Tuesday, April 21, 2009

in Vegas, post-surgery rehab

So, the reason that I haven't really been posting lately is because on Monday, my dad called me to say that he had been admitted to the hospital for a bowel obstruction. I kept checking with him by phone multiple times per day (quite a feat for a family who talks on the phone about 6 minutes every 2 weeks). We all thought that he had diverticulitis. However, on Thursday, he told me that because the treatment that they thought would work didn't (broad spectrum IV antibiotics), they were going to do surgery on Friday.

I talked to my co-workers and supervisors, and decided that I would leave for Vegas on Saturday and stay until this Thursday.

And this turned out to be a very good decision, because it turned out that what my dad had was colon cancer. It's the same thing that his dad died of when my dad was 12 years old. They removed a part of his colon, and gave him a temporary colostomy, which will be reversed in about 8 weeks. We're still waiting for the pathology results for the lymph nodes; if they are cancer-free, we can consider my dad "surgically cured" of cancer. If the lymph nodes show cancer cells, then my dad has to go through chemotherapy. I do not know anything about the staging of his cancer, which means I cannot look up more numbers and prognosis estimates for my mom (which is my instinct to do at this point).

There was a surreal moment in the hospital room when the MD told us that the biopsy results showed that the growth removed was cancerous. It seems strange to have thought of my dad as "being at risk for cancer" to "having cancer" - the transition seemed so instantaneous, that I had to catch my breath.

It is also weird to see my dad - who taught me how to play the saxophone, snap my fingers, and hook up two VCRs together to copy tapes - with an NG tube and IV lines and an ostomy pouch, in severe pain. It is weird to observe him so ecstatic to have popsicles approved as food (he hasn't eaten any solid food in about 11 days). And it is weird to watch his mind try to overcome his body's weakness so that he can come home.


Dad, post-op

3 comments:

Brenda // Phydeaux said...

Oh Mad, I am so so sorry about the diagnosis. :( Big big hug. I'm so very relieved, though, that you were there with your mom (and dad) to hear the news. You're all in my continued thoughts and prayers!!! xo

Molly said...

That is so scary and I'm so sorry to hear it. I will keep your dad and your family in my prayers. Here's to good news in the near future.

Jacqueline said...

Madika,

You and your family are in my thoughts. Keep strong for him!

Jacqueline Baras