Tuesday, April 12


It is only Tuesday, my friends, and it has been the longest week of my life. 

I mean, the longest week of my life when it comes to MY life was the week of Laila's birth when I almost died blah blah but I was so in and out of consciousness during that time that, really, it wasn't that scary for me. For my parents and Trev, the worst. 
For me, a weird, hazy, confusing, emotional series of naps.

For the past four days, I have been entirely conscious. 
Flourescent light, muscles taut, nerves frayed conscious. 

But, actually, it has been the last five days. How could I have almost forgotten? On Thursday, the day before my Dad's first radiation treatment, I was so keyed up about it that I had a little anxiety issue which I misdiagnosed as an allergy attack but, apparently, appropriately treated with a couple of Benadryl. Weird, huh? It turns out that antihistimine is used to treat anxiety attacks. I have friends in high places (the medical community) so I learn this cool stuff all the time. 

Do we believe in premonition, friends? Because I've wondered in the last couple days if my little anxiety issue was a premonition that the radiation wouldn't go well for my dad. 

Premonition or not, it did not go well. 
He threw up all the way home from the appointment, had dangerously high blood pressure and was in the most excruciating pain of his life. Kidney stones are now a walk in the park for Papa. His new litmus test for pain is enduring stereotactic body radiation therapy and then the feeling of having a tumor screaming in agony and fighting for it's life inside your body. 

When my mom got home from the grocery store Saturday afternoon, she found him with the left side of his face saggy and unable to make sense with his words. When he went to get up, he fell and she called 911. Talk about friends in high places, ya'll. Half the Denton PD has been to see him and a couple of his best buds actually responded to the call at my parent's house. 

Thank God the stroke was mild. Thank God she got home when she did. Thank God he is almost fully recovered from it; his face muscles, speech and walking all back to normal and fully functional. 

We've breathed a sigh of relief, a gigantic exhale, if you will. 

And now its time for radiation treatment number two. 
This afternoon. 

I may go to two yoga classes today, ya'll. 

All of the doctors, and especially my parents, want to continue radiation. We have to obliterate these large tumors on L2 and L3 of his spine or else it won't be long before my dad cannot walk. HAVE I MENTIONED THE MAN IS 55 YEARS OLD??? I digress.

Can we just take a moment here and marvel at the strength and resolve of Jeryl and Donna Golden? That they will willingly put one foot in front of the other and walk into that radiation clinic knowing what pain and agony await them there? Of course, this time we have a strategy for dealing with high blood pressure and some (ok, a lot of) pain medicine that we he will take beforehand and I honestly pity the fool who tries to tell my mom to take him home before she isn't fully confident that he is stable and comfortable. Hell hath no fury like a woman who is trying to keep the man she loves alive and well. Shakespeare said that, you know. 

So, we are taking deep breaths and we are praying for mercy when it comes to the treatment today and, oh, did I mention he has another treatment Thursday afternoon?? 

That is the problem with cancer, you know. 
A series of painful and difficult decisions that you have no choice but to make. 
A series of places that you must go but that you dread going. So many of you have walked this ugly road. 

We know you have been praying, dear friends, and we know God has been with us. It truly is miraculous that my dad had a stroke on Saturday afternoon and walked me (briskly, I might add) to the elevator Monday afternoon. 

I will end this post abruptly because my beautiful children will be shuffling in to the living room any minute now with their warm, sleepy bodies and their gorgeous bedheads and my lap will need to be cleared of this computer so that they can crawl up onto it and be snuggled and held and reassured that today is going to be a great day. 

Dear ones, today is going to be a great day.