May 22, 2009
“There’s all sorts of nasty news I’ll tell you about when I see you,” my dad explained with utter reluctance. Nasty news – I repeated the words in my mind. I immediately text three people after hanging up the phone: My best friend, Megan, my ex-boyfriend, Devin who both lived in Kansas and my current boyfriend, Elliot in Los Angeles.
My dad had had a meeting with his chemotherapy doctor who, in turn, shared statements of facts that we, technically, already knew of, but he just reinforced with evidence. Part one of the nasty news was that if he decided not to go through with the chemo, then he’ll have about 6-8 months left and if he decided to go ahead with it, which he has, he’ll have about 1-2 years. So, yeah, I guess you could say I’ve accepted the fact that my dad is going to die. I mean, we’re all going to die someday, right? However, I still believe in miracles. I always hear stories about doctors giving people only so much time and then the patient surpasses the given amount by a landslide.
It’s just insane…after I left the coffee shop, where Linda called me and explained everything that was said in the meeting in further detail, I went to my dad’s. My brother had just arrived from Colorado. My nonna called while I was there and after my dad spoke with her, he came back inside and broke down. I asked him why he was sad, if grandma had upset him and he replied, “No, I upset grandma.” Linda later explained that dad’s whole thing about not having much time left isn’t that he’s going to die but how it will leave us, his children, grieving for so long. He recognizes how much Linda misses her daughter and doesn’t want to “do that” to us.
I’m staying strong, but I’m also having my nightly lows, as I like to call them. Not only do they occur at night, but when I’m by myself, driving, or even sometimes in public like Wednesday night at my cousin, Halie’s high school graduation when one of the student body speakers spoke on the topic of death. The period doesn’t help with the emotional control and neither does the sore lower back I’ve been experiencing since Tuesday evening.
During the three and a half months I spent in Kansas City the summer of 2009, while recording my daily and/or weekly thoughts, I was simultaneously experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the form of nightmares. They were so severe it got to the point where I was legitimately afraid to fall asleep. Most nights, I stayed up as late as I possibly could, reading, writing, listening to music, talking on the phone – anything to keep from falling asleep into the inevitable nightmares that viciously haunted my slumber.