Then we have days like today. My cough woke me up at 4:30 which I could not get rid off until I swallowed O's cough medicine and drank chamomile tea at the hottest temperature possible until the tickle in my throat subsided to a more reasonable level. Coughing every 5 minutes instead of every 30 seconds. Then to my dismay O woke up wanting mommy and a bubba and a snuggle. This was some time around 5:30. I still had not fallen asleep. We put O back to bed only to find that instead of going to be he proceeded to go up the stairs and sit at the door calling for his little cousin, Bobby, who's visiting this weekend. Bobby, although he was a whole other floor above the door, must have heard him because suddenly Bobby pipes up from his crib, "hello, mommy". Nana, of course, can hear the whole thing. She gets up goes to the door and tells O that everyone's sleeping. He was very mad, went away and came back saying "Bobby no sleep. Bobby wake up." Oh yeah.
So we've been up since 4:30 this a.m. Oh the joys of parenthood. Why is it that they never seem to feel this whole exhaustion thing? They can happily bounce through the entire day with only minor whinyness while we, their much maligned and abused parents, drag our sorry asses around the house longing for sleep.
Then my husband came home from work and from an appointment with my FIL's doctor. I don't know if I mentioned that my FIL was diagnosed with prostrate cancer last January. The prognosis seemed promising at first but a sudden spike in his PSA levels had him opting for surgery. He had his prostrate removed in early September. We've had to wait a few weeks for the results of the tests on the removed prostrate. They were not good. My FIL has an aggressive, non operable cancer that has spread up into the soft tissues in the prostrate area. It only remains to be seen over the next couple of months to see if the cancer is going to continue to be this aggressive and whether or not hormone therapy is an option for him. He has no other options not being eligible for radiation etc.
So this was seriously difficult news to receive. Immediately we are terrified to hear the words aggressive inoperable terminal cancer and yet confused because he seems so fine. Yes he's had a rough recovery. He's developed a hernia and is in extra pain because of it but up until this point he's never had the usual prostrate symptoms. He has been the picture of health. So how did we get from a to b in 10 months? We just don't know.
We've explained to the children.. well to E because she's the only one old enough to really have this kind of conversation with... that Papa has a tumour, that he's had it removed and that it was prostrate cancer and that's why he had to go away to have it removed. We've reassured her. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later and we're having the Terry Fox run at her school. Unthinkingly on our walk to school I explained to her who Terry Fox was, that he had cancer, what he accomplished in his life and that he died from cancer. Not quite like that but you get the gist. I also tried to assure her that not everyone dies from cancer, that some get better etc. Well, E's a smart kid because the next thing out of her mouth is that "what kind of cancer does papa have?". She's put two and two together. This coming just after hearing the "it's terminal" news was just about enough to undo me on the walk to school. I don't think she needs to know the worst of it or even capable of processing it at her age. She knows he's sick and for now that's enough.
All we can pray is that his cancer is not going to progress quickly and that he responds well to hormone therapy. Any extension of his time with us we can be grateful for.
So this Thanksgiving is going to be a particularly poignant one in our family. We don't know what's in store for the next year. Will we all still be here a year from now or will there be one less number at our table? I'm becoming somewhat morbid I know. But at least this gives us each a chance to make sure that we spend as much time with him as possible. Not everyone is so lucky. As I am reminded daily by my friend who lost her son.
So that's my heavy little post today. Let's put it down to confirmation of bad news and a sleep deprived night. I'm sorry but there's no where else really to get it all down.
For those of you may be wondering about my friend who lost her son at the end of summer. Her and her family are doing alright. They are taking it one day at a time. They have their good days and their bad days as can be expected. They are seeking grief counseling. I have to commend my friend for being such a wonderfully supportive mother that she's ensuring that her children are getting a chance to express their grief and understand their feelings. They have arranged for a lovely tree to be planted at the side of the road where he was struck. There is a memorial plaque there and it's said to bloom the month of his birthday. They seem to get some measure of comfort from stopping by this tree every day on the walk home.