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.