Friday, June 03, 2005

A Hoe's Hell

I just got a call from my dad. On Monday he had some moles removed from his back. Today he got the results back from the pathologist. They were melanomas which are malignant skin cancers. On Monday he will see an oncologist to have the tests to see if it has spread to his lymph nodes. I will go with him. If they have spread he'll have chemotherapy and possibly surgery. His doctor told him today that she suspects that it has spread because of the depth of the moles she removed. This is not a good. This is very bad.

My mom died of liver cancer in January 1997. It was not the kind that long term alcoholics get. She wasn't a drinker. She lived a healthy life. The cancer was a shock. However, both of her parents died of cancer. Her biological father whom my grandmother divorced when my mom was 5 died of stomach cancer when my mom was 14. My grandmother died of lung cancer in October 1995. She had smoked much of her life but quit in 1977 when my grandfather (my mom's step-father) had a stroke and was bedridden. If you're going to get it you're going to get it no matter what you do to try to avoid it. That is my fate.

I don't mean to sound morose or pessimistic. I'm not. I'm just realistic. Cancer is in my genes and the thought that it's only a matter of time is always in the back of my mind. This ever-present apprehension that I'm a ticking cancer timebomb is responsible for my approach to life. Live every day as fully as possible. You might not get tomorrow. If there is something you want to do or say don't hold it for later. I give of myself too freely according to some people I know. But what's the point in living if you don't give as much of yourself as possible to the people you love and care about? That's why we're here. That's why we have bodies and senses and our wonderfully complex minds and souls. We have this ability to communicate in so many ways so why do people refuse to use them? If you withhold yourself what are you accomplishing?

My mother's deathbed advice to me was to stop worrying about keeping the house clean. She said, "Don't waste you life worrying if the floor is clean enough." That is more profound every time I think about it. The fucking floor is NEVER going to be clean enough, and even if you did get it clean enough it would never stay that way. It's a pointless battle, a waste of time and energy. (I'm not saying I never clean my floors. I'm speaking figuratively.) I try very hard to be in the moment. I try to live in the present and not the past or future. Those are only illusions anyway. What is real is now.

I hope that my dad will get good news from the oncologist. If he doesn't we'll take it as it comes. But right now, well, I'm going to abuse my lungs a little because if that doesn't kill me then something else will.

So 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky...

5 comments:

mr_g said...

I hope things go well for your dad. I know all too well how scary cancer can be. My wife is a 2 1/2 year survivor of breast cancer...truly profound the effect it can have on everyone involved. And now you have one more reason to move to California or Oregon.

Nick Danger said...

Blaze on. Sounds like you're preparing for the worst. Let's also hope for the best. Oh life.

Rae Ann said...

Mr G, thanks for the kind words. I'm sorry to hear that you've been intimately aquainted with the dreaded Cancer too. I hope your wife never gets it again. I can't move out west but someday I will definitely visit. And I will get my daddy stoned whether his cancer has spread or not.

Mr. Danger, you're right. Preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. As I've heard you say, three out of three people die. Yeah, life. Ain't it grand?

Rae Ann said...

*acquainted* I hate when I miss my mistakes like that.

SierraBella said...

I love your point about clean floors- so true!
My parents both died at 59.
I've been doing ancestry research, and no matter how many names I add, the average longevity is still 59.
Excuse me while I light one up too...