My daughter just started college. She is attending school at a campus about forty-five minutes away from us by plane. Facing this new cancer challenge while she’s away reminded me of something that happened in my life before.
Just after I earned my Associate’s degree, I decided to move here to get a degree in Marine Science. I got into UH-Hilo, the school our daughter is attending now, and was packing my things and making plans when one day my dad came home, walked through the front door, and said, “The xray showed a spot on my lung.”
Coming to Hawaii was suddenly out of the question. There was no way that I could leave. I told my parents that I would take a year off from school and try to find a four-year school closer to home.
They were having none of that.
Dad did not have lung cancer; in fact, he was perfectly healthy and lived another twenty-three years. I moved here, meanwhile, grateful to still have my dad in my life, and never took for granted that one day, he wouldn’t be around anymore.
So it seems like some kind of practical joke that the Big C reared its ugly head just as Katie was about to leave. Life is full of moments like that.
Tomorrow I get my routine yearly mammogram. My oophorectomy has also been scheduled. When I was on the phone with the nurse yesterday, they told me that I’d need a phone appointment with the anesthesiologist first.
That frightened me a little. The OB made the procedure seem so simple, like they could do it with a minimal amount of medication, but I guess it’s all the way under after all.