Bouncy
After the Fall

The L Word

I felt vaguely unsettled yesterday. I made multiple stabs at writing a semi-funny story, but every attempt ended with me losing interest and idly staring into space before holding down the delete key and obliterating everything I'd written. Noah was home from school because of the primaries, so I figured I was just distracted by the constant interruptions of Mommy, Mommy, look at this Star Wars toy I made it's from Legos but I put this piece here instead of here and now it's a pod racer Mommy do you like it Mommy it's from Star Wars pew pew pew!

I finally gave up and decided that we both probably needed to go play outside for awhile.

***

Three months ago, my mom mentioned my dad's platelet count. Among probably a good five or six other things that were of concern. Ever since the roller-coaster ride of his heart surgery and multiple bouts of pneumonia, I haven't written much about my dad, I know. There was almost too much to say, what with the continued irregular heartbeat episodes, his permanently damaged lungs keeping him tethered to an oxygen machine 24/7, his diabetes, his hearing loss, the falls, macular degeneration, mysterious bruising, overwhelming fatigue, and the depression that inevitably comes when your age and body and health turn on you so dramatically, when the few simple pleasures you have left -- reading and watching baseball on TV -- are slowly slipping away behind increasingly cloudy vision. 

He only leaves the house for doctor's visits, and there are so many, and there never seems to be good news or an all-clear from any of them anymore. Something else to watch and monitor. Suspicious growths that need to be removed, minor surgery to be performed, something new to be followed up on in three months, give or take the specialist's vacation schedule.

So I didn't really think much of the platelet count thing at all. 

Instead, we all threw our energy into figuring out the house situation -- to get them into a smaller, single-level place, preferably one for seniors that would allow my mother some freedom for the first time in years, where she could feel safe leaving him for longer than it takes to make a furtive trip to Target Pharmacy for prescription refills. So the need for her own visit to her own doctor wouldn't lead to a tearful, panicked phone call because there's no one to watch your dad that day

This lead to cleaning and purging and sorting and donating. Then came the discovery of expensive house repairs, at just how overwhelmed they've been in their small townhouse for all this time. Then we found out about a home equity line of credit and more debt than we were expecting. They'll only get how much for the house? The top-choice communities want how much upfront? 

The next-door neighbor had a psychotic break and did WHAT out in her front yard? OMG, that would almost be funny if the whole situation weren't so terribly, horribly sad.

***

The house is going on the market on Monday. The follow-up visit for the platelet count issue was yesterday. 

The doctor took one look at the bloodwork and ordered a biopsy performed on the spot. The results were definitive. It's leukemia. 

The lab is now looking at the biopsy and we'll know the extent of the cancer by the end of the week, but his doctor was kind yet blunt: We are probably looking at something acute. The diagnosis alone means he is already officially too sick for the senior community they planned to move to. He is already saying he does not want to go through chemotherapy. 

My mom related the information over the phone last night and I sat down on the floor. I felt like I was floating. I couldn't really cry. I remembered the time she told me about his throat cancer in a Taco Bell parking lot. The time I sat on the floor in my dorm hallway five years later and she told me it had come back. The time my brother-in-law called in the middle of the night to tell me about the aneurysm. 

At some point, the calls drift together and aren't quite as distinct, even though they kept coming. A mysterious fall. A heart problem. We're at the hospital. At the ER. Headed to the doctor now. Diabetes. Skin cancer.  Heart surgery. Pneumonia. Collapsed lungs and more pneumonia. Congestive heart failure. His eyes, his ears, his lungs, his heart, again. It was always something, he was always aging, always sick. Perhaps I'd started to just expect it, and the phone calls.

But I wasn't expecting this one. I just wasn't expecting it to be this.

EPSON027  

Comments

Charlie

Hang in there, Amy. We're all praying for you & your family. Be well.

baltimoregal

Best to you. Keep sharing if you can.

Courtney

I'm so sorry.

Amelia Sprout

I'm so sorry Amy. He's already been through so much, it just doesn't seem fair.

Lucy Fisher

Well, fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.
Fuck. So sorry, Amy. Sending love, and hugs and swear words at the universe that would make a sailor blush.

Fuck.
And, love.

the grumbles

we really, really love you, and your family. i'm sending you the best thoughts from my heart. and then punching cancer in the face.

Kailee

I'm so sorry. So very sorry.

catherino

I'm so terribly sorry. I pray for comfort and peace for you all.

Heather B.

This is number one on the 'Why I must get drunk with you' list. Well this among other things. I am so, so sorry. I'll be down next weekend and the week after. We'll get beers and/or wine.

I love you.

Nancy M.

It's been 18 years since "The L Word" first hung it's storm cloud over my family's house and all this time later, my stomach still drops every time I see it in print. Thinking of you.

lis

fuck cancer.

cancer is the enemy that will never leave my family alone. you have my deepest empathy.

Shannon

Thoughts and prayers for you, your parents, and your family. Hang in there as best you can.

Biscuit

<3, I don't know what else to say. Lots of people thinking of you!

Bethany

I'm so sorry. You have my prayers and wishes for wine and good visits where he gets to revel in Noah's incredible progress and play, and Ezra's bravery and fearlessness.

Jenn H

From the moment I read 'platelet', I knew where this was headed. And yet, seeing the word 'Leukemia' there still sent a shiver down my spine.

I am so sorry.

I will be praying for peace that passes understanding for all of you...

G.G.R

I'm sorry. It is so unfair how much has been put on your family! *internet love*

Nicole

I am so very sorry.

Starbuck

Amy, I am so sorry. I don't know what to say except I am so sorry.

Luisa

Adding my voice to the many who are thinking of you, and your family. I'm so sorry about the news and for all that your dad (and mom and all of you) have been through already. xxxx

meowlam

Amy, I'm so very sorry. Sending virtual hugs.

Lorrian

Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good)

My thoughts are with you and your family!

Jenn

Fuck.

Shit.

I'm so sorry.

We're here for you.

Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good)

My thoughts are with you and your family!

Peachy

Take it one minute at a time, and know that you are surrounded by much, MUCH love.

jive turkey

Oh no. I'm so sorry. I hope your family gets some positive news soon.

Lori

Crying a bit and praying for your Dad, your Mom and your whole family today. So sorry to hear this.

Kathryn

I'm sorry. If nothing else, know that thousands of people out here in the internet are thinking of you and your family, and hoping that you pull through this one.

Floyd

I'm so very sorry.

I've been through a lot of medical problems with my dad recently and it can be so disheartening.

Hang in there. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Amy

I am so sorry. This is heartbreaking. I will keep you & your family in my thoughts.

C @ Kid Things

I'm so, so sorry.

Emily

I am so very sorry. For lack of more eleoquent words, that just...sucks.

Emily

I am so very sorry. For lack of more eloquent words, that just...sucks.

Alexa

Oh Amy. I hate the way that even when you are expecting bad things, it is always some totally other unexpected bad thing that slams into you. Not fair. You have been in my thoughts since I first heard about this yesterday, and if there is anything I can do (and I do mean ANYTHING) please email.

Tricia

I'm so sorry.

bekala

Oh, Amy, I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers. There are so (too?) many of us that have been touched by cancer. we can drink wine and hold hands through the intertubes, and talk trash about this uninvited guest that's crashing our party. fucking cancer, get off our lawn!

bekala

Oh, Amy, I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers. There are so (too?) many of us that have been touched by cancer. we can drink wine and hold hands through the intertubes, and talk trash about this uninvited guest that's crashing our party. fucking cancer, get off our lawn!

Gabrielle

Oh Amy, I am so very, very sorry. Sending lots of love out to you, your Dad, and the rest of your family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Gabrielle

Oh Amy, I am so very, very sorry. Sending lots of love out to you, your Dad, and the rest of your family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Pinkie Bling

Oh, Amalah. Much love to you and your family.

Gabrielle

Oh Amy, I am so very, very sorry. Sending lots of love out to you, your Dad, and the rest of your family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Marianne

Many prayers for your mom and dad and the rest of your family. You've all been through so much. I wish I had good, comforting words, but I'm sorry. Please know that some stranger is thinking of you all.

Dawn

I'm so sorry about the rough news. I wish your family the best.

Laura in PA

I'm so, so sorry.

Amanda

I hate cancer. I'm so sorry your family is facing this evil demon.

Dani

I'm sorry. I wish I had better words, but I'm so sorry will have to suffice.

Jenn

My dad used to be a teacher and one of his Rules of Fifth Grade was that Life is Not Fair. And this may be true, but this? This is really not fucking fair. Your poor dad has been kicked in the ass over and over again and it's really not fucking fair.

Thinking of you and mumbling obscenities to the universe.

Kate

(((amy))) I'm so sorry

Sally

Oh, I'm so sorry. I don't usually comment, so you have no idea who I am, but I wanted to add my sympathies and hopeful wishes for your family.

chris

So sorry.

Missie

So very very sorry, Ame. Having been through this myself three years ago, I know how you are feeling...It's crazy and surreal and sucks extremely bad...It's an awful dream that has no ending when you wake up.

Am here if you want to talk...

Missie

So very very sorry, Ame. Having been through this myself three years ago, I know how you are feeling...It's crazy and surreal and sucks extremely bad...It's an awful dream that has no ending when you wake up.

Am here if you want to talk...

Bachelor Girl

Oh, Amy, I'm so sorry to hear this. You hang in there, girl.

Alicia

You have lots of good thoughts coming your way from a dedicated reader across the country. Good luck and stay strong!

Nanette

I'm so sorry, A. It's heart-wrenching to witness the decline of a parent. The helplessness is unbearable.

Sending lots of healthy thoughts your way.

Nanette

I'm so sorry, A. It's heart-wrenching to witness the decline of a parent. The helplessness is unbearable.

Sending lots of healthy thoughts your way.

HereWeGoAJen

I'm sorry. We are all here to listen whenever you need us.

Kristin J

I am so sorry sweetie. I will be thinking of you and your Dad and praying for the very best.

Ellen

Oh, Amy, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I was in the same place last year with my dad, and it's never easy when it gets to this point. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

jodifur

I'm so sorry. Please let me know if you need anything.

Kate

Oh, Amy. I'm so, so sorry. Sending love and prayers and wine...

adequatemom

Love to all of you. Thank you for your bravery in sharing this with us.

Elizabeth

Praying for you and your family. I'm so sorry.

susan

You and your family are in my prayers.

katy in MA

I am so sorry.
My dad also spent many years, from age 38 to 69, struggling with multiple health issues: 2 heart attacks before age 40. Triple bypass at age 55. Bells palsy. Divuticulosis. Hernias. Diabetes. Congestive heart failure. Esophogal issues. And oh, the resulting depression...it was so hard. Please know that others are thinking of you and your family.

Sprite's Keeper

Ah, God. I can't write how much my heart is clenching for you and your family right now. Sending prayers because what the hell else can I do?

Stacy

Let me just add to the refrain. I'm so sorry. Sending y'all good thoughts.

Sprite's Keeper

Ah, God. I can't write how much my heart is clenching for you and your family right now. Sending prayers because what the hell else can I do?

denice

I'm sorry, Amy. I will be keeping a good thought for him and for you all.

Txtingmrdarcy

Fuckfuckfuckfuck.

I'm so sorry Amy. I've read since the beginning and your famiy has had to deal with more than anyone should.

I'm not good at being the comforting, praying type. But I am going to give it a damn good try.

Txtingmrdarcy

Fuckfuckfuckfuck.

I'm so sorry Amy. I've read since the beginning and your famiy has had to deal with more than anyone should.

I'm not good at being the comforting, praying type. But I am going to give it a damn good try.

Virginia

I'm so very sorry. I wish there was an easy fix for this. I hope that you & your parents feel the love, support & prayers of the many, many of us who wish you well.

Sarah

I'm so sorry. Warm, warm wishes to you all.

daysgoby

Amy, I'm so, so sorry.

There are things that no one should ever have to go through and I'm pretty sure your Dad has already had his quota of those...
Thinking of you, your boys, and your family.

Christina

I am sorry. I do not comment often but you and your family are in my thoughts. Go give your Dad some hugs lady.

Janet

So very sorry to read this. Having been thru this with both parents, I get the floating feeling. It is soo hard when you are far away from them. Do the best your can, that is all anyone asks.

Kim

So sorry, Amy. I am praying for you and your family.

klcrab

Damn, I am sorry- there is never a good call and parents aren't suppose to have this happen. Going though much of it myself, I hate it- feeling helpless.Damn

klcrab

Damn, I am sorry- there is never a good call and parents aren't suppose to have this happen. Going though much of it myself, I hate it- feeling helpless.Damn

klcrab

Damn, I am sorry- there is never a good call and parents aren't suppose to have this happen. Going though much of it myself, I hate it- feeling helpless.Damn

bethany actually

I said it yesterday on Twitter, and I'll say it again here: I'm so sorry, Amy. Hugs, prayers for you all, sincere good wishes. Truly.

jonniker

Love love love to you.

jen

oh, Amy. no words, just warm thoughts for you and your family.

jen

oh, Amy. no words, just warm thoughts for you and your family.

Jean

Amy, my heart is aching for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We are here to be a virtual shoulder for you always.

Heather/Cobblestone

I am terrified that my dad started to take that turn on July 31. Not the L word (oh mercy, I am so sorry for the L word) but heart, lung, heart, lung.

I am so sorry. My heart is with you and yours.

Jen L.

Amy, I am so, so sorry. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Roberta

Oh. Shit. So heartsick for you and your family. This might be assvice, so take it as you like, but whatever time you have with your dad? Talk to him. A lot. Ask him to tell you stories from his life, his boyhood. Ask him anything, everything you might have ever wondered about. My dad died suddenly, so I never got that chance. I gave my oldest friend this advice when her dad had terminal cancer and was under hospice care at home. The conversation they had made her change the course of her life. Anyhow, I am so sorry. We, the people of the interwebs love you.

Stephanie

It's just NOT fair. I was all of 19 and in my dorm room when I got a call from my dad saying my mom had colon cancer. I just started screaming. After six months of chemo, she pulled through it, but ten years later, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. And she's my very best friend in the whole world, so I get it.

I'm just so, so sorry. F cancer. Seriously. GAH!!!

Thinking good thoughts...

Stephanie

It's just NOT fair. I was all of 19 and in my dorm room when I got a call from my dad saying my mom had colon cancer. I just started screaming. After six months of chemo, she pulled through it, but ten years later, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. And she's my very best friend in the whole world, so I get it.

I'm just so, so sorry. F cancer. Seriously. GAH!!!

Thinking good thoughts...

Joey

Oh, honey, I'm so sorry. :( *hugs*

Lynn @ Walking With Scissors

I am so very sorry.

Tracy

I am so sorry Amy. I am right there with you. HUGS

Jessica V

I'm so sorry Amy. This just blows - no way around it. I'll be sending positive vibes and thoughts to you and your family.

Lots of hugs too.

Brandi

I am so sorry Amy. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Amber

Amy, I really wish there was something I could say that didn't sound trite, especially coming from a complete stranger: there's really nothing other than that I'm so, so sorry to read this, and that there's another random stranger out here who's thinking of you all.

Amber

Amy, I really wish there was something I could say that didn't sound trite, especially coming from a complete stranger: there's really nothing other than that I'm so, so sorry to read this, and that there's another random stranger out here who's thinking of you all.

Sandra

So, so sorry.

Amy

Oh Amy, I am so very, very sorry.

Michele

I'm so sorry Amy. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Michele

I'm so sorry Amy. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

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