Dad was a grumpy old bastard who lived to be 80 years old. He believed he lived on borrowed time for a lot of years because of ailments he endured throughout his life. His wife (my stepmom) sent me a list of ailments Dad either overcame or was living with at the time she sent the document. There were 11 major league medical issues. I’m talking esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, a triple bypass surgery, and a heart condition that was diagnosed when he was five years old. Many people’s lives were cut short by any one of these conditions. That grumpy old bastard survived it all. He wanted to live to see his 80th birthday. He did... plus six months.
Dad and I maintained a solid relationship and healthy respect for each other. We didn't agree on everything as we traversed a wide range of subjects. Dad was very candid about end-of-life issues. He brought it up in 1996 while my boys and I visited him and his wife in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. This topic would surface from time to time in normal conversation.
Then, in 2015, he asked if I would be the executor of his and his wife’s estate. That is one sobering question to answer. There was no hesitation when I offered up my “Yes!”
Unfortunately Dad never mentioned how he dealt with cancer. He never brought it up and I did not ask such questions. I'm not mad or upset. I have no regrets. It’s just one of those times I wish I could pick the brain of someone whose been down that road, and someone I can trust He is not the only one I can trust..
Mom also won battles with cancer. We’ve talked already, and we’ll remain engaged as I tread the trodden trails both my parents have traveled. She and Dad survived there battles with cancer in a time when treatment processes were much more abusive to the body and had reduced likelihood of survival and full recovery.
Mom and Dad waged their battles with cancer while I was in the Air Force. I did not have the luxury or convenience of being in hometown USA to help and support either of them during such trying times. To date myself…
- The internet was not available to general population
- I lived in England!
- Overseas phone calls were expensive!!
- It was like the Dark Ages, Yo!!!
If at all possible, be there with those you love when they travel these trodden trails. Walk with them and support them as much as possible. They will appreciate your presence. Such acts of kindness are for your benefit as well.
Traveling with your loved ones today better prepares you to understand and anticipate what to expect when cancer invites you to travel the trodden trails of the Unwanted Detour Tour?
Have you walked this walk? Please share your greatest challenge through it all.
Were you beside a loved one while they traveled the trail? What challenged you the most?
Insights, perspectives, and hacks are great medicine for the spirit and soul. They cost nothing, have no ill side effects, and do not require insurance approval.
Please dispense liberally!!!