This post has been a long time in coming…I’m sure anyone reading this is wondering why there are post up until the end of September 2013, then nothing. On October 10th, 2013, my life changed again. I wish I could say it was something profoundly wonderful and life changing but it wasn’t.
My parents had just returned from a once in a lifetime European cruise. They had enjoyed themselves thoroughly and were preparing for their next trip in March 2014. Then life happened.
It was after dinner when the phone rang. The caller id said it was a private number.
It was my Dad calling, which is never a good thing as he is an emailer, not a phone caller. I knew from the moment he said hello, it wasn’t good news. My mind raced as he asked if I was sitting down. I told him yes and what I heard next remains a bit jumbled in my head but the dreaded C word was uttered.
My Dad had been suffering from pains in his chest so he finally had gone the local hospital to see what was going on. Given his medical history, it was entirely logical to think heart attack. The answer that the doctors gave him wasn’t what he thought. He had a large tumor on his left lung, that was actively eating his rib. He also had spots in his chest cavity and right lungs. He also had blood clots in his lungs, that may or may not be from his trans-Atlantic flights or the cancer.
He has never drank any more than a glass of wine with Christmas dinner or smoked in his life. He was however, a construction worker and farmer which exposed him to countless chemical and farm pollutants over the years.
With one phone call, my world came crashing down around my ears. The last phone call I had received like this, it was one that told me my brother, 9 years my junior had died. At the time of his death, I was 5 months pregnant with my son.
This time, I was half way through my scheduled fall portrait sessions. Questions raced through my mind...Do I go home? Do I stay here? Do I cancel everything I had worked for? I had to take a page from my Dad and carry on as best as possible until we knew more. So it was business as usual.
As I struggled to wrap my brain around the future that lie ahead, all I could think was thank god I had convinced my parents to let me photograph them with my kids and at the farm that I was raised on. At the time, I had joked with them at the time that they could use the photos as their obit photos.
Sadly, my black sense of humor was seemingly becoming my reality.
After a sea of doctors’ appointments, we received a confirmation of the initial diagnosis and the initial advice that my Dad should get his affairs in order because it looked really bad. His prognosis has been upgraded to Stage 3 with a 25% chance of survival, for whatever it’s worth. I hate numbers and statistics.
He has been enduring daily drives to the cancer center and daily cancer treatments, both radiation and chemo. The pain that he was experiencing is gone for now and the panic button, at least temporarily, has been turned off.
For so now, we are in business as usual mode. Plans to move into a smaller home are on my parents minds as well as living every moment as much as they can.
Thank you for your patience during this time.