Friday, June 5, 2009


My Dad has cancer.

That's about as abruptly as I found out so it seemed fitting to start this post the same way. I mean, how does one soften such a revelation anyway? "Oh, how are you dear, we had a lovely day visiting some antique shops and enjoying the warm sunny weather and Dad has cancer". Somehow that doesn't work either.

But, as is usually the case with the odd little way I absorb and process various issues, the cancer thing actually has me thinking about two other issues.

Family. As in immediate. My brothers. Jim and Matthew mean everything to me. In fact, when I get to see Matthew (westcoastwalker) perhaps once a year, I still cry when he leaves. Jim lives in Toronto - a mere 40 minutes south on Highway 400 and I'm lucky to see him 6 times a year. What's with that? Is this a sad statement about how self-absorbed I've become? And now that we know Dad has cancer we're firing e-mails back and forth like crazy, chatting on facebook and talking about setting up skype accounts so we can conference between Vancouver, T.O. and Bradford. The communication is great and I feel like I have a brand new relationship with my brothers, which makes me happy - and sad at the same time. Sad because it took bad news to strengthen and renew our bond.

Activism. My brothers and I have been chatting about how unacceptable it is that Dad has been told he has cancer, and has a CT scan booked for......NOVEMBER!? So, now we're going to become a trio of little activists - writing to our MPP's, MP's, heck, the Prime Minister if we have to. (Although he's a total pud and I can't imagine writing to ask him for any help when I'm beyond embarrassed to have him representing me on the world stage - See I can't resist any opportunity to get a jab in - he's pathologically partisan so why can't I be?) But I digress. Isn't it curious how people will suddenly become engaged and work for a cause when it has affected them personally? Would I become a crusader for the 'wait times' issue in our health care system if I was not on the edge of my seat waiting for more comprehensive tests to determine the state of Dad's cancer? I wonder.

I am certain, however, that there are many people far more selfless and far less self-absorbed than I who have taken up causes for the simple reason of justice and fairness. Now that would make some interesting reading and research. Many times I have become a crusader of sorts, but I seem to recall that it was because the issue affected me personally. What an interesting point of self examination.

So, Dad has cancer.

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