From My Heart To My Toes

Sarge’s eye-view.

Last Saturday, Sarge and I got up early to see our wedding venue decked out for a wedding.  The sun was out and I could picture next year, our people in that room.   ‘And we’ll announce you from here,’ said the events planner person.  And I cried.

We headed toward breakfast and I wondered again why I order pancakes anywhere that isn’t my Dad’s house.  Sarge finished them off for me, and I made him shoot some cherry blossoms on the way to a coffee-shop, where I drank coffee, read David Sedaris and eavesdropped on some tourists.  I couldn’t help it.  They were loud.

We went home and had dumplings while watching Manhattan.  Life is good.  I said so on Facebook.

Dad and Anne picked us up on Sunday and we went to the bridal shop so I could pet my dress.  It was hidden in the back of the car before Sarge came out of hiding.

We take them back to the venue; Dad sits at the top of the room.  Has a moment.  ‘Well done,’ he says.  ‘It’ll be a beautiful day.’

We have a late lunch, and are the last to leave the cafe.

‘Want to come up for coffee?  We can kill some zombies for you.’

I expect Dad to say no, but we all troop up to the flat.  This is Interesting, because they usually just go home.

Dad is on the couch, Anne is next to him.  I’m parked in front of the books, Sarge next to me.  ‘I have some news,’ Dad says in his This Is Interesting/Sit Down voice.

‘What?’  I actually gripped the frame of my chair.


‘What?,’ I say.

‘I’ll definitely fit into my kilt for the wedding, that’s the good news.’

He explained how he’d had a sore throat and then there was a lump.   And he’d gone to the doctor and had to wait for results and I’m sorry if this doesn’t make sense because all I heard was cancer.

And then Dad said, ‘Please don’t break because if you do, I will.’

Anne is saying he’ll be alright and Sarge is trying to hold me and forgive me but I’m pushing him away, because I’m trying to focus on what Dad’s saying.  Because it doesn’t make sense.

‘Once they get it it’s gone, and it isn’t going anywhere else, and if you moved up the wedding I wouldn’t enjoy it, so next year is fine, better even,’ he said.  ‘I want four whole hours for my speech at the wedding and I’d like to name all my Grandchildren, thank you.’

He’ll have to shave his beard and he’s on morphine with more energy than ever because his chronic back pain is gone.  His diabetes and hypertension will go away.  ‘Maybe this is my next lesson,’ he said.  ‘This’ll mean I’m healthier in the long run.  It’ll give me my life back.  Chemo is my liposuction.’

‘It’s a pain in the ass way to do it, though.’   I said.

‘Actually it’s a pain in the neck, sweetie.’  He hugged me.  And then I broke.

After they left, Sarge asked how I was doing.  ‘I can’t feel anything from my heart to my toes,’ I sad.

I get up the next day.  And I’m surprised the world is still happening.  I stay off the computer in order to avoid Google.  I try to write in a journal Dad gave me.  But there are no words.   If I had any, I would say that I know cancer is treatable, or else there wouldn’t be treatment.  After the treatment, people get better.  People laugh and go to weddings and have Grandchildren.

People get through it.  But this is my father, my best friend.  He has to go through this.  My Dad will get better.  We just have to get there.

On Thursday, I went to the cancer centre and met one of his nurses.  The place was nicer than at least one of the wedding venues Sarge and I looked at.  I asked questions and cried and hugged a stranger.  But she isn’t, really.  She’s one of the people looking after Dad, and that makes her awesome.

And because I’m me, I got stuck in the bathroom.  To make it homey, they put a rug in there.  It got caught in the wheels and came with me through the door, along with a basket of towels and a small table.

I backed out of the room.  ‘Hey you guys, I’m stuck.’  Sarge reached me first, and then laughed and said to Dad, ‘oh, you gotta see this.’

My Dad’s laugh is the same as always.

He’ll be in remission by October which also marks three years of me and Sarge.  Stellar month.  We’ll get there.

My mission today is to find Dad a beard hat.

Dad and me. The last time he was without a beard.

46 thoughts on “From My Heart To My Toes

  1. Lorna, this made my heart ache. Many of my family members have been affected by cancer, so I know the impact that the c-word has on us. If your Dad is anything like you, he is a fighter and he will kick a**!

    Lots of love from all your Limebird friends and I’m sending over a huge hug. xxx

          1. Ah non-existant unfortunately. We have £0, so don’t even know where to start. Until we start saving, we can’t start planning. It’s so rubbish. 😦 I’m glad yours is going well and bring on June ey! 🙂 x

  2. Hi Lorna, so sorry to hear that your dad has cancer. It must be very difficult for everyone at the moment. It must also seem so unfair. But from what you say your dad has every reason to be hopeful, which is great. And what lovely news about your wedding. It’s such a positive joyful event for everyone to look forward to. Good luck with finding that beard hat ;o)

  3. Sorry that this dreaded enemy is haunting your family right now–but what a wonderful spirit your dad has. You have it too. Love & peace to you & Sarge, & healing prayers for your dad!

  4. That just sucks so bad! The good news is that the technology is there and good things happen with the treatment – once you get through it because it really isn’t a party. I am nearly at the five year mark now, and I find so much more in life to love these days, because I have that life to love. Your dad will be there for you, and for many years after.

  5. My thoughts are definitely with you and your dad. I’ve lost a grandpa and a mother-in-law to the dreaded c-word, but I do know that positive thought can go a long way, and it sounds like your dad is keeping his chin up.

  6. When life takes the wind out of your sails, it is to test you at the oars. ~Robert Brault,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your dad. If John’s still the person I knew in high school, his positive outlook on life will pull him right through all this.

  7. I’m so sorry about your dad’s news. Hugs from this side of the Atlantic, and positive energy. May your dad enjoy your wedding on his own terms, and may your celebration be even happier for it.

  8. Hi Lorna…I’ve barely started reading your blog and I’m sitting here crying as I write this. Several special people in my life have had cancer too. As others have said, keeping a positive attitude is so important, and your positivity will be such a gift too. That being said…you’re allowed to break too. It’s hard when parents get sick. But you’ll find your way through it. I know it. 🙂

  9. Really feel for you and wish you and your family the best through a difficult time. Its very honest of you to share this with your readers.

    If you would like to knit your own bead / tash combo you can see alot of different options on the Indestructables website – – i’ve not tried them myself but might be just the thing to keep you busy rather than thinking about it.

  10. I started tearing up at the first paragraph, and haven’t let up yet. I’m happy, sad and hopeful for you all. I hope you post a picture of the beard hat. Oh, and that kilt. 🙂 Hugs to you all.

    1. Thanks, Moonbean. There will be a photo of the beard hat at some point. The first one was too shadowy. Lots of kilt shots next year, stay tuned!

  11. What a moving post. I’m trying really hard not to cry. You wrote so beautifully about a storm of different emotions.

    I’m so, so sorry to hear about your dad’s diagnosis. But I’m glad he’s getting the care he needs for it — and it sounds like he’s got a great attitude and is a real fighter. I’m thinking of you and your family. Best wishes to all of you in the months ahead. Hugs to you from Texas!

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