This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. This is the hardest thing my family has ever had to face our entire life. I feel like my families life, my dads life, my moms life, and my life just shattered into a million pieces and I don't know how to pick them up. I don't even know how to start trying. I was there through every step of this process, beginning on Tuesday night when my dad got home from work. We had made plans earlier in the day to go look at carpet for a room in the basement but my dad said he had a headache. I told him it would be so fast and that I could drive. I felt like a giant jerk the whole time because I could tell my dads head really hurt. We got home and you have heard the rest of the story...Greg and I were worried because this wasn't normal for my dad so we called my brother-in-law about it. We checked on my dad before we went to bed. I looked up headaches online and read the basics about Primary and Secondary headaches which worried me because my dad's symptoms were falling more under the secondary category. I woke up at 5:50AM and went up and checked on him again and had him take more medicine. Wednesday he seemed a lot better but I told him he couldn't leave until we had done something so I called our Dr. and told him my dads symptoms and they said to keep an eye on it, if it got worse, bring him in or if it persisted over the next few days to bring him in. I called Greg and told him to be a super sleuth at work and make sure my dad was eating and drinking. At one point during the day, I texted Greg and asked how dad was doing and I got a picture message back of my dad making a silly face. He seemed fine. I came up and talked to him on Wednesday night around 9:30PM and we chose which carpet we wanted for sure. He was watching a show like he normally does in the evening. I asked how his head was and he said he could still feel it but he seemed pretty with-it and good. On Thursday morning, I saw him right as he was getting in his car before work and asked if his head hurt. He said "no....maybe." So I told him I was going to set-up a Dr. appt. He said o.k. and I asked if it would be o.k. if I set it up for that day. He said yes. I called the Dr. and they could get him in at 10:10 that morning. I called my dad and asked if that would work but it was 9:00 and he had just gotten down to Provo so I called the Dr. back and rescheduled for Friday afternoon. I wrote the appt. down in my planner so I could go with him. I texted my mom to let her know I had set-up an appt. for dad for tomorrow so she was aware of it. Then at 1:00 that afternoon I got a call from her saying that Sean had called her and that she wanted dad to go to the Dr. While we figured out who was going to take him, I called Chris and asked if he would come home and work from home so I could go up to the hospital with Greg. We made it to the hospital before the ambulance had arrived with my dad. When it did arrive, Greg and I went over to see him as he got out and wheeled with him in. I got choked up, I was scared. What was wrong with my dad? And you know the rest of the story from there.
Now to present time, I know that my dad has had amazing progress and that there have been so many miracles along the way. I know that we as a family have had feelings of peace and comfort, I have had those same sweet feelings of calm and peace, but it is so easy to forget those times. It is so easy to be angry. It is so easy to ask WHY. Why did this happen to my dad. Why couldn't it have happened to an older guy. Why couldn't my dad have lost his job instead. Or even why couldn't it have happened instead when he was 80. Why is it my sweet, strong, silly, kind, amazing dad lying there in the hospital bed, helpless, with a black eye, no hair, struggling to even talk and focus. Why does he have to have this horrible debilitating disease? It is so unfair. I went to the hospital yesterday morning and once I got home, the tears didn't stop from the second I walked back inside my house. All I wanted to do was scream and cry and throw something against the wall and just get in bed and never get out again. How am I, how are we as a family, supposed to go on living our lives? Who the heck cares if I dusted my house, my dad has cancer. Who the heck cares if I did the laundry, my dad has cancer. Who the heck cares about anything, my dad has cancer. How are we supposed to smile and be happy when we are dying piece by piece inside.
Chris had called me during the day and knew that I was feeling like this so when he got home he let me vent. He let my cry. He let me express my anger and frustration. We shaved Jack's head so he could be an official member of Team IronDean. I have mixed emotions about it...it makes me happy but incredibly sad at the same time for a lot of reasons. After we had laid Jack down for bed, Chris let me vent some more. Then he suggested that we listen to a talk given by President Eyering about being delivered from trials. It was an amazing talk and brought some feelings of peace and comfort. I will go back to it often.
Now it is the morning and I am sitting at the kitchen table writing this. I was hoping that sleep would help ease some of the pain and sorrow I feel, but I have a feeling that that is something that is going to take a long time to heal. I grabbed my scriptures to read while I ate breakfast and of course the first verse I read was "...Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause...." (Jacob 3:1) And that's when I grabbed my computer and decided it was my turn to tell my story.
I told Chris last night that even as I am crying out my frustrations and the whys and the it's-not-fairs, I know the answers to my questions. I know that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and that He wants us to keep living our lives and that even though we have been burdened with this life-altering trial, He still loves us unconditionally. He knows exactly how I am feeling right now. He knows my heart's pain. He knows my anger. He knows how much I am aching for my dad right now. He knows all of it. He has felt all of it. And I know that as much as I want to just give up and curl in a ball and sob the days away, relying on my Heavenly Father and putting my trust and faith completely in His hands is the only thing that can take this pain and heartache away. It is hard to remember that and I feel like sometimes all I will be able to do is cling with desperation to the words of Christ and the words of the Prophets, promising that this too shall pass, even if right now I don't know how it ever will. But it is the only thing we can do. It is the only thing to do. We just have to have faith and hope. Hope. Hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Hope that tomorrow will bring more of my dad back. Hope that we can somehow make it through the next hour without falling apart. Hope.
I feel kind of bad about posting this because it is a little more on the down side but I think it is safe to say that my other siblings feel like this too in some way or another. But I also think it is safe to say that we also feel in some way or another, feelings of calm and peace. Sometimes we might have to dig deeper than we have ever gone before to find those hopeful feelings, but I know that they are there. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for our family. Even as I feel bitter and angry, I know that this happened for a reason. I know that somehow and someway we will pull through it together. I know that sometimes the only thing that will get me through is my family. My patriarchal blessing talks about how I will be blessed to come into this family. It talks about my parents being spiritual giants. Never have I felt the truth of those words more fully. My family is amazing. I love them so much, and I am so glad I have them. I couldn't imagine any people better to have surrounding and rallying around my dad. We will pull through this together, as a family, with Heavenly Father by us every step of the way.