Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Keeping People Up to Date

Three weeks ago I got an email from my dad. He said he needed to discuss something urgent with me. So, I gave him my work phone number and he called. He told me he was having problems with his kidney and that he didn't know any more information. We joked about how my mom always makes the biggest deal about things that are so small.  What's the worst that could happen?  He'd have to have his kidney removed. He has two for goodness sake, and worst case I'd give him mine!

On Monday, March 28th, my family's world was turned upside down. His kidney wasn't the problem. It was cancerous tumors that were really making things bad. I was shocked. We were all shocked. I couldn't breathe for a good five minutes.  My dad always joked about getting cancer someday. I just never thought someday would be now. 

He flew from Barcelona to Atlanta on Wednesday, March 30th to begin to see an army of physicians from every specialty imaginable. I never knew my dad hated doctors.  It was kind of funny to see him getting all worried about a couple of IVs.  My mom and I flew to Atlanta for the weekend and celebrated his 59th birthday with my brother and sister-in-law. It was a great weekend.  So far the doctors all seemed hopeful that my dad's cancer would be easily treatable with chemotherapy.  So, we waited.

The biopsy was on April 5th and my dad got the results back on April 7th.  Unfortunately, he didn't have the kind of cancer the doctors were hoping for.  So...my dad was scheduled for another series of tests to determine the root cause of his cancer.  By Thursday of this week (April 14th), he should be done with all of his tests and hopefully, we will finally know what we need to do to beat the big bad cancer that has invaded my dad's body.

Physically he looks the same. He's still walking multiple times a day with his new friend, Abbott (my brother and sister-in-law's dog).  It's amazing to me that a man like my dad has cancer. It just doesn't seem fair.  I have gotten a lot of phone calls from family and friends and friends of my dad all asking how he is doing. In true Bob Keegan fashion, I decided to start a blog. My mom might call this therapy.

If any of you know my dad even a little, you would know how in love he is with his family.  And if you know me, you know how in love I am with my dad. So instead of boring you with all the medical details (I thought a summary would do), I wanted to tell you a story about one of the best times I had with my dad.

Valentine's Day for single people sucks.  And one Valentine's Day I scheduled a work trip to go to Budapest for a week or so.  My dad, being my dad, flew from London to meet me there for three or four days.  He doesn't know this (but he will now), but he really helped me get through another lonely Valentine's Day.  Every day after work, I would get to walk around the city with him in the freezing cold for what seemed like five miles looking for food.  We toured the city. We went to a really weird circus.  We had some really great talks. And we had some fabulous meals. I thought it was so cool that my dad flew to Budapest to spend time with me. Who's dad does that?  Mine.  Best Valentine's Day ever.


  1. It is rare that an article captures the raw emotion of love, family, and disease with such a compelling and delightful spirit. With a dose of humor, the author has documented the earliest days of a family's fight against cancer. The author demonstrates the potential of words to do something more than just "inform." She has infused the body of a strong story with a soul of tenderness and honesty that leaves the reader hoping that the next article will not be long in arriving. The love that comes through her words helps inspire those fighting incredible battles against cancer and other diseases. Especially if your the Dad of such a talented and loving writer.

  2. I have reached for words and they fail me.
    It isn't suppose to be happening.
    It ain't right.

    Did your Dad ever tell you about trying out for the Houston Astros? (He needed about three beers to get the story just right.)

  3. Uncle George...you sound just like my dad. He said this $%^& ain't right, but more or less the same concept.

    Yes, he did tell me about trying out for the Houston Astros. It's one of his favorite stories. And he has many.