Sunday, January 23, 2011


Bad news: The "bad news" phone call is the frickin' worst. It comes when you least expect it. On Saturday it came in the morning while I was still asleep. It was a phone call from my mom. Earlier that morning my dad went to the ER with intense back pain that he experienced through the night. Given his history of kidney cancer, the doctor ordered a CAT scan and blood work stat. It turns out that he has a mass on his remaining kidney and urethra. It's been two years since his kidney surgery for his cancer, and here we are again. Granted, we don't know for sure what it is yet, so we can't really process anything until we know, but regardless, it sucks. I hate that my dad - my strong, loyal, hilarious, kind, and fun-loving dad - has to go through this bullshit. I hate that my mom - my compassionate, sensitive, caring, feisty, and conscientious mom - has to go through this bullshit. Whatever it is, even if it's not cancer, our guard is up, and we're anxiously awaiting the doctor's thoughts. That alone is bullshit.

OK, had to get that out of my system.

Good news: We've been through this before, and we know how to take things one step at a time and to think positively. Two years ago, my family grew closer than I could have ever imagined. We held each other up and believed the best, and my dad's surgery was a success. He's lived the past two years happily and healthily. He's become a grandfather (Poppy), he's shot his best round of golf in his life, he's enjoyed lots of laughs with his best friends, he's moved into a beautiful home, and much more - all cancer free. We may face challenges in the months and years to come, but we know what it takes. We know we've got each other, and we've got love. And really that's all that matters. I know it my heart that it will be alright and we'll find a way to get through this together. I am thinking positive because I feel hopeful, and I trust that we're going to kick the crap out of this bullshit one piece of poo at a time.

A huge part of me just wants to be there with my parents right now to hold their hands, to hug them, to be with them, but I'm not and I can't be right at this moment. Whatever ends up happening, I'll be there for them in every way that I can, including trips to PA. Living out here is so complicated. On one hand, I love my life here. I love Colorado - the sun, people, mountains, fresh air, my job, friends, my house. On the other hand, I love my family. I love my parents and Pop-pop, and I long for the day-to-dayness of just being together. I also know that as much as my parents want me there, in their hearts, they're happy for me and where I am in my life. Knowing this is what gets me through my days across the country from them. I know people say that if family comes first, you should be close to them, but I know that love doesn't recognize time and space. Love is love no matter where you are. I can love them in Pennsylvania from Colorado just as much I could love them in their home from down the street in mine. In everything I do, they're with me, as cheesy as that may sound. I look at Calvin, and I see my dad. I cook dinner, and I'm with my mom. Really, not a moment goes by that I don't think of them, and I feel that in some way, my thoughts create little cozy spots in their least I hope they do. :)

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts....

"Hey, what's that warm, fuzzy feeling? Oh - it's Keri thinking of us again."

Love you, Dad. Love you, Mom.

*To those friends and family who read my blog, I'm sorry if this is the first you're hearing of this news. I'm planning to be in touch with all of you...just please keep my dad in your thoughts.

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