Aside from the title of my favorite Crosby, Stills & Nash tune, it’s also an appropriate start for this entry. A long time has gone (more than a year) since my last entry; Then, a nostalgic musing of the Star Wars Celebration in Colorado. Now; a summary of the time between and a preparation for the next piece of Star Wars convention history.
First things first.
I lost my father in October. I have not spoken of it in great detail with more than a few close friends. It is painful to watch as a family member passes, more so when it is a parent. My dad had Glioblastoma (referred to as the most common malignant brain tumor). I’m here to tell you there is nothing “common” about it. It was diagnosed in 2007, rather suddenly, after about a week of increasing pain and limited movement in his legs which he attributed to fibromyalgia (a pre existing condition). He underwent surgery that removed most of the tumor but not all. An otherwise successful recovery was met with with a prognosis of 2 years, due to the aggressiveness of the tumor and the history of patients with that type of cancer.
We (my family and I) stubbornly pushed the unwanted information to the back of our minds and, for about a year, enjoyed watching him return to his old self and enjoyed his company as the blessing it was. Toward the end of that year, successful treatments proved only temporary as the tumor became active again. Stronger chemotherapy was ordered, and worked, but he became increasingly tired and unable to cope with the strength of the medicine that was keeping his nemesis at bay. Good news, in the form of MRI scans, kept us all hopeful but his weakened state could only endure so much of the chemicals. During a prescribed “break” in his treatment that was necessary for his immunity and white blood cell count to strengthen, a new tumor took hold. The choice between harsher, potentially life threatening treatments, and allowing him to pass at home and with peace, was made. It was an obvious choice. Two years, one month and six days after the prognosis, he passed on. I think he would have been satisfied to know that, technically, he proved the doctor wrong.
I have not spoken or written of it in that much detail since it happened. It is only because the writing process sometimes helps in healing, that I have done so now. I will always live beside the memories of those final months – which I will still not speak or write about – but more importantly, I will live with the memories of him.
Domenic A. Carchidi 2.28.42 – 10.27.09
More frivolous posts to follow, I promise.