Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dad update with fun quote

"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live."
~ Mark Twain

My Dad gave my sister and I a wonderful gift when we were young, among many others of course. This one though has carried me further than most, that is a gift of the book. That quote is for Dad, who has inspired me in so many ways. One thing I remember him making me do (though I am grateful for now) is read Mark Twain's, "Huck Finn". It was the biggest book I had ever read, but glad I plugged through. Though I didn't understand every aspect of the book, I am glad I did take the time to read it.

Through my love of reading I have been able to learn so much, earn a degree from Hollins University and learn several spects of holistic healing. Travel to places I may never see and study so many other parts of history, life and so on.

My sister and remember fondly our summers with Dad. A police officer for Roanoke City at that time working nights. He would take us, I now realize how tired he probably was, to the Salem City Library (cause we grew up in Salem, Va), where we would spend hours. Hours among the shelves upon shelves of different colored book ends, holding all sorts of tales, knowledge and adventure. Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Mark Twain, and the list can go far beyond the classics. Sitting in bean bag chairs reading all we could absorb. Then hearing Dad's snores resonating to the second floor as he fell asleep reading. I'm sure exhausted from his night serving and protecting.

My Dad has been experiencing a new form of exhaustion these past few months. That of survival and to be able to make it through the day. Tired because he cannot put in enough food to help his body have energy. His throat raw from the radiation burns, from his treatments. Tired because his body is fitting against an intruder. Tired because he wants to live to see another birthday, more holidays with his family and so many other special time in between, and trying to fit so much into everyday.

He is one week and two days past his last radiation treatment. He has to wait until June or July to do a scope to see the amazing results of healing his body has been doing against shrinking the tumors and reducing cancer. You see the radiation is still working for many weeks after the last treatment, so we have to wait to learn of the results of months of radiation. So we wait and continue to enjoy every moment we have with him.

I know it has helped me to pause and appreciate the people in my life more and to be sure to let them know. My sister and I have grown closer. We still have our own families, careers and othe obligations, but we've paused to take time to connect and support one another. Something I feel will go far beyond our Dad's diagnosis. Through our struggles as individuals and as siblings of learning how to live with our Dad's diagnosis of cancer. We have so many fond memories with our Dad, some different and some the same, but still an important part of who we are.

Now take a moment and look around you at work, at home or cafe or where ever you are and reading this. Take a moment and look at everyone and put them in groups of 3. Include yourself in a group of 3. 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Is this a diagnosis you want to hear? Is that a diagnosis you want your family, friends or neighbors to hear? I am almost certain you are saying, NO! Learn how you can reduce your risks and how you can stop the cycle of disease and death caused by cancer.

Stop the cycle!

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