Note: I started this blog yesterday, Tuesday, but am finishing it today, Wednesday.
Tuesday: Dad and I just got back from the doctor's where I got news that made me feel like the burnt crumbs at the bottom of the toaster. At first, we were told that dad just had liver problems, but it was because no one wanted to tell us what the real deal was. Since I am the one who is in charge of dad's medical appointments and business, I got to speak to his doctor personally this morning. He told me that his cancer has indeed returned and this time it was in his liver. A further blow -- his jaundice shows that his cancer is at the advanced stage... and that his cancer is incurable. I fought back the tears (better than I expected) and translated/told my dad that his cancer had returned. I made the decision to not tell him it's incurable, which the doctor said was best. I told him that the chemotherapy he could start in 2 weeks is very intense and aggressive and that he had to choose either that or, as the doctor said, make him as comfortable as he can be until the Lord decided it was time for him to pass, which might be in the near future. Staying strong, keep my faith intact, and getting through this in one piece is going to be the toughest test yet.
I refuse to give up on dad. I refuse to get panic attacks (and I might succeed with the amount of stubbornness I currently have). I refuse to be angry at God for having all of this happen. I've known people who have cursed God for these things but it's completely wrong and stupid to do it. None of this is His fault. If anything, no matter what the outcome is, my faith will only be that much stronger. My mother and I have both said that we'll accept whatever God's will is for my father... but we'll continue to pray and have hope for a miracle. We're realistic but incredibly hopeful at the same time. Last time they told me he had 3 months to live... and that was 2 years ago. Did I mention that I had to keep that to myself for months? Doctors can make predictions but only God knows when we will pass away. I'm not going to listen to any estimates they want to throw at us. All I'm going to do is pray... that dad, mom, and I get the strength we need to get through this. I've already felt more strength than I ever thought I had. I'm seriously owing my lack of panic attack to St. Dymphna.
I already have so many things I've got brewing in my head that I have to take care of. I'm happy dad agreed to the chemo (which he will start in 2 weeks from today). His new doctor, who is AMAZING and I'm pretty sure Catholic or Christian and pro-life, is going to keep him in the hospital for two days per week while he has his chemo done. I'm also grateful that dad refuses to go down without a fight. Now I know where I get it from. :) I am going to try to get my license in the next week or two, too. I need to step it up in that department. We have two cars, one of which is part mine, so I can use them to take dad to the hospital and pick him up while he has chemo. I'm also going to on with life as normally as possible for my parents' sake.
I've already been told by both of my parents that they forbid me to put school on hold yet again. I was originally supposed to graduate from college in 2006 (I graduated from high school a year and a half early :)) but I've taken years off to take care of dad in the past. I wanted to take the time off again but dad put his foot down and told me to forget about it -- I'm going to finish that degree by 2011 as is the current plan. I believe this is the reason why I decided early on this year (and late last year) not to attend UBC or Oxford this upcoming Fall. Well, the reason why UBC didn't work out (after that problem with the rude admissions lady) and why, despite my love of England, I just suddenly lost interest in attending Oxford.
Wednesday: It's a day later and things are surprisingly well. Thank you to all my friends on Facebook and twitter who told me they would prayer and/or have prayed for our family. Dad actually slept through the night without being in pain, which is rare. He's also in better spirits, as are my mom and I. Since my dad's still very fatigued, my good friend/bro drove me around to do some errands and to pick up some things for dad at the San Fernando Mission. I got him a St. Peregrine (patron saint of cancer patients) medal and prayer card. He's going to wear the medal along with his Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Guadalupe medal. :) (Btw, if any of you have a loved one or friend who is suffering from cancer, here is the novena to St. Peregrine) There is so much prayer and just devotion to our faith in this house... it's a complete 180 from when dad was healthy.
I've taken the time to process everything and I'm now, more than ever, ready to tackle whatever obstacle that stands in my way. I'm also grateful that we have so many people who are willing to help us -- from dad's new doctor to family and friends. I've even got friends who are lapsed Catholics started to pray again. Maybe what is happening is not just for our family, but perhaps it will help bring others closer to Him and the Church. If that's the case, whatever the outcome, it will definitely be worth it in the end. Now, if I can just get dad into confessions, for the first time in 40+ years... well, my mission continues and I will not give up. See? My stubbornness HAS returned. lol.
I think I will go work on the novel a bit, as well as read up on St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Eugene de Mazenod, and especially St. Toribio Romo Gonzalez. I dreamt about St. Toribio a few weeks ago and I FINALLY figured out who he was. Yes, it's like with St. Teresa of Avila all over again. First I dream the saint, then I have to go search for who the saint is until I find them. :)
Again, thank you all for your prayers. It means a lot to me and my family. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.