Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Friday, January 26, 2007

Never ask what else can happen next...

Nothing will remove the focus from yourself faster than finding out a much loved family member has been diagnosed with cancer - unless it’s two family members getting the same news and one is inoperable and therefore terminal. Now, there’s a big ol’ bomb with a capital ‘C’ on the side if it!

All of a sudden you find yourself not knowing what to say. To say you’re at a loss for words is like saying the Pacific is damp. What do you say? “Hope you get better soon”? “I know you’re going to beat this”? Because you know that, barring a miracle, they’re not. Or, “You’re a fighter and you’re strong; you’ll be fine!” No pressure there, huh?

Within the last two months I found out both my sister-in-law and my step-Dad have cancer. My sis-in-law has had her surgery and her prognosis is guardedly good. She is still having to go through the chemo and deal with the assorted side effects of ‘getting better,’ but at least she has that light at the end of the tunnel. She is scrappy as well; I don’t need to even remind her of that. Hell, she’s surviving living with my brother. After that, she’s prepared for anything.

My Dad, though - well, I adore this man! I talk (email) with him every day and he’s my “best Dad” (inside joke) and my hockey buddy, my link back to my Mom who’s passed away now, and just a terrific guy. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do to fill the void he will leave. Of course, I say none of this to him, either. The last thing he needs right now is to know that I’m struggling with his disease.

I ask him what I can do to help him; he says 'give me the lowdown on Crosby.' I ask him if there's anything else...he says "Sure! Can you find out who's going to be put on waivers in the next couple of weeks.' He has an insatiable thirst for everything to do with hockey. He says he just wants to talk hockey. Well, I can do that in spades.
But finally he says he’d like to know if there are any books on living with cancer that don’t make him sicker just by dint of reading them. He's a retired Air Force guy, an ex-boxer. He doesn't want to hear how to survive, with a bunch of existential drivel all written in pink flourishes. He doesn't want to be 'New-Aged' to death before his time! Sure, his picture looks like he has a halo, but rest assured, he's a down to earth kinda guy. That halo is caused by backlighting through his golden red hair.
So I’ve been gathering suggestions for him as well as sending him a few. I came upon three I felt were ideal and he's confirmed that.

I'd Rather Do Chemo Than Clean Out the Garage
was the first
Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person
by Miriam Engelberg was the second.

Another he has read already & loved...

Not Now, I'm Having a No Hair Day

Though Dad has refused chemo and is trying an eastern treatment right now, he really loved Not Now I'm Having A No Hair Day by Christine Clifford. He especially loved this book because the cartooning is very much what the average person would draw in a letter to better explain a procedure. I guess there's no better review than from someone who's living the book jacket.

He loves to laugh & is pretty good at laying me out with laughter as well. He has one of the most unique ways of looking at the world of any person I know. He should be writing the book for others to read.

Hmmm - I think I just found out what to say to him. Stay tuned for my Dad’s wonderful survival book.

Click here to be taken to Now my Dad is gone...


SuzanneR said...

Ginger, such a tender but not maudlin piece. I do wish your step-dad would write that book! We have an uncle, right at this moment receiving chemo -- and I wish one of the available books might've been writen by a guy! Kudos to your dad for having egalitarian appreciation of these books. :-)

"Uncle Jim" is a truck driver and the kinda guy who probably would not pick up a book written by a "broad" just on principal. Women always seem to be the ones who "get in touch with their feelings" -- a good part of our gender! But there need to be more men helping other men get through things that any human being would stumble over. I can't imagine anything he'd rather read more right now than a book by an (irreverent?) ex-Air Force, ex-boxer, hockey fan (to be matched by Uncle's love for NASCAR). Tell Dad to write that book!!

Ginger said...

I will definitely pass that along to him Suzanne. And oh yes, there really needs to be books out there written by men, for men. A womans take on her illness, whatever it is, is so much different that a guys. Dad's book would be funny I know & those are the best way of facing hardship.

For the consideration of family & friends...