May 25, 2009 - 3:05 pm
I have always been aware of various cancers and have had two grandmothers and many friends with cancer, but Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 I was made aware of a cancer called esophageal cancer, which was new to me.
My Father called to let me know that the Doctor who did a endoscopy just told him that he had a tumor in his throat and that was what was causing him to have trouble swallowing. The Doctor said he was 98% sure that it was cancer. They scheduled him for a CAT scan, took a biopsy and a MRI and told him to come back Thursday, May 21st. He and I both agreed that we wouldn't think it was cancer.
On the 21st, I was in a meeting when my Uncle's number came up on my Blackberry. I left the meeting and took his call. He told me that the tumor was cancer. Not only that, but that there was cancer in my Father's liver and lymph nodes. The cancer in the liver was very concentrated on the right side of the liver and sprinkled on the left side. I started to cry at my desk. He told me that my Father did not take this news very well. I talked to my Father and tried to keep it together as best I could. We both were in shock for we both had not allowed ourselves to believe that it could be cancer. Neither one of us were ready for this news.
I went to talk to my Manager and told her the news. She sent me home. I called the priest that lives near my Father and asked him to assist my Father in any way that he can. He said he would visit him every day and go to the hospital with him. I called the President of the Union that my Father gave his life to for 30 years. He called him and gave him his support and told him he would have people to help him where ever he needs it.
I talked to him the next day and he seemed to have been bolstered by the conversations he had had. The Doctors will put in a Stint in his esophagus so he will be able to eat normally again on May 27th. He said he is going to fight the disease as hard as he can. We later talked and his Doctor will refer him to John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore on the 26th.
I am an only child, with two children under 4 years of age, a wonderful husband and a very busy full-time position. My mother passed away 6 years ago (May 22, 2003) when she was 57 and my Father is now 65. I live 5 hours away from him. My Father is in his hometown of 2000 people that he has known for most of his life. He has a great support system there.
So this is where I start my personal relationship with cancer. I have so much to learn, I fear, in a very limited amount of time.