27 June 2006

The New Normal

My father completed his three strong "up-front" radiation treatments, to enable him to breath, yesterday. Today he begins his regimen of chemotherapy treatments. Never in a million years did I suspect my dad at 63 would have cancer. Never did I suspect I would have to learn the new vocabulary of cancer, words like pathology, tumors, nonsmallcell lung cancer, radiologists, oncologists, thoracic surgeons, enlarged blood vessels, etc. I knew these words, but not in an intimate way; before they were words other people knew I only overheard them and used them secondarily.

Several months ago a friend who is in Baton Rouge attended a conference for those who were providing care during Katrina. He mentioned the phrase "new normal." That phrase keeps ringing in my head. Your mind plays tricks with you by tricking you into believing all is back to the old normal: dad is healthy, he doesnt have cancer, nothing has changed; then you talk on the phone, have a fit of tears, and read about lung cancer then you realize life is now the new normal. And the new normal sucks!

Pop, I hope the chemo treatment goes well, agrees with your bodies and kills a ton of fast growing cancer cells today. Rest well afterwards my good man, livestrong.

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