Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Weepy Wednesday

It is never fun to face your parents mortality. When doing so you must face your own. Although the death rate is one in one, we on this earth feel that if no bad illness or accident comes we should be able to live forever. Americans have recently become focused on the quality of life as determined sometimes by the courts or at least other people who may or may not know who we are as a person.

My dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Lots of men are, especially in the later years. So then why am I worried. My dad is a very private person and doesn't show weakness, especially if he can't fix the problem. His doctor said the severity of his cancer on a scale* of 1 to 10 is a 6, somewhere in the middle. His doctor wants to do surgery but has given other options. He obviously has no guarantees, none of us really do.

Last night at supper, I was trying to cage the seriousness of this and I asked him, "So then you will be here for Glenys' 21st birthday to take her to the zoo and ride the merry-go-round." (family joke) Like he said, "That was never a guarantee." But there never was a threat before, just the threat of old age.

In reality I know prostate cancer isn't really anything that can't be cured, right? My mom doesn't want him to have surgery because of the months of recovery and the necessity of having a catheter and wearing diapers. I think that is the only reason she doesn't. Seeing my father required to wear diapers makes him more vulnerable than I have ever seen him. Maybe that is what my morning tears are about. My dad isn't invincible and in my 30+ years I have failed to realize that. I think I could handle a diagnosis of cancer if it was me or even my mom but not my dad.

We don't know what the future holds but we know who holds the future. He is a believer in Jesus as in his eternal life is secure. This world holds us in despair and hopelessness without Christ. Death was never meant to be actually but sin brought death. Not any one person's specific sin just the "I'll do things my own way" sin of human nature the falling short of God's perfection.

Lots of things can happen with any of the options. I am just not ready to have to deal with this because I can't look into the future without my parents. I want them to get old old. I want them to see Glenys grow up. Hell, I want them to see me grow up. I don't want to explain death of her only grandparents to Glenys. Call me selfish or unrealistic that is fine. I just wish we didn't have to deal with this!!

*Updated to add his Gleeson (sp?) score is 6 and apparently jumped quickly from 3.5 to 6, thus the urgency in having surgery.


kris said...

Wow Beverly, I feel bad I haven't checked in with you in awhile. Have you asked for a second opinion? There are seed implants they can do, but if his cancer is more advanced that might not be an option. Not all who have this surgery end up in diapers. One of my surgeons had this surgery and isn't having that kind of trouble.

Most prostate cancers are curable, as long as they are caught early. If it's already moved to another location in the body, it's harder to treat.

(I happen to be an oncology nurse).
I hope everything works out and he is 100% again soon. said...

You've tackled a very huge topic here. It incorporates both your parents lives and the realization that you are still 'someone's baby' and daughter and you need them here for you (and Glenys), as well as for them. That one is tough to let go of (not that I mean you have to right now). And no, it's not selfish to want your loved ones to be around for you. I'm sure you will do everything possible to find the best care and management for your dad. Another reminder to relish every good (and bad) moment.
You are in my thoughts. Group prayers will certainly help.
Sincerely, and seriously this time,
Senja. xoxo (another nurse...sorry I do kidney idea about men's privates)

Kristi said...

Facing mortality is never fun is it?

The good thing is that prostate cancer is very treatable. The saying goes that more men die with it than of it. But knowing that surely doesn't make it any easier I'm sure.

No matter how old we are, we like to believe our parents are invincible.

Hang in there!