Thursday, March 22, 2012

Call Me!

So I had this really funny piece about March Madness and how I never filled out a bracket until a few years ago when my brother-in-law convinced Michael to get our whole family to fill out brackets and how this year I am crushing said brother-in-law, Mr. March Madness, in the standings.

But then my Dad called and told me he has prostate cancer.

March Madness didn’t seem so funny after that.

I’ve had just over 24 hours to sit with the news that the “C” word has hit our family. The few friends I told were very encouraging; if you have to have cancer, this is a good one to get, they said. One friend listed ten men she knows who've had it and are still around today after successful treatment. Definitely good to know and encouraging to hear.

And while this is not the kind of news anyone wants to get, it has provided great clarification for my family of origin. And that clarification is, “If anyone gets anything biopsied, the family is the first to know.”

See, when Dad conference-called me and Heather Tuesday night, we had no idea what he was talking about. Because no one told us he was even going in for a biopsy. Dad figured he’d wait until there was something to tell. Which, I suppose, I can understand. But as Christians, my sister and I surely would have liked the opportunity to pray for Dad and Mom as they went through the process.

We were fairly understanding until I asked who knew about the biopsy. “Well, I told my brother, and your aunt and uncle know. Plus, my Weight Watchers support group knew I was going in for the test so they’ve been praying for me.”

The Weight Watchers support group was told before his own flesh and blood? Are you kidding me?

I realize now, with 26 hours’ hindsight, that God provided that bit of levity in what was an otherwise very weighty topic because he knew we'd need it. You should have heard us talking after we hung up with Dad. “Seriously – the diet club knew before we did,” said Heather.

 “Well, at least we know where we rank,” said I. And we laughed. It was good to laugh.

So, the downside is Dad does have cancer. The upside is they caught it early and from all reports, is treatable with radiation. And while I certainly hope no one else has anything biopsied anytime soon, at least everyone in my family is clear that a phone call to the children is among the first calls to make. And if not the first, at least before the Weight Watchers support group.