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Life, Lifting and Loss of My Father

Posted Jul 19 2013 11:30pm

The photo above is my mother, Earleene on the left, My father, Frank in the center and my mother's younger sister (my aunt), Joyce, on the right when they were very young.

My mother died from cancer in 2009 and my father died of Leukemia on Sunday, July 14, 2013. Joyce is still here, kicking in Las Vegas, I spoke with her today actually.

If you have followed my blog over the years you know all about my mom and my friend Emily, who died from cancer only last year. I feel I have had way too many close encounters with cancer and death, and the loss of loved ones. 

I also had a bout with skin cancer a month ago, below you can see my chest after the cream treatment caused it to flare up. The side effects were so strong they ended up surgically removing it. I have a nice scar now the size of a lopsided quarter on the center of my chest to remind me to wear my sunscreen.

I am fine, it's actually my second cancer experience, and I have my whole body checked every six months for more. 





Needless to say, the last several months have been a bit stressful for me and my family. My father learned about his leukemia in February, he emailed me when I was vacationing in Mexico.  He endured several months of chemo again (it was his 3rd form of cancer in just as many years), and finally he decided he was done with the blood and platelet transfusions. 

My brother flew in from Europe (where he lives) and my sisters and I all cared for him, taking turns doing all of the things one needs to do. Joyce was there almost round the clock.





I did some extra cardio everyday as most of the time at Dad's I was sitting and not particularly active. In Shape had something called a Jacob's Ladder that I loved, it was the most difficult form of cardio I have ever done. Take a look below!



After intervals for 14 minutes. Of course this was leg day too and I had done heavy squats and lunges previously. 



It's important to remember that we need to take care of ourselves when faced with a FUBAR. Do you know what that means? Many people use the acronyms SNAFU and FUBAR and have no idea what they mean. Less common but just as fun are TARFU and BOHICA. It's military speak (Dad was a marine ) -


Fucked
U
Beyond All Recognition
I go  into "I'm gonna train and no one can stop me" mode when something like this happens and I get lean and mean. Many others revert to old bad habits, alcohol, drugs, smoking, over eating. Not me, I want to take care of myself.

Below is Dad's duffel bag, moldy smelling but I love it! I found it in his closet as I cleaned out his clothes.




I found these great big silky shorts, I don't recall ever seeing him in these! 


Here is my brother, Derek (left) and my son, Cooper at dinner at Jocko's in Nipomo. Three nights after Dad's death, after we had cleared out much of the house, we all went to dinner to celebrate his life, relax and unwind. Death is a very stressful event. I felt like I had been holding my breath for weeks. I enjoyed a gin Gibson; one drink and I was dizzy.


I am at my home gym, Gold's Campbell here. I came home from Dad's a few times, but was too exhausted and stressed to go to work. I was on Family Medical Leave and missed a month of work. It's OK, my staff are very well crossed trained, very capable and I kept up with emails.




I am doing fine, while losing a loved one is never easy, Dad had us laughing until the end. Well, honestly at times we wanted to strangle him, but then we would huddle in the kitchen, comply with his crazy demands and get on with the care he needed, and appreciated even at his grumpiest moments.

Sometimes I looked at the morphine and the lorazepam and considered taking it myself! But I didn't, it was my way of vocalizing the stress I was feeling.

David and Cooper were very patient, holding down the fort at home and taking care of things I had to have done. Roy was amazing, changing my training schedule at the drop of a hat to accommodate me with my weird schedule in between cities for the last month. 

Sakura sent my father a card for father's day that made both he and I cry, the words were sincere and loving. 


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