Friday, June 16, 2006

Sorry I've been away

You know, I always have the best intention of posting stuff on a regular basis. But this time I have a good excuse: my dad has cancer.

Last Thursday night, we were out to dinner and my cell phone rang. It was my dad's cell phone. This is by definition not good news. I had called home earlier in the week and Mom mentioned that my brother was taking Dad in for a colonoscopy. She acted like it was a routine thing. "Well," my dad says to me on my cell phone, "the doctor found a little bit of cancer. They're going to operate on Monday."

Okay, going from seemingly routine health check to cancer surgery in less than a week: this does not sound good. (Of course, I found out later the colonoscopy was anything but routine: he had been waking up at 4 a.m. with abdominal pain and had been passing blood; that's why he scheduled the scope.) So when we got home I started looking for flights. (I was scheduled to be off work on Monday anyway, to participate in interviews for a non-profit board I'm on.) Turns out United was running a last-minute weekend special into Wichita! (What are the chances of that? Must mean I'm meant to go.)

On Friday night, Stan and I drove down to the Bay Area. On Saturday morning, he dropped me at SFO and I headed for Kansas while he started the long drive home. When I land in Wichita, my dad is there to meet me. (This was a surprise; I had made arrangements for my sister-in-law to pick me up. Dad said, "I wanted to come get you. Jane's helping her brother cut wheat.")

On Monday, I got up at 6:00 (Central) to take Mom & Dad over to the hospital. He was supposed to check in by 7:15. They got him into surgery about 9:20 and he was done by about 11. The doctor came and talked to the family (me, Mom, my sister, my uncle, my sister-in-law, my niece and her two kids) very briefly. I talked to my sister later and she said she did not think the doctor's message was very positive.

Dad was back in his room around 12:30, so I got to see him before I had to leave for the airport again. My sister and cousin took me to Wichita at 2:00 so I could catch my 4:15 flight back to Denver, where... the flight to SFO was already posted as an hour and twenty minutes late! (It's NEVER a good sign when a delay is posted early; the actual delay will ALWAYS be longer than the original posting.)

I got back to SFO a full two hours after the original schedule that would have already given me a very late night. At 11 p.m., I was on the road. By midnight I was in Santa Rosa. By 1 a.m., a little north of Ukiah. I got home about 3:45, and into bed at exactly 4:00 a.m. (Pacific) Tuesday morning--exactly 24 hours after I had awakened. (Meanwhile, my intention to sleep on the flight was dashed by having brought along a good book; it seems like I never get to read anymore.)

I had three hours and 47 minutes worth of sleep before heading off to work. Needless to say, I have gone to bed early every night this week, which is why I haven't posted anything before now. Yesterday, we learned the results of Dad's operation: The doctor removed 34 "nodes," two of which were malignant. He is going to be referred to an oncologist for follow-up, which may or may not be chemotherapy.

So, I think everything is fine. My mom is (understandably) having a difficult time. (I knew she would; she just about broke down when my dad went in for heart bypass surgery several years ago, which is one of the reasons I felt like I should go this time.) I probably won't know for sure until we go back again in July for their wedding anniversary.


Blogger Rev. Terri said...

Sending love and healing light your fathers way... and yours too! We (PMCC) are sorry we missed you while here in SF for the weekend - but glad you were on the Walk over the bridge. Thanks for keeping in touch ... we think of you often! Rev.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Rev. Terri said...

Thanks for the update, we (PMCC) are sending healing light and love your way (and to your father and the rest of the family. Sorry we didn't get to see you the weekend of the Bridge Walk.. but glad you walked... and glad that amendment was formally squashed! Blessings!

9:26 AM  

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