I thought I was getting pretty good at this dealing with Cancer Caper having dodged my own bullets a little while back, being now almost desensitized to its scourge, it's lack of compassion, it's grasp on darkness, until yet again I'm reminded that we are not invincible.
Today will forever be etched in my mind as "Dad Day" as with one month to the day until we Celebrate Christmas 09, I will be destined to somehow never forget this one.
As many of you know my Father was diagnosed with Cancer 2 years ago. Ironically my Fathers Oncologist is also my own, so whilst my own health began to sort itself out, I was able to keep an eye on how Dad was going, and decipher the Medical mumbo Jumbo my parents didn't understand.
One of the really tough aspects in being so close to the Coal Face, is as Dad's condition began to deteriorate, I knew what was happening almost before he did, which had some positive merit, but now has seemingly become a massive burden.
Cancer unfortunately is a numbers game, and whilst the numbers are decreasing and we're winning, remaining positive is almost an easy thing to do, but with Dad the numbers just didn't come down enough, and after the Medical and Surgical World has thrown just about everything at him, it's the treatment now that is doing him the most damage, which has finally led us all to the penultimate crossroads, as medically we can go no further.
I never really knew my Father while I was growing up as his Job kept him away for months at a time. Even when he was home he continued to work long hours, but he was always a fan of my Rugby, my Tennis and my Sailing, however it's still disappointing that I recall so much of my childhood reflecting more on his working here and there rather than being an everyday 9 to 5 Father.
I guess for me the closest I got to my Father early on was when my Sister was diagnosed with Leukemia. Dad was the only one in my Family I'd see for months on end until my Sister was well enough to come home.
Dad and I did have 2 very strong interests, those being Sailing and the other Building Model Yachts. During my Sisters Illness my Grandmother bought me my first Model Yacht, and together Dad and I put it together plank by plank, and bit by bit and even today some 30 years later that boat sits proud on the Mantle.
It wasn't until I was married and moved up here from Sydney did I get to really know my Father, and together in a variety of boats we won just about everything we could before Dad retired from Competitive Sailing back in 03.
Dad was always a staunch believer in my HCW 24hour Yacht race, and when just about everyone in my Club dissed the idea, Dad as Commodore stepped up and together we started what will become our Legacy "the HCW 24hour Yacht Race".
I feel that I am fortunate now that Dad got to see our Boat "OSBHCW" start and finish the 2008 HCW 24hour, as although I couldn't compete in this years Event, Dad was too Ill to venture out also. I couldn't help but Reflect as the competing yachts disappeared into the mire of yet another rain squall just after the start this year and I guess I knew then that the writing was on wall, however where ever there is hope, I willed Dad on and as a family we were going to damn well beat this disease.
Tonight however I spoke with my Sister, who fought back tears the entire time whilst we made a tentative plan for Christmas Day, which in reality brought home what our Family is now certain to face.
I still struggle to get my mind around the prospect of being without my Father, but in a way I've already dealt with it, however that is what really hurts the most as my Sister and Mother struggle day by day with the notion.
It's certainly a difficult time in the HCW household, I love you D and I'm with you and Mum every step of the way.