Well I say breaking records but I guess I mean more sounding like a broken record.
Firstly though my Dad would like to thank everyone for their well wishes, cards and presents that he received for his birthday. All the messages be these via the blog, Facebook, cards etc… have been forwarded on – each received with a smile.
His birthday itself was a great day and as planned we did end up at Alicante before meeting up with Mum & Alan at the airport later that evening. During the daytime Dad, David and I visited Santa Barbara Castle which gives you a great view of Alicante, the harbour, the beach and just a generally nice vista.
The castle itself was really worth the visit with plenty to see and do and as you’d expect the odd café or two to stop off at and chill. Dad even got speaking to a young lad from Peru who was visiting the castle by himself. As you’d expect a joke or two was shared with the poor lad struggling to understand the punch lines. I mean, you’ve got to feel sorry for him as we struggle too at times… lol.
Later on we also dropped down onto ‘La Ramblas’ and then had a walk along the pier before braving a shopping complex for a spot of Black Friday shopping. The one thing we noticed though as time went on, my Dad was getting increasingly impatient as the flight landing time drew nearer. As we drove to the airport and parked up we struggled to keep up with him as he practically raced to the arrival gate so he could be on time to greet his ‘lickle wife’ and of course Alan. Both were clearly pleased to see one another as Mum & Alan walked through the arrivals gate holding a massive birthday banner for him.
Whilst there was only 3 hours left of his birthday now, it was certainly right that they got to spend it together. As we got back to the house we got him to blow out the candles on a cake that had been given by some of their close friends and everyone stayed up until the day was over chatting and just having some quality time together.
One of the things my Dad had also enjoyed the most on his birthday was getting to speak to a number of family members either on the phone or via Skype. My Dad is a bit of a technophobe with these kind of things but you could tell he was quite touched each time another person wanted to say hello and pass on their well wishes.
Now everyone is back at the house, the noise levels are well and truly back to 110% and the peace has been shattered, but for them a little bit of normality has been restored.
For myself and David, the last week has been a pleasure and getting to spend this time with my Dad has been priceless. I know many of the family would love this opportunity so I don’t under-estimate its value at all.
I must say though that an element of me remains slightly disillusioned and yes it all comes back to smoking. I’m not actually sure what part has bothered me the most. The fact my Dad tries to smoke in private and out of sight can be seen as a good thing but I also see this as sneaky and underhand; especially the fact that each and any opportunity to do so is taken when ‘ones’ back is turned. The stench also doesn’t help his secrecy.
It also annoys me immensely that whilst alcohol has been given up completely and has been pushed as the pure evil, smoking is still permitted and continues to this day (and more than the 3 per day I was told about). Doctor advisories have been used to suit needs and the irony of the fact that smoking pretty much caused the Cancer and not the Alcohol is not lost on me at all.
It’s not that drinking alcohol is a good thing. As he continues to make drinking water an issue because he doesn’t like the taste, the intake of alcohol could cause dehydration and lead again to low salt levels and re-hospitalisation. Giving one thing up is a massive deal so giving up on two things is not an easy task.
I guess I am just a little lost as one addiction has been beaten whilst the other that has actually caused the Cancer continues to go on. I know that many members in the family are also upset by the continued smoking. I love my parents as by now I think you can tell but I do feel extremely resentful too that albeit it is my Dad who is suffering with the Cancer, it’s the ones around him that have to also endure the pain and suffering and it is us that will have to deal with the stark aftermath of his ‘passing’. At the end of the day it is his life, so maybe it’s time I just backed off and left them to it. The ‘enjoyment’ that is taken from smoking just seems to outweigh any logic or sense.
My memories will remain intact and we have thoroughly enjoyed our time with him. This isn’t meant as a bitter attack. I just find it shocking that addiction or not, when a medical institution provides so much free care, treatment and life giving hope that irresponsibility can still prevail. That’s humans I suppose. We all have our own demons to deal with and each and every single one of us makes decisions on a daily basis that may not be agreeable to others but are made nevertheless.
The good thing is that my Dad continues to see himself around until at least his 75th birthday and I hope he is. A four year lifespan is not the prognosis we were given, but I do know of people in similar situations that have seen this goal reached.
He still has his scheduled scan on 4th December with the results due on the 14th. Let’s hope that Mr Bionic himself can be one of those that is lucky enough to beat Cancer. If not then we will wait and see what the next chapter has install for him with hopefully a little bit more common sense prevailing.
And for those without Facebook here is just a sample of some of the Pictures from his Birthday :o)