Today I finally got my father to share the details of his condition with me. There are several ways in which cancer in measured, and on practically every one he rates the most severe score possible. There's nothing they can do but delay the inevitable degradation of his immune system.
He's already lived 10 years longer than his father and uncle, but that's little comfort when he should have had 20+ years of quality life ahead.
He has the tenacity to consider himself blessed. Since the normal treatments to attack localized tumors do not apply to him, he won't go through years of suffering, but will likely experience "only" two months of debilitation. Also, he is not living in denial, but rather has been liberated in a sense by the knowledge, and is seeing to it that he experiences everything he has wanted to and leaves with no regrets.
We've had a turbulent (or perhaps, stagnant) relationship for two thirds of my life. Only with the dramatic changes in both our lives over the last two years have we each been motivated to move on and stop letting the past define the present. This has already been a profound lesson in forgiveness and patience for each of us, and I'm certain the lesson will continue for both.
[Please don't offer sympathy, pity, or condolences; I have the support I need. I write here only because this is my personal historic record.]