Friday, January 19, 2007


It has been just under two–and–a–half months since I found out my dad has lung cancer. I am emotionally exhausted, as I know my parents, sister and other relatives to be, as well.

At first, everything was new, everything was an unknown, a cause for alarm. Amped by the epinephrine, cortisol and other stress hormones coursing through our veins, our emotions were at a fever pitch. I won’t say we’ve since become blasé, but the shock, anger, fear, anguish and foreignness are dissipating, instead being replaced by understanding, acceptance and growing knowledge. The one constancy is uncertainty. That won’t end till, well, the end.

We’ve learned a lot:
It’s going to be like this for a while. Maybe a year or more. (Very unlikely.) Maybe just a few weeks. (Rather unlikely, given the recent regression of his tumor.) Nobody seems to know, or at least be willing to predict.

‘Chemotherapy’ has given way to ‘chemo’. The procedures are becoming familiar. The myriad appointments are all blurring together. The daily phone call to my parents begins with asking my dad how he feels and ends with discussing the latest medical news with my mother. It has become surprisingly routine.

We are living with cancer.

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