Last week, the oncologist told my dad that it was officially time to stop the chemo. It still wasn't working. There was no reason to believe it would ever start working, now that he'd somehow soldiered on through three months of it, only to have the leukemia progress virtually unimpeded in the meantime.
My dad said, "Okay, now what do we try?"
Tomorrow, "we" try a different chemo with a different drug. A drug my mom won't even tell me the name of, because she doesn't want me to Google it.
Today, I had an entirely different post saved in draft that I planned to publish. Today was always supposed to my the next entry in the series for the American Cancer Society More Birthdays campaign, and last week I decided to take a crack at getting that post written and out of the way ahead of time. "Last week," as in: "probably the day before that oncologist appointment, yeah, good timing, self."
It wasn't a bad draft, or poorly timed or completely irrelevant -- I mean, when you're writing about your father dying of cancer, there are only so many shades of emotion or variations on not-exactly-good-news you can go with. But I deleted it anyway.
(And then I stared at the page for awhile wondering if I should undo that real quick, since I'm sick with some horrible flu or cold or flu-cold hybrid thing and so is Jason and Ezra is just getting over it but Noah's still running a fever and therefore my capacity for writing new content is pretty significantly diminished right now, Tylenol dipshit popsicle lightbulb.)
I deleted it because it wasn't about tomorrow. Which is all that's looming large right now. Everyone is scared. My mom just hopes the chemo won't do too much damage, and that they'll avoid an ER visit, and I'm skiddish of the same thing, because I don't know how many ER trips and hospital admissions my dad has left before he just won't get sent home, period.
No, the entry was about our visit with my dad over New Year's weekend -- a good visit, and one with a lot of conversation and jokes and I helped him download the new Tom Clancy book onto his Kindle and we talked about the new baby and how handsome Noah is and how Ezra is just as "cute as a button" and then Ezra blew him kisses as thanks for the compliment.
One day those memories will be it, I know. And I'll probably wish I devoted pages of space to writing every single one of them down in more detail.
But today, we still have tomorrow. Whatever it might be. The fact is our particular, specific tomorrow might not be that great. But dammit, we still have a tomorrow to write about in the first place.
Deep breaths. More tomorrows. More birthdays.