Posts tagged ‘dad’

April 20, 2013

life around here.

IMG_5813aLife around here has been non-stop stress for the past two weeks. Between finding out about Dad’s cancer and work, I’m finishing up the little things for the wedding that is happening in ONE WEEK. I cannot believe it is here already. The jars have been tied with lace ribbon, and I finally picked out a pretty pale pink nail polish. The little details.

Dad is doing a little better. He started radiation on Thursday and is handling it well. No nausea (knock on wood) and no headaches. He has a better appetite, and we are pretty sure we have his pain under control. It’s still up in the air as to how things will go when he gets further into the radiation and then chemo, but we are hopeful that things will stay calm and there will be no setbacks.

If things get quiet around here for a while, don’t be alarmed. Greg will probably be going to Indianapolis sometime after our wedding for work (hail!) so I am going to soak up as many minutes with him as I can. I will be back eventually.


April 13, 2013



This is a tough post to write, a tough post to back over everything that has happened in the last week and put it into writing. But here it is.

My dad was diagnosed last Friday with Stage 4 Small Cell Lung Cancer. He has been getting sick for a few weeks, slowly getting weaker and more tired, but we all thought that he had developed pneumonia as a result of a long winter and his emphysema. He and my mom called the ambulance Thursday morning, and after x-rays, it was determined that yes, he did have pneumonia. But there were also shadows in his lung that were concerning to the doctor.

I had myself convinced that it was scar tissue, nothing more than something to do with his emphysema and the things that come with it. After a multitude of blood tests, scans, and x-rays, I was wrong.

The cancer is very aggressive and has spread to his liver, brain, and lymph nodes. One round of chemo was given on Wednesday, and he will start radiation on Tuesday. After two weeks, we will figure out what the plan is. More chemo or not. I have hope that this is going to work, and while it isn’t going to take the cancer away, it will slow its growth and allow us more time with him. Hope.

He is home with us right now (we brought him home Friday), and he are working to keep his pain medicines on schedules and breathing treatments coming when he feels short of breath.

In two weeks, I will be getting married to the love of my life, and my dad will be at home watching via Facetime. It’s not the ideal situation, one that will probably make me bawl my eyes out more than once on our wedding day, but it is what he wants to do. He wants to see me get married but not worry about people around getting him anxious or upset. It will work.

“Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.”

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November 30, 2009


Half of my day is spent worrying,
a creep through my ribs into my chest
each time I hear a cough
worried it might not be stoppable,
each time I can’t hear a wheeze at night
worried maybe the breathing has stopped altogether.

Worry forces my eyes to snap open
with the slightest bump.

Worry should just be a person
perched heavily on my shoulder
taunting me with scenarios of the scary.

Worry might be a companion,
annoying and depressing at best,
definitely not a friend.

And there he goes again.

July 7, 2009

dad update.

Well my dad is finally home from the hospital. After 4 days of observation, he came home with a list of to-do’s and not-to-do’s. I hate it when he is gone, mostly because everything seems so much quieter and empty. The house is never in order, and nobody is on any kind of schedule because we take visiting shifts so he isn’t alone in the hospital. It’s an exhausting situation for all of us. No sleep, extraordinary stress, and trying to keep all the out-of-town relatives up to date is hard on me. And honestly, it shows on all of us. Dad was the one hospitalized, and he looks better than the rest of us!

The Denver trip was, of course, cancelled. Mom and I decided immediately that being 550 miles from home any time soon is simply out of the question. We would have been too distracted the entire time with our worries about him back here at home to get anything constructive done. My reevaluation can always be reschedule for some time in the spring.

For now, things are looking okay. I just hope they continue that way.

February 23, 2009


My dad has been in the hospital for the past 9 days, and finally tomorrow he is coming home. It’s feels empty around here without him. I hate it.

July 6, 2008

always the most important man.

Yesterday was the first family gathering without Uncle Galen, and without anyone needing to mention the fact that we all felt it, it was different. Everyone was running around, skating, playing horseshoes, laughing and having fun. But it was missing something, or rather, someone. Aunt Edna was her notorious strong-hearted self, and all of her and Uncle Galen’s kids acted as the normally did. Well, until it was time to leave.

Sycamore Springs is a generally happy place, but it was bittersweet for our family.

Becky, with kids in tow, was going around, saying her goodbyes. She made her way around the circle and came to Dad (my dad). I wish that I had a picture to show of how much of a resemblance Dad and Uncle Galen had; with only weight the difference, they could have been twins. She hugged him and immediately turned away, and right away I felt it. It was like a huge cut through the air; finally someone was expressing the way that everyone else had felt at least once during the day. I saw tears in Dad’s eyes too. When she turned back, wiping her eyes, I teared up too. It’s only been a few months since he passed away, and I think that familiarities between my dad and her dad just made her give way to being strong.

I haven’t ever been very close to her, not as close as I have with some of my other cousins, but at that moment, I just wanted to hug her and make it easier for her. I have never known that pain, of losing my father, and I fear the day it happens. It makes me feel queasy just thinking about it. With his breathing problems, he has scared us before, and even that is a feeling that is so awful it is physically painful. I realize how lucky we are to still have him here, and it made me want to make the most of every minute we have from now on. I don’t tell him near enough that I love him, and I don’t spend near as much time with him as I used to.

I think that if I am anything like any of my family members, I am most like him. Outspoken and usually stern when I believe something to be true. I am a perfectionist and am the one who people come to to have something explained, like algebra or anything dealing with complicated situations.

I want to memorize every deep wrinkle he’s earned from years of working in the sun, every picture of him playing with the kids, every laugh and glare he’s ever given me. I fear losing him, but I fear losing the memories of him too. I don’t want his face to fade in my mind the way people sometimes fade.

I remember being little, just learning to read and spell. He would go to bed early because he had to get up at 5 a.m. for work. I would get done watching tv and go lay in bed with him, and he would give me words to spell. It took me 3 nights to get ‘window’ right. Why I specifically remember that word, I don’t know. But it was our routine. Dinner, tv, spelling words. We watched wrestling and still laugh at how fake it always has been. We watched NHRA, which we still do. And we always have Red Sovine’s song “Daddy’s girl” to remind us of when I was young and would dance in the kitchen listening to it.

I wish that something such as seeing Becky hurting so bad about Uncle Galen’s death wouldn’t have had to make me see just how lucky we are to still have Dad’s company around, but I plan on making the most of it while we do.

May 20, 2008

Good day. May 19.

–I saved a bunch of money on books for my summer classes because not only did I find them all used, but the bookstore gives back money now. Who knew??!


–I had extra money (because of the books savings) and I bought a new pair of sunglasses. And a pair of earrings. And pants for my weight lifting class. It was so nice to have a (small) shopping spree.

–I haven’t been stressed so today just seemed very easy. Nothing was pressured or hurried or had to be done on time to move onto the next thing. I love it.

–Finalized plans for Colorado. Well, mostly. It’s a big relief.

–The weather was gorgeous.

–Finally (because of such gorgeous weather), I was able to wear my cute capris and top and feel great about it. There really is a confidence that goe along with feeling beautiful. When school is in session, I have been known to go to class with no makeup and in my favorite jeans and hoodie. It’s what I do. There’s nobody to impress when you’re in college–well at least, not to me. If they don’t understand that I am a jeans and tee kind of girl, then they aren’t gonna like me no matter what I wear.

–We had dinner together (me, Mom and Dad) and it was fun. Sometimes it’s nice to have real conversation without the kids or anyone else around. Plus I can talk to my parents about stuff that nobody else wants to hear. I hope this summer holds many more of these dinners.  After dinner, Mom and I went to Walmart.  I’ve never laughed so much in a Walmart in my life.

–I am very much looking forward to sitting in the sun with my book tomorrow to get some color!