Monday, May 11, 2009

Hard to Write

So, I had a nice Mother's Day. I got a new bike on Saturday and I've been riding it every day. It is an aqua blue beach cruiser and I love it.

We had dinner over here at my house. Usually we do it at my parents' house so this was different, but we had my mom and dad and my brother and his girlfriend over and had a great dinner and played Wii and stuff. My brother and his girlfriend's baby is due in August and she's adorably pregnant right now.

It was extra nice to spend the day together as a family because on Friday my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. I think we all spent the first 24 hours in total shock and were ready for a little discussion about it on Sunday, which was good. It is really scary. Especially this waiting period of knowing something bad is going on, but not knowing how bad until he has surgery next week.

Ugh. I have a lot to say about the whole thing, but I just don't even want to. It is hard to see your dad as a vulnerable human. I remember the first time I saw my dad cry, in the limo after my grandfather's funeral, and being stunned as a little kid that my dad could cry like that. Seeing that he was scared yesterday (who wouldn't be?) brings back that same scared, confused feeling that things are not as they should be.

I'm really impressed with his strength and determination though. After 30 years of being an alcoholic, he quit completely one day about two months ago once he realized the symptoms of whatever was going on with him had the potential to be serious. He started eating nothing but fruits, vegetables and white meat and drinks a gallon+ of water a day. My mom and him strap on their matching walking shoes and their pedometers and walk around the mall every day. He does 4 miles around the mall and then uses Sears' Ab Lounger (uh no, I'm not kidding). He's been reading a ton of books on nutrition and health and is a household food nazi. He's also been enjoying life more and fishing down at the city pier. He's like a totally different person. My mom, my brother and I have been amazed and amused at this immediate transformation.

He was feeling a lot better and we were hoping his change of lifestyle had cured or helped whatever it was. He has no insurance and had to wait to get a colonoscopy since no one would take him without payment up front. He finally ended up getting help through a local clinic.

So, my anxiety level is at 110% today. Mr. Ashley took a personal day because he wanted to go be "library dad", but I think he was giving me an excuse to take a Valium and hibernate under my comforter if I wanted, which could certainly happen later today. That was nice of him.

A new anxiety symptom of mine is that my hands itch badly (this is far better than full on panic attacks). I have scrubbed them so much with body scrub that the suspected age spot that was growing on me has disappeared. Sometimes I'll be okay for a minute and resolved to live a happy life and take everything a day at a time, but then other times I have to remind myself to breathe. I think I'll feel better once I have some sort of idea about what's going on.

45 comments:

cw2smom said...

How absolutely awful Ashley! I am hoping for the best for all of you and that they are able to remove all the cancer and he's on the road to recovery soon! It's wonderful to here that he's into nutrition as that is so helpful too. Tell him about Juice Plus products...research it online, as it's pure phytonutriants and antioxidents extracted from fruits/veggies that will surely be of benefit in his fight! Hang in there! Hugs, Lisa

collegegirl said...

I'm thinking about you and your family. When you feel like your day is not going so great, remember all of us here that are thinking about you!

Snarky Mom said...

I'm so sorry Ashley. My dad is in remission from Lymphoma brought on by a kidney transplant. I remember the emotions and the shock after learning of his diagnosis. Praying for your dad and your family.

Meg said...

Wow, I can't even imagine. I will be keeping your whole family in my thoughts. HUGS to you.

The Girl said...

I am so sorry to hear this. Your family is in my prayers. I have faith that your father will make it through this. My husband's uncle was diagnosed with this last year, and through surgery and treatment is now in remission. I know it's hard but try to be positive :) You and your family are strong, and I know can make it through this.

*Hug*
J

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, Im soooo sorry to hear about your Dad! :( You will all be in my prayers.

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry. My heart and my prayers go out to you and your family. I hope the test comes back to clear and that it is all easily treatable.

Tami said...

I'm so sorry ~ I will keep your family in my prayers!

Easily Manipulated said...

Ashley, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I totally know what you mean about seeing your dad in tears. It really makes you feel like something is just not right.

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts & prayers. *hugs*

AFRo said...

God. It might not be the best day for me to offer anything more than to say that when you need to scream... Do it. When you want to cry... Do it. When you want to run to wherever he is... Fucking do it. Don't waste a minute. Even when it all turns out okay.

I can relate more than I'd like to, so when you feel like nobody understands and you just need to vent... email me. I'm still here.

AFRo said...

Oh... and when you want to cling to the life raft, that's my fave coping spot. FYI.

Claire said...

My thoughts go out to you. Dealing with the realization that your Dad isn't this superhero that will always be there is one of the toughest things I have ever had to do. My dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer last year and it was hell trying to be strong while simultaneously wanting to revert back to that little girl and sit on his lap and have him still be my Daddy. Hugs to you.

Elaine's Semi-Homemade Life said...

Prayers for you and your dad. I'm so glad you had a good family weekend.

LuLu said...

Thinking of you and sending a little prayer up for your family.

Anonymous said...

ashley,

i also found out my future father-in-law may have bone cancer (he's already in the middle of his 3rd bought with prostate cancer) so i am definitely in the same boat with you. i was talking to my dad about it yesterday and he said he heard one time of a man laughing himself cancer free. apparently the guy rented a bunch of old, funny movies, locked himself in a hotel room and laughed until he was comletely cured. i don't know how much truth is in that story, but i know positive energy helps. sometimes life stinks, but the key is to remember that no matter what happens, there is a purpose to it. hope things get better on your end (and on mine) and your family will be in my happy thoughts and nightly prayers!

Misty said...

I am really sorry to hear about your dad!

mommy dearest said...

I'm so very sorry Ashley.

AnastasiaBeaverhousen said...

Sending prayers and good vibes your way.

Buttercup said...

I'm sorry about your Daddy, Miss Ashley!

Sending Love and Prayers,
Sherri

Mama Bee said...

I can't even comprehend what you and your family are going through! Just know that you are all in our thoughts and hearts.

All the best,
The Bees

Trace said...

So sorry to read about your dad. Also, rough to think that he has so much ahead of him and no health insurance. Will hope for the best and a speedy recovery.

Kenny and Chrissy said...

Ashley,

I'm a new reader and have really enjoyed your blog. My husband went through a bout of colon cancer six years ago. He found out on a Monday that he had a tumor, had surgery on a Tuesday, was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer on Thursday and then went through a year of chemo and radiation. It was a helluva tough year, but six years later we have a 21 month old daughter and he is cancer free. Hang in there. Cancer sucks.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you and with your family, Ash. xo

Jodi

Shannon said...

I'm so sorry to read this about your dad. My father was diagnosed with Colon Cancer a year ago and it sucks. My thoughts will be with you and please keep us updated on his progress.

Renee said...

Oh, Ashley. :( I'm so sorry. I am praying that he will get excellent care and that the doctors will be able to get rid of every last bit of cancer. Also praying for strength for you and your family as you support your dad through this.

-The Renee

CANCER SUCKS

Nikky said...

I'm a pretty new reader so I haven't commented before, but my thoughts and prayers are with you and I hope everything ends up okay. I am so sorry your family has to go through this, best of luck.

elle said...

Oh Ashley, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I will keep your whole family in my thoughts and prayers this week.

Anonymous said...

Oh Ashley, I am so sorry. I know right where you are because my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor a couple months ago. One day at a time.... Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

The Mermaid Cottage said...

I can't believe the number of colon cancer cases that I've heard about lately. Two weeks ago my dearest friend from high school was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She hadn't even had her baseline colonscopy because she isn't 50 yet. I will be thinking of you and your dad and will say a prayer tonight for his well-being.
Another good friend who is a survivor of a really terrible type of breast cancer is now trained to assist newly diagnosed cancer patients. She has been doing this for quite some time. I poured my heart out to her about my friend and she offered some advice that she give all those newly diagnosed: 1) listen to your gut feelings about doctors and treatment plans...everyone's case is different, and 2) ignore the statistics that you read...again, everyone's case is different. She also said, and it makes sense, that those with great family and friends support do better than those that "go it alone".

And...maybe I'm your long lost northern, older sister. I used to have panic attacks (complete with a trip to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack) and I had a dad who dealt with cancer. Also, although I've never met them, I love Big and Little Kid!

Hang in there, Sheila from west Michigan

Beth said...

I'm so sorry Ashley. You're family is in my prayers.

Migraine Mom said...

There are no words. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer this past October. She just finished chemo and starts six weeks of radiation next week. It is a scary roller coaster of a journey and there is nothing worse than realizing that you aren't a little kid anymore and Mommy can't kiss this boo-boo away. You are going to do a lot of caretaking in the coming months...emotionally and physiclaly for both your mom and dad. Make sure to take time for you too....I knwo it's hard but if you don't you'll break...believe me I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt to prove it. Email me privately if you want or need to...Jen

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so sorry to hear this, Ashley. I hope that your father's surgery is successful and I'll be thinking of you.

Marcelle

Cosmos said...

I'm so sorry. May you find some strength to get through this.

Tammy said...

I'll keep your Dad in my prayers. I'll be sending positive thoughts and mountains of strength to you. Hugs..

Britt said...

Yuck. So so sorry. Your dad has shown he's got a tremendous amount of will and strength and from what I've seen, that makes a huge amount of difference.

Hoping you get some answers -- good answers -- soon.

P in VT said...

Ashley,

Good luck dealing with all of this...I'm thinking about you.

Preppy in Pittsburgh said...

Prayers coming your way!

Tara said...

I'm so sorry to hear bout your dad. My dad went thru colon cancer and was also a lifelong alcoholic. Unlike your dad, he never quit drinking BUT...his initial diagnosis of colon cancer was pretty scary...there was talk of a colostomy bag, chemo, repeated surgeries, etc. Once they actually got in there, they discovered it wasn't NEARLY as bad as they had thought and it was very treatable. No colostomy bag, no chemo...just one surgery and some radiation. He never had a recurrence.

As for colon caner with no insurance...was your dad a military vet? If so, utilize your local VA. My dad did and while the VA can be frustrating at times, he received EXCELLENT care thru them not only for colon cancer, but several other health issues as well.

And, don't be shy about looking into Florida's state insurance...medicaid/medicare.

I'll be keeping you, your dad and the rest of your family in my thoughts and prayers. Everything IS going to be ok. It just is.

Heather said...

i'm sorry to hear the news. cancer sucks! but keep the faith, there are so many cures out there and it's not at all like you see in the movies! this coming from an almost 2 year lymphoma survivor at age 34.

lots and lots of love! please keep us updated!

Something In The Glass said...

As a frequent lurker and rare commenter, I just want to say how sorry I am. I'll be keeping your family in my prayers.

Melodie said...

I'm sorry to hear about your dad's cancer. Hopefully, it won't be that bad. Sarah and Emily's 5th grade teacher has had colon cancer. Thanks to surgery and chemo, she's been surviving for a few years now. She goes into remission for a while, but the cancer comes back. She doesn't let it get her down, though, because she just gets another round of chemo to knock the new cancer out, and she's good to go in no time. I fully expect her to be around when it's time for Katie to go to 5th grade, too.

Good luck to your dad! I'll say a prayer for him.

Kimberly said...

I'm sorry about your dad's diagnosis Ashley. It's a horrible feeling to have to start thinking about something like that happening to a parent. Colon cancer runs in my family big time, and my dad has had some "polyps" removed, so I worry about it every day even though I probably don't need to. What I have heard though, is that it's one of those cancers where if you catch it early, it is very treatable. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

Heidi said...

OH Dear. I am terribly sorry about your dad. My father had been sick for for about 2 years and he just passed away on April 13. Just enjoy him as much as possible and hope for the best. This will give you a renewed appreciation for your father. You will realize you love him more than you even knew.

Your parents will need your love and support at this time. Hang in there, I do understand how you feel.

I'm really sorry to hear this. You'll be in my thoughts.

Heidi

Jeri is said...

Oh, Ashley. I know what you're going through as I went through this with my Mom less than a year ago. I read what AFRO said, and I agree totally with her. And if you need an understanding shoulder, you can contact me. jcleveland03@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?