Sunday, April 13, 2014

On the Front Lines

I just realized in the midst of a rather harrowing experience for my family that the posts relating to the situation are only seen by a few of my Facebook friends. So, to update the rest of you:

My middle girl lives in Kansas.  She is married to the kindest, gentlest man I've ever met.  He has given very much to her and they are deeply in love.  Not long ago a growth was discovered on one of his lungs.

For those of you who have struggled with cancer I'm sure you know what came after.   Patients can keep informed of every preliminary finding or wait until all the facts are in.  It's a long and terrifying wait, stretched out over weeks of testing.  They chose to know each set of test results as they came in, rather than remaining in ignorance until the final diagnosis. It ran something like this:

It might be benign or it might might be cancerous. We need more tests.

The preliminary results of the first tests indicate that it probably is cancer but we hope we caught it in the early stages. We need more tests.

The tests confirm that it is cancer but they are not conclusive as to the exact type or prognosis. We need more tests.

It is a very dangerous form of cancer called squamous cell lung cancer. It appears to be at a more advanced stage that we originally thought but...We need more tests

The current test results indicate it is likely to be at an extremely advanced stage which may have metastasized and may be already untreatable. But we can't be certain of this until all the doctors involved meet together and study all the test results.  We will have a final answer in a few days. In spite of the urgency, this can not be rushed. The team must study all the data very carefully and very thoroughly to ensure that we finally have the correct diagnosis.

Final diagnosis. It is in a more advanced stage than we originally believed, but not as advanced as we feared.  That makes it extremely dangerous, but treatable. Both chemotherapy and radiation are indicated.  Treatment will begin next week.  

This type of cancer is not predictable. Some patients respond very well to treatment and recover surprisingly quickly. Others do not. Only time can give us the answer.

Support has been freely given.  We are all grateful and determined to fight the good fight.  If you believe in prayer, pray hard.  If you do not, think good thoughts.  Both are welcome.

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