Friday, September 29, 2006

Cancer. A word I don't like to hear.

I spoke to my sister at work today. Our dad has cancer. My sister and my parents told me not to worry, they caught it early. How could I not worry?

I called my dad. He sounded fine. He said the doctor is excellent and the biopsy didn't hurt too much. They were supposed to return to St. Martin on Saturday but will stay in the States for a small operation. His doctors on the island will share info with the doctors here.

My dad asked about me, the job, the book and how my Italian lessons were coming along. He loves to pratice speaking "Italian" with me. It's more Spanish. He grew up speaking French, Dutch, Spanish and Papimento. Not sure where he learned these random Italian words, maybe on his job.

Speaking of Italy, he said he wants to meet me the next time I go. My mom is not a fan of flying but I hope she'll come too. My brother laughed and said "Italy is not ready for Dad." My dad has two very good friends, both are younger, who are not doing well. One had a stroke and the other (a veteran) is suffering from dementia. Dad said he doesn't want to wait to travel more. He has the time and means, he wants to go to Italy before he's too old.

My parents had us late in life (for their generation and my dad is 7 years older than my mom) so they are older than most of my friend's parents. Dad is almost 80. He looks 20 years younger but cancer doesn't care about that shit.

They are so at ease about their lives and getting older. My mom keeps trying to talk to me about their will but I always change the subject. I worry about them getting older and living so far away. I keep telling them to take it easy. Last time I was in St. Martin Dad was moving heavy wet cement for a wall they were building. It's good to stay active but they shouldn't over do it. My dad is constantly driving relatives around. He said he didn't retire so he could "drive Miss Daisy" refering to my aunt who doesn't drive but has a million errands.

Yes it's good the cancer was caught early. I'm glad my parents do not mess around regarding their health and get yearly check-ups. I was told not to get upset but the tears keep coming.

12 comments:

gibber said...

I hear ya. I've been teary eyed all night and morning. This morning I was watching the Today show and Elizabeth Edwards was on talking about her book, cancer and losing their son. I was bawling. I e-mailed my office mate who is with her and said, "EE was great this morning. She gives me strength." I then let her know about dad.

10 minutes later she calls me with Elizabeth, and Elizabeth is so sweet and encoraging "they caught it early, prostate cancer is the best cancer to have, john kerry got prostate cancer and ran for president...your dad will be fine."

She's right. I still can't help but tear up because it's like, you know, why him? WHy mom? But, why does shit happen to anyone? Who knows. I just thank god that both mom and dad are anal about getting checked up (that's where i get it from) because both of their cancers were caught super early and dad's cancer was so early, the doctor had the option of sending him home and having him come back in a few months.

So, it will be ok sis. It sucks. It makes me miss them even more. It's enhanced this kind of sad funk I've been in for a few weeks. But it also makes me want to go to St. Martin even more (if that was humanly possible).

Ebony and Ivory said...

Mi dispiace! I really feel for you. I know how hard it can be to get this kind of news. Cancer is no stranger to me. It runs in my family. Although I have to tell you that a miracle happened a few years back. My husbands aunt was diagnosed with Breast cancer. She cried constantly, we all did. We all got together daily for prayer. She went on to schedule her surgery to remove and reconstruct the breast. Just days before her surgery she went in for some routine testing and it was gone! Just disappeared like that! My husband, who is a physician and has seen it all got goosebumps. He said that's impossible. How can that be?? I tell you, the power of pray can move mountains. Just hang in there and have faith. I'll say a little prayer for you and your family. Keep your head up!
P.S. I left you another message on one of your previous posts.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

thanks Ebony/Ivory. I hear what my sister is saying. I know he is lucky but I was still stunned when I got the call.

Feeling much better today. I will be home in a couple of months. Cannot wait.

sis, you and I must talk about this funk situation over the weekend.

Kali said...

I am keeping you and your father in my thoughts and prayers.

Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I'm sorry that this has happened but I'm glad it sounds like they are catching it in time and in the end that's all that matters.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

thanks for the kinds works Kali and Sara.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

that should be kind words

avery said...

I am so sorry to hear about your dad but i am so glad to hear he will be okay. I know how you feel as my dad had cancer too. I send a great big hug your way...

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

I lost a close family member to cancer last year. It is such a mystery. Early is good--my family member's was caught in the very late stages. You keep strong and stick together with your family and friends. These are the times in life when we realize that the only thing that matters are the people closest to us. Un abbraccio grande!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

thanks Avery and Shelly.

Jennifer said...

My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer last summer. I was scared at first, too, but they caught it early and treated it correctly (with radiation) and now he's fine.

Then, I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months after he started his treatments (just a very strange coincidence; we weren't swimming at 3-mile island or anything) and here's what I've come to realize: with cancer, you can't worry about what MIGHT happen or what the future holds. You deal with whatever is happening IN THE MOMENT. That includes both the pain, fear and frustration and all the good stuff that life has to offer.

Good luck to your dad and to you. And I love your blog!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Thank you Jennifer. I hope you and your dad are doing well.