Saturday October 12th my father was finally scheduled for his long awaited PET scan. My parents and I arrived at the hospital at 7am. Within less than five minutes someone cam back to explain the scan to my father and escort him back to the scanner.
As soon as my father was out of sight, I turned and asked my mother how she was doing. She just looked at my and begin to weep. I leaned over to give her a hug. I told her that we will make sure he gets the care he needs, we will make sure his pain is controlled, and no matter what, I will always be here for her.
My mothers response was sometimes being in the medical profession and knowing what we know is a double edged sword. It is good because together we can coordinate, communicate, and navigate the system on his behalf. On the flip side, we also know what Stage IV pancreatic traditionally means, we access guidelines, protocols, and clinical trials to base our conclusions for other patients, but now its your father.
I handed my mother another tissue so she could wipe her tears from her face.
We both iterated to one another that we are afraid that my father will be slightly deflated once the physician tells him that he is not a surgical candidate. My mother also said that she is afraid that he may have already given up some hope.
I encouraged my mother to trust in the fact that my father is a fighter, and as long as we ensure that the medical team keeps his pain in check, that he will commit to the treatment and at least give it a try.
My mother than thanked me for allowing her to release and just cry. She said she feels as if she always has to be on because she doesn’t want my father to know how scared she is of what may come in the near future. She then reminded me that I too needed to find my own release.
Seeing my mother cry brought tears to my eyes as well. To hear my mother tell me her fears and worries about my father made the tears swell up in my eyes even more. I wiped them away but she knew they were streaming down my face as I hugged her but wiped them as I went back to my chair.
Again she said I need to remember that I am human and it is okay for me to cry, to find my own release.
What I didn’t share with my mother is that every morning as I awake and say my rosary (novena) as an offering to Mary, that I plead for her to watch over my father, to protect him through this chapter of his story. To keep his pain in check, to make the time he does have high in quality, and that if he has to go, to take him swiftly. For my fathers sake. As those words utter out every morning I cry. I am alone in my thoughts, alone in my feelings, alone in the safety of my own cocoon where no one is watching to just let go and release my emotions.
By the time I am done, I am ready to place the smile back on my face, take one step forward, and be strong for the world around me.
An hour and a half has passed and my father comes walking with a slower swag down the hallway back to us. He sits in the chair. He asks where are we going for breakfast? He still has that quality of commanding attention of the room. I am still in awe of this man that has always been my hero. He bounces up, begins to walk out to the car, turns and says, we will hear what the results are on Tuesday or Wednesday. That was a piece of cake.
We will wait to see what the coming week brings and what direction my father will decide to take his story.
Saturday morning was a reprieve from my father writing, and allowed for an intercession for my mother to get refreshments. I hope she is prepared for the next act.
I hope we both are.
Time to turn the page.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM
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