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Castle Point Court
Glen Allen, VA 23060


Garth Callaghan

Napkin Notes Dad






The Napkin Notes Blog


WGarth Callaghan

or, "I'm tired of Making Emma Cry" 


I have cancer again. 


I have cancer again. 


I have cancer again. 


I just had cancer. I had surgery in October 2013. When I told Emma about this in October, she cried a bit, looked me in the eye and stated, "You deserve to be done with this." I couldn't agree more. I am tired of having cancer. Yet, I have cancer again.

My CT scan revealed some vague areas. I hate vague. The docs recommended that I get an MRI scheduled up. I picked a place that has great imaging equipment and laid in the tube for a bit, listening to the thumps, buzzes and whirs. I didn't expect a call the next day since I the MRI was at 8 o'clock at night. However, my doctor called by 10 AM the next day and once again had to tell me that I have cancer.

I don't have just a little, either.  We're looking at multiple areas that need to be addressed.   

He made sure that I had his cell phone number if I needed to talk. I thought to myself, "Wow, that's pretty cool that I have all of my doctors' cell numbers." Then I realized, "Oh, shit. I have all of my doctors' cell phone numbers."

We have a plan. I am working with some new specialists and will get a second opinion, just in case. But time is of the essence. These new anomalies weren't there in October.  They are here now, attacking me. I can actually feel it.

I can't say that I am not disappointed. It was a very difficult day.

I ended the phone call with a simple command, "Let's Rock!" My doctor replied, "Mr. Callaghan, I knew you'd say that."

It took me two days to work up the courage to have the talk with my daughter.  I kept praying that she'd have a question about sex that she'd ask before I got to the cancer part. Sadly, I didn't get to go into my spiel about human reproduction. Instead, I had to tell her that I have cancer again.  I held her tight, so that I couldn't see if she was crying. My voice wavered a little, but I managed to start talking about Chuck E. Cheese and the Whack-A-Mole game. I explained that my cancer might keep popping up from time to time, and we'd just whack it back down, like the mole.

She paused, and said, "But you can't win Whack-A-Mole. You're going to win this." God Bless that child.

And God Bless my wife, Lissa. I don't mention her often as she prefers to stay out of the limelight. I apologized to her the other day. I hugged her tightly and said, "I'm sorry, you didn't sign up for this." She replied, "Yes I did. It was in the vows." God Bless my wife.

Tomorrow I am going to get up and do what I know how to do. I am going to pack a lunch. I am going to write a Napkin Note. I am going to connect with my daughter.

Pack. Write. Connect.

What will you be doing?