Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Hard Day

When I talked with John this morning, I found out that his day started out on a bummer.  One of our dogs couldn't walk.  Missy is an elderly dog, but had not shown any signs of problems the night before.

Then John's urologist called to let him know that, on yesterday's full body scans, they found two swollen lymph nodes near his liver.  One is significantly more swollen than the other.  The doctor assured John that the type of cancer he has usually doesn't spread.  But, at the same time, he needs John to talk with the liver doctor when he returns to town next week.

Missy, December 2007
As the morning progressed, Missy got worse and it was evident that something was really wrong with her.  The vet came to the house and indicated that she had had a serious stroke.  We put her down. 

We are so so sad to loose Missy.  She was a remarkably calm dog.  No one was a stranger to her as long as they would pet her.  When we got her, we were looking for a dog at our local Animal Rescue, something medium-small, short hair, low or no shed.  When we saw Missy, she put her head on my knee and looked up at me with her crystal blue "Betty Davis" eyes.  I was a goner ... no other dog could compare from then on out.  I think she chose us, vs. us choosing her.  She was the dog of my childhood dreams, albeit large, long haired, and a non-stop shedder!

We thought we were going to have to put Missy down about a year ago.  I'm so glad we got this past year as an extra gift.  Thank you John for taking such good care of her.

I've decided to get right home via the Interstates ... no more sight seeing ... currently in Missouri.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Body Scans

John had two body scans today to make sure the cancer hasn't spread.  They took a second scan of his head after asking if he had a sinus infection, and after he took out his partial.  They said that we could hear the results as soon as tomorrow, or as late as 72 hours.  Talk about "pins and needles."

I'm still heading west ... now in Kentucky.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Surgeon

John met with the surgeon today who will be doing the colon procedure.  He is recommending that the surgery to remove his diseased intestine not be done at the same time as the surgery to remove his kidney.  The two locations are too far from each other, the kidney on the upper right and the diseased colon on the lower left ... the incision and scar would be huge.  Plus, the colon removal procedure alone lasts about 6 hours.

So, at this point the plan of action regarding the diverticulitis is to keep the infection away so that the doctors can do the kidney surgery as scheduled.  First things first.

Also, to be sure that John's arteries are not close to becoming blocked, he's going to have those checked prior to surgery.

I'm still making my way west ... currently in West Virginia.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's going on with John's health?

Yesterday I talked with John and found out what the doctor had told him.  He has a tumor in the upper right kidney near a lung.  It's the size of a walnut.  But, in 2007, it was the size of a pea ... the radiologist didn't catch it back then however.  The urologist indicated that there's a 9 to 1 chance that it's cancerous.  They will remove his right kidney.  And since his left kidney is healthy, he should be just fine.  On Tuesday he has full-body scans to make sure the cancer has not spread.  Because it's a slow growing tumor, surgery can wait 3-4 weeks.

This tumor was found because he had a scan of his intestines at the Emergency Room for a severe diverticulitis attack.  It's good that they found it then, because he has had no symptoms from the tumor.

The other likely surgical procedure that John will have done is the removal of the diseased portion of his large intestine.  He has an appointment with the colon doctor on Monday.  So, we'll know more after that.

The two procedures -- removal of his right kidney and diseased colon -- will be done in a single surgery.  So, if the removal of the colon can't wait the 3-4 weeks, then it'll happen before. 

In the meantime, I'm in Virginia.  I'm cutting my road trip short and heading west to be with John.