I’m scared to go home. I’m scared to go back to LA for the first time after everyone turned me away a year ago. I just kept bouncing around from Mar Vista to Baldwin Hills (I think) to wherever the fuck Tomika and Lawrence live. You don’t think I actually remember do you? I mean I was a train wreck. Make that 10 trainwrecks. I had just run away from/been thrown out by – either way it was a blessing – this dirtbag Lucky. He hustled $1300 right out of the palm of my hand and he was ugly as sin. Tattooed the fuck up with bad teeth. Like worse than mine and I’m missing half my teeth and have to wear a prosthetic due to cancer.
When I was 21 I was misdiagnosed, I went to 3 different doctors – had 3 different biopsy results until the correct diagnosis was made. I spent 10 months in excruciating pain because some idiot misdiagnosed me with a benign tumor which is was not. It was cancer. It resulted in the tumor being removed without clear margins and the cancer spread. I was originally told I had to lose my right eye. My right maxilla, right cheekbone, right hard pallet, roof of your mouth, right sinus – gone. All gone. That the rest of my life is going to be dealing with a prosthetic so I can speak properly, titanium in my head and missing my right eye! Fuck you. “I’m not letting you take my eye.” It wasn’t happening.
The problem was that the cancer spread up the rear wall of my sinus and up to the orbital floor. The eye socket had to go and the brain is on the back side of the sinus so I needed to move forward quickly with a treatment plan. I told UCLA that I wanted to get a few more opinions. I think my Dad or my aunt Pam, not sure which found City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, CA. They had a clinical trial going for osteosarcoma. I entered I believe phase 3. It was a 52 week trial and I was going to be inpatient whenever the chemo was being administered.
This was one of those dark times. Just as bad. I needed my parents. I needed their help and they turned me away. Why wouldn’t they help pick me up when I needed it? I wanted love and caring and emotion from my parents that’s real. I would like to imagine that my daughter’s conversations about me go more like, “She’s doing great grandpa. She calls every day and is…..” what? Better? Better than what? Homelessness? What a disappointment I must be. They probably go more like, “Well its fine grandpa she actually sees us regularly now…..” No, I’m sure I’m so unimportant I don’t come up in the conversation. My parents are “just checking in with the girls,” as my dad would say. They don’t call me directly why would they ask my kid how I’m doing.
I thought they should have acknowledged some of the shit I went thru rather than just expect us to never talk about any of it. What if I needed to be able to talk about it to them? No one ever asked me how I felt when they left to Paris when I started my clinical trial. I had stage 4 osteosarcoma and this was my last shot actually being alive. I was just expected to be gracious about it and not be hurt and angry?
In their defense, they did cut their trip short. But starting that clinical trial was quite literally the scariest thing I have ever had to face and it was that moment that I actually needed them. I would rather take back all the fancy birthdays and the monetary gifts. Gift me that moment for all of those moments. That’s what I want. Because they weren’t there holding my hand when I faced death within months I’ll never believe, no matter what my parents say or do, that they actually give a shit about me.
I’m trying to believe in myself. I’m trying to believe that I can do anything even if I don’t have my parents in my corner being my cheerleader. I have to be my own cheerleader. So, while I am scared to go home…I’m going to face them all with my head held high and be real no matter what. Just being the best version of myself that I can. Despite all my trials and tribulations, I believe that I am becoming a better person each day. There is always something to learn. There is always someone to inspire. Find strength in your rough times. I may actually meet my goals by the end of August if I go home to LA and work. So, I have to stop being scared and just get that money and keep pushing towards my goals. I have to believe in myself.