Comming home – guest post

Ana Marie continues to write about her father and his year-long battle with kidney cancer. These reflections are from her blog Tales of a papa’s girl

comming home…

i have been home in Ariz. for a few days now…i will be the first to admit i was quite nervous… this is the first time i have been home since my papa passed… i worried about how i would feel being in the house… seeing the sink we spent hours at… seeing his recliner… seeing all of the empty space he left…. while it has been hard it has also been healing.. we have been able to talk about him.. not always accompanied by tears.. we have laughed.. cried.. and shared…
being in his truck was hardest.. it smells like him… like work.. like desert dust…
it doesn’t help that my brother in his masochistic style.. insists on listening to dad’s music at most times…
i have yet to visit the grave site… more apprehension… not knowing how i will react is the hardest part… odd that reacting is the easiest, most natural thing to do…
i have done very well, considering… and i was thinking about it.. more than likely while i was supposed to be listening to someone…i apologize in advance for being a bit spacey, as i have a lot to contemplate… but i digress… i think i have been able to simply feel because he is very much a part of us.. and the house… i know my dad is in paradise.. more than likely cooking fish over a camp fire… but he is here as well.. in the form of memories… my papa wore hats (ball caps) all the time.. and there is at least one hat in every room.. as if he left them there…
i also believe… as many people remark on how well we are doing as a family.. that it is a testament to my papa.. we were not left with hurt feelings, regrets.. ugly memories… he truly left us in tact with beautiful memories and knowing with all our souls that he loved us…
here is hoping i can remember this when i visit his headstone….

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About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

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