Dad had a routine 3-month MRI last Monday and it still looks cancer free. There are some side effects due to the surgery/chemo/radiation that show up on the scan but otherwise, no cancer. The oncologist reiterated to me again that my dad is beating a huge statistic. They predicted he would only live 1 year (true for over 90% of people in his situation) and it has been 2 years and 1 month.
I should be feeling incredibly grateful but this has been a hard week since my mom’s 5 year death anniversary was on Wednesday. No one said anything. My dad and brother didn’t mention anything (although I’m sure my brother remembered). My friends have forgotten and Terry doesn’t keep track of dates (dates are not his forte even though he tries to support me in any way possible). Dealing with a death becomes very much a process on your own. When my mom first passed away, tons of people flocked to my side. But something a friend told me has stuck with me throughout the years–it gets harder after a couple months, even years, when no one remembers what you’ve gone through. That is so true. I’m not going to hold people accountable to remembering when my mom passed away because everyone has their own crap to deal with. But I’ll just say that every holiday and milestone is difficult.
Ever since my last post about brain cancer and a comment I received: “It is unlike any other disease. To me, it is comparable to having dementia and cancer at the same time.” This has been more true lately as my dad has done a complete 180 from his I-don’t-need-you attitude. He has called me multiple times for help, he has given/cooked me food, and he looks extremely excited to see us. I wonder if he has just simply forgotten all that has happened in the past year. When I asked him why he’s asking us for help, he denied ever saying those hurtful things to us in the past and that we must have misunderstood. I am now realizing that it is easier for me to attribute his behavior to dementia than to psychoanalyze the meaning behind every action. It’s so weird to grow up with a parent who is a certain way only to have an almost completely different parent later on. But I guess they say the same thing about spouses?