Thursday, July 1, 2010

Good and not so good news

After Mike got back from the x-ray & CT scan, the doctor told us that fortunately the lungs & liver appear to be clear, but the lymph nodes are swollen, which could indicate the cancer is spreading beyond the colon. Apparently this beast has been forming for 3-5 YEARS! This, in a man with no risk factors. He's too young, too active, eats too healthy, and has no family history of colon cancer. There seems to be no explanation for why it has taken up residence inside Mike. The longest day of my life continues as Mike is told he needs three units of blood before he can leave the hospital. For a guy who donates blood on a regular basis he was a bit weirded out by actually getting blood instead of giving it. Later that evening Dr. Kramer comes in to see us. He wanted to be with the surgeon when he told us about the cancer, but timing and other committements on both ends didn't allow it. Anyway, Dr Kramer looked tired. He has been our family's doctor since we moved to Dodgeville more than 6 years ago. He was also born the same year as Mike. I imagine as a doctor it has to be difficult to be reminded of how fragile life can seem when someone you have provided care to is dealt such a huge blow. The good news is Mike is young and healthy (aside from that cancer thing), the bad news is, being young and healthy presents the possibility that the tumor isn't "normal cancer". Of course we won't know anything about that until after surgery and the biopsy. After discussing the pros and cons of a community hospital and a big city hospital, Mike & I are more assured than ever that this is where we want to be for the surgery. Nearly our entire support system is here. Our parents are close enough that they can be here within hours. Cal & Zoey can visit Mike in the hospital at any time. We can't think of a single reason to not take care of this in Dodgeville. At 9pm we finally go home - still in shock. The kids are staying overnight with a friend so we don't have to face them until the morning. What do we tell the kids? How much do we tell them? They're only 4 and 6. This isn't something any little kid should EVER have to deal with. Hell, NOBODY should have to deal with this.

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