Friday, June 5, 2015

The horrible week that was simultaneously also pretty good. This makes my head hurt.

It's 70 degrees and the sun is shining and a breeze is blowing. It's Friday morning at 11:30 and I've only been up for a little while because this morning was Dads and Donuts day in Vivian's class, so Daniel had to take the kids to school. Birds are literally singing in the trees right outside my dining room, where I am sitting and typing this. And the baby who lives next door is babbling and laughing with her grandmother. Right in front of me is a gorgeous flower arrangement that I got at the first day of the local farmer's market. We had dinner there last night, so I didn't have to cook.

The flowers. 

It's been a good week. The kids are done with homework and we've more or less commenced our summer slothfulness, despite still having a week and a half of school to go. Early slothfulness is okay though, because my kids teachers are also pretty much counting the minutes. Vivian's teacher tore her rotator cuff this past weekend and is in pain and Ethan's teacher is in the first trimester of pregnancy and feels awful. So it's a mutual limp across the finish line.

But in the middle of this pretty good week, we got a phone call that felt like a slap across the face. Daniel's dad has been having an assortment of health issues for a while now and finally got in for tests (they live in Canada. Enough said). And in the middle of Daniel's phone conversation in Chinese with his mom, he suddenly spoke English to me and said "Dad has lung cancer". And then went back to talking to his mom about the details. 

Daniel's parents speak English, but definitely have issues with understanding in some situations. Even with people who know their comprehension level. So here's how the information has been traveling around the family. Daniel's parents are given information by their doctors (whose names are Indian and so they may or may not have accents, I do not know). Daniel's mom tells Daniel what's going on, in Chinese. He tells me in English. No one really understands the medical terms or tests, so translating it back and forth is particularly complicated. 

Yesterday, Daniel's sister-in-law went and got the report from the doctors to scan to send to Daniel's brother who, of course, happens to be in Asia right now on business. They also sent the report to me and I translated it into basic-er terms, because I am a scientist by training and have worked on a lot of cancer issues and everyone else in the family is an accountant or computer programmer or something related. And the news right now is that there are still a lot of questions about what stage and what to do for treatment. His next test to find out more is another week from now, so we wont know much more for a while. 

We've watched a lot of people around us go through this battle of parental illness. It's not something we've personally dealt with. As it happens, neither have our parents.  All of our grandparents either died young, had abandoned the family years before (yes, this happened with multiple of our grandparents) or died suddenly in their sleep. My mom's mom is still going strong. We've been really fortunate in that way. 

Prayers appreciated as we go down this unexpected path. 

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