I originally planned the trip to attend the Tucson Gem & Mineral show and visit my family, but it turns out my dad hadn't been doing very well so the focus switched to seeing them. He's been struggling with cancer for several years, had half of a lung removed, and we thought he was out of the woods. Then last year he hurt his ribs, and when they didn't seem to heal up, the doctor did a scan and found lesions on his ribs and some shady spots on his breast muscles. He went through two heavy duty rounds of chemo and radiation only to lose his voice in early December to another area being attacked by cancer. By the end of December this evil disease had wrapped itself around his spine, causing him to lose feeling in his feet and lower legs. Within a period of less than a month he went from walking a few miles a day to struggling down his short driveway with a walker, stopping at the end to sit on the little fold out stool attached on it's frame. When I saw him this weekend, he was so thin and tired looking, and could barely catch his breath.
This man once considered playing professional baseball and wrestled criminals into jail cells. It's so sad to watch him disappear into the shadows with no voice. It's almost like he's already half gone. Although he hasn't said anything, he wants to go, I think. He's supposed to contact hospice - hasn't done it. The last attempt the doctors have for him would sequester him to a radioactive room with no contact with the outside world for six weeks. He cancelled the appointment.
I love him, told him so, and gave him a hug so big it nearly crushed his frail body.