Over the last year I have had to experience what it is like to see a parent suffer with disease. A disease that has no cure and is no respecter of persons….yes that disease is cancer. My father has always been the one who could do anything! And there was no limit as to what he could fix! Growing up I remember it could be my uncle, cousin, friend, little lady from church, even an immigrant from another country…if they were in need of anything, he was there to help them! Ironically I recently found a song that reminded me of him very much, Frank D Fixer by Jason Mraz. Although Jason is speaking of his grandfather… I would insert father in there. My father was diagnosed with melanoma cancer almost 2 years ago and if you know much about this cancer, the particular kind he has is not curable, but you can’t tell him that! He has already passed the odds. The melanoma originated on the heal of his foot, yes many people look at me and say, “on his foot”? And I say…yes, his foot…well 19 months ago, the day before Thanksgiving, with no signs the cancer had spread, the Drs removed all the cancer from his heel and rebuilt it. Over the course of the next few months he went thru rehab and radiation. Only to find out ten months later it had spread to the lymph nodes in both legs and his lower back. He then started treatment with a brand new chemo drug, which even stated on its website that it was not a cure for the cancer and that it only prolonged life. In the initial studies of the drug, the average life span once a patient started the medicine was 10 months. Well, let me say this….he is still going, refuses to give up, still works has a positive attitude about life! Although he has had more tumors come up on his wrist, face and other places…he does not let them get him down. He is currently in a study with the Vanderbilt Cancer Center with a chemo that has worked on other cancers, but reality is that it is only a study. He is currently in round #3 of the medicine. He has lost all of his hair, lost weight, and has many days where he has no energy, but as I said before, he refuses to give up the fight. I am posting a before and after picture of my dad. Now the after is not most recent, he still had some hair in the back and a little of his mustache left, but you will see the difference of what two years can do.
My father has been the best father anyone could ask for…and as a friend of the family, who is an MD, once told me….Bill McGill is one of the smartest men I know! I love you dad and I hope you have the best Father’s day!