"At the end of the day, there are some things you just can't help but talk about. Some things we just don't want to hear, and some things we say because we can't be silent any longer. Some things are more than what you say, they're what you do. Some things you say cause there's no other choice. Some things you keep to yourself. And not too often, but every now and then, some things simply speak for themselves."
Tomorrow is the big day...dad has his long-awaited appointment with his oncologist. I'm nervous about it, as any person in this situation would be. We are going to be discussing dad's treatment plan, and what's next. He still has the tumor on his right calf (fused to his fibula), and since it's inoperable his options are limited. I'm very worried. This melanoma he has is very aggressive and fast-growing. He is still suffering from extreme exhaustion and migraines. I looked at his post-radiation paperwork that explains what the side effects are, and it said he shouldn't experience headaches for more than 24 hours after the treatment. I don't know what this means...whether it means he has more brain tumors, or if the cancer is spreading elsewhere. It could mean nothing. I don't know. I don't know if I want to know. I mean, I have to know. Get what I"m saying? Probably not.
I wish I could do more to help him. I wish I could just wave a magic wand and have everything be the way it was before he fell at work. If I could just go back in time to when he first started having leg problems, and urge his doctor to give him an ultrasound, we wouldn't be in this mess. He would have found the tumor before it reached his brain. The brain tumors had only been there for around 6 months, but the leg tumor had been there a year or more. If we had caught it earlier, he may not be at stage 4. We could get another year, or more, with him. Now our time together is going to be measured in months, if we're lucky.
If there is one thing I can urge each and everyone of you to do, that would be to please please PLEASE get your skin checked. Whether you have moles or not, it doesn't matter. Your life is worth more than a tan, people. Please protect yourselves and get checked. You only have one life! Why cut it short? I care about you and I want nothing but the best for each of you.
Tomorrow is going to be very very hard. I know that I have some amazing friends by my side to support me and encourage me and stand by my side through this difficult journey. I will never take any of you for granted, I promise. Everything you do for me, big and small, means the world to me. Thank you for being here for me. For those of you who have been supportive since day 1, thank you. Thank you for all that you do. And to the ones who haven't bothered to email, call, text, comment on facebook, or even return messages from me? It's your loss. I know you won't be reading this because you can't be bothered by any of it. I don't expect you to be. I don't post anything of this stuff on facebook so if you're curious you can ask me yourself. But again, you aren't reading this. Only my true friends are, and I love you all for it. Whether we've known each other for 10 years or 10 days, you're all wonderful and I am so blessed to have you all in my life. Thank you.
Tonight I am thinking about what it truly means to be happy. I know it's the little things that matter. We all know that. Today I am thankful for the following:
-Having dinner with my dad, even if it did make me sick. He was still able to cook for my sister and I.
-Joking with my dad about hockey and Law and Order: SVU.
-Being able to have one more memory with him. Memories of laughter, love, and happiness.
-Having an amazing boyfriend who loves me despite my terrible puns (purrito, anyone?).
-My amazing friends and family who keep me strong.
-My faith in a Higher Power...because we can't be struggling through life all alone, right?
I hope all of you find something to be grateful for today, big or small. Hug your loved ones. Enjoy every moment you have with them because you never know when it could be your last.
"Maybe we're not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate."