So in January of this year my father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Even though they removed most of the tumor, there are still cancerous cells present. Initially we were told that he had a year and a half to live but another doctor says it could possibly be 5 years…does it really fucking matter? Anyways I’ve got to say that by far the worst thing about this whole deal is how helpless I feel. For the first time in my entire life I saw fear in my dad’s eyes and there’s not a goddamned thing I can do to save him. I wish so badly that I could trade spots with him, that there was literally anything I could do. Here’s a guy who grew up with a dad who was always working so sometimes my dad had to step in and help run the house. He worked his ass off, became the GM of a hotel and then got fired because his boss wanted his buddy to have the job and the motherfucker didn’t take the job after my dad got fired. He bought a restaurant that went under because of the shitty location but he still persevered through all of this and the whole time he had me and my brother to be a father to. Anybody knows that raising my brother may be one of the toughest challenges any parent could have but he did the best job he could.
Now despite getting through all this he gets slapped in the face with cancer? A man who’s been loved by every guest, every employee that’s ever worked for him. A family that loves him and he’s been the rock that’s kept us going through the tough times and now he’s going to lose his life?! Are you fucking kidding me?! I don’t know…it’s just so unfair. All he wanted to do now was see his grand daughter grow up and he’s not even allowed that. I know I’m supposed to count my blessings and I try to. I know I have fantastic friends and family to support me. I guess I’m lucky I got to grow up with him there and get to know him, my buddy Cody didn’t even get that and I can’t imagine how terrible that is. I know it still weighs heavy on him today. I’d be lying if I said I was scared of the future. I know it may sound selfish and believe me there is nothing more I want in the world than to see a miracle happen and my Dad live until old age takes him but I’m scared.
I’m scared about how the hell I’m going to continue on. Am I going to be relatively the same person? Or am I going to unconciously lose sight of who I am? Am I going to lose my mom too? Maybe not physically but I’m terrified that she won’t be anywhere near the woman she was prior to this bullshit. The worst is that she’s going to have to work her ass off the rest of her life unless me and my brother can find a way to take care of her. First she has a devastating knee injury that steals her softball career (and college) away from her, then she has a son, my brother, that makes her a nervous wreck and now she’s going to lose her husband? It’s unbelieveable. I mean all things considered I still live a blessed life but goddamnit it’s just been getting progressively worse.
Still this whole ordeal has shown me two great things. The first is how my Dad is handling his mortality is astounding. Other than the initial prognosis, he’s been the same guy. He’s already back at work, he’s staying positive, he doesn’t let people feel sorry for him because he doesn’t believe it solves anything. He’s basically the model on how to handle something like this. When I first found out and he talked to me the first thing he said was “Well at least they’ll get the surgery done in time so I can see the Giants play in the Superbowl”. They went on to win that game and it reaffirms to me why sports can be such a positive thing, but that’s a discussion for a different time.
Second, I’ve regained my faith in people. To be honest I saw myself slowly becoming more pessimistic and jaded over the past year and a half. I guess I was just getting sick of people’s bullshit and woe is me bitching all the time. I don’t know, I was just being a grumpy old man…at 20. But since this whole thing happened, I’ve seen people’s ability to care; their ability to be supportive and amazing. My friends have been nothing short of the best in helping me cope with this whole damn thing. I feel bad because I can see their spirits drop when I talk about it and I’m supposed to be the guy that keeps everyone cheery. It bothers me that I’ve cause them some stress but I couldn’t help it, I had to tell some people. Hats off to everybody that has been there for my family, you’re truly kind.
So there that is, I’ll try not to bring it up that much at all. I just had to get that all out in the open. I guess the only thing I can is say if you’re dealing with the same thing as me is to take it one day at a time. I know it’s cliche but really it’s the only thing you can do. You just wake up every morning and you try to make it the best day possible and you focus on what you need to do. For me that’s to finish my education and my football career, it’s what my dad wants of me. If that’s what I can do to keep his spirits up then damnit that’s what I’m gonna do.