First, thanks everyone for the birthday love. It was such a great day. I am beyond thankful for 40. 

Thanks also for continuing to pray for my amazing dad. We visited with him yesterday. The girls love their Granddad and Grandmummer so much!! 

Visiting my dad brings me such joy. When I was in the hospital my dad came everyday for four months after work to visit with me. He would then leave with my Mom so she didn’t have to drive herself home from HUP.

Everyday he entered my room stating, “It’s your favorite Dad.” For awhile I wasn’t able to answer. Once I was able to speak I would always respond, “It’s your favorite child.” 

***I have always told him I am his favorite child!! 

Everyday he told me, “Slow and steady wins the race,” and everyday I would remark, “This is too slow.” He would then remind me how far I’ve come, that I could do this and then tell me a really bad joke that would make my family laugh and roll our eyes at the same time. 

The year after I had Aubrey and Courtney I had three surgeries that prevented me from lifting the girls for a total of 18 weeks. My Dad would come as much as he could to help me with the girls. He is so selfless. Anyone could ask my Dad for anything and he would do it in an instant. 

When my Dad was given this crappy diagnosis, I began ‘giving back’ by trying to help him look on the bright side. I coached him on using cancer as an excuse to get out of everything he didn’t WANT to do and had him practice.

For example:

Andy, can you please take out the trash?

Nance, I am too busy fighting cancer to do a task like that.

When I got done coaching him he looked at me and said, “It could be worse.” I tried to be serious, but then started cracking up. I said, “Dad, if you are going to pull the ‘cancer card’ you can’t say it could be worse. You clearly need more practice.” Then we both laughed because we agreed this is pretty bad and probably can’t be worse.

Yesterday, I presented my Dad with official Cancer Cards. These are homemade cards that he can use through his journey. I very seriously told my family that I googled them, but they don’t exist. This made us all laugh becuase of course they don’t exist. My mom said I should make them for every illness. She is just as sick as I am.🤦‍♀️

His cards came with instructions to use as many as he wants a day and refill packs will be available monthly. Some of the cards said:

Jill, I look good bald.

Drew, take us all to Europe because I have cancer.

Take Mom somewhere nice.

Visit the grandkids.

Girls, my brain is so big that I was able to grow a tumor.

Dave, take me for a drink.

Who cares that Kristi was in a coma? #teamandy

Play a game with Carter.

Nance, take me to Pep Boys.

Because I am beating cancer, you will watch the History Channel with me.

Call your favorite child.

In life, you can either laugh or cry. We’ll laugh as much as we can. My siblings were very quick to note that I have too much time on my hands. 😂

My blog has a new category. Cancer. I never expected to add this category, but a family fights together. With my mom and dad’s permission, I will share his journey. He is a man of dignity and grace. Fighting alongside of him will be the most valuable experience.

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8 Comments

  1. Gail Kulp on August 1, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Kristi,

    I’m so glad your parents gave you permission to share this journey. We all need to choose to LAUGH a lot more often. Please tell your Dad hello from me and let him know he is in my prayers. Please give your Mom a big hug from me. She is simply the best!

    Gail Kulp



  2. Cyndy Noonan on August 1, 2018 at 11:07 am

    This made me laugh and cry. Cancer does suck, but I know you are a family of fighters and I see the joy that exists in your family…no matter the circumstance. Love and prayers.



  3. Kellyann Mitchell on August 1, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Love the cancer cards idea! We used humor a lot last year when going through breast cancer with my Mom. Sending you lots of love!!!



  4. Julie on August 1, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    You ARE amazing!



  5. Liz Rotondo on August 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Love the cards. I used my cards on occasion, haha, and even lent them out to my kids…e.g. “I have to leave early from the meeting to check on my mom who has cancer.”
    It’s so important to laugh together. We often shocked people with our irreverent way of dealing with cancer, but I refused to give any respect to such an awful illness. Cracking jokes always shifts the fear and worry to a lesser level.
    I know that through the grace of God, love laughter prayer and humor will surround and support your Dad and family through this. It really does make a huge difference.
    Thank you for keeping us updated and for keeping your dad smiling. My love to you all.



  6. Bobbi Smisko on August 1, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    As always, thank you for keeping us in the loop. Love the cards!



  7. Donna steinman on August 2, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Kristi, my mom had the same diagnosis. We began a daily journal. She would write when she got up usually and I later in the day. It is a communication piece I will treasure forever!



  8. Rebecca Dampf on August 3, 2018 at 5:24 am

    Kristi,
    The way you deal with things is perfect. You humor and your outlook is so uplifting that it must make your dad feel so comforted that he can laugh about this. It takes a very difficult situation and turns it into something much lighter and easier to deal with. I’m sure the way in which you are all dealing with this is much healthier for everyone. Your positive spirit is amazing! I don’t doubt that you are his favorite child!

    Xoxo
    Rebecca



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