Two Years

Most of this is from a post I added to my dad’s online cancer update journal that I run to keep friends and family up to date on major updates. I hadn’t originally planned to share it on my blog, but it just felt right.

Here goes….

Friday marked two years since my dad’s diagnosis.
Two years of treatment.

Two years of medication.

Two years of doctor’s appointments.

Two years of random and frequent hospital stays.

Two years of pain, heartache, worry, anger— no, fury.

Two years of love, laughter, jokes, family, and togetherness.

Two years of memories that, at times, we weren’t sure we’d get to make.

I purposefully didn’t write this post on Friday. Friday is a nasty anniversary. It’s a memory that haunts with an unsettling clarity. A turning point, signaling the beginning of a “new normal”. It’s a day that I think we’re all justified in dreading and hating.

But the days that come after are different. These days, two years ago, were when I saw how strong and loving my mom was. How she slept by my dad’s side, holding his hand and facing the upcoming battle with him. It’s been the same throughout all of this.

They were the days when I saw my dad joke and laugh through being poked and prodded. When he listened and trusted my opinion, knowing I wouldn’t let him down. When he continued to be, as he had for my whole life, Superman. Unless he was wearing his glasses, and then he was Clark Kent. Even now, he’s who I go to for help. For answers. For assurances and jokes and friendship and togetherness. He’s still Superman, only now he has even cooler, hipster Clark Kent glasses.

That bond, strength, and love is what I want to celebrate. Between my parents. Between my dad and us kids. Between my dad and his grandkids. All the things that drove him forward to face something incomprehensible. The way he’s flipped cancer the bird and tackled each setback with determination and stubbornness, fighting to live his life in spite of it all.

And there have been setbacks. More than what’s fair— not that any of this is. In all of this, I think the one thing that was most unexpected were the side effects. We all knew to fear the cancer, but none of us knew how much chaos the side effects would cause. Even a quick scan through these updates— which are only the major issues— is enough to make my head spin. But my dad has faced it all, kicked its ass, and he keeps going.

For the last two years he’s been a man with cancer. And when something is so all-encompassing the way cancer is, seeping into all aspects of his life, it’s hard to think about much else sometimes. But he’s not just a cancer patient. He’s a husband who cherishes his wife and is deeply loved in return. He’s a dad who has always loved his kids— supporting us, having our back, and never failing to share how much he loves us and how proud he is of us. And he’s the Papa/Grandpa who’s wild about his grandkids, beaming with pride and bragging to everyone who’ll listen. He’s a man who we’ve had two years with because he’s so strong, even when he feels like he’s not.

That’s what I want to remember. Celebrate. Love and strength and togetherness and ass kicking.
And this is where I switch back to speaking to you, my readers. My pervs, my think tank, my naughty cupcakes.

My friends.

The amount of patience you’ve shown me while you all wait a billion years for books is more important to me than I can describe. I wish I could block out the real world and immerse myself in my worlds, but I can’t.

Sometimes the real world requires my full attention.

Sometimes it’s a rain cloud that follows me from world to world, soaking my mood in darkness. And, let’s be honest, I murder characters enough on a good day. I don’t need the fuel.

Other times life is so amazing that I need to be in that moment, appreciating the calm between the storms. Soaking in the time I have with the ones I love.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. For the patience. The distractions. The love and support and hilarious memes and hot guys. You guys and all that you mean to me are part of what I’m celebrating about these two years. I love you all. 💕

~Layla

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