December 3, 2013

In which Meriwhen is socked in the stomach

Not literally, though given the specialty of nursing that I work in, I'm sure a few of you were thinking that...

My mother called to tell me that they had to cancel their trip out here for the holidays.  The sock in the stomach is the reason why it was cancelled:  they found a growth in my dad's lungs during a CT scan.  Mind you, this was a follow-up CT scan for something else, and that growth wasn't there it grew in the space of a couple of months.  So how rapidly this growth appeared is what alarmed everyone, plus where it's located.

The doctor himself scheduled an appointment with the specialist for next week.  They're going to go in, take a look-see, grab a sample for testing.  The doctor told my parents it could be anything and that they would not know until they were able to take a look at it.  The doctor also put the kibosh on dad flying:  dad wanted to wait until after the trip, but the doctor said that given how fast this thing sprouted up, who knows what will happen in a few weeks.  They also can't take the risk of the lung collapsing due to the plane ride.

Where it's positioned apparently makes it inoperable:  right lung, in the bronchus, at a fork.  I hope they can debulk it because it's almost closed off the bronchus.  If it were an inch up or down, they apparently could have removed it and put a tube in.

Lung cancer is a very real possibility:  both of my parents are (my dad did cut back drastically in the last several years but never fully stopped) die-hard smokers, so if they weren't smoking the cigarette itself, they were taking in some of that secondhand smoke.   And the Big C is no stranger to our bloodline, unfortunately.  It's appeared throughout the family in many different types.

I realize that my father is no spring chicken.  He's on the downward slope of the 70s and in addition to this, has had cardiac problems all of his life.  To be honest, I'm sometimes surprised he got as far as he did.  On the other hand, we all say that since he sees the doctors so frequently, he'll probably live until 100.  Still...


I'm trying to figure out if I (and little one #2) should fly out to New York and be there for the procedure, or go the following week, or go maybe later in the month.  I couldn't leave any earlier than Sunday.  I could go for a week and come back...I'd have to cancel three days of work, but I think this qualifies as a damn good reason to cancel.  If I waited a week, I wouldn't have to worry about work, but I'd be cutting it close to Christmas.  Or maybe we'll all go at the end of the month once the better half is off.

Better half is in a spot of denial...he's holding out hope that my father will be able to board a plane and fly across the country mere days after this procedure.   I told him several times that the chances of that happening are on par with snowballs in hell.   He continues to be in denial.

In a sad--as in Greek tragedy way--I'm not surprised that they discovered this now.  When I was growing up, his health would always go south around this time of year.  He was usually hospitalized for some part of December because of his heart, though he was always sprung before Christmas.  One year he cut it close though, discharging on the 24th.   For a few years his health perked up and he managed not to have the December hospitalizations.


1 comment:

Kolohe said...

A word from someone who travels frequently; make up your mind soon and get your tickets. Last minute tickets can be very expensive and flights hard to find. This is especially true around the holidays.

Sorry about your dad. I know how difficult it can be when a parent is sick and you're thousands of miles away.