Saturday, October 10, 2009


Yesterday I was told that my father, the strongest, most honest man I have ever known may have terminal cancer. He has a mass in his stomach which is growing more and more every day. His doctors fear for him. The look in their eyes, the sound of their voice more than their actual words crush me where it's hard to breath.

I haven't cried. Can't do that yet because to do so means that I have accepted this as TRUTH, as FACT. That my father will die a painful, agonizing death brought on by an insidious disease that takes the lives not only of those it claims, but of those who have to watch a loved one die. See, I've been there before. December 2nd will be the 5th anniversary of my uncle's death from liver cancer. A man who was more like a big brother, a dear friend, then my mother's brother. A man who died a death I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

If I cry out loud it will confirm that this is really happening... that we now have to take our father's hand and hold him through this in the way he held us all our lives. If I cry I have to look at my brothers and say the words out loud .... I'm not ready to do that. Not yet.

My father does not know ... he is being told he has an ulcer which needs to be surgically removed. Why tell him now? Why cause the pain and the worry? There is always the chance that when they open him, when the surgeon takes my father's life into his hands, he will be able to remove it all - to excavate the demon that wants to take my dad from us. If he can't, if the disease has spread, there will be time enough for tears - time enough to tell him - time enough to..... is there really ever time enough to find acceptance? How? How do you accept losing the one man you can't replace in your life? My father is 74 years old... I'm not ready to lose him yet. And I am certainly not ready to watch him suffer.

So until the day we know whether or not it has spread... until the day we know whether or not my father will be taken from me by this awful disease, I will not cry. I will not cry and my tears will be the Elephant in the room.


  1. Hang in there Hon you are doing great!
    Fabulous work!

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time...I think of you often..Please know that I am pulling for you and your dad!!

  3. My Dear Sweet Elena, My prayers are with your Father and with you and family also, I pray he will give you the strength to endure whatever is to come....

    Hugs and Loe to you, my friend
    Brenda Schenck

  4. I'm so sorry. I know this is difficult time, and one we all hope we can face with the strength and courage to make the right choices.

    I have now been where you are for both my parents and the lesson I took from it was exactly what you propose: to live each day in the moment and not to think too far ahead. We don't know about tomorrow, but we can each manage today, and that's all that matters. xo-teri