Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hasn't ANYONE Had Tongue Cancer Twice?/Heading to MSKCC


I like to think I'm a pretty internet-savvy sort, and in the over-sharing world we live in, you would think that with a good online search there would be an overwhelming volume of stories of people who have gone through the same thing my dad is. But there aren't.

The reality is that there may not be a lot of case studies in the public because there aren't that many cases. I've found a Livestrong chat group for survivors of BOT (Base of Tongue) cancer and have signed on just to see if I can find out any more info. We just need to be armed with any questions and as much experiential info as possible.

Now...the good news (at least for now)! After a number of conversations with my Dad...and good friends, and kind contacts, and referrals, and research, and ultimately a conversation between my dad and his current doc...we have landed on a doc that we will be meeting with at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He actually has expertise in Rehabilitation of Head & Neck and the potential robotic surgery my dad may need. He sounds like a perfect fit. Let's hope so.

My dad, true to form, was worried about going to NY for treatments. After all, it's not like it's 20 minutes from his house, like New Haven. He'll need help. And that is ok. I told him it's the last thing he should be thinking about. We just need to go where someone is going to know what is best for him. The closest center that makes sense is MSKCC.

On another note...perhaps unrelated, but maybe not...O woke up with a crazy nightmare last night. Like, to the point where he asked to stay with us for awhile. He never does this. He refuses to discuss it with us - he "doesn't want to talk about it" - but needless to say, I think my empathetic boy has picked up on something going on.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yesterday Was a Bad Day

FAIR WARNING: I am going to wind up talking about my father's ordeal with his cancer recurrence in the coming months. For the few folks that actually read this, you're going to wind up seeing more than might want of that, and less about the kids and food and entertaining anecdotes. But that is okay, it is life, my life. I just need to get it out. If you don't want the details, I am not offended if you don't read, and you don't need to feel compelled to comment. I know you're there. xo

Well, for me personally it was just kind of a bad evening. For my dad, it was a bad day. He went to the chemo doc Tuesday, and it was "that visit" where you get the worst possible case scenario. I could tell it wasn't great news because he didn't call me. When he has good news, he calls me right away after an appointment. (ie: Monday, when his PET scan revealed that the cancer was "contained".

He needs to get a second opinion. It will be all about that for the next few days. Research, outreach, recommendations. Finding someone who has actually dealt with this - which is not easy.

I had a call with a friend Tuesday (who reads this...) who made a very good point. It's not good until it's really good. She is right. I think I was reiterating what my father's POV was in protecting me and my feelings. Staying positive. Perhaps a little pollyanna. I think I was just needing to simply keep my chin up. But things change quickly, don't they - as I mentioned in a recent post.

More details on what is exactly happening in the next post, as the progress keeps changing every hour, it feels like.

Monday, May 10, 2010

His Heart Shows

Last night, we were having a simple risotto dinner cooked by C, to tie up a sweet, relaxed Mother's Day. We were listening to the radio, and The Bad Weather came on. C noted that Jack White had recently invested in some massive studio in Nashville, and he wonders if it is okay based on the horrible flooding down there, considering that Kenny Chesney's home is likely to be condemned. He commented that since it's not really a flood zone, he wondered if people would even get any insurance money to rebuild.


O spoke up and asked what we were talking about. So we explained to him about insurance, what happened with the flood, and why it could be hard for people to rebuild. (I know, he's not even six, we likely go a little far sometimes with the explanations.)

So then he offers to open up his piggy bank to help out. "I have a lot of money in my piggy bank - we can send some to those people." So we said, yes we could, if he really wanted to. Of course, I think he had the impression that he could half-build a house with "all the money" in his piggy bank.

So we talked more about donating, and money vs time. And that sometimes volunteering time was as or even more important than donating money. If he wanted to build something, we can look into groups (I was thinking Habitat for Humanity) that build houses for people, and we can see if we can volunteer. Would he like to do that? And he said yes.

I think we all need to listen to our children at that age, before things affect them too much. They can teach us so much, and give us a very good reminder about priorities now and then.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Upside and the Downside of the Last Two Weeks

I'm not going to stress about blogging. I'll tell you that right now. But I guess I am owing a catch-up since going AWOL about 2+ weeks ago. Well, there's been some reason behind it.

First, work had been somewhat slow. Which is kind of a bummer, always gives me pause and makes me question if I am doing the right thing. But I come around, and I know that I am, and remember that the economy is still crappy, and things change quickly.

And they do.

Last week I got one new client, and two new possible clients. Plus, an existing client that I adore has allowed for slightly higher comp. Nice! Feeling like my mojo is running a bit. Very good stuff.

And then, I get a call from my Dad. He has a spot bothering him in his throat, and he is going to get a biopsy. On my birthday. Which is really just coincidence, and I'm all for sooner rather than later with that stuff, but the messed up part is that it was 12 years ago that he told me he had cancer. So...what the heck. Okay, well, we don't know anything yet.

I'll fast forward. They are squamus cells and will need treatment. But, the good news is that it looks like it may be less invasive than last time, probably no surgery. He's had an additional PET scan to determine the extent of what he is dealing with today. At any rate, we are waiting to see. No pity, please, Dad hates that. He'll attack it with both barrels, and he'll beat it. That's the only option, and I know it's the way he views it.

So...I've had other things on my mind. Which is ok.