I love my Dad. As the oldest of the three girls in the family, I always received a lot of attention and praise from my Dad growing up. As an adult, my relationship with my Dad developed into a genuinely good friendship. For the past few years, I called my Dad every morning on my way to work. Dad answered the phone with one of his common greetings.
“Pool hall, ” he would say and then laugh. Our conversation was usually light and often we simply talked about our plans for the day. Sometimes Dad would pass the phone to Mom but it was Dad that I really wanted to speak with as our little talks set the tone for experiencing a good day at work. Our little talks made me happy! I walked into work feeling happy and usually stayed happy all day!
Now we were facing the possibility that Dad had stomach or gastric cancer. The results came in two days after the colonoscopy. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride for many days. The oncologist confirmed our greatest fear, Dad had cancer. I look back and don’t really recall the sequence of events. He had some other tests to verify the extent of the cancer. Initially, we were told Dad was at stage 1 but consquent tests proved the oncologist was incorrect.
So much happened so quickly. More doctors, more tests, differing ideas about what we should do and what doctors and modern medicine could do. We reached out to our extended family for prayers for healing. Dad’s health was declining rapidly and with very little appetite he continued to lose weight. More symptoms, more discomfort and pain.
Stage 4. Stage 4! FOUR? My Dad was already in Stage 4.
How could this be? He was just diagnosed. Dad went to see various specialists on a regular basis. How was this disease allowed to progress without detection?
I am a strong woman. I am a woman of faith. I love my Dad and miss him so very much.
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New Orleans. New Orleans! Just saying the words conjures up memories of past visits. In my younger days the visits there centered around having a great time in the French Quarter or dancing the night away at a disco. Not too long ago a business trip might include dining out and a visit to Harrah’s for a night out on the town. But now I have discovered another gem of New Orleans.
I never thought my vehicle would break down on the road just past Shreveport on I 49 but it did. One minute you are cruising down the road looking forward to spending a few days on a beautiful Florida beach. The next, you’re calling for roadside assistance.
It was past 1:00 am and the roadside assistance representative said a tow truck diver should make it shortly after 3:00 am to tow my little home one wheels off the side of the highway. I decided I might as well nap while waiting.
I woke up around 6:00 am wondering what happened to my tow truck. After a few calls, I was set up again for a tow. Apparently, the first company contacted didn’t think their tow truck was large enough for my little rv. Another two hours were spent on the side of the road before the two truck pulled up. The driver said he was a mechanic previously. He took a look under the hood. Faulty spark plug? He tried to replace a spark plug but the area was stripped. Time to tow my vehicle in for a repair.
Less than two hours later, my RV was in the shop and the tow truck driver was dropping me off to get a rental car. I had plenty of time to run a few errands, enjoyed a nice meal, an checked into a local hotel. I thought it best to keep out of the casinos. I went to bed a little disappointed my trip was disrupted but hopeful to be back on the road soon the next day.
Sometimes a little setback turns out to be a good thing. Sometimes it’s all in how you look at things. The problem with the RV’s engine couldn’t be controlled nor anticipated. Once I paid for the repair and picked up my RV, it was time to evaluate the situation. I lost two days and had 3 unexpected expenses, repair, auto rental, and hotel. Part of my funds were spent so it looked like I needed to skip the trip to Florida. The new destination was New Orleans. Let the journey continue.
I am a strong woman. I am a flexible person. I am able to look for the positive in any situation. I am blessed.
So what do we do now? Which doctor do we call first? Dad had been communicating with his gastroenterologist as his medical problems seemed to be centered around the act of digestion. So our first call and office visit was to see Dad’s gastroenterologist. Dad was able to get in quickly and his doctor conducted a routine exam and asked Dad a lot of questions.
Dad prepped for his colonoscopy the day before the procedure. Early the next morning, Mom and I took Dad to the outpatient area to register. He was called back quickly. One of my sisters was able to join us briefly as Mom and I waited. It wasn’t too long before Dad’s doctor appeared and called us to the entrance of the recovery area. He explained Dad had some ulcer -like clusters and stated they were one of three things, a basic ulcer, a benign growth, or it could be cancer. He said we wouldn’t know for sure until the biopsy report came in.
The doctor tried to be optimistic but I feared the worst. He made sure I joined Mom when he called her right after the procedure. He didn’t provide any photos that are typically taken during a colonoscopy. I felt uneasy. I didn’t know what to do. Or think. Or feel.
Dad was still in recovery when I began praying again. Was death knocking at the door? The next few nights and days were filled with anxiety and uncertainty.
I am a strong woman. I am a prayerful woman. I am a daughter that loves her Dad.
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