The tagline I thought up when I started this blog was “Tales of a Chicago girl in a LA world.” Well, this girl has found herself back home.
Two months ago, my father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. A few weeks later, I packed up my suitcase, left Los Angeles, and flew back to Chicago with a one-way ticket. Hence, the radio silence for the last few months.
Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I would write about what’s been going on. For one, I didn’t want to betray my dad’s privacy. Second, I really, really didn’t want to spend more time writing about something that’s been on my mind every minute of every hour since May 31, the day I was told that a mass had been found in my dad’s lung. But I missed my blog.
Thing is, I talk about my life on the blog… and my dad for that matter. I knew that if I were to start writing again, it would be disingenuous to exclude my dad’s illness from my entries. So here I am.
I figured this was as good a time as any to restart the blog because this weekend my dad and I will officially become roomies. After more than a decade of living parent-free, I can only imagine the hijinks that will ensue once I move in. Why, you ask, after being back in Chicago for more than a month haven’t I already moved in with him? Well, I pay my bills by writing for the World Wide Web, and my dad doesn’t even have an email address, let alone a computer or Internet connection at his place. When I asked if he could set up wifi for me, he repeated, “Hifi? What’s that?” So for the last few weeks, I’ve been bouncing from house to house of no less than four crazyawesomeamazingwonderful friends who would probably just let me become a permanent resident at any of their homes if I asked. As of today, though, my dad’s condo is officially online. So now my nomadic existence comes to an end and a new adventure begins.
To state the obvious, cancer blows. My plan is not to focus on it – at least, not on the blog. Whether or not you have been touched by this illness, I think we can all agree that it’s horrible. I don’t know if I have anything original to contribute to the “how to cope with cancer” conversation. I’m still figuring that out anyway, so my strategy is to concentrate on everything else. Like how to cope with my dad’s incessant interest in watching golf. He has about a thousand channels – an Internet novice, yes, but my father is no stranger to the wonders of cable – yet if golf is on TV, he must watch it. To me, watching golf for five minutes is like getting stabbed with a million tiny tees for five days. I’m not so sure how this roomie situation will work out.
I’m also not sure just how long I will be in Chicago. For as long as my dad needs me? For as long as I can? Forever if it meant that my dad would be okay?
The other day he asked if I was keeping up with the blog. I tried to answer honestly without somehow making him feel responsible for why I wasn’t updating it. Then about as awkwardly as you could imagine, I asked if I could talk about his condition. His answer? “Sure. Tell everyone to send me a dollar.”
That’s the other reason why I decided to go back to the blog. My dad is awesome. I’m sure other people feel the same way about their fathers, and far be it from me to disagree. I don’t think dads being awesome need be an either-or proposition among sons and daughters. But instead of waiting until the day that I don’t want to think about to tell everyone of my amazing dad, I’d thought I’d start now. Plus, I promise it’ll make for much easier reading. If I were to write about how awesome my dad is in a single post, I might break the Internet. It’d be that long.
If you’d rather not read about some guy you don’t know, and many of you have never met my father, I get it. And to be honest, I probably won’t be able to help some sad stuff from creeping in every once in a while. I don’t blame you if you’d rather use your free time to look at kitten memes. But if I may offer a rebuttal… This blog is about the small, stupid, and sometimes happy stuff that happens in life. To be sure, my dad’s cancer diagnosis has made that mission harder. Though most definitely stupid, cancer is neither small nor happy. But even if he can’t beat his diagnosis, I will do my damnedest to make him and you and even myself smile in spite of it.
Image courtesy of phanlop88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net