I have been in the midst of organized chaos for most of today. My kids and their families have been in the house all day moving furniture, packing boxes of stuff to take to their homes, all with the goal of helping Diane and I clear out of the brick house we have lived and loved in for the past twenty nine years.
I need a break from all the excitement.
I need to do something else for a little while, so I think I will write a blog entry.
A month ago Diane and I were on our way from Marion, North Carolina to Galax, Virginia traveling in our motor coach. We reached the intersection of I-40 and I-77 when the coach lost all power. As a result we also lost our power brakes and steering. I managed to muscle the coach off the side of the interstate where we sat for the next twelve hours hoping and waiting for our road side assistance to send a two truck to rescue us. They didn't, but a State Trooper from North Wilkesboro, North Carolina did get help for us. Because of him we made it safely to the repair facility of our choice. The story of the details of this event are for another day. The reason I mention it is because the repair took four days and we spent that time living with my Mom and Dad.
Sometimes unfortunate things, such as a coach breakdown, can lead to other things that have a fortunate outcome. Spending time with my parents was one of those kind of things.
My Dad, who is eighty seven years old, went into the hospital, a few months ago, for what was supposed to be simple (if you can use that word}, enlarged prostate surgery. It turned out to be anything but routine. The doctor discovered the dreaded “mass” and you can figure out the rest. Dad was told he had prostate cancer. Note the word “had”. I say that because my father had cancer but cancer didn't have him!
He refused chemo treatment, and opted for hormone and radiation therapy. He was presented with his choices and made his decision, along with Mom, after a number of consult visits to Duke University Medical Center. He became a candidate for radiation therapy after the doctors there decided that his age and overall health was good but surgery was not the best option. Fifty visits to the hospital in Thomasville, NC would be in his future. He had to go get zapped every day Monday thru Friday, without fail, including holidays, or so they said.
He never missed a single one. I went with him to two of of his appointments while I was staying there. I learned that the hardest part was not the actual treatment but the drive there and back every day. It was a grind. Near the end of the course it was a relief to see that it was working but there were some rather unpleasant effects that made him uncomfortable, to say the least. He didn't give into his situation, he rose above it, kept his faith strong, and didn't ask himself more than once….why am I doing this at my age?
He did ask the doctors at what age they didn't want to treat someone.
“Mr Parker, you have plenty of life left and we intend to see to it that you get the very best chance of living it.” was the doctors response.
They said this because Dad is rarely sick, takes only one medication, baby aspirin, has a pace maker; but still mows the grass, cuts down trees, drives his car, and lives life like he is twenty years younger than his age.
Dad beat the cancer into submission. It is gone. I know why.
The doctors were great.
The treatment worked.
The two biggest reasons my Dad beat this?
Because he knows how to pray.
Because he is the bravest person I know.