In 2012 I wrote this about my dad. About what he had been through, and his progress.
We are in early 2014, and, well, I can’t say it has gotten better. In December we got the news that the melanoma has developed into stage 4 lung and liver cancer. None of which are operable. And treatment for neither of these would be covered by his medical aid. Double whammy.
We have gotten him into a trial of new chemo, not without enough side effects. Some days I wonder if chemo really is all worth it in the end. I’d rather have the pre-chemo dad back. Without the needles. The strong meds. The constant tiredness. And now also the weird side-effects the trial meds have started to give him.
I honestly just want him to be healthy, but seeing as there is no stopping in what he has, and how aggressive the cancer is, I have been starting to have doubts about the chemo. I know it can stunt the growth of cells. And I know the route that melanoma probably will take. I also know the life expectancy once a person reaches stage 4.
I really don’t want to deal with it at present – the life expectancy. I can’t bear to think about that. I’m clinging onto memories before all the operations and treatments. Which is also wrong. I know that.
But what is really “right”? Is it right to accept that the cancer will just continue growing? Is it right to fight it by any means (there’s no stopping it) even if it means he’s sick all the time? Is it right to wish that you had a dad that might be in pain, but not as tired and full of side-effects that the trial meds are causing? I’m really at a cross-roads at present. What do you advise them to do?
I honestly just want them to move closer. So I can spend more time with them. It breaks my heart to leave Mordor every time and leave them behind. I just want to stay and take care of them. But I know uprooting them will also be traumatic. There’s no easy way about it. But in my mind it would be better for them to be close to the doctors, specialists and oncologists who are treating him at present…
I have a stuck. And I don’t know what to do.
This is also one of the reasons I signed up for this challenge. I clearly need perspective. And I’m hoping it will help. I need perspective. And strength. And solutions.
Most of all, strength. Bucket loads of strength.