I've written previously about the stress and nuttiness that can accompany family gatherings, particularly at special times.
So when our daughter mentioned to her grandfather (my dad) that it looked as if he had an unusual mark on his face, he replied, "Oh, yes, that's cancer. I didn't want to say anything for fear of upsetting anyone."
This prompted a moment of silence followed by a torrent of un-sanctified responses that might have prolonged the arrival of the actual baby Jesus. Since we consider this a family blog we'll omit those responses and pick up at the Disney-approved dialog:
Daughter: Poppi, what's that mark under your eye?
Grandfather: Oh, it's a spot where the cancer begins.
(Non-Disney reactions, accusations, characterizations, and more than a few references to heritage and ancestry)
Me: Uh, when did this start?
Grandfather: When I was diagnosed by the dermatologist in October.
(See previous parenthetical phrase).
Me: What did he say was the diagnosis and follow up?
Grandfather: He wanted me to come back and have it removed, given the biopsy. But I don't want a scar all the way down the side of my face like some pirate.
Me: So, when is the appointment?
Grandfather: I haven't gotten back to him yet. Who wants to look like a pirate?
Note: My father lives nearby in a wonderfully staffed and operated assisted living home and has what amounts to an apartment with a nursing station 20 feet away. He is 100% lucid, rides around on a scooter (having lost a leg to diabetes) and is the "mailman" for the facility. He'll be 89 years old soon and survived the Normandy invasion unscathed. Further medical investigation today has revealed that the "pirate" fantasy is just that. The procedure, assuming that the lack of attention hasn't changed anything, would require two or three stitches. But we still need to get him back to the specialist quickly.Why Am I Writing About This?
1. I wanted to let readers and @steveroesler Twitter folks know why I'm under the radar screen right now. We're following up and doing whatever it takes to make the right things happen as fast as possible, especially given the two-month lag time.
2. I deeply value the All Things Workplace community and wanted to let you know that I'm not just slacking off and cavalierly forgetting our ongoing connection.
3. I know my dad and family would value your prayers and thoughts.
In the meantime, thanks to all who have commented here over the past week or so. I'm heading to the comment section to get caught up with responses. As soon as the family feels that we have accurate info and the related follow-through in place for my dad, we'll return to "our regular broadcast schedule."