After – 4 Years, 2 Months, 3 Weeks

I don’t cry at stop lights anymore.

I just realized that a few weeks ago.  After 5 years of having the word Glioblastoma in my vocabulary I don’t cry at stop lights.  That may seem like a small insignificant thing, or even really random, but I did most of my crying about my dad in the car.  It was the only place I was alone.

But grief is a very fickle thing and I do still cry.  Like right now at my desk.  Fleetwood Mac’s song Landslide just played on my Spotify radio and it actually made me suck in my breath.  It’s amazing how music can bring back a feeling so strongly.

Take a deep breath and continue.

My mom is all settled in her new home.  She is really happy.  She called me yesterday and told me that she was going to go on a date. That was a weird conversation.  I was actually surprised at how excited I was for her.  We giggled and laughed. Then I was nervous for her and it brought up all the questions of “What if she gets married?” “Does that mean I have step siblings?” “So she’ll have more grandkids?” all in a matter of 10 seconds while she was talking to me about it.

It was weird.  But I was not sad.

I just want her to be happy.  That is all my dad would have wanted too.

The world just keeps spinning, and life does go on.

I was pretty sure 4 years ago it wouldn’t.

I’m very pleasantly surprised.


A New Perspective

Perspective –

a. The relationship of aspects of a subject to each other and to a whole.

b. Subjective evaluation of relative significance; a point of view.

c. The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance.

I have written this blog from the perspective of a daughter, care giver, and loved one of someone going through the difficult journey of brain cancer.  I have only been able to express my feelings from this side of the experience.  The fear, anger, loss, heartache and loneliness that come from watching your loved one die a rather horrific death that GBM brings with it.  It was horrible. I hated it. I still hate it.  But these past few weeks I’ve gotten a glimpse of perspective of how my dad may have felt those 10 months.

Truthfully it has freaked me out and made my heart hurt even more for my father and his experience.  It has also given me a greater admiration for him. (If possible)

I have struggled with endometriosis and other “women” problems for the last 25 years.  It has been something I have accepted and learned to live with.  I have had 3 major surgeries and 3 c-sections. The last c-section was a scary as hell. We were lucky to have a healthy baby that only had to be in the NICU for 24 hours. I only needed 2 blood transfusions and an extra 2 hours of surgery with no internal damage.

It now has come to the point to where I have to have a hysterectomy.  Neither one of my doctors (one of which was my doctor for 20 years and who is who did 2 of my surgeries and delivered 2 of my babies) refuse to do it.  Her words “I wouldn’t touch that surgery with 10 foot pole.”   (Nothing like that statement to make you have a little anxiety.)   So I met with a specialist, an oncologist gynecologist, last month and scheduled surgery for next week.  She seems confident that she can do it.  She said it will be a difficult surgery and scheduled 5 hours to do it and made sure I was her only big surgery that day.  This is what she does.  Intricate, difficult gynecological surgeries. Mostly cancer patients.  So I know I will be in good hands. But even knowing that I have still been battling major panic attacks since we met with her last month and have wanted to cancel the surgery a million times.

Now to my point of this whole post. (Finally) In the midst of one my crying panic attacks I started thinking about my dad.  I thought about how scared he must have been knowing that his situation didn’t have even that possibility of having a happy ending.  His anxiety wouldn’t go away after his surgery.  He had to live with the fact that in the near future this cancer was going to kill him.

So then I felt like a big whining baby.  No wonder he cried every time he had to leave us or hang up the phone and say goodbye to me.  But what makes me feel like a bigger whanny baby is that my dad never said one negative thing about it the whole time.  He always said “It is what it is.”  He never had a pity party, never said “why me?”  although I’m sure he thought that.  He never showed an outward bit of anxiety to us.  This makes him even more amazing to me. Because I’ve been a big huge complainer, whiner, crier, bitcher, why me-er,  for 5 weeks now.  My husband deserves a medal.

Tony and I had a huge talk on the way home from the pre-op appointment yesterday.  It was THAT talk no one wants to have. I don’t want a funeral, have a party, say nice things about me,  don’t marry a dirty pirate hooker, give my daughter a good mom, don’t love your next wife more than me. I cried the whole time, but if my dad’s cancer taught me one thing was be prepared.  It all gives me a stomach ache though.

Now when I start feeling that anxiety and fear creep up on me I take a deep breath and think of my dad.  He did this.  He faced 2 major brain surgeries with his head held up like a man.  If he can do it, I can too.