sabato, gennaio 23, 2016

Speaking of shitful accumulations

My father, cancer, he has it.

I'm not very worried about the cancer itself (except OF COURSE I'm fucking worried) because it was caught very early, and it's a very common, treatable, slow-growing one in men his age. I am worried about where he is - in Canada, and in a rural part of Canada. On both counts, medical care is not all it could or should be. Public universal health care on the Australian, British, or Canadian model looks good on paper - looks best on paper - but my experience is definitely that when it comes to anything even a little complicated or in terms to access to specialists, outcomes and doctor quality are better in European countries with mandatory insurance schemes. Maybe less political footballing. I don't know why.

So I wish he was here, or in France - I would feel a lot more confident in whatever treatment plan gets came up with for him. Anyways. He's not. So, no use fretting about it. By the end of the month we'll have a clearer idea of how serious it is, and how it will be treated.

But the big takeaway, so far, as we wait, is this sort of slap across the face that there's not so much time left. He's probably fine - this carcinoma is probably just a symptom of his being in his late 70s - just a symptom of him being of an age where, if we're lucky, we have ten really good years and then - fuck, just fuck, fuck, fuck.

And yes, I know, I'm lucky to still have him, and my mother, still in such good health, as so many people lose their parents so much earlier. But that doesn't make me feel better, frankly. Just worse for those other people who lost their parents so early. I won't be ready when he goes - when they go. I will not be ready at all. The idea of being ready is absurd. How could people who lose their parents young bear it? Surely something in them must just die out of sheer self-protection? I don't know.

4 commenti:

Anonimo ha detto...

It's shit. Cancer and ageing and the spectre of loss - and there is nothing good I can say about any of it.
Sometimes - despite everything that makes us different - I think we're living parallel emotional lives.
My Mum and Dad are 71 and 74. Mum had uterine cancer 2 yrs ago - she's now to go for a bowel exam re possible secondaries. Dad was diagnosed with an advanced and aggressive prostate cancer last year but has responded well to the hormones and radiotherapy. He was diagnosed with diabetes yesterday.

I am frightened. Even though I know at nearly 50 I am bloody lucky to still have them - and for them to be really youthful and active and independent. Dad is in my house every day for childcare and he keeps the place tidy (it's a job he's given himself) - and when he's driving me mad talking about cars or house repairs I smile and think 'I love this eejit'.

You sound like a close and loving family - he'll know you'll be willing him well. I hope that your Dad gets the treatment he needs - and that you are granted some respite and peace of mind.

Dread Pirate Jessica ha detto...

Yes, it's prostate cancer here too. We should find out soon how aggressive it seems. Sort of holding myself in a functioning limbo until then.

I am grateful for the parallels these days. I'm not looking for answers but it helps on its own to know that you are going through similar experiences ahead of me and being expressive and thoughtful through them! Thank you.

My dad is acting not worried at all and mocking us for any suggestion we think it's a big deal. I'm choosing to believe his shtick is sincere and not treating it as a big deal - yet - but that doesn't stop me being daughterly. We are a very honest family but sometimes there's still a whole kabuki theatre going on.

Anonimo ha detto...

Sounds like my Dad. Pretending to be 'fine'. Mocking the concern (but actually very touched that we all care). I remember suggesting he might get something from the support group at the hospital and you'd have thought I'd farted in his face...
Because of circumstances we've all lived co-dependent lives - if the kids weren't with R and I they were with my Ma n Da. They helped us with the care of my father-in-law too (he was stroke-paralysed at 49 yrs old and lived with us until his death in 2003). Like I say - I've/we've been lucky.
But yeah - the kabuki theatre stuff is the best description I've ever read.

Dread Pirate Jessica ha detto...

I am trying hard as I can to suspend my disbelief over it. It gets a little extra fucked up by our conversations being on the phone, since he's not a computer guy, and is always at the gym or something when my Mum Skypes. He says he's not worried, and I don't believe him, but tell him I do believe him because he doesn't want me to worry and him telling me to not worry and me acquiescing feels like the only power I can give him right now.