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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rushing to Wait

Another day goes down in the book as not being a very good day. My dad's cancer is back. We went to Mayo today for his test results, and while we are still waiting for the bone marrow biopsy, we know that it's back. Now, banking on the biopsy coming back as only having Lymphoma in it and not another cancer, here are his options.

1. He can choose to do nothing and manage the pain that he is having.
2. He can try another round of different chemo drugs.
3. He can try and get into a study.
4. He can do a bone marrow transplant using his own stem cells.

The first three are pretty self explanatory. I learned a lot about stem cells today. They used to take it from the bone marrow, but now they can get them from the blood. But it's not that easy. First he would have to be approved by insurance. The price? $150,000 to $200,000 for the transplant. Yikes, huh? After that happens, it would start his hospital stay of 5 weeks, maybe more, maybe less. The first week would be testing to make sure that his mind and body can handle the transplant. If that goes well, the rest of the time is spent doing chemo to try and reduce as much of the cancer that they can, doing the actual removal of the stem cells, and more chemo.

But, until they get the results of the biopsy, this is all a moot point. We were told though that if he chose to do nothing that he was looking at months to live. 2, 3 maybe 4. I drove to Mayo separately from my parents since I had to work in the morning. I spent the ride home listening to Eminem. Loud. I had waves of sorrow, anger, fear, and anger again. My mind is still spinning even though I had an idea of what we were going to be told. After I got into town, I drove around for about another 2 hours, stopping only to run into the gas station bathrooms. I was driving around to go nowhere and succeeded. I went up to the bluff and looked over the town. I saw some people playing Frisbee golf, and wished life was that easy. But it's not. We were never told that it would be, but a little break in the helter skelter would be nice.

I thought for such a long time that I had it so bad with having breast cancer. Poor me. I was pretty good at throwing myself a private pity party with myself being the only person invited. Lucky I showed up every time. I look at things differently now. I look at how much worse things could have been for me. I look at my dad, my heart hurting for what he has gone through, is going through, and will go through. On so many levels there are so many things about this that just are not right. And now we wait.

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