Sunday, February 11, 2007

the highs and lows of a convoluted emotion ridden weekend

I don't even know how to begin this most-likely-to-be long post. I hesitated even bothering, but at the same I think it'll be therapeutic.

I think my dear friend Wendy said it best when I wrote about the icky news in my Live Journal yesterday.

Your LJ is all about real life today. The giddiness of happy silly appreciation for fine men and music and wit, then the reality and pain of mortality and family and fears and sadness.

Let's start with the bad and far more important news...

I discovered Friday that my dad has liver cancer. Now, he had feeling been sick for a while. It all began right after coming back from an extended trip to rural China.

He had abdomen pain that would come and go. He started getting diarrhea and then he had issues with losing his apatite. He started losing weight. Being a well traveled man, the doctors decided it was parasitic infection from eating the foreign cuisine.

Then they discovered he had gall stones. That seemed bad enough at the time, but certainly not life-threatening. In fact the doctor even mentioned there was no real urgent need to remove them. A change in diet should fix things, yada yada... However, after tending to those issues he didn't get better. He merely got worse. His abdomen became distended. He constantly felt weak. I really didn't hear the details of all this until a couple of days mom has known for weeks and to hear the big "C" word really floored me.

He's headed off to MD Anderson Cancer Center on Wednesday for further testing and evaluation, a day before his 59th birthday. Essentially none of us really know what the prognosis is until he's done with testing at the center. He'll be going in for a biopsy and MRI to cross check the blood tests, make sure the cancer hasn't spread and to see if it is removable. There is concern that they won't be able to take out the tumor due to cirrhosis, but it isn't a definite.

I asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He asked for Christian Hymn CDs and soothing classical music. I found a nice classical guitar hymn CD by an Austin area musician (Tim Brace) and ripped some John Rutter, Laurisden, Chichester Psalms and other classical sacred pieces onto another CD. It was therapeutic typing out the lyrics and translations. I'm glad he has his religion and I think the fact that my dad isn't afraid of dying puts me at ease.

In some ways from his heartfelt letters and phone conversations with my brother and I, I get the sense that he's not going to fight tooth and nail to live if he has to. Funeral requests, wills, instructions on taking care of Mom, what to do with assets and property roll off his tongue as if we were simply talking about the weather. There's even an air of jocularity when he speaks. For instance, I had asked them about funeral arrangements (if that ends up being the case.) My dad said he wanted to be cremated. I offered to spread the ashes in Galveston since he loved fishing....

"No, I don't want the fishies to eat me!" He exclaimed. "Stick me in the backyard and plant something on top."

We all had a good laugh which was much needed, morbid as it is.

Emotionally, except for the obvious sadness, I'm not sure where to stand. I won't worry until I hear about the results from MD Anderson. I guess guarded hope is the best way to describe how I feel at the moment. I'm calm too, but admittedly a little detached. Perhaps when I see my dad in person, this'll all change. At the moment, both my parents want space and I've been sternly instructed to stay put until my assistance is necessary.

I did find this cute photo of my parents from this past Thanksgiving. If you know my dad and his quintessential engineer personality (as if you can't tell from the tucked in shirt and socks) this image is quite a shocker. Two of them were dancing around in the living room which just never happens:


So, what made the news so jarring to hear?

I'm sure many reading this will think it is just in utterly bad taste to talk about this in the same post, but I think Wendy's sentiment earlier about my own juxtapositions punches the point: Life can be such an emotional roller coaster.

A mere 12 hours earlier I was getting a sweet dainty kiss from an eloquent and well groomed faculty member from the New York School of Visual Arts...I guess it's hotter if I mention that said faculty member happens to be the musician Voltaire and that it was right on the mouth, slightly more than a peck and enough to send me swooning. Sammi got one too and we wallowed in our girly giddiness for hours. You can read all the details here if you so desire. I just want to remind you, gentle reader, that I'm 29. 29, people! Sammi's 30. We're old and yet, we're hotter than the 20 year old sorority chick groupie that was standing next to us...ramble ramble ramble.

Hence, I'm sure it is easy for one to imagine how I felt when I was just about to tell my mother about the lovely incident and getting the news about my dad before I could begin. Suddenly what seemed most interesting became incredibly insignificant.

I honestly believe things happen for a reason. It could very well be that the lovely night I experienced occurred in order to cushion the foreboding news I would receives later. Perhaps it was a message to remember all the little things in life that can make us happy? I don't really know, but I'm sure there's some sort of connection even if it won't make sense to anyone else.


I can say this whole weekend has reminded me to be thankful. I feel so fortunate that I have the type husband who screams "whoo hoo!" instead of "you did what?" when I tell him I got kissed by a rock star. I fall in love with said husband even more when he tells me "If you feel like you need to see your parents all of a sudden, even if it is in the middle of the night, just tell me. I'll take you." I'm lucky to have friends who are there during the happy times and the sad times and lend an ear whenever events necessitate such duty even if it means they have to endure another Cindy Rant. These are the kind of friends who understand how much of a difference a piece of carrot cake or celebratory Pho can make in a day. I truly love my friends afar who read this journal and my messages word-for-word and drop me a note even though I haven't seen some of them in person for years. I'm appreciative of my loved ones who openly pray and send thoughts of healing no matter what their religious (or lack-of religious) affiliation is.

So yeah, it's 1:30 in the morning and I'm feeling peaceful and calm, but admittedly a little emotionally drained.

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Blogger Sammi said...

You know, I was thinking about the Voltaire thing ... I think it's just really even better, knowing he's not just a rock star, but he's a teacher, and apparently the kind of dad who really loves having a son, someone who, you know, THINKS and such (you should go check out his MySpace if for nothing else to watch the clip of him from FoxNews talking about Goths, it's choice) and all in all he's a PERSON, not just some crazy celeb. 'Course, it makes me crush even harder, but what's a girl to do? ;) At least at the end of the day I'm still verra happily married to someone who puts up with me merrily. Even if that *does* mean I can't somehow feebly try to get Voltaire to come home with me .... *cackle*

Monday, February 12, 2007  
Blogger cchang said...

He's very worthy of having a crush on, that's for sure.

That Fox news thing cracks me up...God, I hate Fox News. I think he handled the interview quite well and explained the musical identity of the subculture quite eloquently. If it were me, I'd be cracking up at the journalist at the absurdity of some of the questions. I don't think the news caster even knew that the book 'What is Goth?' was mean to be humorous.

Monday, February 12, 2007  
Blogger dasMobius said...

Hey Cindy. I just don't know what to say. If there's anything I can do for you, just let me know.

Saturday, February 17, 2007  

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