My father received another "get-well" card in the mail today. The card read
"When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade!"
Sweet. But, what do you make when life hands you stage IV cancer? And it's all up in your gut. And the pain is constant. And you can't eat. Or drink, even enough to wash down the 10 different pills that your doctor insists you take each day. Some lemonade would be very welcome. But it will just end up in the barf bucket that is constantly at your side.
That's not to suggest that all of the sentiments - cards, calls, promises of prayer - are not appreciated. They truly are. I'm just highlighting that fact that it so difficult to know what to say in these situations. Living here with Dad as he suffers through this evil thing (there, I said it: Cancer is evil), I'm finding myself knowing less and less what to say as the weeks wear on and he gets weaker and sicker and more frustrated.
I don't want to say nothing. That's not good. But I don't want to be a nuisance by chatting him up too much. I want to put a comforting hand on his shoulder when the nausea racks him, and it seems that the next thing we're going to see in the bucket is a piece of some pretty useful organ. But I don't want to cry in front of him (he doesn't allow it, anyway), so I often have to leave the room. I want to be helpful, but I don't want to be patronizing. I'm having trouble finding the balance. So, I tread lightly, letting his wife handle most of the day to day stuff and just being here, at the ready, in case he needs anything.
K.N.I.T. (because this is primarily a knitting blog)