For over 10 years, I have worried that my dad has some undetected form of cancer. He has a headache? It’s brain cancer. His feet hurt? Foot cancer. My dad has been smoking for 50 years, and I am all but convinced there are tumors growing throughout his blackened lungs as we speak. The thought of no longer having access to my dad’s hugs scares the macaroni & cheese out of me. He is 85% of the reason why I moved home. So I can get those hugs while I can. Not to mention the fact that I need quite a bit more time to be a good daughter* to the ol’ man.
This morning, my dad was being quieter than normal. I left my
daughter cave bedroom and inquired.
Me: What’s wrong? Why aren’t you talking to me?
Dad: I don’t feel well. Let me watch this TV show.
Me: But what’s wrong?
Dad: Tina… I fart every time I take a step and feel like I have to take a shit every three minutes. It’s been like this for the past two weeks, I’m sick of it.
Me: Oh. Why didn’t you bring it up to the doctor?
Dad: I don’t know. Let me watch this TV show.
I go back to my cave and frantically start inputting symptoms on Web MD. Colon cancer. There it is. I grab my laptop and run into the living room.
Me: Look. You could have any of these things.
Dad (looks): OK.
Me: Will you go to the doctor?
Dad: Tina, I don’t have cancer.
Me: You don’t know that! We need to treat it before it’s too late!
Dad: I’m fine. It’s no big deal.
Me: Can we please just make sure? I cry over this stuff!
Dad: Well, if you want to cry, then go in there and look at that list some more!
Me: I’m worried.
Dad: If it’s not better by Monday, I’ll make an appointment. Scout’s honor. I won’t die this weekend.
Me: OK. Thanks.
I also worry that my worrying over my dad getting cancer will in turn, make it manifest. Power of positive thinking crap. I guess being an only child and losing your mother at 16 to the disease makes you neurotic and a little crazy over it.
*Ed. Note: I have very bratty tendencies and often resort to a mouthy 13-year-old when in his presence. It has gotten better over the years, but it still comes out far more often than it should. This “bad attitude” leads to the occasional screaming match that I don’t really speak about on this blog.