My Daddy, My Hero

All of my life, I had never realized what a special person my dad, Randy is. He isn't my birth father, but when he married my momma when I was very young, he accepted EVERYTHING about her...that everything included my sister (three years younger than I) and myself.

Now, most kids around me growing up in Southwest Louisiana had the most horrible step-parent(s) I had ever met; not me, my "Daddy" (who allowed my sister & I to call him after he and momma were engaged) taught my sister and I that life was not to be handed to you. We worked and played along side him as he worked in the yard, tended to my grandparents, and has always been there even when he was at work on an oil rig in the Gulf.

Dad and I were speaking on the phone in mid-January of this year (2009) and he told me how he had been sick with a supposed sinus infection and possibly bronchitis. He said that, "The doctor had taken chest x-rays and he was placed once again on antibiotics along with a cough medicine." I told him that, "I was scheduled to get an x-ray the following day." We suspected we had the same thing, bronchitis.

The next day, which happened to be a Tuesday, Dad was asked by our family doctor to be admitted into the hospital, it looked as if he had pneumonia. Without hesitation, he let my mom and another relative take him. The I.V. with antibiotics was begun; blood work and the various test were performed. I was sitting at home waiting for my sister to call me and let me know what was going on. She never called; my husband came home from the office and surprised me...he had a look on his face I had never seen before. I knew the minute he spoke the words, "Your sister called's cancer." 

I fell to my knees in my kitchen and screamed, "Why him God? Why?" Before I knew it, my husband has taken me to our family therapist for an emergency meeting. She was informed of what was taking place; the words would not come out of my mouth, nothing but tears and sobs. I just looked at her and she began to explain to me that with his kung cancer, a new journey of our lives together as a family as a whole, and my relationship with my daddy was going to change. I needed to be strong for him; help my momma in everyway possible to deal with this shock (I am an ordained minister, so I'm usually on the "other side" as the counselor, not the one being reassured) and also let my daddy know how important he is and not to hold back on my feelings. Later that day, I attempted to phone my sister; she and I cried barely speaking any words that could not be understood by anyone but she and I. 

As I stumbled around the house, replaying the words, shedding more tears and feeling as if my whole world collapsed by one word, "CANCER". My husband, step-son and I were attempting to sit down for dinner when the phone rang, "Dad was rushed to I.C.U." my sister cried. 

I live about a 45 minute drive from my folks and sister; as my household climbed into my husband's police unit, we sped to the hospital to be met by my aunt (my mom's older sister) as well as my sister, her husband, children and my momma. Dad's heart rate was so rapid due to the medication he had been placed on for a breathing treated, I.C.U. was chosen so he could be monitored. He was in the hospital for several days and then moved to another hospital (where I live) to begin his treatments. He would receive 30 rounds of radiation first and then chemotherapy would begin within a few weeks after radiation to give his body a rest.

The last day he was due to have radiation (once again a Tuesday) he was rushed back to the hospital again; he had breathing trouble, which resulted in muscle spasams from the radiation. He was placed back into the hospital and later that night, back in I.C.U. He was moved out of I.C.U. and given a regular room to be observed for a few more days. As I type, this is going on. 

So, my journey as a child of a parent with the Big "C" has just begun. I never expected to be 36 years old and having to help my mother, 56 and daddy, 58, have to deal with the hardest thing thus far in our family. I can honestly say that I am angry over the lung cancer diagnosis; my husband is a year younger than my mother and "IT...", as they say, "...hit a little too close to home. " My husband could be easily the one and not my daddy or even myself!

I made a pledge to be a 110% supporter for the fight of lung cancer; our town just happened to be one of the few cities to host a 5k Run/1 mile walk on Saturday, March 14, 2009. I will be "Running for Randy, My Daddy!"

To all of those who are in this situation, whether suffering from this horrible disease as a patient, caregiver, family, friend or just someone you know in passing, lung cancer research and take a stand for this fight!

PapoosGurl PapoosGurl
Mar 11, 2009