Lunge Krebs (bet I do not need to translate to lung cancer, do I?)
Over a year... 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days... It was a year April 24th... That was the day the wonderful Dr. Bill Putnam of Vanderbilt cut the horrible cancer out of Mama... One of the best and worst days of my life as I remember it. I know Daddy was as scared as I was. After all, he's known her over 44 years and I had only known her the 40 I had lived through to that point.
I remember when she was first diagnosed (in March 2006) with non-small cell lung cancer. The pulmonologist told us it looked like IA and that it should easily be removed with a wedgectomy His prognosis was no radiation and no chemo, that's it. I remember he actually said the other "C" word.... CURE...
I remember on the 24th of April when Dr. Putnam called to have Daddy and I come up to discuss the surgery with him. I was so anxious because her first CT scan showed something the size of a quarter and now the pure evil should be removed from her petite body. I was nervous, anxious, jittery and about to throw up.
He led us into the room to speak to us. I had my trusty notebook and pen at hand, you never know when you might need to take notes. It was worse than he thought.... Hidden behind the quarter-sized tumor was a much larger grapefruit-sized one that did not light up during all the preliminary tests. It was wrapped around some lymph nodes... How many? Lots. Had to take those too. Fortunately the right lung looked clear and there was nothing else showing cancer.
Prognosis? Much different than the pulmonologist's original thought... Now there will be chemo - about 12 weeks worth of it. Now there will be radiation - about 6-8 weeks of it. Chances of it spreading? Yep. Now I really want to puke.
The look on Daddy's face must have mirrored my own. Complete, utter devastation and worry. My immediate family is a family of three. An oddity in Catholicism. We are a tight knit crew and we have the large extended family to prove it. Daddy is the baby of ten and Mama is the middle of five. Cousins out the wazoo.... However, we are the only part of the contingency in Tennessee... Oops, forgot to mention that the Nana lives with the folks. The Nana is the Mama's mother... I was living with the German (and about to get engaged in eight days unbeknownst to me) and, unfortunately, he was out of town on business this day. Daddy and I had to be there for one another and our one rule was to not cry in front of Mama.
Chemo and radiation are a bitch. I never want to go through the pure hell Mama went through. Ever. Wouldn't wish it on another living soul. Period.
She got a diagnosis of "no new visible sign of disease" back in the fall of 06. It is time for the next Cat Scan results next week and we are praying, hoping, wishing, crossing our fingers and everything else that this will say the same... No visible sign of disease.
Cancer is a vicious, evil beast and shows no discrimination or regard to any that fall victim to it. I say that even more so because Mama is not a smoker, never has been... It's just "one of those things".
People, those that know me and those that do not, I ask for your prayers for Mama. If you are not a prayerful person, I ask for your kind thoughts and well wishes for her. 63 years and some odd months is way too short a time for her. I want my parents to happily and healthfully celebrate their 50th anniversary in 6+ years and many more to come.
I just needed to get this off my chest. The nervous, anxious, jittery thing is kicking in again. Thank God for a nice cold Yazoo Dos Perros to wind down this week.
There will be a much lighter, happier German word the next time. Promise.