Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's Overwhelming

I am in the shower, with the hot water hitting me and feeling pretty good ... and I pick up the shampoo bottle and squeeze some out and suddenly I find myself crying. I rub the shampoo into my hair and I'm still crying.
Later, I'm doing the dishes and the tears start up again. I just can't stop. I'll be fine one minute and the next, say, I'm in the grocery store picking up a can of tomatoes and guess what? I'm crying again.
I've never before felt so close to life and death at the same time.
My Dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer (although his urologist didn't bother to tell him that) back in November of 2004. He didn't really find out that's what was wrong until he and my Mom moved here in 2005 and he saw a new urologist. Copying his records, I saw the words: Diagnosis: Superficial Bladder Cancer.
Since then, he's been having TURBs done about every six months to remove new growths. Now, the urologist wants to start something called maintenance BCG ... where the live turberculosis bacteria is put into the bladder to stimulate your own immune system ... which somehow seems to help retard the growth of new tumors.
The only problem is, the treatment ... 6 initial weekly visits, then three weeks more three months later, etc., continually for three years ... involves the person feeling tired, getting flu-like symptoms, etc. My Dad is 83 ... going to be 84 in November, please God.
What sort of a life would that be?
None of us knows how much time we have, but I feel my Dad's time very keenly.

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