In an ironic twist, I learned of my father’s cancer from my sister Jan. She called while I was at a beginning of the school year party for Adrian and I missed her. When I called back, she said she thought I’d better wait until I was home for the news. Of course, then I needed to hear it right away. I knew something was wrong.
Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost a year to the day after Jan’s diagnosis. Since she was not a “typical” pancreatic cancer patient (if there is such a thing), we were baffled how she’d ended up with it. She wasn’t an over 50 male, she had no bad habits and there was no family history of the disease. Dad’s diagnosis made the penny drop for all of us – the family connection was there, it just presented itself after hers.
My first reaction was ah ha! That’s what has been wrong with him. He’d looked so drawn and thin when I’d seen him in August, it helped to know there was a reason. I also felt convinced that, based on his doctor’s opinion, his tumor was operable and he would be OK. This time, it wasn’t so overwhelming.
At least I had learned a lot the past year through Jan’s treatments and my involvement with PacCAN and could be of help to him. At least I had experience now that I didn’t have before. That was good, right? At that point, it was what I had to cling to. And cling to it, I did.