Don't Stand So Close To Me
Turkey Run


The chemo isn't working. 

I didn't expect it to. 

He felt "better" after a blood transfusion last week. His numbers were "better."

I didn't expect that to last, and it didn't. At all. 

I talked to him on the phone on his 81st birthday last week. For just a few minutes. Then he said he had to go and hung up. 

This was also expected.

He is translucent. He is blue and grey. Like a cancer-stricken extra on a medical drama, wearing too much pancake makeup. He is immobile and helpless, short-tempered and miserable. He is a bundle of medical checks and balances, with one medication causing X but preventing Y and yet none of them having any effect at all on Z.

It's happening slower than I expected. 

That's not necessarily a good thing. 

Which is confusing. Guilt-inducing. Unexpected. 

The doctors are finally talking about stopping treatment, about making decisions, about being comfortable.

Because the cancer is too aggressive, because the chemo isn't working, because he is already much older than 81 and so sick and has no bone marrow and no platelets and no hemoglobin and no options. Because he is blue and grey and miserable and fighting for one last year as the desperate months go by. 

He doesn't hear any of that. He hears fight. Chance. Odds. Win. 

He is stubborn. Obstinate. Downright impossible. 

And brave.

I would never, ever expect anything less.  


Fairly Odd Mother

I'm sorry Amy. It's especially hard around the holidays.

Plano Mom

Tears and Prayers.

Kim S.

I'm only one of many sending you strength and peace in this hard time. And we're just the people who live in the computer. When you feel like you are going to fall down, remember your friends, your family, your readers, your husband, your children (especially the one closest to your heart right now. Literally) are standing behind you, propping you up. Be a source of strength for your dad, and when that runs out, turn to your crew to give you strength.


God, cancer SUCKS. Took my Mom from me, my husband's father from him, just too much loss.
Just... hugs, from someone who's been there.


Prayers for you & your family... not sure what else to say.


You are doing an amazing job, not only in trudging through all these emotions, but also for sharing them so candidly. Some might be tempted to sugar coat, or try to be politically correct but completely unrealistic. I'm sure sharing your story, the version where you are hoping for better time instead of more time, I know reading that will help others who have to face situations like this. Many thoughts of comfort for you and your family this week.


This past Sunday in church, when it was time for prayer requests, a lady stood up and said your name and asked that we pray for everything that you and your family and most importantly, your father, are going through.

I just wanted to tell you, that you have friends in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and we have you in our thoughts and prayers.


My heart breaks for you and your family. I can tell you this, cancer sucks, and so does chemo. Hang in there

Becky (Princess Mikkimoto)

Long time reader, first time commenter.
I'm SO SO sorry Amy. Thinking peaceful thoughts for you and your family.


So, so sad to hear this. If there is any comfort in the thoughts and prayers of strangers, you have that. Alot of that.

Margie K

You don't know me from Adam, but I appreciate the update. I'm sure it wasn't easy to write.

I wish there was something nice I could say that would make it better; we all do.

Amy in StL

It's never occured to me that my dad being obstinate and stubborn might turn out to have another - slightly less frustrating - side. I'm sorry you're having to go through this. I'd give you a hug but, um, personal space and all.

Kim T

I've said it before, but I am so sorry. There's nothing any of us can say that will make it any better, but I am sorry nonetheless.

Amy M.

I'm so sorry, Amy! Sending prayers. F&@% cancer!


Wow. . . powerful writing. You have a gift to make people feel what you're feeling.


so, so sorry for all of you. take care.

Melissa F.

Words can't express how sorry I am for you and your whole family. It's horrible to have to stand by and watch. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs.


I'm hoping you respond to this.

First off, I'm terribly sorry about the situation you are in. I know the feeling of being torn between wanting to keep a loved one, and wanting them not to suffer anymore.

I was just wondering if your dad was suffering from Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)? My dad was diagnosed with the blood/bone marrow cancer in 2003, and subsequently died in 2004. It is not a "very common" cancer (as was so gently put to us), but I do know of a couple of odd-ball treatments they tried on him to help increase his CBC & Platelets that I thought I might share with you if that was the case.

Suzy Q

So sorry for you and your family, Amy. I know how tough this is.


I keep coming back here. Reading this, not knowing what to say.

I have nothing, but I'm sending you so much love.


I'm so sorry, Amy. Hugs.


So this probably isn't the best place, but I think you only keep your comments open on the current entry...

Check this out:

Tiberius Aftershave. You know, for Bearius Care! :)

Alison F.

LOVE...sending lots of it your way.


I've been thinking about your dad this week. My brother-in-law also has acute leukemia (AML - is that what your dad has?) and will be getting a stem cell transplant next month - my husband is the donor.

The situations couldn't be more opposite - my brother-in-law is 41, otherwise healthy, a wife and two children under 8 at home. We are all on pins and needles as he starts yet another round of chemo. There is this feeling of unjustness in the possibility of an unfinished life. And yet, I think that unjustness applies to your dad as well.

I didn't mean to ramble. I just wish so much that your dad's leukemia would be treatable. Cancer sucks so hard. So so so hard. It seems like an awful thing to say, but I hope that your dad will find peace.


Because I've been where you are, I have no words, because I don't know that they're really are any. I watched my sister, at 37, fight with the same stubborn grace until the very end. I felt the same confusing mix of emotions - the desperate need for her pain to end mixed the impossible reality of what that would mean to my life. I imagine everyone does. Eventually, though, the overriding emotion was, It was the only thing left that mattered, so we all held onto it, and held each other up with it. Then we gave it all to her.

This might not really help you at all, and it's probably selfish of me to even write about myself, but I though I'd throw it out there. Please take care of yourself and know that there's a world of kind strangers thinking about you.


Talk to him about the meaning writing has given your life, about the meaning his *work* has made to your life... about how words will sustain you and your boys and your mom and that he has given that gift to you, his daughter.

Say goodbye with your mind focused on your love for him... I know that hurts right now. But your love and smile and peace will let him know that *you* will be okay... and that's all he needs to know...


Amy, my heart is just breaking for you and your mom. Fuck cancer

With you dads fight, and all our prayers, I'm wishing for a miracle.


I was wondering how things were going. Big hugs to ya.


tell him we all love him


so sorry Amy. I have 3 people in my life fighting a tough battle with cancer...I love reading your words, they express how I feel too.


Dammit. That is just a ball of suck, right there. Virtual hugs your way.


Sending you love. May he have a good Thanksgiving with family around him...


Sending all of our white light, Amy.


I am so sorry.


Hi Amy,

I have been where you are- with my mom. And even pregnant to boot. So bittersweet, so complex, and so fucking unfair.

Believe it or not, there will come a time when you both know that what is coming is okay. He will be okay and remarkably (and very much unexpectedly) you will be okay.


I'm so sad and sorry for everyone who has lost someone special to them. Amy, I'm so sorry, and thank you for letting us know how your dad was doing. Wishing him all the best.


Hate this for you.

Loving thoughts to you all.


There is not much more I can say than, what I've said before. I'm so sorry you and your family have to go through this, Amy.

Fuck Cancer, indeed.


so so so sorry. It's so hard. No words. Sending love.


I am so sorry, Amy. What a hard thing to have to deal with, particularly when you are already a mess of hormones.

On a funnier note, I am always trying to figure out your family how many siblings do you have? Where do they live? And how old are your parents? I am guessing you were a late-in-life "surprise"? This would make an interesting post...

Again, I am so sorry.


Love and hugs to all of you. Shedding tears on your behalf.


Amy, I am so sorry. Please know that you are in all of our hearts and prayers. Just words, I know...but I hope all of our positive thoughts make your heart just a little warmer.
Love to you and yours.


*sigh* I'm so sorry.
BIG hugs to you and your parents.


Amy, so sorry to hear your dad isn't doing well. He sounds like such a wonderful spirit. Cancer is such shit. I hope he feels "better" for whatever time he has left.

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