Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 24th

March 24th, 1973: I don't think dad feels good at all today. But the doctors predicted this, because the cobalt is starting to wear off. He goes back for more treatment Monday. I also found out that Art Cookie died of cancer (dad told me this). Then he threw some gum wrappers toward the ash tray, and threw them completely off the table. I don't think he had his mind in the right place.

March 24th, 2013: I'd skipped four days of making entries in my original diary. The last one being March 20th. The day we returned from the trip to see Lynn and her family. I'm not sure why I had done so. Maybe I was busy, trying to get caught up with school, and everything else, after being gone for a week.

The original diary entries are beginning to reveal the fact that dad was feeling worse. Even my optimism was waning. Dad's too. Much of the time before, he'd always say he felt "good," or "strong." He wasn't saying things like this so much anymore.

In hindsight. He definitely was getting worse. His condition was deteriorating. There's been no mention of any hospital stays yet. There had been only one, early on, during testing. That was for a night or two. Nothing recent, however.

The trip to the northwest had been put together in a pretty quick fashion. Supporting the theory of urgency.

He was gearing up for another round of treatments. I wonder if he knew it was futile by this point? That he had to go along with them, just in case they may prolong his life? He had a lot to live for. Mom and me. The store. Mainly himself, I'd like to think.

Tacoma may have been a turning point. Lynn had Roger to lean on. Mom and I were a little more on our own. Not that it would make it one bit easier for Lynn. It was hard on everyone. But, he was getting worse. The trip to Tacoma was accomplished. I am second guessing him, but I wonder if his will was beginning to falter? Dad was no quitter. But cancer is ruthless.

Art Cookie was a Pittsfield man. If I recall, he was a general contractor. A carpenter. He was a good customer at the store. His son's name was Jimmy. His wife Ruth may have been a cook at Higbee Junior High School. I don't know the exact date Art died. Or, what type of cancer he had. But dad noted it out loud at the table one evening, just before supper. I'm not sure if mom was in the room or not.

Dad hardly ever chewed gum. The only thing I can think that was about, is that he wasn't smoking, and the gum was a substitute. He gave those gum wrappers a flick after telling me about Mr. Cookie, and was a mile off target.

Spring was near, but the mood was getting darker. Harder for dad to hide his worsening condition, and to appear strong. The shit was beating him.


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