17. Make memories

My dad has liver cancer and it has metastasized. He still feels good but at his last Dr appointment they wanted to get him started on palliative care so it’s not looking good at all.

He wants to go fishing with his only grandson… but I only had him 3 weeks ago so he’s not going to be up for fishing this year.

18. Sharks and Sox

What I want more than anything in the world is to get better and live happily ever after with my husband, my kitten, and hopefully children someday. There is a chance I may get better if I find the right specialist and treatment. However, each day of pain I feel the life sucked out of me. I’m hoping to go cage diving with great whites. In October is my 10th anniversary so I’m hoping husband is up for that. I love sharks. I need to go to a few Red Sox baseball games too.

19. Mental Health

For those of you with mental illnesses such as depression and are planning to kill yourself:

I was once there. I had a plan to kill my self. I’m not going to anymore at least for now my mind is set on living. I want you to know it does not get better, you have to make it better. This is highly improbable because for me it feels as if I’m chained to a chair and not able to move when I try to so things. That being said, some days you will be able to move a bit more, do a bit more. You just have to try and even if you think you are getting no where know that you are making progress. Tomorrow might be harder but what was hard today will be just a bit easier.

Therapy and medications are crutches but if you break your leg you don’t walk without them. So get signed up at a therapist and psychiatrist. Try them out, if they seem oddly agreeable they may not be the best fit, so try another one. Before you go, write down every thing you want to talk about. In my case I found I’d never talk about the important things because I would blank on them or get scared. With writing them down you won’t forget and if you get scared you can give them the paper.

I made the decision late to get better, I mean, I really put out an effort in it. It’s hard and some days I don’t get out of bed but I now weight 420 instead of 460 and am regularly going to the gym. Suicide is always a lingering thought and depression is a haze that’s hard to see through but I’m not giving up so neither should you.

20.  Before he dies.

My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer this spring. He’s gone through two rounds of chemo and so far it has actually done a good job of shrinking the tumors. He’s pretty miserable while doing chemo but he has reasonably long stretches between treatments when he feels fine. Based on his age and overall health, he could live more than a year, maybe a couple years. But it’s pancreatic cancer… we are not taking anything for granted.

He’s already taken a trip to Italy (where he was born), and he’s visited or made plans to visit many old friends. We’re all doing our best to just do everything normally. I will grieve after he’s gone, not before.

The one thing he really, really wanted that he never got was an old Volkswagen bus. He used to own one, years ago, but had to sell it for various reasons. Around 20 years ago he bought a “restorable” one. Basically a rusty shell. He paid a local VW mechanic thousands of dollars over several years and did lots of free database work for him, but the guy was a total flake and took him for a ride. He managed to get back about half the cash he paid, but of course no work had been done, and he was also out all the time he spent working on the guy’s database. Several years later, the mechanic died in a shop accident, and that was that.

He sold the shell some years ago for a few hundred bucks. It had been sitting in our driveway for years doing nothing.

Now, old VW buses (specifically the split-window ones that he loves) have exploded in price, and not only is it not feasible to do a full restoration on one, he can’t even really afford to buy one in rough but drivable condition.

I thought about looking up local VW clubs and seeing if anyone would be willing to lend their bus to us for a day or a weekend or something, but I’m not sure if that’s realistic. I don’t know if anyone would be willing to lend out their rare and expensive classic car to a total stranger. On top of that, I’m afraid that even if I do manage to score a VW bus for a weekend, it’ll only lead to him feeling worse because it’s not his.

So I’m not sure. I think I just wanted to talk about this. I still think he would love to drive one before he dies.

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