Wednesday, August 01, 2012

…Just Not Today

Chris and Jim
Chris and Jim wait with me for Dad to wake up. This is very stressful for all of us, but Jim wears the strain more publicly.

I am at Citizens Hospital—now called Citizens Medical Center because it has expanded so much—in Victoria, Texas because Dad is having another probing session with Dr. W. It has been scheduled for months, but I don’t like taking chances by not being here.

I drove Chris and Dad in for the 06:00 appointment, which is an hour earlier than usual. (All that meant was we had more time to wait before the actual procedure would start.) Jim and Waynette drove in from Angleton. I came in last night, which meant I missed Suna’s return from North Carolina, where she went to help Kynan drive back from a summer internship with Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Once they finally got started about 8:30, the procedure went a little longer than the expected hour. Dr. W. gave us the news in a small office off the waiting room. The tumors have continued to grow and now take up almost the entire volume of the bladder. He was able to resect much of the tumor on the left lateral wall, but the one on the right was too hard to cut. He had spent the extra time trying to clear as much of the tumors as he could.

He said Dad needs more radiation, but the radiologist says Dad has already had all the radiation he can take. Dad has already reacted badly to the milder form of chemotherapy available for this type of aggressive cancer. The remaining chemotherapy option probably won’t extend his life but would be seriously detrimental to his quality of life. Dr. W. wants to perform a CT scan tomorrow morning to see if any metastasis has occurred.

We all agree that whatever happens next is Dad’s call. Our only concern is to make the remainder of his long life as happy and comfortable as humanly possible.

It took longer for Dad to come out of recovery than we expected, too. Waynette and I began to worry that the delay might be caused by a recurrence of the painful bladder spasms that he experience on a previous procedure. Turns out we were right. That level of pain takes a lot out of Dad. We got him up to his room and went to lunch to allow him to sleep off the anesthesia in peace.

After lunch, we stayed in the waiting room until he woke up. Jim and Waynette went back to Angleton. Chris and I stayed with Dad to wait for Dr. W. to come by. When he did, he was more optimistic than he had been immediately after surgery, just not much. I can’t imagine what Dad is going through right now.

We stayed with Dad until his normal 21:00 bed time. We didn’t talk much on the way back to the farm. What is there to say?

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