So Shawn had his surgery last Wednesday. Everything went very well. They checked his hook-up sites and they were open and healthy looking. Unfortunately they kept him until Saturday so I had to make the trek to Virginia to see my Dad without him. My Father and I had been estranged for many years and have only been on speaking terms for the last year an a half. Last Feb he came up to help me remodel the kitchen during one of Shawn's month long hospital stays. It was an opportunity for us to kind of get to know each other again. Almost 15 years of nastiness between the two of us, I became a wife and mother in that time period. He wasn't there.
This past October he was diagnosed with Cancer. Primary site is lung with mets to brain, liver, and lymph. He is being treated at "The Cancer Centers of America" and I have to say I am extremely impressed with the care he is receiving. Frankly when I heard his diagnosis I didn't expect him to survive the holidays. He is doing great, here nearly eight months later.
I had considerable anxiety with respect to seeing him. I felt like he was back in my life and now he's dying. I didn't want to see him sick. My Father was always very muscular, very fit. He has always been my Fonzie. I know what cancer looks like. I am a nurse and I did not want to see my Dad ravished by it.
I bucked up. I accepted that this was how the trip was going to go. Me without my husband for support, me on my own. Shawn spares me from most difficult experiences. When there is something that is uncomfortable for me, he is my cushion. He helps me through things, sometimes just holding my hand, sometimes fighting for me. He has always been my "make this go away". I made up my mind that everything was going to be great. I imagined my trip as fun and full of adventure, happiness and nature.
My brother and I drove down together with his daughter 7 and Sara Lou 13. We left Friday night 7:30 p.m. the girls were sleeping by 10pm and Peter and I enjoyed the ride. We stopped when we needed to, no pressure. We talked about growing up, all of the camping we did as a family, the injuries sustained, the traveling. We talked about our Dad. My brother shared that he too was sort of frightened seeing Dad sick. I think through all of the chatting was very cathartic for the both of us. We arrived in Virginia around 5:30 a.m. feeling peaceful.
To be cont'd....
Rest in Peace Aunt Marybeth
1 year ago