Oh btw, this story will most likely be filled with profanity. If that sorta thing bothers you, I suggest closing your computer and petting a kitten.
I've been trying to write this post for awhile now, and only now, 7 months later, do I actually feel like I have the words to talk about it. On July 8th I was working at my desk, in the middle of trying to prove myself on a project for a new client, when my phone rang. It was my mom – not surprising, as we talk approximately one million times per day – so I answered, assuming it would be a quick call.
"Are you busy?"
Um. That's one of those questions I'm never sure how to answer.
"Dad has cancer."
The whole room kinda went bright and white and I wasn't really sure what to say next. I had a million questions, but the words were getting caught up somewhere between my brain and my mouth, and the only 4 letters I could get out to break the silence were "what?" (I know, I was also surprised it wasn't another four letter word.)
The how and why and when and WHAT THE FUCKs were eventually sorta answered with a conversation cobbled together by tears and questions and uncertainty. My dad had bladder cancer, found during a routine, elective surgery, and holy shit balls this can actually happen to US?! This isn't something that just happens to other people?
The next 7 months were filled with a lot of questions. It seemed like every rock we overturned only led to more questions. Without taking you for a ride on the demonic roller coaster we were on, it went from being "Not that bad – you're totally going to be fine" to "Actually, it's worse than we thought and you'll have to have surgery" to "It's likely in your lymph nodes and possibly spreading throughout your body."
On January 16th, after four and a half excruciating months of chemotherapy, my dad went under the knife and had his bladder, prostate, and about 30-40 lymph nodes removed. It was a very long 7 days in the hospital for him, but the surgery confirmed the cancer was confined to his bladder and hadn't yet made its way into his prostate. And then, a week ago at his post-op follow up, my mom texted me from the doctor's office with news that we had waited so long to hear: my dad's lymph node biopsies came back clean. C - L - E - A - N, motherfuckahs! Those were some big, fat happy tears that spilled out of my eyes.
My dad still has a long road of recovery ahead – we are all very well aware of that. But he is home now and was given a second chance at life. I think to myself every day how lucky we are.
On my dad's last day of chemo I snuck over to my parents' house and hung a homemade "Fuck Cancer" banner in their kitchen so it would be the first thing he saw when he walked through the door. His smile never looked bigger or more beautiful.
Of course it inspired us to create a card, like so many of the events in our lives do. We want to help you guys give the gift of laughter, or hell, even just a smile. A card or note has the power to make someone's day, or hour, or minute – and sometimes you need all the happy minutes you can get. That banner was one of the only things that made my dad laugh during the dark and gloomy chemo days.
So, we made this:
|Fuck Cancer Card #30|
We think it celebrates life. It says, let's be honest, the only thing to say when you find out someone you love and care about has cancer. Fuck cancer, man. I love you.
We know laughter doesn't cure cancer, but it can sure as hell make it less devastating.