23 Oct Patient Experience: Day 29, Today My Father Met Hope
I stopped early at my parents home this morning to see my father prior to his port placement. When I arrived,the joke was on me, they were already gone. I called and asked my mother where they were, she informed me that the hospital asked them to be there 2 hours ahead of his port being placed. I spoke to my father and told him I loved him, and I would see him later.
Around 3:00 in the afternoon I was in a meeting and my phone began to vibrate. I couldn’t wait until we took a small little break so I could check the message. Instead of waiting, I quick flipped it to check the message. It said, “PORT WAS PLACED, DAD HAD CHEMO, HE IS FINE.”
It made me feel good and I was able to go back into work mode and concentrate for the rest of the day. (apologies to Joe for checking my phone, I know it was rude, but you also know the background)
I drove the 1.5 half from work back home and stopped to see my father. My mother was in the kitchen and indicated to me that he seemed to be doing fine and was in good spirits.
I walked into the living room where my father was tilted in his recliner, CNN on the TV. This was the first time in almost 2 weeks where my fathers color was back to its normal olive complexion. His hair was combed. When he spoke there was no tremble, no whisper, and no dryness in his voice. The smile was on his face.
I asked him how he was doing, and he responded, “It was nothing. I have no idea what the horror stories about chemo are all about it. If the rest is like today, no problem.”
I smiled and told him I was glad that it went well. I commented on how well he looked. My father replied, “The interventionalist was great. He said it was going to hurt, and I felt nothing. He is like you, he does all of his work to music. He told the girls to turn it up because he couldn’t hear the music.”
Again, I smiled.
My father gave me a synopsis of a conversation he had with my godmother the night before, “…she said I am lucky that I have your mother who is a nurse and understands all the jargon. She said I am lucky to have you that knows all this stuff about cancer and how to get me into the system quickly. She said she would be screwed if this ever happens to her or your uncle.”
My response was, “You know what really worries me? If this is your experience, it means that many other people and families experience a journey into the world of cancer in a similar fashion. If they do not know how to push a system or physicians, or have someone that understands the jargon, then do they just take what the system gives them? It scares me to think that instead of them addressing the ascites today that you would have sat for a week before anyone did anything about it.”
My father said, “I am thankful that I have you and mom to help guide me through all of this. I can just focus on the treatments and getting well. But you are right. It is scary that other people do not have that.”
We ended our visit with me leaning down to give him a kiss, we hugged one another, we both said I love you. He told me to drive safe and make sure God keeps me safe and protects me.
When I got into my car all I could do was smile. My father turned a corner today. My father met chemo and saw that it may not be as scary as what he has heard from others experience. He found his smile. He found his way back to feeling better. He found a spring in his step.
Today my father met hope.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM
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