My father's surgery was on Monday. If you're new to my blog, he had been diagnosed with early stages of cancer of the esophagus, and had to get the majority of his esophagus removed. I'm happy to be able to cut to the chase and report that he handled the surgery really well, and that the pathology report shows that the cancer was caught so early that there is relatively little risk of a recurrence. We are all ecstatic.
Still, it has been a hard week. While the surgery went really well, it wasn't easy on my poor dad. He's not a spring chicken anymore, and this was a pretty major surgery. He has been very uncomfortable, unable to do much for himself, and worst of all, having trouble breathing. So, my mother and I have been by his hospital bed day and night, trying to keep him as comfortable as possible, and to call the nurse/doctor/whoever-the-hell-would-respond when necessary. I had the night shift, so I haven't done much but tend to him, or grab a few hours of precious sleep during the daytime. It has been an exhausting, but also an interesting experience. I realized a few days ago that this is the first time I've ever really been able to do anything for my dad. He's always been there for me, but he's never needed anything from me before. It felt good in a way to be able to take care of him for once. It was also interesting to see how he handled the situation. He's never been a whiner (I got that from my mother), and as usual has been fairly stoic, even though he's utterly miserable. He is also a really private person, so I've been amazed at how gracefully he's handled situations like his daughter taking him to the bathroom, or spending a whole week in a skimpy gown that doesn't quite cover him to his satisfaction. I really can't imagine being as pragmatic about such things as he has been able to be. I am now determined to be a bit less of a wimp the next time I have a paper cut and am considering phoning the paramedics.
I'm scheduled to start my long journey back to Korea later this afternoon. I can't wait to see my sweetie and to FINALLY get that scan to make sure that the blob is still alive and growing. Still, it will be hard to leave with my dad still in the hospital. I guess that's one of the down sides of living on a different continent from your parents.