Friday, June 18, 2010

Not The Way To Start Blogging Again

That is so true.  It is definitely not the way I wanted to start blogging again.  I wanted to blog about great news and fun and exciting things going on in my life.  At the same time, I know I have so, so many things to be grateful for in both mine and Bob's lives.
In May 2009, my parents came to visit for 3 weeks and it was wonderful.  While they were here, my dad noticed an area to the side of his left ribcage that itched quite a bit and as the days progressed, the area also became tender and sore.  Within just a few days of my parents returning home, my dad went to the doctor and was told it was a lipoma, which in reality is a fatty lump.  My dad does have smaller lipomas under his skin, so that was acceptable, it made sense, and we were all relieved.  Because of the diagnosis, I decided I did not need to go to AZ.  He met with a surgeon and the surgery was scheduled.  What should have taken routinely 30 minutes, turned into almost 2 hours.  I was going crazy waiting for a phone call to let me know he was out of surgery and everything was fine.  In my heart, after the first 1 1/2 hours, I knew everything was not fine.  I had tried calling my sister MaryAnn,  and got her voice mail.  I finally called my niece who said my dad was still in recovery.  Yes, I definitely knew there was a problem.  MaryAnn finally called and told me that it was not routine, that it was not a lipoma, and that in fact he had cancer.  Malignant Spindle Cell Sarcoma.  The surgeon said because of my dad's age (83 at the time), he did not want to break the ribs and cut into the muscle.  He said he wouldn't have done that to his own father.  There were 5 "feelers" extending from the tumor and everything was sent in for a biopsy.  This was an outpatient surgery and  within 24 hours I was on my way to Arizona to help my parents in any way I could.  After one week,  both my sisters and myself  went with my parents to the follow up appointment with the surgeon.  My dad had already decided that no matter what, he was not going to have any kind of follow up treatments including Chemo and Radiation.  The surgeon gave us great news that even though the tumor was positive, the biopsy on all five "feelers" came back negative.  My dad healed so well and finally felt great again.
Over the past few months, he noticed a little burning above the scar from the first surgery.  Logical thinking (we thought at the time) was nerve damage or scar tissue from the previous surgery.  My mom called me last Sunday and said they were not going to their summer home in Springerville this week as planned.  I asked why, she broke down a little bit and told me she wished I was there, and I knew something was wrong.  My dad decided he wanted to see the doctor and have surgery if necessary because the pain in that area has gotten pretty bad.  He said it is a burning feeling and every once in awhile a shooting pain will go through.  It also has been itching.  He saw the oncologist this past Monday and had blood work done yesterday.  He has a PET scan on the 21st and a follow up appointment with the oncologist on the 24th.  We are hoping the cancer is localized and surgery will be done the week of the 28th with radiation treatments following.  The oncologist said with the surgery and radiation (if the cancer is localized) my dad will be as good as new.  They will find out on the 24th if the cancer is in other areas and that point they will find out all the options.  We are praying at this time that the cancer is only in the one area and everything will go well.  As soon as I know when the surgery has been scheduled I will be flying to AZ to help out once again.  I know my parents feel bad that I have to be away from home and Bob, but they are also very appreciative of the help and support when I am there.  Both my sisters work outside the home and it is much easier for me to be there.  After all....they are my parents and I have absolutely no problem taking care of them whenever I have the opportunity.  I would do anything for them!

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