I’ve always considered myself a daddy’s girl. Although I am very close to my mom too- hey, I can be both a mom & dad’s girl! What I mean is I’ve always had that sweet father-daughter bond. There’s nothing else like that father-daughter relationship. They want to protect their precious daughters and we look up to our dads!
A lot of people say I look like my mom- which I do- but I actually have a lot of my dad’s features. Such as his nose–the “Merenghi” nose, ha. And my face shape is more similar to his. I’d say I’m pretty much a combination of both. [However, my parents are “average” heights and I got a short gene!]
There’s a picture right after I’m born where my dad is all dressed up in scrubs and is holding me. I would scan it but my scanner won’t work right now for some reason. Words don’t do the picture justice.
My dad is one of the smartest people I know. I think he could do ANYTHING he set his mind to. I’ve always thought he would have made a great doctor, but he has worked in maintenance and now project management at Brewer Science. He can fix cars, build houses, shoot, he can fix or build anything. That has always put me at an advantage because my mind DOES NOT think like that. So, he’s always been there to fix anything or come up with innovative ideas – you name it! I hope I never take that for granted because I am very thankful for that. In fact, we live in a house designed and built by him!
I am living my worst nightmare right now. My dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, right as I went off to college for the first time. It started in his tongue and he has never smoked or chewed in his life. The doctors thought it was a canker sore for a month or longer, but it was a tumor. It then moved to his lymph nodes in his neck, and then to his parotid gland. He is the “poster patient” of rare medical occurrences. It all started out that it was rare for him to get this cancer- then it was rare for it to recur anywhere else after surgery (according to the doctor 5% chance). Then for it to move to the parotid gland from the other side of his neck- well here’s a general parotid tumor statement from emedicine:
“Malignant tumors of the parotid gland are rare. The incidence of salivary gland tumors is 1-2 cases per 100,000 people. Of these, 85% occur in the parotid gland, representing 0.6% of tumors in the body.”
But you also have to take in consideration his specific type of cancer (squamous cell carcinoma)–even rarer, his age, his lack of risk factors, and the way the cancer spread. Let me tell you, sometimes Googling things is scary. The statistics are not pretty.
I hope and pray that he is the rare patient that survives this.
I have seen my dad suffer more than I ever imagined possible. His body has taken almost more than it can handle of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, etc. I can’t even begin to explain it to you. One scary fact- my parents weigh about the same weight right now.
It took me a long time to come to grips with the fact that my dad has cancer. Honestly, it still doesn’t feel real sometimes. I’ve really only broken down and cried about it three times that I remember- tears just aren’t enough to express the feelings. One time was in September 11, 08 when the doctor called him about his PET scan results. We were about to drive to STL for a checkup with the doctors, and the Rolla Dr. called with bad news. That’s all my dad told us- and I broke down while my mom and I were in the car waiting for him. My dad just sat in his chair for a few minutes- I didn’t see him, but that’s what my mom told me. My mom was very angry with the results. We all had different reactions, but all felt pain. This was just ONE week after I withdrew from AU and came home. I didn’t know why, but at that moment I knew God sent me home to be with my family.
A few weeks later, we were sitting in the surgery waiting room for hours, when we heard news we WERE NOT expecting. My dad’s tumor was inoperable. No way had that ever crossed our mind. I remember the surgeon saying right before they took him back that it would be a possibility. We just brushed that information off.
That “c” word is ever so dreaded and when it happens to you/your immediate loved ones- it can’t be real. It just can’t.
But it is. And sometimes I feel like I beg God when I pray. I have to put all the statistics aside and believe that God can perform a miracle. He can. I am so thankful for my faith during this time because without it, I don’t know what kind of condition I’d be in.
Let me tell you that when a young girl has to think about what life would be like without her daddy, there are simply no words to describe the heartache. This thought brings tears streaming down my cheeks everytime.
When you wonder if he will be there to walk you down the aisle someday, to hold his Grandkids, or just to be there to talk, there is no such pain like it. My heart cries out to God to please save him.
I’m not really the type of girl who has planned out her wedding- but even before this, I have always thought of my dad’s role in my wedding. Waterproof mascara will not stand a chance against one tearful bride. The father-daughter dance: even more crying. I already know what song I want, but I’m not telling and it’s subject to change. I will be a mess to say at the very least. But I will cherish it forever.
Honestly, I would have a hyperventilating-makeup disaster-wedding photo catastrophe-breakdown from the depths of my heart-cry in front of lots of family and friends to have my dad there.
I knew this post would be very emotional to write, but I wanted to get it out there. I love my dad.