cancer diary

Murphy's Law

I've known, and I haven't told you.

Not because I don't want to, but maybe because I haven't known how. Maybe because saying it makes it true, makes it real, turns it from something I've just read and kept to myself into something that is actually happening.

I've known for the past day or so that my father needed to go to the hospital for a biopsy. Where it was to be performed, my mother didn't say. Not knowing where, exactly, the biopsy was needed, bothered me.

I just got another email from my mother. Dad's going to have a PET scan, and then they're going to do biopsies on his lungs, his liver, and his pancreas. Russell—Mom's cousin, and Mom and Dad's GP—has told Mom that he thinks it is some kind of inflammation, although he does not know what.

Cancer is also a possibility.

I hate even saying it. The only thing uglier than the word is the condition itself.

As Mom said, if that's what it is, we'll talk about it when the time comes.

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Someone's gotta speak at your wake

I said I wouldn't write tonight. I kept my promise; by the time this will be posted, it will be morning. That's fair, is it not? (In some fashion?)

I generally don't write here when I'm troubled or upset. Partly because these moods pass, partly because I am ruled by those moods more than I care to admit, and partly because my natural reaction to 'the blues' is to retreat down deep into myself. Down, past verbose explanations and even sillier tears, to my little mental hiding place where no people, no words, can touch me.

What you can't see is that I'm writing this in the dark. I have the mini-blinds open, and outside, I can see the rain sluicing off of our roof and running into the garden. Farther away, I can't see the rain, but I can see the shimmering effect it has on the reflection from the neighbor's streetlight. It's raining hard enough that I can hear it over Jeff's computer; in the master bedroom it is, probably, quite loud indeed.

Dad, again

Sigh. Time for one of those moments where I look up and say, "Not again. I'm not laughing, dammit."

Another email from Mom tonight. This one had words that I've known that I would hear someday: "The doctor told us yesterday that [your] dad has some spots that have shown up on his lungs, so we are scheduled for more surgery Dec. 26 for [a] biopsy on them."

Both of my parents are heavy smokers, and have been so for as long as I can remember. It's not necessary for me to say the word; you undoubtedly know what I, the nonsmoking child of two chain-smokers, have on my mind.There are other things this could be. It is true that my father has had pneumonia several times, and this could be scar tissue resulting from those illnesses. He was also exposed to asbestos during the 1960s; this could be a reaction to that.