Thursday, September 6, 2007

my Dad...

So well, for those of you that have been following my blog for the last few months, you know that my Father was recently diagnosed with Cancer. Lymphatic Cancer was all they could say back on August 8th.

Wel, he had more tests done, another CAT, a Bone Marrow test and lots of blood work.... Seems it's Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He is Grade Two, Stage Three. Basically it's 'treatable, but not curable"

The Doctor's say it's not quite a death sentence, he could easily be around five to ten years... even longer. They want to add him to a clinical trial taking place in Canada at the moment. There are only 100 spaces available for the whole country, 10 at the hospital he is being taken care of in Halifax. We're still awaiting the final OK for him to start, but he has two appointments next week on the 11th and if the final tests are ok he'll have his first chemotherapy then.

They want to aggressively treat him as soon as possible to get him into remission (as this is the most they can do) and hope that he remains in remission for a few years. They will then re-treat him in the future (while keeping him under close observation) should any flair ups occur... and, sadly we know already that they will.

His Doctors have been wonderful and both my parents and we, cannot say enough good things about both the fine Doctors and Nurses at the Victoria General and Dartmouth General Hospitals. For as brutally honest as they are about the diagnosis and details, this is how my Father asked to know. He wants to know everything, the good, the bad and the ugly.

On Tuesday the 28th, the day of the final complete diagnosis, Dad was more calm and happy than he'd been in months. He knew what he was up against now. He knows the opponent he is fighting, and that clarity have given him a new found strength. That and his faith, and love from family and friends.

When he turned 65 back on April 21st of 2006 he made a milestone for the male side of his family being the longest lived male Ellis in 4 generations... And it's his full intent to blow that record out of the water, and we'll be there supporting him in any way we can.

I will be walking again this year for the "Light the Night' walk. It's a charity event to aid the Canadian Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I walked last year with a group from my workplace, Bristol-Myers Squibb. They are a major contributor and sponsor of the event. Little did I know then that just one year later my interest and involvement in this would take on a whole other level.

I know it's an odd request, but if any of you would be interested in sponsoring me for the walk on the evening of September 28th, on Ile Ste-Hélène click here, or if you are interested yourself in participating, visit the official website here.

- - -

On the evening of Saturday September 1st, as I previously posted, When I went to take pictures of the sunset at the beach, I met my father as he was returning from his evening walk. We talked. We don't talk a lot on a deeply emotional personal level, but when we do, it's incredibly deep and heart felt. I love BOTH my parents very much. I'm more close to my mother, but in the past few years developed a much closer relationship too, with my Father. It's my most sincere hope and wish that we have many years ahead to grow closer together.

After our talk, I took a couple pics of him, I wanted to remember this moment for as long as I can. And after than he looked at me so... exposed, and so I said, "how 'bout we take a picture together?" He said he'd like that, so I set back up my tripod, set the timer and this was the result...

We hugged each other for a long time after that, and then as the light faded we returned to the cottage we built together, 25 years ago...



before the cancer affected him,
was his health generally good?
'cause i'm thinking he may need all his strenght for those trials... good luck to him!!
but it's not surprising when a patient find new courage to fight when he knows who's the ennemy. it's the unknown that kills the spirit...& if he trusts the people at the hospital plus the support of his entourage, it bodes well.
let's cross our collective fingers!! nice that you had some privileged time with your dad. :)~

Ma Horton said...

Beautiful picture ...a framer of a son's love for his Dad and vice versa. Good luck and have faith .

Misster Kitty said...

Well there's the Diabetes, and two heart attacks, and a stroke ... but the Dr's are not terribly worried about that. And neigher is my Dad.

The pic is no award winner but I can look at it and feel closer to him than I did for years. I hope there will be many more. That's again for the support.

Maria said...

I will sponsor you. Just sponsored a friend who participated in the walk to end breast cancer and I think they are great causes because that dreaded illnesses has taken wayyyyyyy too many good people and we need to do something to stop it.

So, count me in...

I will send you a shout out when I get the minute from this busy work schedule, please remind me if I don't do it quickly enough its not that I have forgotten its just that I am swamped these days.

Here's to hoping that you and your dad share many more pictures in the coming years!

Misster Kitty said...

Thanks Maria!

and thanks again! :-)

Newsguy Bob said...

No award is worthy of that photo. It is a keepsake that you will treasure for the rest of your life, well beyond 65.

Beautiful story, Shawn. Even if you never have another heart-to-heart with your Dad, that one will also be a great source of comfort and love.

Maria said...

By the way I love THAT photo with the mixture of colours in the background.

I suggest you enlarge it and make a copy for yourself and your dad and feature it promintently at your place. I love it, I am a picture fanatic!!

Newsguy Bob said...

I, too am a photo phanatic. They're all over my apartment. Of course, a lot of them are of Little Bro Dan. My Dad says it looks like a shrine.
I have a great pic of my Dad that was taken last summer at the cottage, and it has a very prominent place among all the photos.

JB said...

You've built far more than a cottage together. Good on ya, and God bless your Dad, and keep him well.

N@ Lauzon said...

This is awesome, kitty. Great post, great photo. Your dad is a lucky fellow and vice versa. :)

Dédé Coudé said...

Nice picture indeed, so heart warming. It is interesting how we can feel the strength of your family just by the words and the picture.
Very good blog, I will visit often.