Thursday, September 21, 2006

Slightly distracting

I got an email regarding my father-in-law regarding his leukemia. I didn't know much about leukemia, so I didn't know the seriousness of his condition, since grades and treatability can vary widely. One phrase from the email jumped out:

"Dr. Xxxxxx re-emphasized the fact that there is currently no cure for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and that the average life span from point of diagnosis is 6 to 12 months. It has already been over a month since diagnosis occurred."

I'm not going to be worth shit at work today.


Kagehiko said...

Here I am, out of the woodwork, as you say.

Much has been passing in the time that we've lost touch; isn't it ironic how time will push you to a halt? Often times I wonder how we manage to match life's relentless pace.

Many of my own family members have died of cancer, the only comfort that does it justice is their memory. And yet with that I'm not content.

Hope is a miracle; you're not religious, I know, but hold on to what hope you have - sometimes, it's all that keeps you grounded.

So do be alright, and remember that regardless of your personal tragedies, people are having sex, getting drunk, and maybe even squeezing in a few graduations here and there. It's cliche, I know, but the old axiom is true: life goes on.

I would suggest reading further (as a bit of reverse psychology). What you'll read may offend you, but at this point I'm not caring about respect for elders or whatnot. In the face of death, we're all truly equal. This is the cutoff point, if you're wondering, by the way. Always the best,


The P.S. that I sincerely hope you don't need:

If you're continuing to read, I can't blame or stop you. Not that my writing is horrendous, but kiss your hope goodbye - this is the end. If your father[-in-law] recovers, it won't even be necessary.

Since I can't offer you sympathy (that'd be too predictable), I'll give you my words:

The rate at which your father[-in-law] will deteriorate is astounding. I'm sure you've heard this before. Take a moment to consider the great pain that he's going through - can you feel it yet?

Now he's in the hospital, laying down on some automated cot. Too weak to weaze, too fragile to hold, too close to death to comfort, he can only regard the world that so very soon will leave his vision forever.

Undoubtedly you're upset; hell, you may even be crying. But through the tears can you see him? This is his worst, his best. You are a bit of a masochist, but the feeling is mutual - I'm certain that he could've given in to the cancer many weeks ago and die without such agony.

And yet, as he inhales what will be his final breath, you watch his eyes. Words fail to convey what you see - wisdom, fear, anxiety, love - but now he's gone, and all that's left is the empty shell of what once was.

To look into the eyes of the dying is to see the face of their world - curiously, love or a form of it is almost always present in the deceased's contenance.

I speak not from experience - it'd have been unwise to allow a 12 year old watch her grandmother die, and only the truly foolhardy would've spoiled my innocence at 9 by summoning me to my uncle's bedside.

Yet regardless of my youth and undeniable foolhardiness, this I know. I won't romanticize death, I won't because you're too old to accept such made-for-television bullshit.

All that I can't say paraphrased:
treasure him while you can, as you'll see these times as the some of the best in your life.

Anonymous said...

You're an odd duck. I'm really glad we "met." I an elder, or a whatnot?

Kagehiko said...


...or are you!? õ.Ô

Quack. (That's an affirmative, roughly translating to "Yes, I'm also happy to have 'met' you.")