COUNTDOWN: 9 days until Father’s Day…
Let me first say that my dad is an amazing man. He is not perfect, but he is amazing nonetheless. Out of all of his children, he and I probably share the most in common… our love for reading, technology and science fiction… our appreciation for the analytical, educated debate and bits of trivia… we can sit and talk for hours. On many occasions we’ve done just that. I don’t have the tragic father experiences that many of my friends have endured. My parents have been married for 48 years and my father has never been abusive, inattentive, distracted, mean or addicted.
I can tell you who he is though…
He bought me a Commodore 64.
He’s the one who turned me onto reading SciFi.
He took me to get haircuts at Joe’s Barber Shop every weekend.
He helped me put together my first science project in the 3rd grade.
He sat by my hospital bed when I was twelve after I’d been hit by a car.
He stood next to me at my High School graduation, beaming with joy and pride over his youngest son.
He helped me buy my first car (a vintage 1965 VW Beetle Auto-Stick).
He loves his grandchildren like there’s no tomorrow.
He mortgaged his house to send me to school.
He helped remodel my house.
He encourages my music.
He is… the best.
So I was a bit disturbed when I found myself 3 years ago talking with my father… in his hospital room.
But don’t worry… this is a happy story. I’ll start from the beginning…
More than a decade ago, my father had a mild heart attack (that story HERE) and ever since then he’s been having regular full body check-ups as a precaution. Well, in 2009 during one of his check-ups, the doctors noticed a cyst on one of his kidneys and told him that it would be best to have surgery and remove it. Just to be safe. My father said yes. So on the day they scheduled surgery to remove the cyst, he was told to arrive at the hospital at 5am for a 7am surgery time.
So my parents were up and out of the house, arriving at the hospital by 5:00am where he was admitted and prepped for surgery. But there was a problem… the doctor had a scheduling conflict and there would be a delay. Hmm… okay. Apparently, this is a common occurrence. Something about patients with more acute conditions being bumped up on the schedule. No problem. So my dad sat in the ready room until about 11:30am before the doctor was available. *sigh* He didn’t actually enter surgery until about 1:30pm. So the doctor began surgery to remove the cyst only… it wasn’t just a cyst. A biopsy was performed during the surgery which revealed that it was actually cancer. :-O So the doctor goes in and cuts away the growth and affected tissue. A second biopsy comes up negative. Thankfully, he was able to remove ALL TRACES OF THE CANCER and my dad has been completely cancer-free ever since! No additional treatment or therapy necessary. See, I told you this was a happy story. 😀 Thank God for early diagnosis!
Now, I would’ve gone to see my dad at the hospital that night, but he didn’t come out of surgery until well after 7:00pm. Even then, they put him in a recovery room for the next 3 hours before moving him to his patient room around 11:00pm. Yeah… what’s that… about 18 hours total? My mom had said to just come visit him in the morning. And so… that’s what I did. Before work, I went to talk and laugh with my dad.
So this post is dedicated to this amazing man. My father.