Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Truth And Choices

I just found out a couple of days ago that my dad has cancer again, in the form of a tumor growing on his spine that is destroying the vertebrae it is surrounding. Surgery to "de-bulk" the tumor (complete removal is not possible) and repair his spine was scheduled immediately. Everything went well and he is now recovering. He will also have to endure physical rehabilitation followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

I had originally jotted down a very generic paragraph about all of this and then moved on to more upbeat topics in order to avoid hurt feelings or criticism about my feelings on this subject. But then I thought about this.....a person who writes should write what they know and be truthful. So here is the truth. I find it very hard to be sympathetic toward my father's current plight. I love him and I don't ever want to see him suffer but he has been a smoker and drinker all of his life, to his own detriment. Now, before you assume that I am going to get on my soap box and judge all smokers, I am not. I have smoked  cigarettes in my life. This is about choices. My father chose, after multiple heart attacks and having 2/3 OF HIS TONGUE CUT OUT AND RESTRUCTURED because of oral cancer, to continue smoking cigarettes and drinking for 10 years. Resulting in the present situation. People will say, 'It's so hard to quit, it's an addiction'. Bullshit. People quit every day. Again, it's about choices. I don't know about you, but if I had my tongue cut out I'd like to think that I would stop doing what caused that. But that's just me. Maybe I don't fully comprehend addiction. But one thing I do know about it is that the very essence of it is selfishness. To keep doing something no matter how it hurts or affects those around you is just plain selfish. I am most sorry for my mom in this situation. She has stuck by my dad for 41 years of marriage, through thick and thin, I might add, and she doesn't deserve to have to keep going through this shit because my dad wants/likes/needs to smoke cigarettes and drink. He's just doing what he's always known but it doesn't make it right. I was conflicted about my feelings and wondering whether I was a bad person because I didn't hop on a plane, but this is my truth. It is also the truth that I'm hoping for the best possible outcome of the moment and that he will finally say good-bye to cigarettes forever.


  1. We all do stupid things that affect our lives, maybe not as obstinately as your father, as when I complain about my feet hurting because I'm on them all day, then I eat a bag of potato chips, which is really helping to keep the weight off my feet all right! We could all help turn this into a slightly positive thing by taking a lesson and changing things in our lives which have become habits, don't increase our enjoyment of life by any great degree but have debilitating health, social, or other effects on our lives.

  2. I agree with what you are saying and know that I am surely guilty of unhealthy behaviors of a different kind. I just feel that there are only so many chances that you're going to get at life and to keep doing the same thing expecting a different result is futile. I'm not judging by any means, we are all entitled to make our own choices and live our own lives. But you should also value the life that you are given.