Sunday, April 1, 2018

My Dad is dying

Dad has been diagnosed with Mantel Cell Non Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage III - that on top of his Lewy Body Dementia.  I've spent years with my feelings tightly packaged up in a box on the shelf.  I've known about the LBD for 4 1/2 years or so.  It's tough to watch Dad get frustrated over things he can't remember, and even tougher to see him behave in a way he never has before.  Harder still, to see him frail and struggling to walk.

You see, my Dad is a very gentle guy.....very kind, very appropriate....Now....well, his filter is completely broken.  He will say whatever comes to mind....and often times, it isn't very nice.  It's been especially hard on my Mom who for years has had to refute my siblings' claims that she was exaggerating about Dad.....that she is just being dramatic.  They didn't bother to educate themselves about LBD - this horrible disease, because they didn't want to believe it could be happening. 

The truth is, Dad seemed to be his old self whenever we would come to visit.  Maybe a little forgetful, maybe a little "mouthy" to Mom....but Mom can sometimes be testy and maybe he was giving back what he was given.  Nope....there's no denying it anymore.  Dad is definitely different now.  Now they are reading the information, now they are going on line and joining FB LBD support groups.  I guess better late than never.

And now he has CANCER....again.  I say AGAIN, because he has fought this monster before.  Kidney cancer.  Dad is working on one kidney.  This was before he was diagnosed with LBD.  Now because of the LBD, he is not a candidate for any surgery.  The anesthesia can kill my dad.

So what is the next step?  We don't know yet.  The oncologist is "taking some time" to think about the best way to proceed.  What the hell does that even mean????  I mean, IS there time????

I have been recording - mainly audio, but also video- conversations with my Dad.  Now my siblings think it's morbid or poor form, but you know what?  I can't keep my Dad.  I can't.  As much as I want to.....I can't have him forever.  I only have NOW.  So I am going to do what I can to keep him with me my children can hear his voice, so their children can hear his and my Mom's love story in their voices.  It is my way of dealing with these bastards:  LBD and Cancer and death.

My Dad is dying.  The one man who shaped my life forever.  No matter what I think, or how angry or sad I get.  This is the reality.  My God I am going to miss him.  I am so grateful for a loving father in my life.  I am so grateful for my military brat lifestyle.  But I fucking hate this.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


It's back.  That dark cloud that enshrouds me.  For three years, I stemmed its advance and now I am whirling within it.

THAT feeling.  The feeling of not belonging.  The feeling of wanting to run away.  Is it logical?  No, not really.  Is it justified?  No - not by conventional means.  I want to go home and there isn't one.  Oh, I live some place.  I have a roof over my head.  I have children and a husband that loves me.  I have a job that I love and I am good at doing.  Why do I feel like bolting?

It is part of who I am.  It is woven into my personality like a warp yarn-hiding most of the time and then springing up when I least expect it and without notice, but always a part of foundation.

I think it's my desire to keep moving.  Three years is my maximum.  I begin to stress...a lot.  I need to leave town...desperately.  By some miracle, I have managed to live in the same town for 27 years and at only six addresses.  Primarily, because I have children and a troublesome "baby daddy" that is a constant thorn in my side.

If my children were grown, I would be gone in a flash.  Sell or store everything and just take off.  Well, bring the husband....and the bird....maybe some clothing.

This is the legacy for Military BRATs.  We seek rebirth every three years.  If we cannot have it geographically, we sometimes find it in new intimate relationships, new jobs, new hobbies, new furniture or new friends....sometimes, in the bottom of a bottle.

I am at a place in my life where I can do none of these.  My restlessness is overwhelming right now. I just want to burst into tears and know at the same time that it will not make a difference.  So....what do I do?  What can I do?  Write.  That's about it.  Don't have the money to take a road trip, besides, my health has been challenged this week and it wouldn't be a practical idea.

This blog is my therapy.  I am sharing it with my fellow BRATs in the certainty that they have all dealt with this.  I appreciate your comments.

BRAT on!