“I have something to tell you about your daddy’s prostate,” my mother’s subdued voice said on the other end of the phone.
You know any conversation that starts with those words is either not going to end well or be really, really, funny. In this case it was the former. And so, I’ve known for almost two months now that my dad has prostate cancer. When I heard my mom say the “C” word, I was truly shocked. I knew dad had had tests the week before but I, in my infinite wisdom, was absolutely certain the results would be peachy. After all, we don’t have cancer in our family. Heart disease is the enemy we know, and are prepared to deal with. But cancer? Cancer Who?
Mom assured me at the time that there was only a little bit of cancer, and that dad’s doctor said it was totally treatable, and that most men will get it if they live long enough, (so sorry to the five dudes who read this thing!) and that dad would be fine. A few days later he went back to the doctor, who said he felt the best course of treatment (there are several options) for my dad was to have that darn prostate totally removed. Apparently, the best place for that little procedure to be done is a certain hospital in Detroit, Michigan, which is about 3.5 hours from where we live. And as I write this, in just a few hours, my parents and my oldest brother will be leaving for Detroit, where tomorrow afternoon a robot will surgically get that prostate gone. This is pretty amazing technology, but I am having a hard time visualizing a robot surgeon. All I keep seeing is Johnny Five or the girl from Small Wonder. Let’s hope this robot concentrates less on humor and more on the task at hand than those two jokers. Hopefully he or she is more along the lines of C3PO. (Ok, you all know I’m kidding right? The robot is controlled by an actual, human surgeon. I swear.)
My parents and my two brothers (who are alternating staying with my parents) will be in Detroit for over a week as dad recovers. After the surgery there will be tubes and things draining and all sorts of unpleasantness and so the boys (as we call them) will help my mom with caring for my dad and all that fun stuff. Dad will stay one night in the hospital, then they’ll be staying in an apartment adjacent to the hospital, fully-furnished, kitchen, all that jazz, until dad’s well enough to come home.
And I’ll sit here and pray, and wait, and miss them all. And I’ll be thankful. Thankful that, as cliche as it sounds, if you’re gonna have cancer, this is the kind you wanna have (sorry ladies!) because it is so treatable, and the removal of the prostate is considered a cure. Thankful that, no matter what happens, my dad put his life in God’s hands a long time ago, and that God is totally in control of this and every other part of it. Truly, there is no need for us to worry about it! Worrying is something we do to indulge our own neuroses. God has got this one in His pocket. And I am so thankful!! I’m also thankful that I have such a wonderful daddy, and sweet mommy and caring brothers and sisters-in-law, and that we are all in this together.
And I’m thankful for you for reading this, for letting me get it out and put it out there. Whisper a prayer or two for my parents this week, and I’ll be thankful for that, too.