Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Support & strength...for death?

I find myself lost.

I'm someone that can plan an attack, coordinate and execute an idea, motivate a thought to be carried out and achieved- but I find myself confused here.

Coming in I was a little unsure of what to expect. My Dad's body is telling him one thing, the doctors have said a similar thing & of course our minds want to dictate it's own story. I choose to believe and have hope.

I spoke to my uncle last night and he said something simply that really summed everything up: It all comes down to what choice my dad has made. A choice to live...or die.

I got in at 2am and my sister was fully dressed, passed out on her bed with headphones in her ears. Her computer was open, probably with a recent google search on something my dad has been feeling, she's good with that. It looks like a college dorm room scene. My mom and dad are on the bed in their room. Mom's awake, dad then wakes up. He's lost weight since I've seen him a few short days ago. My mom briefs me on whats been going on and then after spending some time in the room, we speak about dad's doctor and how we should find him a new one. One that they can trust. No other way to put it. I've mentioned in the past blogs that my dads doctor has not delivered the care we've needed. She is now the main doctor in charge. If we are not going to be open to her, why keep her? I leave to let dad rest. I walk into the other room and mom follows, talking to me some more and warning me almost at a whisper about some of the other symptoms dad was feeling.

I go to sleep thinking about everything. Will dad want to get a new doctor? When should Erin come visit? Will these cats bother me in my sleep and wake me up when they are hungry? Will I ever get to catch up on TRUE BLOOD? Is mom getting enough rest (she has to wake and make sure my dad is getting pain meds every 3hrs)? What is our attack? What choice has dad made? Questions, Questions, Questions..

I wake up at 9am after going to bed at 4:30am. Not much sleep and on top of it, it's 6am my body is feeling. It takes me a half hour to wake up. No time for that- helping dad with mom and Alexis to walk down the stairs. Walking from the room to the stairs makes him need a rest. We make it downstairs and he sits on the couch. The goal was to use the bathroom, it's been a few days. We sit on the couch. It hits. Silence. It kills me. What's going on?

I watch dad and he's having a hard time, but then I notice him on the phone sound completely different. You can't tell. This is what I've been hearing from across the country. There is a part of me that wants to call him on it jokingly and say, "Dad, I hope you are not just playing it soft with us, cause you seem good when you are talking to company or when you are on the phone!" But who am I to say? Or maybe I need to? I don't know...

It feels to me now in a few hours time I am here, that most people are accepting instead of fighting. I feel differently. I can't help it. Did I miss the memo? I know its different being here and maybe I'm not, "clued in yet"?

It's made me numb. I want to fight, but it's not my choice - I am not the one feeling what he feels. I want to support, but I don't know how to support him in THAT way yet. I don't look at it so much as being in denial, just wanting to battle on. I'm positive and this just freezes me up. I can take the action I'm ready to take, but I also know I need to be available the way that he needs me most.

We have been getting lots of visitors and a priest came by earlier & in between it all, I've had some time to LISTEN to dad, I know his position. I still haven't had a clear talk, he's needing to rest in between visitors.

I was told a few weeks ago, that anyone in my dad's position needs a support system, a strong one. I was told that people like him often make choices and follow through to keep their families happy- most of the time that leaves the patient suffering more. I believe that the choice has to come from the individual in the position, but I also know sometimes people just need that extra push. How do you...or how do I, make myself available? I want to believe. I want to support and be strong, I just feel wrong doing it for the choice of death or giving into that idea.

I want to support you dad and be here to give you strength. I told him a few weeks ago that whatever he decided he wanted to do, we were here to support as long as he just BELIEVED in it. I still want that to be available to him without feeling personally like there is more we can do and regretting that we won't get to try. In the end, I have to think about the big guy upstairs. Only HE knows the plan. He knows where my dad is & only he can make that final verdict.

It's difficult, but I have to trust and...let go. I won't fully, I know this...

I still am with hope and know a talk will help provide clarity. I just need to share my feelings with my dad.

A few weeks ago when this all surfaced again, I was in LA talking to my dad. I felt my adrenaline kicking in and passion was firing me up as I spoke to my dad about our plans. I can't remember what it was, or what it was he said, but something just walloped me. Really hit me hard, but as I was talking to him he calmed me. Maybe intentionally, maybe not, I don't even know if he knew, but in his voice there was a comfort that calmed me and I remember telling Erin, I felt like I was a kid in that moment and my hero, just eased my worries. In his way, just a few simple words that I can not remember for the life of me...but it wasn't about what was said.

Dad we need to talk again :)

Your son.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Perth Amboy,New Jersey, United States

Friday, July 8, 2011

Celebrating life, we are ready to fight!

I found myself REALLY wanting to write a follow up blog to one of my last blogs: Guess Who's Back...? Cancer - you have no place here.

When I wrote it, I wasn't intending for it to be some sort of journal, however as the days passed it seemed natural that I would write an update. In fact, I am needing it. Perhaps that is the reason I've been wanting to jump back on the keyboard. I've had moments where things have been tough and I thought to myself, "I need to blog about this...share." Most of all let it out. I've definitely taken away a lot from this experience already and I hope someone else can too.

The outpour of support has been nothing short of great. A blessing. Across the country or WORLD thanks to So many people on twitter, facebook in addition to my friends, colleagues and of course my family. Constant offering of support and prayers come in daily. People have been great about asking how things are going. It's frustrating at times, I admit. Partly because as my last post indicated, answers are not always available and I find it difficult at times to tell the story over and over, because of that. I feel like I can't give answers and that just serves as a constant reminder that we're still in the dark. Either way, I do my best to answer fully and not shy away from the tough questions or answers.

In my last post, I wrote the night before the doctors were due to come in and speak to us. My Dad's oncologist has not been seen probably since my dad was first admitted into the hospital that time. It had been difficult dealing with her because she's very cold and acts as if my dad is the only one in the room. Let's just say my mom is not her biggest fan. This has caused some tension as you can imagine as well as a lack of trust where that doctor is concerned. In fact it has become a sad reality that they've questioned her intensions and often refer to her as, "just wanting to make a quick buck by suggesting chemotherapy!" I've done my best to communicate that we should not be so quick to write her off because of personal influences because I'd hope that my dad's best interest are being considered by this doc, but it's tough. That was the biggest reason I wanted to have that meeting with her that night I last blogged. I wanted to communicate to her that I was concerned that we would not seriously consider her position because of the personal feelings that have been established and that I...WE, want to just communicate that and get us ALL on the same page so we can make the correct decision. Sadly, I never had that chance as she never showed and simply sent her colleague to speak to us.

We never really got, "answers." Or...THE ANSWER. I understand that this type of thing is not something you can just throw a well calculated number at. There is no real way to gauge it accurately. That is what makes my position and everyone else's I'm sure difficult. You just don't know. Earlier in 2010 I was arranging my flight home to visit my uncle who was dying from Cancer and everyone believed that I could take a later flight (doctors included) so I arranged that. Less than 3 days later I received a call saying that I should get in ASAP. My uncle went on to fight for almost a week, however once I arrived he was already in a basic vegetative state.

THE ANSWER I guess we are all looking for is, "how much longer...?" Are we wrong to wonder? Not an easy thing to ask, but it's what is on everyone's mind. We know my Dad's cancer is one of the most deadly and has scary return if it does not go into remission. We know he had a 30% chance of it returning, it has...and with a vengeance. We know it returned to his esophagus (the original spot), his liver
and believed to be in his lungs. We know that when Cancer returns, it comes back bad and spreads. We know that my dad doesn't want and will not treat with chemotherapy. He was against it from the jump, seeing what it did to others and my uncle. We know we want to fight.

"Know thy enemy."
Even with knowing the enemy in this situation, it's tough to pick a side. We have faith, have hope and we have what we know...often I find there is a thin line between belief and feeling sorry. A thin line between being ready to fight, but Having to prepare to mourn. Between knowing and not knowing. Nothing about this is easy for anyone.

They told us he had about 6-9months WITH treatment...HALF without. We decided to move forward with a more natural approach. We would attack the natural way. The body is one of the most amazing things on the planet. All of our organs combined are a powerful and incredible team. I'll share this example from FAT, SICK AND NEARLY DEAD (a GREAT documentary you should check out asap!) If you keep it simple and think about it, when you were a kid and fell and scraped your knee. You cleaned it up and left
it alone. Don't pick at the scab, just let it heal. Your body takes care of it. Maybe not the most groundbreaking example, but it's basics. Your body has what it needs to heal itself and long as you take care of it and allow it too. The program my dad started is called THE INCURABLES PROGRAM and is designed by Dr. Shulze, a world renown herbalist. It's basically a 30 day detoxing, juice fast. Check out his site or contact me if you want information, but its incredible. I could write a separate entry on that alone. My dad needed to do SOMETHING. We were all there to support his decision, the only thing I stressed was that WHATEVER he did, he BELIEVED in it!! TRULY BELIEVED. I feel that if my dad said he wanted to go out and eat shit, because he believed it would help him, I'd support it and would believe it would work. The mind is powerful...move the mind, the body will follow. I believe that. So he decided he wanted to do this program after reading up and researching it. Back to basics.
This program is intense at a first glance. You almost need to not have anything going on but this program. This made it hard for my family and I to consider my dad wanting to believe my Dad would want to tackle but then again, who are we? Who are we to say this is difficult or to think he'd be turned off by it not being easy? My dad has a disease that is on a mission to destroy him, he's Been through so much mentally and physically throughout this process, that we can't relate to. Drinking juice and healthy, natural supplements with a good track record (thousands of years)- piece of cake.

I went on a walk with dad while I was home and we talked about his new program as we prepped for it. I communicated that i was nervous that he was going to be resistant to it, but he was ready to take action. I spoke to my dad and reminded him that odds were in our favor, no matter what we were being told. I said this because, we all are creatures that have defined odds. Remember we beat out close to a billion other hopefuls at that egg and WE made it through. We fought, we won. It is in our blood to beat odds. We were born as small warriors ready to take on more. Dad and I laughed a bit, but the message was clear. We are ready to fight.

I need to preface this next part a bit. It may not seem as big of a deal as it was to me, but I think it is worth sharing, for you to take away what you will. I Live in a part of NJ that is pretty well developed. We have a park close by with some wooded areas, but it's actually fairly industrial. The park we were at is even so much more surrounded by smokestacks and factories (product of our environment eh?). Well as we are driving out after our chat, a deer, in the middle of the day runs out and cross in front of us and disappears into the brief tree line before the train tracks...a deer. Again, this may not mean much unless you knew my area, but that shit is NOT common. I looked at my dad, and he probably didn't take away what i did, or maybe he did but just wouldn't let on, but that was a sign to me. I said to him, "Talk about not letting go. There's a fighter for you. That deer has been forced out, but somehow it finds a way to fitting." I smiled.

I was only in town for about two weeks and the last few days leading up to my departure was tough for me. I was run down with worry and concern as I was the one, after my dad, spearheading this treatment...I recommended it after all once it was recommended that I look into it by Erin :)

Speaking of, I couldn't write anything without saying how grateful I am for her. Thank you, I love you. throughout this whole thing her family too has been great. Her dad is a doctor in st. Louis and he's been the only one we've felt like has been honest and upfront, not to mention all of his opinions and thoughts have been spot on.

It was difficult leading up to my eventual departure back to LA. Should I stay? I had a gig I was committed to and I needed to do it, so I could take care of my living responsibilities and such, but was it worth my dad's life? I knew it was an extreme question, but this isn't pre-school. The first day of my dad's program was due to fall on the day of the HARRY POTTER premiere in NY. I promised my sister, months in advance we'd go and I needed to keep that promise. I was torn about going in and leaving my dad to start without me being there to cheer, but after days of prep we felt fine. After all, it would have to be my dad to follow this through. We would be there in every way, but he has to be the one to do it. We can't do the program for him. Ownership. We were there for the beginning of the day and it started off great, we kept tabs and my mom was there to help keep him on track if there was confusion. It went great. I also realized on the way into NY that I was a day off. My flight wasn't the next day, it was in TWO days. Great!! Another day home, funny how that works. It also helped to ease the stress i was taking on when I saw he was keeping to it just fine and especially that i would be there the next day to help more. It was a small mental victory or peace of mind. i was thankful after So many thoughts and insecurities, most of all, "Will it work?" Positivity and faith! One day at a time! Thin lines between...

In addition to everything going on, my Dad was told that because of so much missed time, his health insurance is at risk of being taken away, along with it, other benefits I'm not to clear on, but dad is concerned about his life insurance. This is probably one of the saddest things to me. My dad is very weak and is going through so much personally right now, but he wants to make sure that he doesn't lose any of these things for my families sake. A working man through and through. Supporter. Someone I learn from a lot and honor. A sick man, trying to work to keep himself from being sick or to keep our family from hurting. We tell him not to worry about any of this or think about any of this, but it's that thin line again. We have to prepare in some ways, even if just mentally, but you don't want to accept, but then you don't want to be in denial, but then that means....on and on. My life has changed. Our lives have...our house may soon be taken from us, material items too, but we only care about dad. Things will work themselves out, I know.

It's amazing how many people I've come in contact with that have been affected similarly. It's scary actually. Cancer is no joke. As I mentioned, support is endless. In fact, I've had help getting a ticket for the plane I'm currently sitting on as I write this. A good friend, who I only recently met through a showcase I did, had a similar experience very recently with his mom. He has been a great source of support and even offered to help financially with my flight. He had been offered help too. People come together. Without asking for help. It's the survival spirit in us all. Brandon, you are a great man homie & I can't thank you enough, my stage brother. I also thank EVERYONE.

The first past of this blog before the last paragraph was written days ago, but i never published it. I wasn't finished at the time. I didn't get to revisit till now, when I'm flying back to NJ. I woke up this morning with a call from home telling me I should get back ASAP. My dad has been having a rough couple of days. It started almost after I left. He had trouble swallowing and using the restroom. He also was in massive pain from the wounds that were on the side of his body from his last hospital visit. Every day has been a scary one as symptoms have progressed. His program has slowly been abandoned, because he can't really swallow and when he does it makes him vomit. Yesterday he was in so much pain and when he got up for what was supposed to be his first day of work, his right side gave out on him temporarily and he almost fell. We told my dad days ago, not to stress about going back to work, we would manage and to trust his body, because it would tell him if he was ready. I guess this was it's sign. He went into the ER after my sister grew concerned after googling and finding out that it may be signs of a stroke or heart attack. I placed a call to Erin's father and began looking at flights. He eased our concern a little saying he was certain it wasn't related to a heart attack or stroke, but that it was in fact the cancer attacking/spreading, based off of his symptoms. My dad has lost close to 20 pounds in three weeks and continues to lose weight. He is growing weak and having trouble using the bathroom. He has a bump growing near the wounds and it gives him great pain. His oncologist, once at the hospital, surprised is not there. Her colleague arrives and tells my family, that since they have denied treatment, they will not diagnose anything new and just treat the symptoms. This seems incredible to me, would they do the same to their family? You are wrong, We are only denying YOUR treatment! Maybe this is common practice. It just seems so cold from across the country perhaps. They recommend hospice. I spoke to dad yesterday and he advises me to sit tight and not make any sudden moves, "let's see how I feel tomorrow. Ok dad, i love you." He woke up today in even more pain and his leg is very swollen I'm told. I book a flight. I didn't even have a chance to unpack, I just zipper my suitcase shut.

These days I am thankful to laugh and keep positive. I am thankful for everyone even for the cancer as it is teaching us all daily. I'm thankful to be able to visit home and be with my family at this time.

(I passed this store on the way to my flight in the terminal.)

I sit here in the clouds writing, a curious position. Perhaps the big guy, just a few feet above me is reading along as I type. "Say a prayer, big guy!"

My dad wanted me to have his favorite watch when I was home. I was packing and he came up to me with tears in his eyes. I told him I didn't want him thinking like that and he said, "It's not about that, A. It's my absolute favorite watch and I want you to have it. It makes me happy and that's what it's about." I took it.

I'm wearing it now, looking at it and counting down the hours till I see Alexis, Mom and you, Dad. It's a little off because I never adjusted it from east coast time, so honestly I don't know what time it is or when I'll be back, but you'll be there that's all that matters. :)
Love you dad. Xoxo

Keep positive, healthy and have fun.
Adolph Marrero II

Friday, July 1, 2011

UFC 132 Predicitons

The Jersey Kid returns with some predictions for today's UFC 132. How fitting that I'm IN The Jersey State as I write this!?
  • Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber BAD BLOOD. Two simple words that can easily describe these two combatants. I'm excited to see this fight because these two guys are small, explosive and want nothing more but to be unleashed on their opponent standing across the cage. It can be said that Faber holds a slight edge with a prior victory at a heavier weight over Cruz, but I think we're pretty well matched. Cruz has only one loss on his record and it's against the The California Kid. Urijah was in the middle of an incredible run when they last faced and since has added a few notches to the loss column, creating doubt in the eyes of a lot of people who thought he was untouchable. Cruz is pumped andready, but I still have to go with Faber. I think aside from Brown's TKO over him, he's proven he can hang in there (see Jose Aldo fight). URIJAH FABER
  • Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben WOW. A great matchup involving two fan favorites. Anytime Wandy steps into the ring I'm interested, same for Leben. These are two warriors who have proven that they could take a beating and give one. As difficult as it is for me to pick against Wanderlei, I have to say I give Leben the slight advantage as he is the younger fighter and between the two, the one that has at least made SOME changes to his style. What I question is if Leben fights a smarter fight or one that will see him throwing caution to the wind, and going for broke as he is often happy to do. CHRIS LEBEN
  • Ryan Bader vs. Tito Ortiz Oh Tito. How's your, "hacked" twitter account hanging? I have always been rubbed the wrong way by Tito, but still found myself rooting for him. I liken him to a Wanderlei or a Cro-Cop in the sense that I find myself wishing he'd come out on fire and show the tenacity (Tito's favorite word) and aggression he was once known for. There is a lot on the line for these two. Tito is rumored to be fighting for his job, which isn't that far fetched, especially considering he hasn't won in 5 years and the UFC's competition is pretty much non-existent right now. Bader is trying to reestablish himself as a contender in the Light Heavyweight division after Jon Jones derailed his train of recent success. If history tells us anything, I think it's safe to say it will repeat itself and Tito will have a hard time against the younger, stronger wrestler. Whatever happens Tito, just go out in a blaze. NO EXCUSES after the fight. I'd love to see him come out and annihilate Bader, pantomime the grave digging and throw on his famed T-Shirt. It should probably say something like, "I just Mastered-Bader from the top position." RYAN BADER
  • Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim "I'm a changed man." Don't know if Condit has ever proclaimed this, but he should. The Condit I witnessed in the Dan Hardy fight seemed like an entirely new fighter! He's scary. Greg Jackson suits him well. This in my opinion could very well be fight of the night. In fact, I'd bet their two purses on it. I am going to pick Condit here. He's more experienced against tougher caliber fighters and his reinvention will continue to raise his stake in the division. CARLOS CONDIT
  • Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman This fight contains to men that fly under the radar. Both of them continue to impress me in their recent outings. I don't really look at either as serious, "contenders" in the division, but they continue to work through some solid competition. A few more wins for either and you may see them close to this division's king of the mountain. I have to go with Siver here. I feel that Wiman is weakest when he is not pushing his own pace and Siver is a bulldog that will not stop coming forward. Both have been on the receiving end of flash knockouts and both have dished them out, so anything is possible. We should at the very least be ready for an exciting fight. DENNIS SIVER
  • Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller THE YOUNG ASSASSIN has to be one of the most exciting fighters in the division. He possess so much potential...PROVIDING he isn't fighting someone that could choke him out. UH OH...Roller is no stranger to guillotines and rear naked chokes.
Guillard needs to start strong, fast and aggressive. Take a page out of Benson Henderson's book when he fought Roller. Actually...that's a good fight to consider if Guillard takes the W. Joe Silva, you listening. Henderson vs Guillard. I'll pay for that, so I'll go with MELVIN GUILLARD.
  • Rafael dos Anjos vs. George Sotiropoulos SOTS! Always love watching Sotiropoulos (god I'm not typing that again if I can help it) fight. His fight against Joe Stevenson is still one of my favorites. He is a tireless, well-rounded worker and while I don't think he'll be a threat TREMENDOUSLY on the feet, he will take Dos Anjos convincingly. GEORGE SOTIROPOULOS (crap.)
  • Brian Bowles vs. Takeya Mizugaki This a a fight that could easily be on a main card. These two dudes are no joke. I have to think both of them have this in common, their best fights were against former title holder, Miguel Torres. Mizugaki lost a close decision and Bowles knocked Torres senseless. I see this going the distance and spending most of the minutes on the ground, but I think Bowles will control Takeya for the Win. BRIAN BOWLES
  • Aaron Simpson vs. Brad Tavares As many wins as Simpson possess, finishing opponents on the feet...I think he's going to try to control Tavares on the mat. Tavares is a great young fighter who looks better with each fight. I like the former Ultimate Fighter competitor here. BRAD TAVARES.
  • Anthony Njokuani vs. Andre Winner ANDRE WINNER is an interesting cat. I still haven't figured this guy out. I think he can be serious in this division, but he's not very consistent in my opinion. I think he can keep Njokuani at bay much like Edson Barboza did. I take ANDRE WINNER for the win.
  • Jeff Hougland vs. Donny Walker I don't know much about either fighter here and will make this pic solely on their past opponents. DONNY WALKER (because I think of Blue Label when I hear his name.)

Guess Who's Back...? Cancer - you have no place here.

The title of this blog was simply to announce my return to the blogiverse, however as I went on to write this entry, I realized it had a double meaning so I added the last half.

I've been having an urge to write again and haven't really embraced it in long form. I've become a TWITTER beast and essentially, I COULD probably blog every day if I strung my tweets together, but they probably wouldn't make much sense. Then again, who knows if my blogs would either...
I started REALLY blogging back in 2008 on MYSPACE - WOW...MYSPACE! I had just been cast in the Aladdin Musical and wanted to share the experience of the audition and then decided I'd continue writing as the process went on...a journal of sorts.

I actually ended up enjoying it quite a bit and looking back (as I cringe at some of the nonsense, drama and silliness I wrote about), I'm thankful to be able to read and re-live those days. If my memory suddenly went, I feel like I'd at least have something to look back on and fuel some sort of spark of what once was...

I thought about deleting the entries that were here, but figured I'd just leave it. As much as some of the Aladdin entries are like looking at an old picture and wondering, "what the hell was I thinking?!" I decided I'd keep them here too. Again...if my memory was zapped by the Men in Back, I'd at least have this...right?

I love taking pictures and I'm known for always busting out a camera to record, so having something to read as well is only fitting. I've always been a sort of a documentarian in a small fashion...more on that later.

As I said, I've been having a strong urge to revisit this blogging world after taking a pretty decent absence. I've started writing articles and prediction pieces as an MMA Correspondent for and really have enjoyed it and have had a great response to it.

There is a lot going on in my life lately. I remember when I was blogging and jotting shit down regularly, I often felt relieved, like it was a solid release and it helped me move on from or deal with experiences, while finding humor in certain realities and it's no surprise that during one of the most important times of my life, I find myself back behind the keyboard.

My Dad has Cancer. He was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer late 2010. This was less than a year after my Uncle passed from Colon Cancer. Growing up, my uncle was the closest male influence I had aside from my Dad. Many of the things I love to do in life were things I picked up from these two great men. Playing Sports, Fishing, Music, Finding the hidden bunnies on the Playboy Magazine Covers, Professional Wrestling, Singing, love for my family...just a small fraction of their influence on me.

My Dad has always been my hero. Always will be.

It's been both a blessing and a curse to be living across the country in California while my family has been IMMEDIATELY dealing with the seriousness of the illness my father has been facing here in NJ. It's scary. I was told at times that they didn't want me to worry or be bothered by it, but of course I did. My parents would take on the world before letting me worry just so I could focus on small things. Sometimes I would embrace that. I never felt like I was in denial of anything, but not being there probably made it easer for me...then. I have no doubt it is something that will make it that much more difficult now.

I sit here in a hospital room typing on a cramped couch. Machines hum and snoring comes in waves from my roomies for the night. My sister on a makeshift reclining chair deeply sleeps, my Dad in his hospital bed. He wants nothing more than to go home and he's growing restless. We are too. I pray for patience for us all. I pray for strength and hope. His Doctors have not done much to give us answers, which is why I'm camping out here as we decided enough is enough and it was time for a chat. We didn't want to take a chance that we'd miss them Friday morning when they popped in for the meeting WE requested. A meeting my dad is entitled to and pays for, yet we were told we were out of line to ask for.

It is believed that my fathers cancer has returned to his Esophagus, but in addition, his lungs and liver are strongly believed to be under attack as well. There's not much doubt to that. We are just waiting...and WAITING...for an idea of what's to come, so that we can create and move forward with our plan of attack on this disease. It's been over a week and we have no actual results. Why? The Doctor's are quick to offer chemo treatments without much explanation, and my Dad has been told that he may be released Friday. How are they going to send him home, without giving him the breakdown of what he/we are looking at? My Dad is told he has an appointment on the 12th of July for results. That's not going to cut it folks.

My mother is probably stirring restlessly at home as I type this, before she heads back to the hospital to be here with us. She's had a rough couple of years and I worry for her. She's a strong woman, it amazes me what she is able to do through this all. She IS human though and for at least 4 years Cancer has been a part of her immediate life as she helped to care for my Uncle since he was diagnosed and now for my Dad. My sister...I can't imagine how it must be for her either. She is now entering her Senior year in high school after a difficult year, the most important of her pre-college years.

My Dad. The man I've idolized since I was a kid. Since I was a kid, my father has worked in a steel plant of some sort. This is probably a LARGE reason he has his Cancer. I recently worked on a film where we shot all overnights, like vampires, for a month. Mid-Way through when I was getting tired physically and mentally, I thought of my dad. He worked over night shifts for most of my life. Adding to that, he had to rotate from overnights to normal hours every other week or so. It took me a week to get my body in sync after filming for a month that way, my Dad did this for YEARS on and off, on and off...this was how he provided for us. I never appreciated it fully till this past April.

He was a star athlete in high school and was recruited to play baseball at some top colleges, but it never fully worked out. My dad could have been pro. Should have been. He wasn't. I would always run into coaches on teams I was playing against or people who knew my dad and they always marveled at how skilled he was. It never once pressured me to live up to it, like I said, he is my hero. It just made me that much more proud.

Since I was a kid, he coached me in various sports and drilled the importance of practice. He never overstepped those boundaries though and just pushed hard enough for me to learn, but left it up to me to really take it on. My dad once went to school for massage therapy and he loved it. He sadly, never really got into it professionally in the way he had hoped to, but I could tell he had a passion for it. I also knew since I was a kid, that aside from being a professional athlete, my dad wanted to be a gym teacher. I actually felt like that was probably what he had wanted most.

When I said I didn't really appreciate my dad's crazy schedule as a kid, I still did take something away from it. It was not a job he loved. My dad is the man most responsible for me wanting to go after my chosen career path. I made the decision at a VERY young age that I would never get stuck doing a job I didn't like for the rest of my life. It was simple. I began to see how I was surrounded by people in those types of jobs. I remember once asking my dad, "Why don't you just become a gym teacher like you want to?" I can't remember the answer exactly, but I understood that he felt it was too late. That stuck with me...

At a very young age I knew I wanted to be famous. A movie star. I was a class clown through and through and always found myself on some sort of stage. I never really stepped foot onto a real one until college, but sports always provided me with that outlet I think. I was an electrician graduating high school and almost went into the military. That was the closest I probably ever was to not doing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but it was my parents who knew I wanted to one day act and brought it up as an alternative. After I got their support, I realized my path to happiness was never going to be compromised again- there was no looking back. I've always had a strong will to see it all through and never doubted I would. I had the support from my family and friends and I had the promise to myself to keep. A promise to, HAVE FUN and do something I LOVE. Another part of that promise is that I would one day be able to tell my parents that they no longer had to work because I could care for them in the way they cared for my sister and I...and that I did it ALL with a smile on my face because I loved my job. I've cried recently at the thought of what may come from our current situation. So many things have run through my head and I'm not one to judge my success or put a time limit on anything because I know there's no schedule needed for fate...I find myself recently being challenged with that.

In times like this you find yourself thinking of every possible scenario. Sometimes it's morbid. Is it protection? Is it being prepared? Is it fear? I don't know...but my mind races. Within the scary thoughts lie all of the the insecurities as well. Will Dad see my kids or my sisters kids? Will he join me on the red carpet or attend an award show? Why didn't I push myself more at times? Could I have been there already? Dad loves to sing, will I ever get to do that song with him? Will I be able to ever challenge him again on the court, he's the best lefty I've played against. Will I be able to take him on his dream vacation or buy him his dream home or car?...He has always wanted an old school Hummer, or better yet, his favorite car he owned, an old school yellow beetle. Will he ever be able to just...enjoy his life? I cry. I know I'm somewhat foolish. Dad's no victim and hasn't complained in that way.

One day at a time. Today, let's get him answers and get him home. It's never too late to work on that Gym Teacher thing, Dad.


Adolph Marrero II