This past week has been a bit rough. #LifewithAutism has been particularly bad thanks to a flu bug and a legal system bent on treating an individual with pervasive developmental delay as a common criminal. Work has been stressful because of misunderstandings for a big project that is now overdue — but I can’t make others do their part of the project. But, more stressful has been the fact that my father has been in the hospital. Now granted every day my Pops is still breathing is a miracle. He’s been battling Pancreatic Cancer since 2009. The doctors marvel at his sheer unwillingness to succumb to the disease even after a near 17 surgeries and treatments. His family, understands that he is too cantankerous to go without a fight. It’s been a great lesson in learning from where I get my own personal strength.
Last summer Pops was in remission, but Pancreatic Cancer is a fierce villain. The villain appeared back at the beginning of the spring and my dad had to undergo two rounds of chemo and then a surgery to remove the latest tumorous growth the cancer deposited on the back of his liver. In post-surgery recovery, Pops wasn’t feeling so good. He’s not the best patient, which also teaches me why I am not the best patient when it comes to intensive medical treatment, so he thought he was just toughing out something typical for a post-massive surgery. Sunday night he was medivac’d to the University of Michigan hospital. Infection is always a concern when you have surgery, and this was the case here. For 24-hours it looked like cancer might win. Well, the ornery ol’ Polack is still with us, thank goodness for antibiotics and prayers and dancing naked in the moonlight. Once healthy, he’ll need to do another round of chemo, to make sure that bitch cancer stays down. Again with the help of modern medicine, prayers, and more naked moonlight dancing, he’ll come out on the other end ready to do more camping, fishing, and duck hunting.
I dealt with the stress much like I often do – creating, including canning, painting, and stress cleaning.
Now as Pops goes through a long-term antibiotic treatment as an outpatient, it’s clear to me that this week’s stress and lessons were trying to answer a question I had about continuing to fight in some of the long-term battles I have — my writing life, #LifewithAutism, and my own health. The answer is yes. You keep fighting. Whether it’s cancer proper or the cancer of continual problems, you don on your armor and you swing the sword to kill that enemy.
Dad didn’t stop fighting. I won’t either. How about you?