Our family got some good news today. It seems as though my dad may be a candidate for surgery after all.
Just two weeks ago we found out my dad has cancer. The news came out of nowhere. He had been having trouble swallowing so he went in for an endoscopy. The doctor found the cause of the problem, a large tumor right where the esophagus meets the stomach. They ran a biopsy on the tumor and the next day we learned it was cancerous. Without treatment we were looking at six months. Thank goodness it's 2009 and treatment, although not glorious, is available.
Because my dad had that awesome near-death heart attack a few years back the doctors were initially thinking he would not be a good candidate for option A which would be surgically removing the tumor as well as part of his esophagus and reconstructing that part of the stomach. This would remove the cancer pretty much completely and would subject him to minimal radiation and chemotherapy. But my dad's heart is weak, he has the pace maker and he's on daily blood thinners that keeps his heart from... you know... stopping. Blood thinners equals bad when you're facing a scalpel.
So we were heading for option B which includes extensive radiation, chemotherapy and hope that it shrinks the tumor and keeps it from spreading.
But after what seems like a hundred additional tests and numerous appointments with doctors, it seems like surgery might work out after all. His heart is stronger than they thought and a risk of a clot is not as significant a risk as feared. He still has several appointments and maybe one more test to endure before surgery can be scheduled. And surgery is no picnic either. It would be a seven hour surgery with at least ten days in the hospital. But the doctors are very hopeful of a full recovery afterwards.
And although I have been doing my best to be optimistic all along and to have faith that my dad would be around to watch his grandson play little league and watch me become more than I am now, I was scared. Really, really scared. And... I still am. We have a long road ahead of us. But... I get to enjoy a new brand of hope now. And it tastes really good.
Thanks for your prayers. They have provided me with strength I know I wouldn't have had otherwise. Please keep them coming our way.