As I write this, my mother is taking care of my father after his very first chemotherapy treatment. He felt good after, until he didn't. Through the process, they are learning. Their focus is on how to make the next round of chemotherapy a little less hard.
Friday, when I received the Stage 3 message, I began to to a lot of research. Because prior to that moment, these last few months it was all super early diagnosis, curable. Totally not a big deal. Now, the game has changed.
My father was told he has 18 months and could live up to 5 years.
Stage 3 non-small cell Lung cancer. Which is the lesser of the evils as far as lung cancer goes. This is the one that non-smokers usually end up with and everyone is shocked because everyone is uneducated in thinking this isn't possible just because they don't smoke.
Also this is one of the many illness's U.S Marine's (or any military branch for that matter) who were stationed in the Vietnam War-there was agent orange there too.
Up to 4 million people in Vietnam were exposed to the defoliant, with around 1 million now suffering serious health issues. The chemical is capable of damaging genes, resulting in deformities among offspring of exposed victims. The U.S. government has documented higher cases of leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as other various kinds of cancer in exposed veterans. Agent Orange also caused enormous environmental damage in Vietnam.
When a person tells you that someone they love deeply has Stage 3 cancer, "I'm sorry to hear that," is the only appropriate response. Or at least with me at this time anyway.
My son's grandfather...
What I AM Very open to...is healing consciousness's and holistic recipes and other things that will enhance and promote the possibility of giving my Dad the opportunity to be one of the people on the higher end of the deal. 5 years would be good. 10 years would be amazing and anything lower than that would just be accepted as every moment is precious because it is truly a gift to have this kind of notification. Many people don't get time.
what I heard was juicing and more time. I liked her story a lot.
We have kept this a family secret to honor my father's way of being and because, it wasn't where it is now.
My parents are so sweet in their love for one another. As all of this is going on, my mother feels so bad for my father's reaction to the chemo and my father feels so bad that my mother has to experience this with him, or that he is keeping her up at night as he has his experiences. Together, in their love they are just one big ball of empathy...loving each other through.
Here is the GOAL:
As soon as the Dr saw the scan and heard my parents desire, my Dad had all the tests done and started chemotherapy right away.
They want to spend their 51st wedding anniversary on a cruise ship with my Dad's siblings and spouses.
And I want, what they want. I want to live in their goal with them.
For those who LOVE my Parents and my DAD:
And as a side note: if you want to do me a solid, you can just skip over the fact that you read it here or learned this news from me or my blog.
(I ask my family members to do the same, now is NOT the time to rat me out to a man who is in the middle of chemo-it's only funny in every other situation, just not this one.)
See them on their cruise, loving each other and my father having the opportunity to enjoy his siblings and his in-laws with the type of memories that make life worth it.
What really matters at the end of life:
In talking to my mother, I shared the message of this video with her and as I was saying "This made me feel...." she completed my sentence for me "Peaceful"
Writing her an email is better than phone calls at this time. This way she can respond when it works for her physiology and it doesn't disturb my Dad's healing process of sleeping.
Of course you can do whatever comes naturally with your individual relationship with my parents. But I am hoping that you can see the value of all I am sharing.
Just ask her what she wants...needs...