It all began on April 19, 2016 when I lost my uncle to a massive heart attack while he was deep sea fishing a few miles offshore. Our family was shocked and devastated, since we were all very close together and he had been perfectly healthy two days before when we had eaten lunch together. During the month following that day, my dad had been having random moments of emotion and odd feeling overcome him while working. Passing it off as grieving his younger brother, he didn't think it was anything to be worried about.
A month passed and he was struck with a powerful headache combined with those odd feelings. He checked himself into a hospital on his FedEx route and was soon having all sorts of tests taken. After an MRI was taken, he was transferred to the local hospital for further tests. A day later, he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma on his left temporal lobe. A day after that, he was being prepped for a craniotomy to get a sample of the tumor. As I sat at the dining table doing my homework a few days later, the neurosurgeon called to tell us the worst.
About a month after that and a few days after my brother's graduation, my dad had his second craniotomy. This surgery was to take out as much of the tumor as possible without affecting how he could think and talk. The surgery went smoothly and successfully (thank God) and was followed by radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks and small doses of chemo. During those weeks, my dad suffered 2 seizures and was put on large doses of seizure medication, some of which he will have to take for the rest of his life.
After the radiation, my dad began taking large doses of chemo for 5 days every 27 days for 6 months. Surprisingly, he hasn't had too hard of a time with the chemo besides fatigue and a bit of nausea. Today (12/26/2016), my dad has gone through 3 rounds of chemo and his latest MRI was clear of all cancer cells. If the MRIs continue to be clear after the next three rounds of chemo, he will be done with all treatment.
This year has been the hardest year of my life, yet somehow one of the most memorable years. I know these three main things have kept me from feeling the full pain of watching my father struggle with cancer: Loving family and friends who have provided support through these hard times, the music by Christian artists on the radio who have kept me hopeful of the future and what is to come, and last but certainly not least: God, who has given me the strength to push forward each day.
Even though my dad has had to leave the job that he loves and has been doing for the past 27 years, his experience this year has strengthened his faith and made him more thankful and joyful than ever. God has kept him from feeling any pain these past months and has provided opportunities for him to minister to others through his own testimony. Even though the cancer he has is an aggressive form that is likely to return, I know that he will be alright in the future, no matter what God has in store for him.
So why do I have hope? I have hope because I know that in the end, I will be with both my dad and my Heavenly father in Heaven no matter what happens.
Written by: Paris Hunt