My dad had prostate cancer. October 3rd is his one year since surgery. Next Saturday the 16th is his 57th birthday. He is still coping, still healing, still dealing, still watching his moles, his exhaustion and other symptoms, and trying to make healthier choices that will help his healing. One year later he takes life one day at time, seeing the joy in the small things, appreciating early detection and his doctors. One year later and I am thankful for my dad each day, for my circle of peeps who supported my dad, sister and I thought a weird time, and the many lessons and reminders I gathered.
Something I learned while being along for the ride through my dad’s journey is that there are timelines and estimations but that each person will have a different journey through healing and remission but sometimes that can be hard to remember.
My dad is a very emotional guy, if you know him you know that he loves you through his use of hearts and smiley faces in his text messages and the multiple big bear hugs he gives you – both as a greeting and as goodbyes. So, this journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster.
Prostate removal surgery messes with your other organs and bodily functions. Your internal healing does not happen right away, no matter how badly you want it to return to ‘normal’. That is something that cannot be measured and put on an exact timeline, which can be hard to accept. When you hear of others who have gone through similar treatment and they were back to ‘normal’ in six months, you must not be hard on yourself thinking ‘why am I not there yet? I should be there now just like so-and-so was.’ But when you hear it took someone else two years, you pray your healing will speed up. You cannot think those thoughts, you are you. Complications happen (my dad had some crazy ones) and your body works in amazing, confusing, healing ways. So, let it work, ensure you are doing whatever possible to help it heal, give it the good fuels so it can work properly; your body just went through hell, be gentle with it, be nice, be loving and don’t be afraid to speak your mind and emotions. Get it all out. Cry if you need, laugh, hug your peeps and never be afraid to share your story. You never know who may need a supporting message, some advice or want to help out.
My dad, Davo, is my hero. He taught me everything I know about hockey and being a good teammate, how to work hard, how to fix anything and that sharing your feelings is needed. When I go home we sit on the back deck all afternoon and night. He is always telling me crazy stories from his life, telling me how he’s feeling or what he’s thinking and giving me life advice. After this year he has been reminded to be thankful, to appreciate the small things, to be present and to not be so hard on yourself. All things he is constantly remind me and things I think we all need to reminded of a little more often.
Overall, my intended messages with this blog was to 1. remind you that everyone’s journey has bumps along the way and that just because yours is different does not mean it is less important, less impactful or wrong. Everyone is different. 2. Emotions are good. Never feel like you have to hold them in along your journey. 3. Fuel your body and it will work wonders. 4. Stop and smell the roses. Appreciate the moments and remember that ‘today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you.’ Your journey won’t look like anyone else’s, though cancer or though everyday life, and that’s okay.