Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Favor to Ask

I know I have asked so much of you already, I'd like to ask a little more. I've told my Dad about all the wonderful people pulling for him in the blogosphere.

I'd like to show him just how many.

I want all of you to send me a PIC of yourself. Even you lurkers out there that have never commented. You don't have to send me names or addresses if you don't want, just a face, cyber id, and a state or country. I'd like to create a poster for my Dad. One of the perks of sharing an office with the IS guy is that I have access to a poster printer.

I want to show him the faces of the complete strangers & longtime friends from all over the world that have been sending him healing thoughts and prayers. Something like that can have a positively powerful impact. It also helps keep me busy and feeling like I'm doing something, no matter how small, to help.

Lurkers, occasional readers, faithful commenter's........

So what do you think? Are you up for it? Puuuullllllleeeeaaaaasssseee! With a cherry on top.

If that's a yes, then please e-mail your PIC, cybername & geographical location to, put MOJO in the subject line (so I can distinguish you all from my freecycle e-mails). Of course I would post a smaller finished version here on my blog.


I hate politics.

I believe the system is corrupt and full of self serving SOB's that have lost sight of what America truly wants. So, I avoid political discussions. I'd rather remain ignorant at times. This is one of those times I can't.

Senate OKs expansion of stem cell research
Vote, 63-37, not enough to override promised presidential veto

Tuesday, July 18, 2006; Posted: 8:39 p.m. EDT (00:39 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate voted Tuesday after two days of emotional debate to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, sending the measure to President Bush for a promised veto, the first of his presidency.

Bush is a dumb shit. I didn't vote for him. Anyone that did is realizing what an asshat he really is. 70% of Americans (3 out of 4!) are for this research. Bush is going to veto this bill to please his right wing asshat buddies in Texas.

Odds are very good that Bush will lose someone close to him to a disease that Stem Cell Research could help irradicate.

This falls under the third basic law of human stupidity:
A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.



Subject: CNN Breaking News

-- President Bush issues the first veto of his presidency, rejecting a bill to expand federal research on stem cells obtained from embryos.

Double Dipshit.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Do No Harm

Hippocrates was a Greek physician born in 460 BC on the island of Cos, Greece. He became known as the founder of medicine and was regarded as the greatest physician of his time. He based his medical practice on observations and on the study of the human body. He held the belief that illness had a physical and a rational explanation. He rejected the views of his time that considered illness to be caused by superstitions and by possession of evil spirits and disfavor of the gods.

Hippocrates held the belief that the body must be treated as a whole and not just a series of parts. He accurately described disease symptoms and was the first physician to accurately describe the symptoms of pneumonia, as well as epilepsy in children. He believed in the natural healing process of rest, a good diet, fresh air and cleanliness. He noted that there were individual differences in the severity of disease symptoms and that some individuals were better able to cope with their disease and illness than others. He was also the first physician that held the belief that thoughts, ideas, and feelings come from the brain and not the heart as others of him time believed.

Hippocrates traveled throughout Greece practicing his medicine. He founded a medical school on the island of Cos, Greece and began teaching his ideas. He soon developed an Oath of Medical Ethics for physicians to follow. This Oath is taken by physicians today as they begin their medical practice. He died in 377 BC. Today Hippocrates is known as the "Father of Medicine"

I swear by Apollo the physician, by Æsculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgement, the following Oath.

"To consider dear to me as my parents him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and if necessary to share my goods with him; to look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art if they so desire without fee or written promise; to impart to my sons and the sons of the master who taught me and the disciples who have enrolled themselves and have agreed to the rules of the profession, but to these alone the precepts and the instruction. I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot."

Dad met with the oncologist Tuesday. He will meet with him every Tuesday. He will complete the 10 radiation treatments to his brain and then receive 10 radiation treatments to his lung. (I had thought he was going to receive 30 to his lung.)

They can only do so many treatments to the brain. Radiation kills good cells, as well as cancerous cells, too much could, basically, cook your brain. Dad was surprised they were only going to do 10 treatments to his lung. (Initially, the oncologist only wanted to treat the brain, the pulmonologist pushed for treatments to the lung). He questioned the oncologist about it.

The oncologist responded with: "Well, the horse is already out of the stall".

Yes, he really said that.

How is that for a total mind fuck?

To say something so callous, so casually. Mom re-phrased it as: "We don't want to bother wasting the radiation treatments on you". I usually talk to my parents every day. I didn't hear from them Wednesday, now I know why.

Put yourself in my Dad's situation for a second, how would hearing something like that affect you?


My Dad was completely devastated, so was Mom. Wednesday was a bad day.

When I heard this, all I could mutter was "Mutherfucker".

I want to track this bastard down, grab him by his scrotum and go total Drunken Booger on his ass. What would Hippocrates think about this numbnuts?

It's assholes like this that enrage me at the unfairness of my Dad getting sick.

My Dad is a good man. He's kind and decent. He's selfless. He would never, ever, say an unkind word or be inconsiderate to anyone. He has risen above every challenge he has faced in his life, with admirable grace and dignity. He takes responsibility for himself and would never even consider blaming someone else for his lot in life. He's conquered his addictions. He's the best Dad in the world. He's the best Grandfather in the world.


Why is he the one whose life will be shortened by Cancer, while this arrogant, selfish, self-centered, insensitive, sociopathic, so called Doctor, who took an oath to do no harm, yet inflicted immeasurable mental and emotional damage to my father, lives in good health?

I totally believe in the mind/body connection. A mental and emotional blow such as this can have devastating consequences on one's health, especially when fighting cancer.

The pulmonologist apologized to my parents for the oncologist's reprehensible behavior. She went on to explain that they want to shrink the tumor in my Dad's lung to relieve symptoms, before they start the Chemo to kill the cancer. They don't like to do radiation and Chemo simultaneously. It's too much for the body to handle.

There were several ways the oncologist could have chosen to explain the course of treatment, he chose the cruelest.

Dad was in much better spirits today. In true SuperDad style, he, once again, has risen above negativity thrown in his path.

I, however, am not so forgiving. Anyone up for a midnight lynching?

Champagne and Strawberries anyone?

Wash Away

I've been laying low this week. The whole family is on an emotional roller coaster. Mom & Dad especially. It takes time to truly comprehend the enormity of it all. I've been moving back and forth through the stages of grieving. I was bargaining with God, I told him I'd give him my firstborn. He just snickered at me (he knows what teenagers are like) and said "And deprive your parents the joy of 'The Mothers Curse'?".

I went and saw my therapist Wed. I hadn't been to see him in over a year. I've known this guy for 16 years now. The ex and I went to him for marriage counseling - way back when. He's a hot ticket. Curses like a longshoreman, doesn't pull punches, and will get in your face if you need it. Every once and a while I go in for a tune up.

I told him, we'll call him "T" that I was having a tough time dealing with this.

In true T fashion he said "How else are you supposed to deal with it? It isn't supposed to be easy".

He did help me to get a better perspective though. My grief could very easily consume me. The despair I feel in my shattering heart for my Father is overwhelming. I have moments when I just dissolve into a mushy pile of slobbering goo. Thoughts of staying as a slobbering pile of goo indefinitely flick through my head. I could unwittingly slip to a very dark place where I never want to go again.


I don't want to have regrets. Only now am I grasping just how short life really is.

I need to start living in a way so I don't end up with regrets.

No one knows how much time we have on this Earth. I think I'd like memories filled with laughter, love and good things, not weeping sadness. Daddy is sick, yes, but he isn't dead! Grieving has a time and place, I don't want to look back someday and regret wasting time being miserable over the inevitable. We are all going to die. It could be tomorrow, it could be 50 years from now. It could be from Cancer, it could be by a bus, it could be simply falling asleep and never waking up. Whatever time there is will be best spent living, instead of worrying about dying.

I need to thank each and every one of you that has taken the time to lend support and encouraging words. Thank you for listening to my rants, for being understanding, and for all the magical mojo & prayers you've been sending. You have helped me more than you will ever know.

I want to send a shout out to Ginny (I found out you've been lurking here) and thank you for the very nice compliment.

I have a motto:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive, well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a ride!

author unknown

Disclaimer: Just like New England weather, this positive outlook could change at any moment and probably will...many, many, times. Today is a good day, I'm grateful for it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness…never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

- Lord Chesterfield

I kept myself very busy this weekend. Visited with a friend I hadn't spoken with in many, many months. Spent Saturday at her home on a lake. It was good.

Sunday I spent the day at Mom and Dad's pressure washing everything in sight for about 4 hours. Had a little cookout. Then I went home showered & went to my friend D's house. Helped her clean up the house, they left for a 10 day trip to Florida.

I wiped myself out so much and had a couple too many cocktails Sunday. I could hardly move Monday morning. I bagged the day and spent it on the couch. Totally spent.

Son called and wanted to reschedule his rescheduled dentist appointment for fillings he needed. Ex called to inform me he wasn't going to sit in the office for hours to get sons cavities filled. Ex called back all pissed off that he had to pay $93 for the dentist visit and he will credit that to the support he doesn't have to pay as well. (Short version of court: Ex gets $150 a week credit towards the $2450 in arrears he owes me for every week he has son for the summer, nice huh?)
Funny - I have never gotten "extra" child support to cover dental costs beyond health coverage, co-payments for health visits or the $500 a year for prescriptions, or the $300 for glasses and eye visits. Dad said "That's the pains of parenthood" I said "Yea, but Ex has never had to deal with the pains of parenthood."

They finally got the staging from the oncologist, stage IV, but we already knew that. He will have 10 radiation treatments to the brain. He will then have 30 radiation treatments to his lung. Once the brain treatments are done (they don't do chemo at the same time they irratiate the brain), he will also start chemo - a course of 40 (I believe) treatments over about 3 or 4 months.
I'd say they are treating my Dad's cancer aggressively, wouldn't you? I know, I'm being sarcastic. That's about all I can muster right now.

Thanks all so much for your well wishes and support. Your prayers and good thoughts mean so much. Dad was surprised to hear that he has fans pulling from him from all over the world. Keep 'em coming please. The road ahead isn't going to be easy. Thank you for letting me lean on your strength. May none of you ever have to go through this in your lives.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Other Shoe Drops

Like many devoted readers of Somewhere on the Masthead, I was anxiously awaiting the outcome of Magazine Man’s most recent adventure on Thursday morning. I wanted, no, needed to hear some good news. Worrying about someone elses dilemma helps me. It keeps me from hyperfocusing on my Dad’s cancer.

I wept when I read the post of Blaze & MM home, safe and mostly sound. It was the best ending possible, in spite of the injuries. MM achieved what most of us would envision as impossible. I’m in awe of the man’s courage, intelligence, determination and resources. I should have had the same feeling you get when you walk out of the theater after seeing a great movie, when the hero beats impossible odds and saves the day. But, I didn’t. I only felt a feeling of saddness.

It was a couple of hours before anyone else showed up in the office. I was on the verge of tears all morning. When she arrived at work, I talked about it with my best friend, D. We’ve known each other for 25 years now, and she’s very adept at reading me. She figured I missed my kid more than I thought I would. It was logical. I haven’t been away from my son for more than 6 days since he was born, and that was one time. She knows how protective I am. She knows, better than I do, how tightly the apron strings, I so vocally expressed a desire to cut, are wrapped around my heart. For the first time in 16 years, I am not responsible for anyone but myself. I don’t know how to be anything other than a mother anymore. It’s been so long. Dad being sick and the ex getting away with his lies again in court, only added to the emotional overload. It made sense. D’s objective insight is usually right on the money.

Anyone would be emotional, with a week like I’ve had. It’s been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. I wasn’t at the usual emotional time of my menstrual cycle. Maybe, I was ovulating and that was a contributing factor. Normally, I would feel better in understanding the roots of my emotions, in finding a logical explanation for feeling such an overwhelming sense of sadness. I can usually move beyond the emotion, once I understand the cause. I couldn’t shake this feeling Thursday.

Dad called at 4:05 PM. He said he had some bad news. I knew right then. All I could say was “No”. There was silence as he collected himself. I feel he was trying to keep from crying. “No” was all I could whisper. I didn’t need to hear the words. I didn’t want to hear the words. My heart imploded, as dozens of thoughts crashed in my brain. The dam I had been holding back all day gave way. The tears flowed freely down my cheeks.

Results from the partial MRI, done Saturday, showed that the cancer had metastasized to his brain.

They completed 75% of the MRI before they had to stop. Metal fragments came into view in the area around his eyebrow. If you worked as a forklift mechanic for 53 years, you’d have stray bits of metal imbedded in your body too. Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses powerful magnets, powerful enough to rip out any metal in the body. Even tattoos containing metal inks will be drawn out. Depending on the location, this could be, not only lethal, but very damaging and/or painful. It also distorts the image results.

Dad actually serviced forklifts in a warehouse that constructed MRI machines. He once told me a story about it. The huge magnets are glued together during assembly. The assembly workers were at lunch, when they heard a loud “BANG”, as loud as an explosion. When they investigated the sound in the large warehouse, they found the huge magnets stuck to the ceiling. The magnets were so powerful, they couldn’t remove them.

This memory, along with my researched knowledge of NonSmall Cell Lung Cancer raced through my head. Mom had recently chastised me for too much internet research, when I asked her what kind of NonSmall Cell Lung Cancer Daddy had. I feel that knowledge is power, in this case: ignorance is bliss. No matter your knowledge, anyone can recognize the severity of cancer traveling to the brain.

In less than a heartbeat, I knew. This is stage IV cancer. I had read enough to know what it meant, when lung cancer metastisizes to distant regions such as the liver or brain. I didn't have to wait for staging from the doctor's. Worst case scenario. I mentally kicked myself for letting down my defenses. I thanked my Dad for letting me know and I asked how Mummy was doing. I wanted to appear in control. I didn’t want him to worry about me. I didn’t want to expose my panic to him, even though he already knew, I knew what this meant. Being an RN, my Mom was devastated by this news. I asked Dad how he was. In true, SUPERDAD fashion, he replied: “There’s nothing I can do about it, it is, what it is.” My heart broke into a million pieces.

We hung up. I cried. I shouted my anger at God and the universe. I raged against the unfairness of it all. I couldn’t stop my mind from racing. I thought about the story Dad’s PCP told of a female patient with the same scenario. She lived 7 years before she died. Not from the cancer, but from the side effects of the radiation treatments. Seven years. It’s not enough. He will only be 68. That’s too young.

I tried to maintain routine. I took the dog for a walk. I dropped her back at the house and continued my walk. I was breathless, when the call came on my cell from my son, from my intense pace. I briefly debated whether or not to tell him. I know I am incapable of telling a convincing lie, so I told him the truth. At the initial diagnosis, my son had the best attitude of all: “I’m not worried, if anyone can beat it, Grampa can.” But, even at a naive 16 years of age, he instinctively knew the implications of lung cancer traveling to the brain. “Oh, no”, was all he could whisper. As tears overtook him, he asked if Grampa would be OK. The protective Mother wanted to reassure him, the petrified daughter shared his panic. “I don’t know, I wish I was there to hug you”, was all I could say, as he broke down. My Father has been the only real father figure my son has ever known. He asked if I wanted him to come home this weekend. He wasn’t planned to come home until next weekend. I agreed to his coming home. I told him that I needed his help to move items too heavy for me to lift off our porch, in a lame attempt at normalcy. He was more interested in seeing Grampa, which was fine with me. He wanted to go see Grampa. He said he was going to call Grampa, but called me back a few minutes later. He was too upset to call. I told him that was OK, he could call Grampa when he was more composed.

Daddy called me at 6:42 AM today. I was on my way out the door to work. There was a determination in his voice that was absent last night. It was as if he was calling to reassure me. That is who he is, more worried about everyone else than himself. “I’m not giving up, I’m going to fight”.

“That’s right”. I responded. “You have to be around to see your Great-Grandchildren.”

“I will be.”

He informed me that they’d probably be going to Maine for the weekend. I think that’s a good idea.

Son called at 8 to say that he would be staying with his father. He did call Grampa and found out they’d be going to Maine. I’m being trumped by Sea Bass.

I left work at noon today. Mainly, because I was an emotional wreck and completely useless. I need time to digest and regroup.

I just got off the phone with Mom. Daddy had the first of 10 radiation treatments to his brain today. The entire brain is irradiated during treatment. To get what they can and can't see, they irradiate the entire brain. There are three cancerous areas that show on his brain. He'll have 10 additional radiation treatments to his lung.

This is my vision of hell.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More good news

Bone Scan - negative.
Abdominal Scan - negative.
Head CT tomorrow.

Finally back to work today. I realized by an E-mail that I missed seeing Wil Wheaton here in Boston on Sunday. It was probably the only chance I'll ever have to see him. I am disappointed.

I was at my parents house during Wils reading.

I'll take every good day I get to spend with my parents over anything else now. Time is so precious and there's never enough.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Power of Prayer and Blogger Mojo

The biopsy has results are in: Nonsmall cell Lung Cancer. Nonsmall cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer, and it generally grows and spreads more slowly. Results of the bone scan and stomach CT will be in tomorrow. This is good news. Another test on Thursday and they meet with the oncologist Friday. The stage of the cancer will be determined by then. The lower the number, the better the prognosis and chance of a cure.

One small prayer answered, thank you God. Thank you Bloggers, for that positive mojo and healing thoughts. Please pray for early stage and low numbers.

On another note: I got screwed in court. But, that's really not that important right now. I'll fill you in later, on that.

I'd rather focus on the positive at the moment.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Court tomorrow

I think I had mentioned a while back, my ex had asked my son to spend the summer with him. I've been a bit preoccupied to post about it. Ex picked up son a week ago, yes, I've been childless for a week. We've talked on the phone several times. Things seem to be going well, so far. It will be interesting to see what happens after tomorrow. Tomorrow I have to go to court. Ex filed for a modification of custody (no problem) and support (wait till ya hear this one).

First, a little history:
February 2002 - for the first time since our divorce (1994) I filed to increase child support. I never did it previously because I was afraid that ex would take it out on son (It was sons encouragement & choice that I go to court). We suffered much hardship due to this. Over the course of those 8 years, I incurred $22,000 of debt just to get by. I was salaried, once a month and made less than $21,000 a year. I was starting bankruptcy proceedings, when I got my job at MIT in 2001. (I have since paid off every dime of that $22,000 debt). Ex was making over $60,000 a year at this time. The court wanted to increase support to $250.00 per week. I requested that they only increase it to $200 ($75), in the hopes that ex would see that I was being reasonable and just pay it. He figured that since he was paying me more money, I could afford the gas to drop son off & pick him up. He lives 25 minutes away. I felt that it was his responsibility to pick up and drop off his son, if he wanted to see him. I refused to be manipulated, coerced or browbeaten to give into this selfish mans demands anymore. Son lived with me and took care of him 24/7. He didn't see his son for 3 months.

October 2002 - Ex was injured at work and child support was reduced to $150.00 per week.

October 2002 - June 2006
Ex buys a new truck, he and wife take a 3 week vacation, cross country to the Black Hills Sturgis Bike Rally (two Harleys in tow, one worth over $17k). Ex & wife go on vacation to Jamaica. Ex & wife go on vacation to Florida. Ex goes to NASCAR races in southern states. Ex buys new 5th wheel camping trailer. Ex buys new fishing boat. Ex buys truck for $1000 as a Christmas present to son. Ex & wife take 10 day vacation to Florida Keys (January '06). Ex builds new deck and installs new jacuzzi/hottub. Ex falls behind $2,450.00 in child support.

October 2002 - June 2006
Mom pays off $22,000 of bad debt. Mom buys new car for first time in 19 years (because '91 Plymouth Acclaim became too dangerous to drive). Mom takes son on first vacation (that she paid for) since 1994 (a 3 day camping trip to western Massachusetts and 1 day a Six Flags amusement park). Roof leak causes electricity to go out in one wall of home, ceiling fan, home alarm, lights and outlets fail in an entire wall of home - Mom cannot afford to pay for repairs.

June 2006 - Ex files papers with court for temporary (summer = 8 weeks) custody of son and requests not only, to not pay child support, but that I pay him $150.00 a week support. (Keep in mind that I pay $92.00 a week family coverage for medical/dental insurance for me & my son and that ex owes $2,450.00 in back support). Not only did he file these papers, he hand delivered them to me, instead of having me served by a sheriff. He claims that he has no finances and he can't afford the cost of having me served. Also, our son is staying with him for the summer to work construction, framing houses (both being paid under the table, of course). Ex is claiming he's indigent. Ex is trying to get Federal Disability from Social Security.

Pause, for laughter, and chins being picked up off the floor.

One thing you have to understand, my ex thinks that I use the child support money he pays for my own entertainment. He thinks I use it as party money. (Little does he know, I haven't gone out partying in years.) When we got divorced, he told me that if I ever tried to increase the amount he paid for child support he would quit his job and work under the table and I would get nothing, because he would be making nothing (on the books). He doesn't have a clue what it costs to raise a child. He doesn't care what it costs. He hates having to give me any money. This is part of the reason why I am allowing our son to stay with him for the summer. I feel that son is old enough now to deal with his father. I want both father and son to get a reality check. Son to see that it ain't so bad with Mom. Father to see, not only, what it's really like being a parent, but also how expensive it is to raise a teenager. This child goes through a gallon of milk in two days and does a load of laundry a day. My grocery bill was $150 a week and my electic $40.

What do you think the court will decide?

My main concern with all of this is that ex will change his mind about son staying with him for the summer, when things don't go his way. Then I'll be screwed. This child cannot be home alone for 10 hours a day. I was scouting summer camps and jobs at the end of March, when ex asked son to live with him for the summer. I want the court to make ex honor his commitment. To top things off, ex mentioned that he has plans for one weekend during the summer (he couldn't recall the dates) and son couldn't stay with him at that time. This just pissed me off. Ex has been "visiting" his son every 3 to 6 weeks for the last two years. There is no set schedule. When son wants to see father and father has plans, too bad. If I want to make plans, or have something special I'd like to attend, ex always has plans for that weekend and cannot take son. So, I end up staying home. Don't get me wrong, I feel it's my job as a parent. My responsiblity is to do the right thing for my son and be a good parent. If I miss out on something I'd like to do, oh well, I made that decision when I decided to become a mother. Ex has never been inconvenienced, or cancelled plans for his son.

The court will not even address ex's modification until he pays child support arrears. He could be thrown in jail for contempt of a support order, until he pays arrears. When the court hears what ex can afford in the way of purchases and vacations, they very well could retroactively increase support.

I'm sure there will be fireworks tomorrow, just not the 4th of July kind. I will be blamed for whatever the outcome, even though ex is the one that filed for this court appearance.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The most terrifying sound in the world

I was helping Superdad move furniture back into my Grandmother's apartment tonight. The replacement carpet (from the flood damage) has finally been laid. I worry that he's trying to do too much. Superdad is always busy doing something. Yardwork, gardening, fixing this, that, or the other thing, finish work on the house in Maine - he's like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going & going....

I know he wants to try and maintain some sense of normalcy. I know that he wants to keep busy to avoid thinking about it. I know that keeping busy means physically doing things for him. I know that any physical exhertion causes him to feel the affects of the disease invading his body. I know that, that, scares the hell out of both of us. To hear him get winded so easily. To hear that horrid wheezing. Watching the effort it takes to get air in and out of his lungs almost paralyzed me with sorrow.

It took everything I had to maintain an appearance of calm. I was on the verge of tears, from fear and anger. I vaguely heard him say something about getting winded so easily, as terrifying thoughts were racing through my mind. I was surprised at the calm in my voice when I responded, "It really bothers me to hear you breathing like that". What kind of stupid comment was that? "It bothers me?" Like he has any control over it? If it "bothers" me, how the hell do I think he feels about it? I could have cut out my tongue as soon as I said the words. I was really thinking: Daddy, it scares the living shit out of me to hear you breathing like that. I don't want you to be sick. I want this all to go away.

But you know something? It occurs to me as I reread what I just typed, he knows what I meant. He's my Dad and he knows me better than anyone else, besides my Mom. He has this sixth sense about him, he always has. I once made a comment to my brother, "All Daddy has to do, is look at you and he knows everything". He's the reason why I cannot lie. I get all flustered and beet red if I try and lie. It doesn't matter if it's a big lie or a white lie. So I just don't do it. It's not worth it. He has instilled a sense of honesty in me, like any good Superdad would. I wish I had inherited that sixth sense. I have a hard time telling if my son is lying to me.

I know, I digress, but it's my stream of consciousness and I'm not doing drafts of this post. I'm not checking myself. Right now, this is my haven to spill my guts, to vent. Grammar doesn't count. Spelling doesn't count (screw spellcheck). My readers (I have readers!), have been so wonderful and supportive, I think that you will be understanding and forgiving of "Sharfa in the raw", and it could get pretty raw. I've been guarded since I started blogging. I'm sure most bloggers are. Some bloggers want to be careful, just in the off chance that someone might connect what you blog with who you really are. You could get fired from your job, or piss off family & friends. Perhaps, I'm feeling the lifechanging affects of having a family member with cancer. (Most likely). Whatever the cause, it doesn't matter. A good friend said it best, in a recent E-mail: "No point in steering now". (Bonus points if you know where the quote is from). I could lose my father to cancer. That changes your perspective on what really matters. That said, I blog nothing to intentionally offend or cause anyone any kind of hurt or harm. That's my disclaimer for any and all possible future posts.

Dad showed me the pictures from his bronchosopy. His left lung, with spacious passageways and healthy pink tissue. His right lung, with almost swollen closed passageways and portions of red, raw tissue. It was difficult for me to discern the enemy. It was hidden beneath the swollen lining of his lung, closing off the flow of oxygen. I don't know what I was expecting to see, but I wanted something more tangible to my eyes. Something I could lock onto and direct my anger at. I wanted to see the 6 cm. tumor as an invading mass, something that could be removed in one easy operation, and my Dad would be healthy again.

I left my parents home, with a promise from my Dad to call me when he needed anything requiring any physical effort done. I'll go down tomorrow and mow the lawn.

I cried all the way home.