Dear Readers: I wish that there was an easy way to say this. Or some way to sugar-coat this news. There is not. The good news is that my Dad is currently comfortable and in good spirits. The bad news is that the outlook is…well…bad. He has fought a really hard fight with cancer.
On Monday, we will bring him home where he can live his last weeks/months in comfort. Eventually we will be enlisting hospice care.
This is not going to be a ‘tribute’ post because we aren’t there yet. Meanwhile, there are laughs, hugs & tears…sometimes all at once.
I knew that my Dad had already outlasted the statistics for his disease(s), but I did not realize by how long. Two years ago, his diagnosis changed from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) to Large B Cell Non-Hodgkins lymphoma (Richter’s transformation). I was told that the outlook was “extremely grim”. This information was given to me by his then-oncologist who also happened to be a personal friend of my Dad’s since High School.
It’s actually so long ago that I’m having trouble remembering if I might have failed to pass along the “extremely grim” part of the message to everyone. I most definitely did not pass it on to Dad. I have always encouraged extremely judicious Googling regarding health issues as there is so much mis-information on the internet. Yet, I have a feeling Dad Googled anyway, and he knew it would be no walk in the park.
True enough, it was no walk in the park. But between the rough times, there were many, many good times.
Two days ago, his high school buddy/oncologist popped by the hospital for a visit. He came out with a bit of a shocker: He admitted that when he said “extremely grim” two years ago, what he really meant was “Your Dad has about two months to live” Two. Months. Can I just tell you how glad I am that I was blissfully unaware of the two-month detail?
So here we are, two years later. 25 months to be exact. Dad has done a tremendous amount of quality living in that time. Book club. Theater. Concerts (from Dudamel to Coldplay), Movies. Lunches. Dinners. Wine-tastings, Political Lectures, trips up & down the California Coast, Trips to Palm Springs, Trips to Florida, Trips to the UK and Italy, Transatlantic Crossings, hikes, stair workouts, hauling my Kettle Bells to my car, and more that my fried brain can’t recall right now. Naturally, there have been countless laughs, hugs and “I Love You’s.”
Lara has coined a couple of great phrases about my Dad. The other day she told me that “he has more lives than a cat.” And hopefully, he can “pull another Marty.”
I say “cheers” to Pulling another Marty.
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