate seeing people in hospital beds, I hate tubes and machinery, I hate linoleum, I hate the awkwardness, I hate other people's discomfort or pain, I hate all of it. I have puked, fainted, hyperventilated and needed medical intervention while visiting others in the hospital. Most of the people I have visited in the hospital have died, and a lot of that happened when I was a child, so my anxiety has a really valid root but now is not the time for my craziness.
Oh, deep breaths. I guess immersion therapy starts tomorrow on that one. I will be okay.
I keep trying to think of things from my dad's point of view. I can't imagine facing your own mortality after something as earth-shattering as a cancer diagnosis. I made the mistake of watching the Farrah Fawcett documentary and keep thinking of how she said she would miss the rain. Man, I can't imagine facing that, or having someone trying to quantify your time left.
Well, this is depressing. I'm always torn on writing about this stuff because we mostly come here for fun, and because I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me, and because a little bit of me feels like if I don't commit it to type, it's not really happening--at least not "in here" in this fun, alternate little universe we have here. And sometimes I do avoid the tough stuff for as long as I can, but it would also be too hard to leave big gaps in the Ashley family saga or to try to act like all is well in Ashleyland.
So keep your fingers crossed for me tomorrow...I mean, my dad. All of us, I guess.
I'll keep you posted.