So. It turns out that the stomach trouble my dad has been having is cancer.

A tumor, to be specific, where the esophagus meets the stomach. It’s also spread to his lymph nodes, and we’re still waiting on test results to find out if it spread to any other organs.

So over the past week, I’ve spent like four or five days at my parents’ house. I went out last Tuesday night. He had appointments in the morning to figure out what was going on and with snow coming in, my mom figured it made the most sense for them to get a hotel room in Pittsburgh, so I took Wednesday off, drove over Tuesday night, watch Rent live, and essentially dog-sat for the night.

They found out at that appointment about the tumor. I headed home and requested Friday off, then headed back over Thursday night, again, with snow coming in. That Friday appointment revealed the cancer in his lymph nodes.

My mom almost wanted me to stay over again Friday night, but at this point, I’d been over four days in a row and had slept over there two nights, and I kind of wanted to go home.

And I was back again Monday morning anyway while they were getting more tests done.

So things have been…weird. Personally, I don’t think it’s really hit me yet, but it’s also been a really busy week–it’s easy for something to not feel quite real when you don’t have much time to sit still. I think what I’m thinking about the most is how he must be feeling, especially with the first grandkid on the way.

The whole family dynamic is weird. At home, it’s easy to not forget about it, because it’s certainly on my mind, but it’s not in my face. At my parents’ house, the mood is much more somber. For the most part, aside from the initial evening we first found out, everyone’s been their usual selves, but any time I’ve been over since, I’ve definitely had this feeling of heading into a certain vibe. My mom keeps saying she thinks they’re depressing the dog.

And my dad is, naturally, not quite himself. He kissed me on the head and told me he loved me before they left for his appointment, and I can count on one hand the times either of those things has ever happened. One was when he deployed.

My mom said they’ve both been having their ups and downs. She said they went to his childhood church and Sunday and he broke down in full sobs when he saw one of his friends, and he’s been just generally most sentimental and expressing things in a way he never has.

Like I said, weird.

So there’s still some things we have yet to find out and certainly a long way to go. We’re all hoping for the best.

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