I know things have been ghost town-ish over here for a while. I haven’t felt much like updating my blog other than the odd ranting screed about a movie, because other stuff has just been too much to talk about. But I feel I should explain my flakiness, my long standing IOUs on correspondence, etc.

My father was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This is his third time undergoing treatment for cancer. The first two were thyroid, which was described to me as “the sort of cancer you want, if you have cancer.” This is not the case with pancreatic cancer.

I know there are people who read this blog who don’t know my dad–or me, really, other than what I put up here for everyone to see–but I really hope that anyone who sees this could send some positive thoughts his way. He is an amazing guy. I owe so much of who I am to him. He traveled a bunch when I was a kid, but every night he was home he would read to me a chapter of a book, most of which impacted my young psychology, for better or for worse. Mostly for the better. We did The Hobbit, all the Narnia books, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, pretty much every Roald Dahl book in existence (and even some of his short stories for adults, because my dad is awesome like that), the Oz books, tons of Katherine Patterson (kudos for my dad for being totally cool about the scene in Jacob Have I Loved where the narrator gets her period!). He gave me my first book of classical mythology (a gorgeously-illustrated picture book of the more kid-appropriate stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses). While who I have become as a grown-up is me, unique, the raw materials of my personality and my interests are largely due to my dad. And thankfully, those raw materials were pretty fucking rad.

We haven’t always gotten along perfectly; we’re too much alike for that–stubborn as mules, as set in our ways as cats, and probably a few other animal analogies. While that stubbornness often frustrated me as a kid, I know it will help him during the upcoming months, and so I’m grateful it’s as much a part of him as his ever-present Magnum P.I.-style mustache.

So, yeah. If I owe you an email or have acted oddly towards you in the last few weeks, it’s because we kinda knew about this a while ago, but have kept it on the quiet. Today was the prognosis meeting with his oncologist, and now that it’s official, I feel OK mentioning it here.

Just to put a face with all of this, here is my kick-ass dad looking handsome and in love with my gorgeous mom, at my wedding in 2006:

Be well, everyone.