Tonight I overheard my Dad telling my Mum that his PSA levels had increased from 8 to 11.
Rewind almost two years ago, the mail comes in and I am flicking through when I see a window envelope addressed to my dad, but the paperwork inside had slipped down exposing the title ‘Oncology Appointment’. We all know what the word oncology refers to: cancer.
I immediately asked my mum what it was about, and she tells me I need to speak to my dad. I go in the house, and ask him outright. I think if I had waited, or thought about what I was going to say, I wouldn’t have been able to confront him. The only way I could deal with it, was to act on impulse and not think about what I was saying. He tells me he has prostate cancer, that he has known for at least a year, and that no-one else knows, and that it must stay that way. He doesn’t give me any other information and it is obvious the conversation is ended. I walk out, holding the tears back until I get by myself. I didn’t feel like this when I found out my mum had breast cancer, I just felt numb. She survived, but will he?
My dad and me, him reading out a speech at my 18th birthday party
Fast forward to now, and I overhear this conversation. In the meantime, the only information I have been able to find about the problem is scraps here and there, overheard conversations, letters read when I went through his paperwork while they were away on holiday. In the beginning, my mum told me not to ask him because it would make him angry. Now, I don’t think I could cope with the conversation.
I knew, until today, he wasn’t ill. I knew he was having regular blood tests, (PSA? tests), and was on a treatment. Now, I don’t know. I have scoured google for information as to whether this difference in a PSA level makes a difference? And if so, how much difference? I just wish I had some answers.
Either way, I cannot imagine my life with my dad. I know no-one can, but how does the loss of a parent/s affect a Borderline? Does it affect us more deeply? How do I emotionally prepare for this?
In other news, I had a big row with my mum this morning. She asks me to make an awkward phonecall and I refused. She tells me it is my job, I tell her i beg to disagree. She tells me I am insolent, that if I am not going to do a supervisory role, I should not be paid a supervisory wage. I tell her I did not realise I was a supervisor? When did I become a supervisor? She tells me I shouldn’t have to be told, I should just know.
You see how we go in circles?! In the end, she started getting aggresive, so I decided it was best to keep my mouth shut. After that, all the voices in the office were too loud, the phone ringing cut through my senses, the air from the fan burnt my skin. Is this hypersensitivity? Is it caused through stress?
My mum, me in the middle and my dad at my graduation
I haven’t, and still don’t have the best relationship with my dad but the thought of him dying is something I just can’t think about.