Accepting the Unacceptable

Palliative care.  You don’t fool me with your fancy jargon.  I wrote the book on palliative care.  No really, my thesis was written about pediatric palliative care.  I spent years working in pediatric oncology.  I know that palliative care can be given to anyone regardless of disease state, but I also know that it is rarely given to people with much hope, unless you are under the age of 18.  My dad is not under the age of 18.

Today, I was told that if my father’s medicine doesn’t start working in the next two weeks… well there’s not much else they can do.  Today has been one of the most crushing days of my life.  Today keeps company with the day I found out my dad had brain cancer, the long days of radiation therapy with him, and the day his brain cancer metastasized.  Today was hard.  And I know the coming days and weeks, and if I’m lucky, months, will be even harder.  Somehow I am supposed to carry on.  I really don’t know how.

My dad is my biggest fan.  My biggest supporter.  The person on earth that loves me the most.  Did I fail him?  Was there anything more I could do?  Should I have defaulted on my mortgage, quit my job, moved home?  Should I have done more?  I try to spend the weekends at home with him.  I took long vacations from work to be home with him.  In fact, I have not once taken vacation time that wasn’t devoted to his care.  I talk to him or my mother for sometimes hours every day after work.  Was it enough?  Why didn’t I diagnose him earlier? I felt something wasn’t right, but I thought it was just stress at his job.  Did I fail him, when he never failed me?  I just haven’t figured out how to carry on when you loose the one person on earth who loves you the most; the one person on earth who you love the most…

Sometimes I feel like we got this because we were too happy, too successful, too loving.  Nobody in my family is perfect, but our family unit was approaching utopia.  Until cancer cut us down that is.

I promise to compose more thoughtful blog posts in the future, but for today, I needed a post for me. I needed to scream at the top of my lungs that I’m hurting and this isn’t fair.  I needed a moment to rage against cancer.  I even need a moment to rage against God for taking such a wonderful man away early when he spent his whole life serving.

I’m not sure how, but I know the sun will come up tomorrow.  I know I’ll get up and go to work.  When I finish, I’ll head home to see my family.  I’ll have a long weekend there with my dad.  I know the world will keep spinning; although, it pisses me off that it won’t stop for just a second to let me catch my breath.  I know.  I know.  But for now, I just hurt.



7 thoughts on “Accepting the Unacceptable

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. This is such a well-written post! It’s great that you know it will get better and have hope for the future, and right now it’s going to be the hardest time. I have not been in your situation, but I pray that you will be comforted by those around you.
    I hope this verse becomes real for you and your family: 2 Cor 1:3-5.

    • Thank you. I haven’t actually told anyone yet; other than the blog world. It’s just easier to write, and almost impossible to say. Thank you for your kind scripture reminder too; comfort for my family, my dad, and even myself is so needed right now. It’s amazing the kindness you can feel from people that you have never even met in person. Thank you.

  2. I think this blog was very composed. You are not human if you don’t scream out at the unfairness that life throws one’s way.

    Take your days minute by minute. Don’t look back with regret as you can’t change the past. Cherish every second you have with your Dad. Make more memories now. Hold onto hope and also be real with yourself.

    There isn’t any way of knowing how to handle the future when and if the worst comes. You will just take it minute by minute as you’re doing now. That’s all you can do. There will be clouds and there will be sun. I can tell you that you will make it. Somehow you will make it. It will take time.

    I think your blogs are really good to read for others and I think you’ll probably feel better writing about the really bad days.

    Take care and feel free to talk to me anytime.


    • Tiffani, Thank you. I’m going to hold on to some of these comments… I especially needed to hear ‘hold onto hope and also be real with yourself.’ I think my mother is all hope, and I’m all real. We both should probably have a healthy dose of the other. (I worked in peds oncology for several years, and feel like I know the reality a little better.) I’ll be looking for the sunshine; feels like a lot of clouds now, but I’m sure it will come out again. Thinking of you too. Take good care.

  3. Our situations are completely different, and I don’t know what you are going through.
    I DO know about wanting to scream and wail and demand answers. Why? Why us? Why now? I really want the world to be fair. It never will be. It is what it is, and right now, it’s hurting you. Eventually, it won’t hurt as much, and then you won’t be as tempted to scream and wail. Take as long as you need.

    • Hi Erin,
      First congrats on your wedding day!!!! 6 more days. That’s wonderful!
      I imagine that I too will never find any fairness in this and that I will always hurt. I was once told that it never hurts less, just less often. Although I’m not really sure how to let go of the future I had in mind with my dad… walking down the aisle when I got married, him meeting my first child. I guess I’m still just working through some of it, which is weird because he’s still here, and for the next few days I’ll take care of him to the best of my ability.
      Anyhow, thank you for sharing your story. It’s so comforting to read that I’m not alone in my feelings. I hope you have a joyous wedding day!

      • Thank you, Bonnie.
        I totally understand what you mean about letting go of the future that you had anticipated having.
        We had to do the same. The greatest part of our grief was for the lifetime of experiences that we won’t get to have with our daughter. At the same time, it gave us the push we needed to stop waiting for the life we want and start taking steps to make our dreams a reality – almost all our dreams.

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