Musings about music.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Life update

So, I don't normally talk about personal things in this blog, because my intention has always been for it to be only about music. In addition I tend to keep my private life very private and I don't often discuss it with anyone. That being said I haven't updated in two and a half weeks and I feel like an explaination is warranted. In addition sometimes I just feel better when I write things out.

Life is funny, not so much funny ha-ha, but funny strange. I wrote this tonight and I hope it more fully explains my recent absence. I will pick things back up soon I've just been... preoccupied.

Inoperable. The rest of the words blend together because they are long, and scientific, and I don’t fully understand them but that one stands out. Inoperable. In my thesaurus it’s adjectives are: not curable, terminal, fatal, deadly, permanent, untreatable, and grave. It is the word that means my dad is going to die. I mean, we’re all going to die, but he’s going to die soon. Sooner than I am ready for.

It was only 13 days ago that I spoke with my mother (for the first time in three years) and in our surprisingly nonchalant conversation she mentioned that she was worried about my step father because he had been very forgetful lately. She told me that he was putting off going to see a doctor until after their upcoming trip to Las Vegas. May 19th would be their 20th wedding anniversary and they had planned a trip to Las Vegas to renew their vows.

On Saturday, the 8th of May my parents were on their way to my step brother’s house. He and his new wife are expecting their first baby September. On the way there Dale got lost a couple of times. At first my mom thought it was just because the houses in the developments look similar and she didn’t think much of it.
When they went to leave that night Michael had to tie Dale’s shoes because he could not remember how to do it himself. I can’t imagine what that must have felt like for either of them. It makes me cry every time I think about it.

The next day my family spent Mother’s Day at my Grandfather Chuck’s house. They had a cookout and there were two tables set up. One of the tables held hot food items like burgers and hot dogs, and the other table had salads and desserts. When everyone was making their plates Dale just stopped and stood there at one table because he couldn’t figure out how to get to the other one.

At that point they told him that he had to go to the hospital. I didn’t know about this until later that night when my Grandma Bev called me and told me what had happened. While at the hospital they discovered a brain tumor near his frontal lobe that is about the size of a hard boiled chicken egg, cut in half.

Today, May 19, is the day my parents were supposed to be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, the day they were set to renew their vows. Instead they spent the morning in a hospital, seeing four doctors who each specialize in different things. The news is that my dad has a stage IV inoperable glioblastoma tumor. Tomorrow morning his doctor will do a biopsy to determine the best course of therapy. There will be radiation and chemotherapy.

The MRI today did "brain mapping", tomorrow they will use something similar to a GPS and a laser to take two or three samples of the tumor. Glioblastoma multiforme is most aggressive type of primary brain tumor in humans. For adults the median survival is about one year.

My biological father has been completely non-existent in my life. Dale is the only father I have ever known and he’s been in my life for the last 22 years. I don’t even know if I can put into words what I’m feeling. I am sad, and I am angry when there is no one to be angry at. I feel like I am going to puke and cry at the same time. I'm worried about my mom, and my two brothers who are closer to my family then I am. I feel irritated that I live so far away and that I'm not there with them during this time.

We will have to wait and see what the biopsy tells us but the outlook is not good. I am a terrible pessimist and I know this. I frequently fail to see the good in situations, and I’m simply not a very hopeful person. I don’t pray and I am not at all a religious person so when things like this happen I don’t have faith to fall back on, I only can hope that at some point I will understand why this is happening.


  1. Dale is amazing and I still think of him as a father figure when mine was not around. I am sorry to hear about this for you, your mom, Seth, and Mike.

  2. You may not be religious or hopeful, my friend, but I am. I will pray in your stead.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about this, Sam. There are no right words, but I'm here if you need ANYTHING. Love you <3

  4. More bad news today. In the last 10 days the tumor has doubled in size and grown roots into the healthy brain tissue surrounding it.

    Still waiting for more information from the biopsy but it doesn't look good at all.

    If miracles do happen, we could sure use one.

  5. Hi Samantha,
    Hang in there. I talked directly to Dale yesterday and he has a much more positive take on all of this. He is an inspiration. You would be blessed to talk directly to him. I'll keep praying for you all. God bless you. Love, Aunt Lisa

  6. Thank you Aunt Lisa! I have talked with Dale and he has a great attitude about this which is great and I do believe in the power of positive thinking.

    Also, an update on it's growth. We had some misinformation and the tumor didn't grow as fast as we thought, it was actually bigger when they first found it then I had heard. That is a good thing.

    Also the doctor was able to get a large amount of it out during the biopsy. Hopefully he will be very responsive to the radiation treatment.

  7. Samantha, Your story was very moving and I can feel your pain along with your family's pain. Aunt Bev has been keeping us updated too and we are just so sorry that this had to happen to Dale. He is a wonderful and very caring man. My family and I are praying for him along with you and your family so there is hope and miracles do happen. Just stay positive. You take care of yourself and know that we are here. Love, your cousin Kim(Sis), Tig(kevin) and Aunt Diane.

  8. Thank you Diane, Kim, and Kevin. That means a lot to me!