Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aftermath...uh...well...sort of

Been a while since I have written here. I have been so busy...so distracted since I finished my radiation treatments. Time to catch up.

I finished my radiation treatments on July 28th. In the time after that I have experienced many things physically and emotionally. Physically speaking, the first two weeks were difficult. I was having a problem with incontinence and having many strong urges to void...and not being able to make it to the restroom in time. It was a normal thing that happens to men who have prostate cancer and have had surgery or radiation treatments...but it was pretty disgusting to me.

For a while, I had become the person that I feared I would be...an incontinent white-haired man. I said for many years that I would rather die than be that guy. Well, I became that guy. It was very frustrating and embarrassing...especially having to run down the hall at work so many times during the day. But then something happened. Just when I began to think that I was going to have to make more adjustments in my life to deal with it...it practically stopped. Suddenly it became mostly controllable. I still have to get up too much at night and go a lot of times during the day...but I seem to be able to control it now.

I cannot tell you what a huge source of relief that is for me..but I still have to deal with the side effects of the male hormone murdering medication I have to keep taking. That is not as dramatic, I guess...but it is embarrassing at times.

I have never been a big "crier"...one who shows a lot of emotion...but the radiation and meds have made my emotions hard to check at times.

The week after I stopped treatments, my son and I took a week to move Allie out to San Diego CA to go to law school. The trip out there pulling a 6 x 12 trailer with all of her stuff in it was a lot more difficult than I expected it to be. A lot more expensive, too. Yikes.

We took two days to get out there and got her moved into her apartment. Then we spent a few days looking around, getting her some furniture and running some other errands. It was fun, but I was a basket case when we left her behind in San Diego and headed home. Drew thought his Dad has lost his mind...as most of the way back to San Antonio I found myself tearing up and crying and sniffling.

I have never done that in my entire life. I was with my parents when they died and while I was sad, I didn't cry like that. I have been involved with hundreds of funerals over my lifetime...and not once did I react like that.

When I was having a gall bladder attack and it felt like one of the creatures from the Alien movies was about to burst out of my stomach...it was incredibly painful. It hurt terribly, but it did not hurt me as much as it did leaving my little girl out there on the West Coast and driving away. I know she will do well in law school and I am very proud of her but even as I write this I realize how much I am going to miss her.

So, yeah...I have been through a lot the last couple of weeks or so...and I am not going to know how well the radiation did its job for a while. I just have to hope and pray all goes well. There is nothing else I can do.

But I can can say one thing...I am grateful for every day of life. Yeah, there are a lot of uncertainties out there. Sometimes life is not ideal. Sometimes you make a mess despite your best efforts not to...and then suddenly things begin to turn around. A child moves out and you are happy and thrilled for her, but your heart still breaks from a sense of loss. Sometimes life is disappointing. Sometimes it is thrilling. Very often, life is humbling.

But life is life...and today I am more glad I am alive than at any time in my life. I am blessed with a wonderful family and many, many friends. Life is good. It isn't perfect. It isn't what I thought it would be. It is sometimes very inconvenient. But life is life...and God blessed it and said it was good.

1 comment:

  1. Richard,

    Thank you for sharing you personal and emotional experiences throughout this difficult time. I cannot begin to imagine the pain that I will one day have to endure, then twice more, as I watch my three young girls head out into a world that is beyond my control. I admire your tenacity and resilience both as a father, and as a survivor. I guess as parents, we must unwillingly prepare ourselves for the inevitable truth that our children must one day venture out on their own, and become the individuals we have always hoped they would be. Meanwhile, we secretly pray that one day, they will come to appreciate and value the guidance and forthright examples we have provided all along the way.

    Congratulations on a job well done Richard!

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