I’m the type of person who is always preparing for the worst. I do it about everything. No, I’m not constantly worried or frazzled, but deep down in my mind I always have three back up plans, two escape plans and the ability to not be surprised. My life runs fairly smoothly, because nothing is ever as bad as it could be, so I’m usually over-prepared. This is how my dad taught me to live.
When I found out my dad had stage three lung cancer, which was his original diagnosis, my mom and I [obviously] went straight to the internet and did as much research as we could. Each page says something a little different so we gathered what information we could and created a vague base of knowledge.
We knew he had about a year left.
When his cancer was upped to stage four, terminal, we immediately went back to the internet. We knew we’d see worse stats but we needed to be prepared. The estimated, average life length after diagnosis significantly dropped however for some reason, the life length of one year still stuck with me.
I did not prepare for the worst.
I did not hope for the best, either. I know better. I know better than to hope for something that could disappoint me. But I did not plan for the worst.
When the news came from the oncologist that even with chemo, to expect an entire year left with my dad was having high hopes, I crumbled. We’ve known for a month this was coming, we’ve known for a month he had a year or less. But hearing it officially, hearing the expiration date and really understanding what that means…
…There are no words to explain my thoughts and feelings. So, I’m writing. I’m doing my best here.
I have three trips planned for Michigan over the next six-eight months.
I have the most incredibly supportive boyfriend.
I work for the most caring company in the world.
I have care, love and support from every single person I know.
I have everything I could possibly ask for within this situation that no one deserves.
I keep reminding myself that at least we have time. He did not die in a horrific sudden accident. We have time. Not everyone gets that.