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

Erin

I'm so sorry. If I can do anything (says the stranger on the Internet), I will gladly do it. Make a donation, send some healing Reiki energy, whatever. My sympathies to you and your family.

sheilah

Oh. Man. Nothing else to say. One more faceless internet stalker is sending good wishes to you & your family.

Luba

That sucks so bad. So so sorry that your family is going through this.

Jen.

So many hopeful, warm thoughts to you, your family, and your dad. Fuck, indeed.

Lena

I am so so sorry, Amy.

I too remember the day - it was my 5 year wedding anniversary - when my dad called and told me with a shaky voice that they found spots on his liver; undiagnosed colon cancer had spread. We didn't even know he was sick. He was 53.

I'll never forget sliding down the wall to the floor thinking "But there are presents downstairs."

I'm sure this is probably the wrong thing to say because I ALWAYS say the wrong thing, but...just know that I know what it feels like to receive devastating news about a parent. And I am so so sorry.

Love you.
L

Colleen

So so very sorry.

liz

Thinking of you and your family.

liz

Thinking of you and your family.

Mommyattorney

Amy, I'm so sorry. You are all in my prayers.

Mary Lou

I'm so very sorry. May God give you peace and comfort. I'll be praying for you and your family.

The picture of you two is so sweet. I like how you are holding your arms like your Dad. : )
God bless you.

Sundry

Oh man. I am so, so sorry. Thinking about you guys and wishing you the very best.

Megan

Damn, damn, damn. I am so sorry, and I don't know what else to say.

Jessie Mae

I'm so sorry. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

Julie

Sheesh. My heart just goes out to you. Such hard news. I'm so very sorry, and I hope that you and your mom can be a great support to each other and to your Dad. Hang in there, and know that we all have you on our minds.

The Other Laura

I am praying, lighting a candle and sending good thoughts to your whole family.

lisa

I am so sorry. We really need to make cancer wear lady gaga's meat dress and shove it into a lions den!

lisa

I am so sorry. We really need to make cancer wear lady gaga's meat dress and shove it into a lions den!

lisa

I am so sorry. We really need to make cancer wear lady gaga's meat dress and shove it into a lions den!

Kim

I'm there with my dad. I know. I'm almost past the "fuck it all" stage, but still need a bit more time. I'm feeling yours too. I'm sorry.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Thinking of you and your family.

Jamie

[no words].

Hugs and prayers, Amy!

Kim

My mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and died in 2006 and I still feel panicked every time the phone rings at a strange hour. There aren't words for how very much cancer sucks. I so sorry that you have to go through this.

Kim

My mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and died in 2006 and I still feel panicked every time the phone rings at a strange hour. There aren't words for how very much cancer sucks. I so sorry that you have to go through this.

MichelleH

Oh, I'm so sorry Amy.

Angella

I'm so, so sorry, Amy. So sorry.

Angella

I'm so, so sorry, Amy. So sorry.

Jessica

I almost wish you all didn't know about the leukemia. I know only what I've experienced and my family has experienced. And it's like your car is stuck on the train tracks and the doors have been welded shut and you know it's a matter of time. And not much time. The one thing I know from going through this type of hell is that love is forever.

gabrielle

I'm so sorry, Amy. I lost a family member to leukemia a few years ago, and I've had to be a caretaker for an older family member as well, so I sort of know in a very general way how you are feeling and damn, does it suck.

Thinking of you and your mom & dad and your family and wishing the very best outcome and lots of love and peace for you all.

Kate

I'm so sorry. Hang in there.

Lizgizzy

I'm so sorry- I remember that floaty feeling all too well, it just sucks.

Wallydraigle

I am so, so sorry. You have been one of my favorite writers for years now, and it breaks my heart to know that you are going through this. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Lizgizzy

I remember that horrible floaty feeling all too well. It just sucks- I'm so very sorry.

MommiePie

Oh, Amy, this news makes me very sad. That is an unreasonable amount of shit for your family to go through. Spend as much time as you can with him. I'm sure your sweet boys will help to put a smile on his face. ((hugs))

Kim

I'm so sorry. Best thoughts to you and your family. Especially your mom.

Kristin

I am so sorry Amy. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

Emma

I don't know how to comment because you don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for so long I feel like I know you. Just know that I am crying for youand your family...and praying...doing lots of praying... Lots of hugs through the internet...

KittyMarie

You and your family are loved.

Cora

I'm so very sorry to hear this. Leukemia totally sucks and I hate that y'all are going through this. We are thinking of you in San Antonio! :)

Miss Britt

Adding my sorry to the list. :-(

Fawn Amber

My heart hurts for you. Prayers and much love...

Mo

So very sorry to read this news.

Joanne

OH, I'm sorry! I will keep your dad and family in my prayers. Hang in there.

Karishma

Oh goodness, Amy, I am so sorry. I'm thinking of you, certainly, and hoping that the doctors are able to work out the best way to take care of him. Here's hoping.

TwoBusy

Heartbreak is rarely more beautifully rendered or deeply felt than this.

Anything and everything that might pass as good luck: I wish to you & your parents.

Tam.

Thinking of you and your family, Amy.

Issa

I'm so sorry Amy. Huge hugs.

Loren

Amy - you and your family are very much in my thoughts and prayers. I hate this for you, and I wish there were better words that could give you real peace and comfort. Know that you're not alone!

dayna

I'm so very sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my mom to cancer and it just sucks.

dayna

I'm so very sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my mom to cancer and it just sucks.

dayna

I'm so very sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my mom to cancer and it just sucks.

Amy in StL

Your tag says it all Fuck Cancer. It takes too many people by creeping up on them. It should have to wear one of those ankle home monitoring devices so we know what shit it's up to next. I'm sorry....

Sherri

Hugs from across the country! I'm so sorry. Having been through the same thing in my own family...I know that floaty feeling and and I know how hard those calls are. I'm so sorry. Hang in there and know that even people you may hardly know are thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

Harper

It's never supposed to happen to your family, to your daddy. I know how much it hurts.

Thinking of you and your family.

lizardek

Damn it.

Bev

I'm so sorry. On a lighter note, I saw this and thought of Noah:

http://www.kaboodle.com/home/omg/slideshow/pillows-to-curl-up-with?fbItemId=AAAAAQq8HP0AAAAAAOg9Ug

star wars pillows!

Cheryl S.

I'm so so sorry.

If your father truly decides to forgo chemotherapy/treatment for the cancer, get in touch with Hospice. (My grandmother refused treatment for lung cancer). They are a wonderful organization. Your dad may be able to stay at home if you get them involved.

Ginnie

I am so, so sorry. I'm going through a similar scenario with my mother and I continue to be amazed by how much "breaking down" a body can bear. Hang in there, we're all thinking of you and your family.

wealhtheow

You and your family are in our prayers.

Ashley

I'm so sorry Amy. Having to parent your parents is incredibly hard on top of all the illness. Y'all will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Diane

Oh Amy I wish there was something to say to make it better. I'm so sorry. It's a terrible thing I know. Lots of good thoughts coming your way.

Lar

I am so, so sorry.

Sarah

Oh, Amy, I am so terribly sorry.

Christine

Amy, I'm so sorry.

Mel

Oh, Amy, I'm so sorry. Effin' cancer! Let's go punch cancer in the junk, then meet back at your house for a bottle of wine. Or four.

Mama Bub

I am so, so, ridiculously sorry.

Coleen

I am so sorry. You and your dad and your family are all in my prayers.

Coleen

I am so sorry. You and your dad and your family are all in my prayers.

Katie

I know how it feels to receive that news and I am so, so sorry that you have to go through this. I will pray for your family, especially your dad. Hang in there.

Jodie

I'm so sorry. This sucks! And I completely understand, agree, and applaud your "fuck cancer" category. Hang in there...

Missy Carvin

I'm so sorry to hear this. Please know there's lots and lots (and lots) of us out here pulling for you and your family.

tasterspoon

I'm so sorry. My heart is with you.

ariel

I'm keeping you all in my prayers and wishes. I hope you're all getting everything you need to be able to deal with this.

DianaCLT

So sorry. So completely sorry. Dads seem to be getting their asses kicked lately. Too many people I know, have been getting scary news about their dads, or losing their dads, lately. And here I sit, not even on good terms with my dad, for the past 6 months. Time to beat down some walls. I'm praying for your dad, Amalah. I'm sending all of you thoughts and best wishes for health, peace, and some good news.

Jenna

When your dad was in the hospital last year, I was visiting my dad after chemo and before radiation or maybe it was after his surgery? I can't remember. What I do remember is the incredible but sad comfort in hearing your story, in understanding and realizing I was not alone.

I'm so sorry for this latest turn. It's unfair. And sucky.

You are not alone.

Amber

I know it doesn't change a damn thing, but you & your family are in my thoughts & prayers. So much love to you all.

Sunshine

I am so sorry.

Sarah

I am so so sorry. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

La Rêveuse

I'm so sorry, Amy. That really bites. I'll be praying for you and your family.

Isabel

I am so very sorry! My thoughts are with all of you.

Isabel

I am so very sorry! My thoughts are with all of you.

amy2boys

Amy I'm so sorry. I will keep him and you and your family in my prayers.

kim

Oh Amy, I'm so sorry.

Allisone

Love to you and your family.

Nelia

I am so sorry about your dad. my step-grandmother is going to chimo right now.. don't know how to feel. Praying for you and your family.

Amy

Wow, that sucks. I'm really sorry.

Zak

Much love to you and your family.

Katie F

I'm so sorry. It's not much, but I'll pray for your family.

Dr. E

Oh, Amy.

I'm so terribly sorry. Wishing only the best for you and your family.

Cancer can go frak itself.

workout momy

I'm so sorry Amy! I can relate since we are going thru similar health issues with my dad. If it's not one thing, it's another. It's so hard to watch and hear and wonder "WHY?!"
life is sometimes just a cruel joke. hang in there....

Amy

So Sorry, I'm sitting here at work trying not to cry.

Lisa

So sorry for this latest hurdle. My dad recently had some type of episode that THEY thought was either a heart attack or light stroke. Never did come up with a good diagnosis. But this was my dad who is NEVER sick, always has more energy than he should. Now he's taking it slow and that sucks too. You and your family are in my prayers. Cherish your time with your folks.

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