Life happens, and I am so tired of it happening on me and my family. Satan has pitched a tent in our yard, and now he's building a high rise
The Dread of Not Knowing
So much has changed over the past half-century plus a decade. Things I never gave a thought to, I am now thinking about. And things I did think of at times. . .well, I find myself not thinking of them so very much anymore. I am experiencing a paradigm shift in my perspective of extraordinary size and impact.
The not knowing where I stand with prostate cancer is wearing on me mightily. The speed with which my life has changed is frightening in both its direction and its rapidity, so much so that I am unable to comprehend exactly what I should be doing and when.
Am I overreacting? Am I not? Is this life-threatening, or is it merely a blip on the radar of my life? While there is nothing positive in saying, "I have cancer", there is a positive in that it might be controlled, removed, and dealt with in a myriad of ways. All of which is still beyond my knowledge at this point as I do not know conclusively what level I have; I won't know until the biopsy in two weeks.
But even that is concerning—to go from a 4K test to an MRI to a biopsy in two months is unbelievably fast to me. Our friend, whose son is going through this at the same time as I am, waited over six months to have a biopsy scheduled after his MRI; mine was barely three weeks later. Is mine more concerning and dangerous? Or is my doctor overzealous and pushy?
I do not know.
I Almost Ended It All
Here is one perspective change I am not proud of and is something I don't want to share but perhaps I need to share. Due to the pressures of my current job, the people that make up the board, the people who I replaced and terminated, the hatred sent mine and my family's direction. . . I was contemplating ending it all; just giving up. I made plans, had thoughts, saw a doctor, was put on anti-depressants after one visit, and never went back. I was almost ready to chuck it all away because of someone else and the crap I was dealing with.
I have dealt with several suicides over the years: friends, family, and students. I understand well the devastation that this act brings to those left behind to torture themselves with questions and self-recriminations; I still deal with some of it myself. I was well aware, and still, I thought about it. I let other people try to dictate my state of mind, regardless of how much I love my family. The only thing—and I mean it—the ONLY thing that stopped me was the love of my wife and our children; the thought of what it would do to them if I followed through on these thoughts.
And then. . .cancer. Cancer. This might take me away from my family. Possibly not, but who knows? It will change our lives forever though, due to the complications and results of what I will have to do to remain on this earth. When I was thinking of doing it myself, I was selfish. . . yet it was my control—my decision—and I didn't do it. But, this is out of my control and if it wants to remove me from my family, then I may have no say so in that decision, and that is something I cannot accept.
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My Mind Keeps Looking Backwards
Remembering. . .reliving. . .trying to recapture moments lost in time. I'm remembering times from long past, such as when our youngest went with me on his first real Halloween trick or treat dressed as Batman; teaching our children how to drive, cook, and live. Trying to make new memories with my family just in case. Things I have seen take on a new life, a new perspective.
Rutger Hauer, as Roy Batty in Blade Runner, has a speech at the end where he says, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain." This sentence takes on a whole new meaning. I know it's morbid, but still. . .
Songs I have enjoyed and not thought of for years are playing in my mind. "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro; "Yesterday, When I Was Young" by Roy Clark; "Yesterday" by The Beatles. These songs encourage one to look back to a seemingly better and more innocent time or at least think hard about the present and future.
In our family, we have always, and I mean always, made sure to tell one another we love them. Adult to child, child to child, and adult to adult. I love you. Not mere words uttered with no meaning, but an understanding that our actions declare exactly how much we love one another. Hugs and kisses, even from my 6'4" and 6'2" sons along with the words every single time we see one another. We incorporate their families and girlfriends into this as well, sometimes with a little discomfort in the beginning but eventually, they come to understand that this is just how we are.
Our daughters. . .same thing. And their husbands and boyfriends as well. Get used to it fella, I'm giving you a hug and a peck on the cheek. Our youngest son is as comfortable doing this with his elder siblings as they are with him, and it is something I pray will continue into perpetuity. A gift of true, honest, caring love and acceptance no matter what. No judging, no anger or resentment, just care for one another as we care for you.
Now, I wait. . .
I wait. I still have two weeks until the biopsy, and an additional few days until I know more. Then we have Thanksgiving Dinner with everyone in our new little retirement home where we will have our daughter and husband, son, girlfriend, two grandchildren and toddler grandson, son and girlfriend, daughter, boyfriend and baby granddaughter, son, wife, and myself. Fifteen of us all together in a small home filled with love and acceptance, all giving thanks for being able to be together for the first time in two years.
I love them. I love them all.
And that will be what I will think of and keep in perspective as I travel this road, this journey to who knows where. My family is my center, my life. They are my rock. I have said this countless times, but when I met her my wife became my Angel. She still is.
© 2021 Mr Archer