Category: Stories

A Sad Anniversary

OK, I need to get off my lazy butt and do some blogging.  This will be a sad one,I will cry and curse, but I promise it will get better from here. (well, maybe not the cursing)

2 years ago today we lost my Dad to that bitch brain cancer.  We had so little warning, he tried fighting, but it was just too aggressive.  We found out about it in January ’09 and he was gone in July.  He had a biopsy the day before his 65th birthday.  His gift? A diagnosis of Stage 4 Glioblastoma multiforme primary brain cancer.  The bad one. In a bad spot. Inoperable.

But Dad would fight it right?  Chemo, radiation, prayer, diet, he’s a fighter, a winner. Nothing can keep my Daddy down for long! Except this….fuck.

Chemo bloated him up so bad he didn’t fit any of his clothes. Radiation made him so sensitive to the sun that it kept him cooped up inside, a place he never really spent to much time.  Exhausted all the time, having to rely on people to do things for him didn’t sit well.  HE was the one who helped people, HE was the one you could call to lend a hand, pull your tractor out of the mud, HE could fix anything with duct tape and a toggle switch. Except this.

He went into the hospital in April, and never got to go back home except for a couple of short visits.  Instead, the world came to him.  When you have touched so many peoples lives, they come see you. Once Dad was settled into the hospital in a small city near his hometown I don’t think he had a single day without at least one visitor.  Mom had a brilliant idea and set up a guestbook.  At first it told us who came to see him, and at the end we could remind him who had come by.  That was hard, knowing that he was always lonely because no matter how many people were there, as soon as they left, he was alone, always had been alone and always will be.  The nurses got called so many times because he forgot he had just talked to them.  His long-term memory and storytelling abilities were still there, but new memories just didn’t stick.

He was still in good humour most of the time, flirting with the nurses, who came to adore him just as much as everyone did. He never lost his charm, never forgot to give someone a chocolate.  (the whole hospital knew him as the Chocolate King). Chocolate, and all sugar really is the worst thing you can give to someone with cancer because it feeds on it, but by then we knew that he was not going to beat this, so why would we deny him his favourite thing in the world just to delay the inevitable?  The Doctors agreed with us, it helped his mood more than it hurt his body.

It got harder to follow his thought processes. When the hallucinations started it became a real challenge.  He spent a whole night terrified because his window blew up.  It was so real to him that he could feel the wind and the cold coming in.  The strange thing was, he never really complained.  The window was “fixed” by morning, and he was happy, but he was very matter of fact about it.  We could not convince him that it was never broken because he knew what he saw and to him it was very real.  Then came the mice.  Need I say again that Cancer is a bitch? He asked a nurse if they wouldn’t mind moving him to a room with less mice. (that one actually made me laugh because he didn’t ask for a room with NO mice, just less) My husband became the designated mouse killer. He alone seemed to have the power to keep them at bay. When we were there at meal time he could keep them off the tray long enough for Dad to eat, but then they swarmed right back on again. It became hard for him to eat, he told me his tray looked like a killing floor. Again though, these visions of mice never really upset him, he never questioned why they were there.

We knew from experience that the hallucinations were a sign that the end was near.  My cousin experienced the same thing with her brain cancer. She was only 29 when the bitch took her away from her husband and young son. That makes me lucky. I got to have my Dad around a whole lot longer.

I was also lucky enough to be there for his last words and his last breath. They came 4 days apart and that was a long vigil, but he was surrounded by love the whole time.  Through his death I have seen things with new eyes. I have started to reestablish a relationship with my mother and started working on fixing myself. I love you Dad, thanks.

I’m done my rambling now, thanks for listening.

Oh and P.S. Fuck you cancer, you are Bullshit!


I sit here now in my big pink fluffy robe that my son picked out for Mother’s Day many moons ago.  Dear Husband was trying to show our Bug the pretty, silky lounging pajamas he knew I would like, but no. Bug had his entire body snuggled in the rack of long, soft fuzzy robes that he declared “feel just like Doggiebaby!”  That was it, one pink fuzzy robe please!

Doggiebaby was a gift from a great Aunt he hadn’t yet met, but in the future will grow to love.  She gave it to him for his first Christmas.  Being a late October baby, Doggiebaby pretty much started life with him.  He was always the most beloved of the bed-buddies and sleep would never be a choice without him.

That he wanted his mommy wrapped up in “Doggiebaby Love” with this robe was an act that he unquestionably understood Mother’s Day, even at 3, or 4, whichever year it was.  He wanted to pass on the safety and security of his buddy to Mommy.

By now, the robe isn’t as fluffy anymore, and neither is Doggiebaby.  They’ve both gone through many wash cycles, been thrown up on, cried on, snuggled with and are still reliable Sunday morning companions.  Doggiebaby is the Velveteen Rabbit, but Bug hasn’t discarded him and forgotten his magic.  He just stays around, in his custom made bed beside Bug’s big one, knowing that every so often, even an 11 year old boy needs to reach out to old comfortable safety.

But that isn’t what I started out to write?!  I guess the thought of having a new baby coming into our family of friends has me going all mushy and remebery (it’s a word if I say it is!).  Playing with the girls yesterday (can’t call them “the babies” at 2 & 3 anymore) and hearing a wonderful pregnancy announcement makes me want to take that Bug of mine, big boy that he his, and wrap him in my Doggiebaby robe and sing;

I’ll love you forever,

I’ll like you for always,

As long as I’m living

my baby you’ll be.

Thanks Robert Munsch, the book Love You Forever is the tune of my life…

The big one on the right is Junior.  The small, overly loved one is Doggiebaby.  They started out in the Ty factory the same size and colour, so you can see the Velveteen Rabbit effect on the original one.

You can never have too much rope!

When I think of it, this is one of the wisest sayings my dad had. It’s kind of like the boy-scouts saying “Always be prepared.” I know I’m not always prepared, and sometimes I feel like I’m at the end of my rope, but I’ve managed to always have someone there to catch me when I fall and pick me up & dust me off when I trip.
I surround myself with friends who have become family and family who have become friends. I want to tell my stories, my dad’s stories and have a forum to share my view on the world.
You may want to look away, because my perspective is a little skewed. I want to do a regular feature called “Does this sound dirty to you?” because everything always sounds dirty to me!
Join me as I find my blogging voice and hopefully it will come out as well as my speaking voice, which never seems to stop.