Wednesday, May 16, 2012

~Learning That Your Parent Is Sick~

I haven't blogged in nearly a month now.  That's because on April 26th, the world as I know it changed.  My Dad ended up in the ER after being up all night in pain.  What came next was the most unexpected shock of my parents lives.  My Dad was told it was possible he had pancreatic cancer.  I will NEVER forget the moment, the exact thing I was doing, when the phone rang and it was my sister on the other end.  She asked me what I was doing...I started a full fledged conversation before she interrupted me with "they think Deddy has pancreatic cancer..." 

And life as I knew it changed.  Things that seemed overwhelming and important weren't anymore.  I had never heard much about cancer of the pancreas, other than about the two very famous men who brought attention to it recently.  Patrick Swayze and Steve Jobs.  Powerful, famous men who ultimately succumbed to the disease.  I began to do my research.  I didn't like what I was finding.  Early symptoms, (of which my Dad was having, but were going undiagnosed), were major weight loss (40 lbs), fatigue, pain in his abdomen that sometimes went into his back, and loss of appetite.  The disease of pancreatic cancer is called the "silent killer", because early symptoms are sometimes so vague, the disease can remain undiagnosed until it has reached advanced stages. 

My "Deddy", Cody, and Mama at Cody's high school graduation 2011

My Dad's cancer is in the "body" of the pancreas.  It is a tumor, or "mass" that is enlarged to a point that it is possibly touching vessels, which explains his severe back pain.  The Whipple Surgery Procedure isn't an option until they shrink the tumor.  Shrinking the tumor means an aggressive chemo regimen with new drugs, and my Dad had his first treatment today.  My Mom dropped him off for chemo that started around 11 a.m. and finished up between 4:30 and 5 p.m.  He will do this every 2 weeks until the Doctor feels it's time to do another scan to see if tumor size is changing.  My Dad is in pain, but has a positive attitude!  He is doing a lot of scripture reading on Faith, healing, and trusting God. 

My Christmas gift to my Deddy, his retirement has turned him into a great "house husband".  :)

I've been reading that Pancreatic Cancer can be cured, if it is caught before it has spread and the tumor can be removed by surgery.  My hope is that chemo begins to shrink that nasty tumor and it can be removed, and my Dad can go on and enjoy his retirement years with my Mom.  He retired in December 2011, and became sick shortley after.  We have said this sickness is just a detour, because my Mom wasn't set to retire until December 2012, but God had plans for her to retire now.  My Dad becoming sick has given me a whole new outlook on life.  You realize what the important things are, and they aren't things.  They are people.  Relationships.  Being available for my parents during this time has been the most important thing I have done with my life lately.  The only thing I can give them is my time.  And I realize THAT is what we all need to do in every relationship we have, give our time.  Once it is gone, you cannot get it back. 

I will definately be blogging as my Dad's cancer treatment goes on.  It's therapy for me.  And I am learning and reading and maybe something I come across will help someone else.  On the other side of this is the story of a survivor.  My "Deddy" as I have called him since childhood...he will be a cancer survivor. 



The parentals and I at graduation 2011 THS



  1. Oh my, this brought back so many memories and brought me to tears. You are right, all you can give them is your love and time. I took off work from April-August 2010 to take care of my dad and then ending up taking care of my mom too through open heart surgery. Prayers and faith is what kept our family going. I am praying for your dad for the strength, faith and will power to overcome this monster they call cancer. I am also praying for you and your family for the wisdom, strength and anything else needed for you to help your dad through this. Family is a good support team and he will need yall in months to come. It wont be long til the tumor has shrunk and he is on his way to recovery from having it removed. I am always here if you need an ear or a shoulder to cry on. Love, Kim

  2. Thank you SO much Kim! Please find me on Facebook, I have a link here on my blog!