My father has become a foot soldier in the war on cancer

My father has cancer
It’s hard to know how to say this.

“My father is fighting cancer.” Nope. Sounds too much like a back alley brawl, and this is a much bigger deal than that.

“My father is battling cancer.” Closer. Given the great chunks of medical machinery being brought to bear on his illness, “battle” seems more descriptive than “fight”. But battles are (usually) parts of wars, and I’m inclined to be more explicit about that. So…

“My father has become a foot soldier in humanity’s on-going war with cancer.”

This seems pretty apt. We (mostly my Mom) are the support staff, providing love and support and matériel, eagerly and nervously awaiting news from the front. But he’s the one in the trenches, dealing with the foot rot and the deafening machines of war and the crap rations.

The key diagnoses were last week, and luckily my wonderful sister was able to fly down from New York and be with them for several days of intense and difficult information gathering. A huge thanks to her for being there for all of us!

Dad’s got cancer of the throat. The doctors place the odds at 50/50, but the system is pretty complex and there are a whole host of things that could slip or crack. He’s got several weeks of radiation and chemo ahead, so it’s going to be a long slog (and probably a rough Christmas), but Dad and Mom and the doctors are all prepared for the fight. Saturday morning was the first skirmish; happily he came through that in excellent shape.

Everyone here in Morris has been really supportive and wonderful, for which we are extremely grateful. We’re going to take off the week of Thanksgiving and will drive down to be with my parents for that week. Until then, it’s fingers crossed and a lot of time on the phone.

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