It was just a random comment, but both my wife and I caught it. About halfway through dinner, one of our five year old twins, Alison, said, “I wish Daddy could not be sick.” Her comments are often missed because she is more soft-spoken than her twin sister Hannah.
In fact, Hannah always has a lot to say about everything. This makes Alison’s relative silence more powerful to witness. As soon as she said it, I quickly answered that I wish I could not be sick as well, but I am getting help from some great doctors. But the answer felt inadequate even as I was saying it.
My wife and I believe in total honesty with our children, but when it comes to breaking the “final” news of my terminal diagnoses to the kids, we have yet to go “all the way.” The situation is complicated by the fact that we won’t be having our more detailed cancer meetings until early October, so we are still short on detail ourselves.
When the girls were younger, I felt like such an engaged father. I had a way of getting down on the floor with them and entering all their imaginary worlds. We would build castles, time machines, and spaceships. Our imaginations simply grew together.
But a few years ago, well before my cancer diagnosis, my own work choices pulled me away. I chased some incredible job opportunities that all but removed me from their young lives. That’s the bad news. The good news comes hidden deep inside this recent cancer tragedy.
If I am home fighting this illness now, I plan to use all those free moments to recapture my once mythical standing in their imaginary worlds. This is a trust I am ready to earn once again. Time to crown me, “Pretty, Pretty Princess!”
HEALTH AND OTHER UPDATES
1. Forest fires here have gotten somewhat better and with my improved breathing they are cranking down my oxygen.
2. My red blood cells are low and platelets are high. Both are most likely caused by the cancer in my colon or liver.
3. I had to get yet another blood transfusion yesterday. It made me feel a bit better so that is always a plus.
4. My mom is heading home and Amy’s sister is on her way to help us out. We have been blessed by the help of so many family and friends both here and at home who have done so much to help us.