My thirty three years on this rock have made me strong. As a baby my Mother and I were left on the side of a rural road by the man I refer to as simply a sperm donor. A year later my mother was impregnated by the man I would come to know and love as my father. The relationship between he and I was not always an example of even mediocre parenting. In reflection, I recognize that I was a rather difficult kid, that he saw going down the same ugly path that he did. As soon as I could I left for the Army to join the infantry. In the eight years I was in I deployed five times, and never once told my parents I was overseas. I did not need their worry, or the stress of worrying about them. In reflection, I should have embraced the support system. I have grown, learned, and developed into a man of proper character. I am not weak. On January 10, 2020, my Father (56) fell in the kitchen and broke three ribs. When asked why he fell, he describes it as, "my brain just sort of turned off." After going to the emergency room for X-rays the doctors discovered some things that raised alarm. After more scans, tests, and probing, we learned he had cancer in his prostate, kidneys, and liver. We are hard people. We do not ask for help. We always attempt to deescalate but are ready for a battle. My father has (which is his RIGHT) decided to refuse treatment. I respect this. Go out on "your own terms" if you will. Why am I consistently on the verge of an emotional melt down? I think I am running out of places to compartmentalize the emotion, duties, responsibilities? I am well versed in death. I have been to many ceremonies saying goodbye to fallen friends. I have seen people I loved literally ripped to shreds in front of me. Watched a great leader and role model die from a gunshot that our medic tried so hard to treat. Why does this one hurt so much more than I ever could have expected? My father is still here. I am consistently in the truck moving from one job or meeting to another and in the truck I am crying, snapping at myself, feeling the emotion coming out and forcing all back in. If anyone has seen the film Revolver it is like the scene in the elevator where Jason Statham's character is fighting in his head and suppressing the bad side, only for it to shock back in, and he push it down, and repeat. I really feel like I am holding a failing dam back by plugging my thumb into leak. I have a duty to carry the weight of this. My dad named me the executor of his estate. My mom has battle depression her whole life, while my sister is in Florida with her career and young son. My dad's family doesn't wish to respect his wishes, and pushes for talks of "feelings, and crying and hugging" (the absolute opposite of my father). After the way my father's siblings behaved when their dad died, I know I need to prepare for them to demand their own expectations. I am not afraid of this. I have a duty and responsibility. Why does this one hurt so much? Why suddenly have I lost all of the stoic strength that I have used to carry me through the worst of times? Am I a selfish human being? The pain inside is terrible, but it is not me that has cancer. It is him. I am afraid I am losing this battle. I am weak and selfish. My father asked for no funeral, no wake, no service. Just two simple request for his death; -Cremation. -For everyone that loved him to go bowling and drink some cheap beer. I just reread this for editing and seem to have confirmed my own selfishness. I do not know if I really even asked a question, or rather just typed and typed in search of some cathartic release. I know all of you are suffering far worse than I am. I am sorry. I am weak and selfish.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.