Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Time. It's one of those words that you don't necessarily pay attention to. You take it for granted. You go about your daily day and routines without a thought or a care in the world. You just continue on everyday.

But within the past few weeks, I quickly realized how time has taken a toll in my life, my world, my family.

Over a year ago, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. As anybody could imagine, we were scared of the inevitable. But my father's oncologist assured my parents that it was in the early stages and with treatments, he would be fine.

Fast-forward to now and yes, although he is currently 'cancer-free,' the chemo treatments have taken a toll on his 74 year-old body, thus affecting his health. He had been complaining of lack of energy and exhaustion for several weeks, to the point that he would fall because he couldn't walk properly. As their home physical therapist was working with my him, she noticed he wasn't breathing properly, so they called 911 to ask their advice on what they should do.

First stop—a trip to the hospital.

Turns out, my father was in the early stages of pneumonia. Thankfully because they caught it early, it hadn't escalated to the point of threatening his life. Regardless, they admitted him and kept a watch on him only to be released a few days later.

Next stop—rehabilitation.

This was very difficult for my father to comprehend. Not because he is delirious or suffering from dementia, but because he's a stubborn Italian man. Always has been, most likely always will be. Like any patient would be, he was reluctant to go, but knew it was one of those necessary evils in life. If he didn't, it could potentially get worse.

My mother assures me that he is fine and well taken care of at the rehab center. They don't anticipate releasing him until they feel he is 100% capable of walking on his own, and doing—what we consider to be mundane—activities by himself everyday without the aid of my mother. It could take a week, it could take a month, but either way, I know he is in good hands with 2–3 hours of physical therapy everyday.

Even though my father and I have always had a tumultuous relationship, I still love him more than I did as a child. He's my daddy, and I'm his little girl—his 45 year-old little girl. So a part of me wants to fly out there immediately and comfort him, let him know that we are there to support him, but my mother says not to come as of yet. He wants to be healthy enough to enjoy the company of his daughter and granddaughter.

As any daughter or son could imagine, I am scared. I have always looked upon my father as a pillar of strength, so to hear these events occur, is distressing, but for the most part, shocking. My father was the leader of our family. He was the voice of reason—albeit a loud voice—but the 'voice,' nevertheless. I have never considered myself a mature person, which for me, is just fine. But to see how time has marched on and we have all gotten older in our years, I realize that not only are my parents getting older, so am I. So is my daughter. So is my husband.

But it happens. Unfortunately, it happens.

So, I will wait, wait to hear from my mother and wait to hop on the next plane out to Las Vegas to visit them and enjoy their company.

Last stop—home.



Kristina said...

My husband's father went through prostate cancer/treatment a few years ago (in his 70's too) and his resulting months of depression and death-talk took a toll on my husband. The difficult phase has passed, and seeing him in Singapore last fall it was almost as if it hadn't ever happened. Then this spring his mom collapsed and was hospitalized for a week. It's so hard to know how to support parents who live far away. When the time is right, I hope you are able to truly enjoy your visit.

One Girl Creative said...

Thanks, Kristina! That means a lot.

My mom has told me that my dad has been really depressed as a result of all of this as well, so I imagine it just goes with the territory and everything he has been through. I just want to be there for emotional support while they're both going through this together.

Either way, I know our visit will be an enjoyable one.