Whilst I appreciate for some women losing their hair during cancer is a very traumatic experience to say the least, (my mum would call her hair her Crowning glory). For a man though it is often thought that the loss of hair would have a far lesser impact.
Unfortunately this theory is now being tested on my dad, who has been saying to people, he’s not worried about the hair loss side of things as it doesn’t really affect a man that much….
Saturday (4th July) actually started fairly calmly. There was the odd argument here and there as the lack of talking about how each other is feeling is causing a bit of a rift. Mostly though observing from the outside you could put this down to lack of sleep – The heat remains brutal at 30c plus even during the night and a constant 33c in the shade during the day. I daren’t even ponder what the direct sunlight temperature is.
My dad though doesn’t like to talk about things and still doesn’t really understand pain, whereas my mum wants every detail so she can better provide for his needs. You can imagine though when asking someone oblivious to pain types, “What sort of pain is it?” the response isn’t going to be the most rewarding.
Battle over and after we all pitch in with our 2pence worth things steady off and happy times are restored.
The day plods on quite nicely and after a nice family meal and a bit of chatting I decide its time to make the most of the pool again. What I liked though is that after 15 minutes my dad came in to join me. Initially it was only David who I thought was going to come join me, though seeing that my dad has joined me instead, leaves us to it.
I love when I get time with my dad on my own. We talk about everything and anything from righting the wrongs of the universe to sensible stuff relating to family and the future. We also talk about the fact that I am due to leave the following day. It’s really difficult as whilst I know he will be looked after without a shadow of a doubt, it’s just not the same as actually being here with him. I’ve said all along we make the perfect team in terms of what each of us are best at doing for my dad. Mum and Alan will be great and I trust he is in good hands. Further support is due to arrive on Thursday too in the form of Sandra Brace. She’ll certainly be happy to kick my dad up the backside when needed – (Thanks Sandra :o)
One thing I do talk to him about whilst we are in the pool though is the fact he’s been snooping around the house when he thinks no one has been looking. (They don’t call us hawkeye – aka nosey for no reason). I know my dads cravings have started and without having caught him red handed, I know he’s been off and had a couple of sneaky cigarettes, and also had some wine every so often. The worst thing about it is that the doctors actually said he was okay to have ‘a drink’ a day if he felt like it and also would get away with having maybe 1 or 2 cigarettes a day though where possible to avoid. I tell him the game is up and whether I agree with him smoking or not, this was beside the point. The issue being that there really is no need to sneak around. He admits there have been a few occasions and doesn’t lie to my face which is all I can ask for.
My mum won’t know until she gets to this paragraph that the above conversation has even happened. I also don’t expect her to approach my dad with this knowledge.
She knows my opinions on the subject and now that my dad has admitted he is struggling, needs the support of his wife more than ever, and she clearly knows what she must now do. Guess they say only time will tell. All I will say on the matter is seeing his wife continue to smoke no matter how subtle or unsubtle it may be being done, the temptation is causing my dad to suffer. It might not be an easy time, but there never will be an easy or right time.
From my perspective losing one parent to lung cancer is going to be tough enough. The thought of potentially losing two just seems unfair, cruel and I’m sorry to say quite selfish. This at the end of the day is all just my opinion.
Back to the story though – my dad’s literally crest fallen at the thought of this latest side effect taking hold.
We had just had a lovely time in the pool and he’d just gone for a shower. During this shower though he has noticed some of his hair had started to come out. This is the saddest I have seen him. My dad has always had a thick head of hair. Suddenly this will/may all be gone. It’s not the point that he got me to shave it for him a couple of weeks ago and barely had any left. Its more this is beyond his control. He says he had hoped that this side effect would have passed him by. Clearly not the impression he’s been giving to friends around him. Male pride is truly a bugger to contend with. (Lord knows what he will think if he loses it in other areas as men quite often do!!!)
It’s the first time I’ve felt sad inside for him. Especially with having just come out of the pool not just 20 minutes ago with him focusing on the next 4to5 years. Yes, in his head he wants to go nowhere, so guess he just needs a little bit of time to adjust to this next chapter. You can begin to see why people suffer though when you have to face hurdle after hurdle after further hurdle.
We end the evening with a game of Scattergories and whilst my dad was unsure at first he soon gets into the swing of things and comes up with the craziest and most ‘out there’ answers. He clearly doesn’t win but remember – it’s the taking part that counts.
Sunday 5th July – David & I are due to leave later this evening so we all have the day to enjoy with each other. You’d be surprised to find that we haven’t vanished to the seaside or anything like that. Instead we are having a nice, normal and mundane day around the house. David is doing the odd job here and there, mum is on spring clean mode and the beds have all been stripped down to be washed (almost like we were never here). Alan is helping Dad with the Septic tank – not a job I wish to support with and I find myself packing, pottering around and trying to find a moments peace amongst all the craziness happening around me.
To be fair, today has been great. Nice, Normal & Mundane was just the tonic needed for everyone. It’s difficult to imagine that my dad was only taken to hospital just over a month ago and already we are gearing up for the first doctors appointment after having had his first chemo session. Having been admitted initially with low salts then discovering he had an aggressive form of Lung Cancer, we are getting ready for Round Two of Chemo. It’s amazing just how little time has passed by and I can’t thank the Spanish Health service enough for how smoothly things have gone so far.
Driving away was a really tough thing to do. My dads going nowhere fast and openly admits himself he is looking to the future no matter how difficult it maybe. It still doesn’t mean that each Goodbye isn’t going to be tainted with the fact it could be the last. Anyways, as my dad joked to the girl in the coffee shop at Plaza Mayor – “Regresaré”. Think Terminator and you’ll get my drift.
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