Friday, February 06, 2009

The stories I owe you.

In no particular order.

I still have several posts that are loosely constructed in my head, waiting to be polished up and submitted for your approval, and they're coming. Tomorrow is Pie's birthday party and I still haven't written about Tito's birthday party (which was on January 10th), and it's kinda appropriate for the setup of my topic for today.

Tito's birthday party, I'm happy to announce, was 100% Lubaba-free. It was held at this little place that's basically a bunch of wooden train tables and trains for kids to play with to their heart's content. Tito is a train freak.

The best part of the party was when an actual train went by, right outside the window. The kids went completely nuts.

Anyway, I bring up this train thing because, like Tito, my dad is a train fanatic. I remember being a little kid and accompanying him to trainyards for hours. As an adult, looking at some of the places we actually parked the metallic green Plymouth (sans air conditioning) and watched trains all day, I'm surprised we didn't get shot, or arrested for trespassing.

One time, in Middleofnowhere, Texas, I saw a sign behind a barbed wire fence that said, in green spray paint, TRANSPASSERS WILL BE SHOOT. I remember that every time I hear the word trespass. I giggle during the Our Father at church. Just wanted to throw that in there cuz I think it's funny.

But I Digress...

My dad has a good friend named Steve. I don't know if they know each other from seminary or not, but anyway, they're both Episcopalian ministers, retired now. Steve was moved around a lot to different churches, and it always seemed that he was at a church where we knew people. He was in Cape Girardeau, and the guy I dated for years was a member of Steve's church. At another point he was the minister at my grandmother's church in Ohio. And now, he lives about 2 minutes from my house.

I've known the guy my whole life, and he, like my dad and my son, is a train enthusiast. He and my dad once spent the entire day riding Metrolink from one end to the other. I know it's not a train, but it's cooler than a train, and taking the Amtrak into downtown takes forever and it's really not that exciting. A few years ago Steve worked at the Transportation Museum. Incidentally, my dad did part of the dedication ceremony when it opened, being both a minister and a big fan of steam engines and stuff. Steve was in Cape at that time, I think.

Anyway, sometime in September, Steve went in for a routine physical and found he had an elevated PSA.

They told him, "It's probably nothing."

They went in and found advanced cancer. Again, this was September. So when my dad called Steve a couple of weeks ago to tell him his own news, Steve's wife told my dad that they removed Steve's prostate, but it was too late. Steve's cancer had spread to the bone, and now, there's nothing more they can do. He is basically waiting to die.

Six months ago, it was nothing.

I don't ever, EVER, want to hear the words "It's probably nothing" again. This is exactly why no one can tell me not to worry. Shit like this happens. Nothing becomes SOMETHING.

I took the news about Steve really hard. I sobbed when my mom told me Steve wanted Tito to have all of his train collection. I'm sad for Steve, his wife, his son, my dad, and particularly my mom, the master under whose tutelage I perfected all of my Mad Worrying Skillz.

But the latest on my dad is encouraging. They don't think it's spread, and they're going to do the thing where they implant the radiation seeds (if you don't want the visual of my dad with his feet in the stirrups, you really don't want to know), which is done as outpatient surgery, on March 4th. My mom recently retired (can't remember if I mentioned that, but the timing of it is kinda miraculous) so she'll be able to take Dad to all of his appointments.

Still haven't told the kids, and I know many may disagree, but I think I handled it the right way.

Oh, shit, I forgot - a couple of days ago Pie came home from school and told me he'd watched a Charlie Brown movie at school. I asked him which one, thinking I'd seen them all, and he said it was called Why, Charlie Brown? Why??

It's about Linus befriending a little girl who has cancer.


Kashmir Knitter said...

I'm so sorry about your family friend, what a horrible thing to have to deal with and the timing couldn't be worse (though I don't suppose any time is really a better time to get cancer than any other).

I'll be thinking about your dad (but not in the stirrups because ew!) and sending well wishes your way.

I've actually seen that Charlie Brown special, they usually show that in schools where there's a kid with leukemia. It's overall pretty positive. Linus makes friends with a girl with cancer, she loses her hair and is really sick, a bully picks on her for being bald, Linus defends her from the bully who ends up feeling like a douchebag, she finishes chemo and her hair grows back, the end.

This is the part where I would usually make some joke about a special called Who's Doing Your Mom, Charlie Brown? but I can't think of anything really funny so... I'm done.

Speed Racer said...

You know it doesn't really matter if we agree with you or not - we can offer our suggestions, but you know your kids better than we do, and I have no doubt that you have done, and will continue to do what you feel is right, and in their best interest.

Your kids are some of the most caring, intelligent kids that I've ever had the opportunity to get to know, and know that they'll be just fine.

Know that your dad, and Steve, are in the prayers of the Speed Racers.

Bezzie said...

Was Steve the reason your dad went in? If so that's pretty amazing.

Disco said...

Kinda what Speed Racer said - you know your kids best. We just said what we'd do with our kids ;0)

Sorry about Steve. Prayers for him and your dad.

Zonda said...

Sorry to hear about your Dad's friend. Encouraging news on your Dad too! Hey, I was scared more to tell the kids about me than their Dad, but you know them best and you'll decide when or if it's the time to do so.

Please, please, feel free to email me if you need to talk, vent, etc. I've been there with hubby!