Those thoughts raced through my mind as I sat there and heard the words: "15% chance of making it through a first round of chemo. 90 days if you elected hospice". The doctor didn't want to give me figures- "That's not what I do", but as I asked her for her best estimate the words grabbed me. "90 days". "What do you think dad?" I asked. "It's ok Louie, I'm tired" he said.
"Your dad is a fighter, if you told me three years ago that he would have make it three years, I would have told you that you were crazy- so we never know" continued the doctor. It was almost as she was in another room speaking to someone else. I struggled to process the news.
She's sort of right, I remember being in her office when she shared the CT scans that showed the progression of the cancer. It was everywhere. Many would have folded long ago. Not my dad, he was a tough steelworker. Cast from a “mold” thrown away long ago, my dad spent 41 years in the steel mill. Cold days, hot days- sick days knew no distinction for my pop. So why should some cancer be any different? I looked down at his tired hands- those hands were once like frying pans and solid. I remember the few times, I crossed him and got a swat- it took everything I had in my not to yell out in pain. They were like rocks. But now, Dad was tired. He’d put up a hard fight. I could see it in his eyes. He had a tough time walking, he was in noticeable pain- it had been a good run. As we got the information on the hospice option- my mom was in tears. She knew this day was coming- but there is no preparation. How do you say goodbye to someone you have lived with for 51 years?
Who do you see, who do you spend time with ?…. Family was dad’s answer. Family.
~Lou Sandoval is a business owner with over 17 years Fortune 100 experience. In 2002, he left a successful career to pursue his dream of business ownership. Lou believes in giving back to his community and has also been involved in the Boy Scouts of America and serves on a few non-profit and professional boards. Opinions expressed here are solely personal and not a representation of any of the organizations with which he may be affiliated.