Following is really nothing more than a journal in 4 parts. I have my doubts anyone would care that I have not posted anything all year, but I do have my reasons and it’s time to catch up! I do this with the intention of adding “so much more” as the future comes and goes….. It’s been a year we will not soon forget….
This was THE year of our 50th wedding anniversary…. “sweet thang” and I celebrating our journey together since June 4th, 1961. Our children begin talking about this actually in 2010, and wanted to plan a party for friends and family. We also thought this would be a nice idea, but along with that we wanted to do something special just for us… That was the beginning of our searching for and finding the perfect trip. After much research, we settled on a 30 day cruise to the South Pacific. You can go through the planning and waiting for the departure date and the trip by visiting my travel blog at: http://beyondthebackdoor-beyondthebackdoor.blogspot.com/
To start at the beginning please click on the labels to the right of the blog entries. The first one will be labeled “south pacific waiting on the horizon”, and should be at the top of the list.
Returning from our trip on April 15th the year was going fast and the anniversary party approaching quickly, the kids continued to work on the party, there was so much to do! Not having the facilities in our homes to entertain the over 100 people we wanted to attend, we contacted a large hotel to handle all we wanted to do. Arrangements were made, invitations sent out, and before we knew it the date was here!… June 3rdth brought out of state guests arriving, a beautiful dinner/dance on the 4th, and a farewell breakfast on the 5th. It was a wonderful 3 days of memories and celebration.
However; A lot had transpired during the time we returned from our trip and the date of the party so let me go back…..
Going in for a regular medical checkup with my GP on April 25th, he suggested a ct scan just to make sure I didn’t have any vascular problems that could be causing the pain in my back/hip/leg. I was able to get that scheduled on the 28th. That evening I got the phone call. I was told that in looking at the scan, the radiologist discovered a mass near the top of my right lung. Immediately a biopsy was scheduled for May 5th. The tumor sample was taken to the lab then analyzed with a 2nd tissue sample sent out to be confirmed, and proven to be “non small cell adneocarcinoma”, Or in layman terms, Lung Cancer. An appointment with my oncologist (the same one who handles my non Hodgkin’s lymphoma) was made for May 9th.
The biopsy caused my lung to collapse, so I had to go back to the hospital every day for about a week to check its progress with eventual reattachment. A pet scan with contrast was ordered for May 11th, a brain MRI was scheduled for May 12th, (the same day our grandson had his National Junior Honor Society banquet) plus, our oldest granddaughter graduated from college that weekend. We stayed near her college in a hotel on Friday evening.
Meeting with the oncologist again on May 19th, he said the brain MRI was negative showing no cancer there, and the pet scan showed that the mass was contained in my lung so an appointment was made to see a recommended “thoracic surgeon” that afternoon. After meeting with him and explaining our upcoming 50th wedding anniversary party, a biopsy on my mediastinum was scheduled for June 8th with a pre-surgery apt. stuck in there on June 6th including a (PFT) pulmonary function test.
There was “some” activity that lit up in the mediastinum, the nodes not yet determined to be either the lung cancer or the lymphoma, but not enough to alter the plan of removing my right upper lobe following the biopsy.
Getting through the meeting with my oncologist, I was more concerned that everything was on schedule for our party than I was the surgery. I had sworn my family to secrecy to keep anyone else from knowing about all this because I didn’t want our 50 year celebration to be turned into a “pity party”…. It needed to be celebrated for what it was, two people being married 50 years…..not a gathering to feel sorry for the cancer patient. This was a good idea, but it made it hard on all of us. I confided on line, in my old friend ep which to this day I am forever grateful for his support. It literally got me through some very rough days after my diagnosis. I had already written an email for the kids to send out to everyone who attended the party after they returned home letting them know what was going on. The surgery was already scheduled; we just didn’t know the outcome, so that paragraph would be added later.
The party turned out to be everything we wanted, it was wonderful to see and spend time with everyone. All through this, I was not so worried about what was to come from the surgery, and I told the family all along that they probably wouldn’t do the surgery anyway! Nonetheless, 3 days after the party I packed my little bag and away we went to the hospital.
I entered the hospital the morning of June 8th and was taken to the prep room. My family was with me, (sweet thang and all three kids plus my sister). I was hooked to the IV so all of the fluids, and happy juice could begin to flow through me…..From my bed I could see my oncologist and the surgeon with their heads together having a conversation about something… I wasn’t sure why the oncologist was there, but I guessed it was about me, and I was right.
At the last minute the surgeon had decided to take one last look at the pet scan where he discovered, hidden behind the urethra activity that lit up on the scan, that there was a metastasized lesion behind it on my pelvic bone. At the same time, he found another spot that had just recently appeared on my ninth thoracic vertebra. Because the cancer had already spread to at least two other places, they entered my little prep room and explained that it did not make sense to put me through a normally rough surgery and all it entailed with possibly months of recuperation. That surgery was canceled, they instead installed a port, and I was allowed to go home that evening after scheduling the beginning of chemo on June 29th…. To be continued………