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My dad will be 66 years old in October. He gave up smoking about 4 weeks ago after 40+ years. He was diagnosed with lung cancer 2 weeks later. Sorry if that sounded dramatic, but I’ve written and rewritten it about 10 times and have given up trying to make it sound any other way.

He was diagnosed on Friday 28th July and had his first dose of chemotherapy the following Monday. Apparently it’s the aggressive sort of cancer but the doctor assures us that “aggressive cancers can shrink as fast they grow when treated properly”. Drawing from my extensive, almost lifetime, experience with doctors I’m thinking “That may be so, Mr. Stethoscope, but I’ll believe it when I fucking see it”.

He has lost a lot of weight but he has been losing it for a while - because of a lump in his neck he’s taking steroids and these are giving him quite an appetite, so at least he’s eating more or less properly now. I’m obviously concerned but I’m not upset - I’m not the worrying sort: what happens happens. I think having accepted my crip-ability helps me take anything as is comes - I usually find myself pretending to be upset so people don’t get offended and think I don’t care. A guy I know online (who goes by the name of Stryke) suggested I get a badge made:

Crip-ability: You cry for the both of us

I think I may actually do that.

Of course, all this not worrying is great in theory but actually doing it brings consequences. I actually am not worrying consciously, but my sub-conscious mind has turned on me and now I’m full of apathy, I can’t be bothered to do things I usually enjoy (such as making entries on here) and while I sleep right through the night I don’t actually get any rest.

It’s seems that all of the above has caused some people to think that I don’t care about my father and his health — this is untrue. If you feel it does mean that I don’t care then I’m afraid you’ve missed the point.

My only escape at the moment is reading - I’ve just finished Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (last night) and am about to start The Two Towers. The Fellowship of the Ring took me a month to read but I’m in the flow, now, so The Two Towers should take me less time. I’m not a slow reader as such, but I like to visualise every scene in my head and play it out like a movie, so if I read a section and can’t quite figure it out or realise that I haven’t been paying attention I go back and re-read it. Call me anal if you like, but I call it making the most of a book.

On another note my brother, his wife and their children came over from Owego, Illinois, last week (the 8th) and stayed in the country for a week. They came to see dad but it was my nephew’s 18th birthday, too, while they were here. My nephew decided to stay in England when my brother (his dad) moved out to the US just over 2 years ago. We all went out for a meal and some drinks on the Friday, the actual day of my nephew’s birthday, and then he had a party at mum and dad’s local village hall on the Saturday.

I knew it would be but I have to say it anyway: it was bloody, bloody brilliant seeing them all again - I didn’t realise how much I’d missed them until I was waiting for them to turn up last Wednesday afternoon … I was actually nervous!


So sorry about all this Tim. And I’m with you on this doctor thing. They all want us to think they are gods walking among mere mortals but they sure have taken a dive in my opinion of them in the last couple of years (although I never thought that highly of them to begin with). I hope your dad pulls through. He’ll be in my thoughts. At least you had some fun seeing your bro and going to that family reunion. - MHC

Talk about unfortunate timing My “uncle” he’s more like a 2nd uncle if that exists is currently trying to give up smoking after a series of heart problems. And working for the health service I can completely understand why you think the way you do about what the doctors tell you Good to hear your dad’s eating, but it’s obviously early days. I kinda knew something was up since you hadn’t been blogging recently I hope that your dad’s treatment goes well and that they stop the cancer - stonysleep

Yeah, good luck Tim, you’ve had my luck already but it’s always official here I guess Keep us updated anyway - Grix

Here, Tim my opinion of doctors… ;^) - MHC

Darn! MY “img tag” wasn’t accepted… - MHC

I’ve added it to the entry itself. And: thank you for the kind words, people. - Timmargh

Tim, I know it’s incongruous, but I have to mention that I’ve been fixated for a few minutes by your blinking Rocco. He’s very cute, but slightly scarey! Lots of love xxx - Sue Horne

Well spotted, Sue! I’ve been slowly replacing my nose-picking picture with the blinking Rocco all over the ‘net, i.e. forums and other sites where you supply a picture. Gravatar was the last one but I had problems with the cache, i.e. the old photo kept showing up, until, that was, I altered the size slightly. You can all wake up now … - Timmargh

Ouh! I see the blinking now! And I was wondering why your avatars in forums were changing, now I know. And this blinking thing… Is this to hypnotize us so you can pick our pockets while we’re completely out of it? :^) Thanks for putting that image in your blog, Tim. *smooch* - MHC

Sorry to hear about your dad, Tim, what else can anyone say? My dad died of the same thing twenty years ago (it was diagnosed far too late for any treatment) so I know something of where you are now. - charlesdawson

So sorry Tim. Life doesn’t give much let-up, does it? Anyway, all the best for your Dad and the rest of the family while this is going on. And the worry (however it manifests) is so inevitable that it’s just a matter of working around it, distracting yourself and doing the few things that you can usefully do in these circumstances. Thinking of you. - The Goldfish

Oh Tim, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. At least he has someone who is doctor savvy who can keep a bit of an eye out for him. This is one of those times that our crip wisdom can either come in handy or be a bit of a pain. It can be very hard to keep the cynicism at bay when we deal with the health system every day but I find that I’ve developed an internal family filter that seems to act as an invisible hand that clamps over my mouth when about to say too much that is negative. (Hope that made sense, I seem to be rambling…) I do hope your dad has a more positive experience with the docs and can find one who is kind and respectful. Sending lots of *hugs*. - Gimpy Mumpy

Funny that some people think you don’t care. Sometimes something is so hurtful, so scary to get into, so overwhelming, that you just go numb. It’s a matter of survival. Hang in there Timmy. All my best thoughts to you, your dad and family. - MHC

HELP!!! - Lori Griffin

*Phew* You’re back!… - MHC

Thanks again for all your kind words, ladies and gentlemen. And: hi Lori! ;^) - Timmargh