We found out on Friday January 29th that my dad's scan had revealed colon cancer which had spread to his liver. By Monday, February 1st I was on a plane home. I just couldn't stand to not be there.
I am so glad I went home. I got to spend time with the family:
- My mother. We spent a lot of time just the two of us before Eric joined me for the second week. We would watch all her English/Australian/Irish soaps together with me going, "Who's he?" "Why does she want to kill him" "Whose baby is that?" We laughed a lot.
- Liz and Dave and kids, who possess the enviable superpower of effortlessly feeding everyone with delicious meals. I believe I had dinner or lunch at their house all but two days of the two and a half weeks I was there.
- Michael, my brother in Cork, who drove back to Wexford both weekends I was there to see dad. It was great to see him, and not just because he brought me three Jeu de Paumes books from his trip to Japan last year.
- John and family in Dublin. John picked me up from the airport and we drove to Wexford together. We were both there to see dad just as he came out of surgery. I saw John, Geraldine and their three little girls one more time when I was there, despite John having a bad chest infection that turned out to be pneumonia! He's getting better now.
Dad continues to recover from the colon bypass surgery, and as soon as he is strong enough, he will undergo chemo to address the cancer. One thing I leaned which was encouraging and surprising is that the older you are, the better you can withstand the effects of chemotherapy. My dad is 76, so perhaps it won't be so bad; he might sail through it.
I really feel that dad will be with us for many more years. Tim Galvin is a great man, generous, kind, smart, fun. We are all pulling for him, and it's been great to see the family really come together and get closer. I am far away, but the unexpectedness of this latest trip taught me that I can be there in 24 hours, at the drop of a hat (without the flight costing more than normal too - thanks Aer Lingus).
Stay strong dad. I will see you in May.