THINGS I DIDN'T EXPECT WOULD HAPPEN AFTER MY DAD GOT SICK

  1. my family would still argue
    they say that illness in a family brings families closer--and that is 100% true. there's a part of you that is so terrified of how much longer you're going to have this family unit, that you just try to keep up the pretense, and try to not let anything rock the boat. but this can really put stress on the dynamic, and we are all human, so fights still happen. and sometimes they're worse than before--because what's behind them a lot of the time is fear.
  2. he would become stable to the point where people would stop asking about him
    my dad is still on the transplant list--the damage that was caused by his autoimmune disease can never be repaired--but he is considered stable from meds. when people hear this, they reply, "oh, great! so he won't need the transplant then?" well, not exactly. transplant candidates have compromised immune systems--and that stability is extremely fragile. if my dad got the flu, or had to have even minor surgery--it could set everything off for the worse, and send him to the top of the list.
  3. a year and a half later, there wouldn't be any form of resolution
    when people get diagnosed with cancer, there usually is a plan set in motion. you start rounds of chemo/radiation and if you're lucky, you fight it and win. yes, there's always a fear that it can come back--but remission still brings a great feeling of relief. with this, there wasn't a real endgame. yes, they put him on meds, which helped. but i didnt understand what came next. you just, wait to get sick? there is no relief and the worry never ends. i haven't slept well in over a year.
  4. it would affect my own health so intensely
    the first time we went to mayo clinic, i experienced numbness and tingling so intense, i went to the doctor thinking i'd had a mini stroke. after months of tests--xrays, ultrasounds, brain and neck MRIs--nothing was ever found. i was checked for brain tumors, lyme, MS, you name it. all the doctors said was that my body was constantly in a state of fight or flight from stress. the tingling and numbness still happens regularly, and i still am not sure of the specific cause.