Daddy is beginning chemo again today. I think he started about 18 months ago, but I can't be certain. I feel somewhat guilty that I don't remember these things more clearly, but I just don't. I can't even say with certainty how long ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but I want to say it was 12 years ago. Addison asked me this morning how many rounds of chemo he's had, and again I don't know. I think yesterday he told me each full treatment of chemo for him is about 12 rounds, each three weeks apart. But have I already forgotten exactly what he said less than 24 hours ago?
Here is something I do know. My dad is a very positive man. I know he has his moments when he gets down and feels depleted, but what people around him and who talk to him see and hear are upbeat, positive thoughts. Over a decade of being poked and prodded, enduring intensely painful procedures, feeling blah and drained for months at a time, and dealing with the monthly question of "what will this test result reveal," he remains positive.
I also know there are people who deal with illnesses and who vent and complain and who are COMPLETELY entitled to do so. Reaching out for support and bending the ear of a friend or family member is okay, so I don't want to offend anyone by saying otherwise. Let's be honest, we all know the difference between wanting attention and wanting support and who fits into which category. But my dad doesn't beg for either. Sure, he'll ask for prayers and will post a Facebook status update about his treatment occasionally, but he almost always has a hint of humor or playful sarcasm attached, even when he's anxious and worried.
So Daddy is on my mind today as he once again begins chemo and is faced with another several months of not feeling himself. From my earliest memories, I've considered my dad to be a big, strong man. It is still a simple yet perfect description, because it describes his mental outlook as well. Sure, I can outrun my dad now, but I'm miles behind him in practicing a positive attitude each day.
Good luck, Daddy. Love you.