My father has cancer.
It’s a very odd thing to type, even a stranger thing for me to say. On September 10th, he told me that he has prostate cancer, the same thing that claimed his father a few years back. When I heard the news, I began to cry at my desk at work. Then I laughed for being so emotional. Then I was simply numb. It’s stage 1 and was caught early, so chances are they he will be just fine except for side effects from the treatment. That doesn’t change the fact that it frightens me.
It’s not a secret that I don’t exactly get along with my parents anymore. I haven’t spoken to my mother since moving to Indiana and haven’t received any correspondence from her since last Christmas when she told me how worthless of a person I was. My father has refrained from the low blows, but he’s always been that way. He and I are a lot alike and have always gotten along, but since my mother’s wishes come before my own, he has been following her lead on making my life slightly uncomfortable. We see each other once a month but rarely speak.
Cancer changes things. It made him vulnerable in my eyes for the first time in my life. It makes me come face to face with the fact that sooner or later, my parents will be gone from this world. It makes me angry that my mother is still being so petty, holding on to anger and cutting me out of her life and the lives of my family members. It makes me disappointed in myself for accepting that they are not part of my life and for not including them in it. It makes me afraid.
I am one of the worst people in the world when it comes to dealing with anything related to death. I never know what to say when someone has a loved one pass away. I loathe funerals and would rather skip them and pay my respects in another way. I don’t even want a funeral held for myself when I go; just cremate me and go about your business in private. Since finding out he has cancer, I’m not too sure how I should be acting, feeling, or doing. I feel lost.
I’ve spoken to a few people who have had parents battle cancer and who have lost their parents to it, but none of it really helped. It’s either “don’t worry” or “it sucks.” I’m not sure what I need to work through it and I’m not sure if I should even be allowing it to affect me as much as it is. I’ve researched it online a bit and that helped temporarily, but there really is no easy fix when it comes to dealing with this sort of thing. I guess all I can do it hope for the best.