I never really liked Januarys before last year – cold weather; not much sunlight; snow; the after-Christmas-blues; back to work; back to school; no holidays in sight – but last year kind of took the cake for us what with my wife’s sister passing away after being missing for a week, and subsequent funeral, and at the same time our church of 27 years going through a major staffing shakeup. Other than “the annivesaries” of those two events I was really hoping that this January would be better.
However, late in December we received news that Nancy’s Dad, who has been battling cancer for the last couple years, and seemingly winning (his blood count had been the best it’s been in a LONG time, and still is) was experiencing discomfort under his left arm, and would be needing surgery to remove the lymph nodes in order to prevent the cancer from spreading further. The surgery was scheduled for tomorrow (Jan 10th).
Last week, he was scheduled for a CT Scan to assist the doctors in pinpointing the extent of the cancer and to assist in the tactics for the surgery. Nancy had planned to go to London this afternoon to be with her Mom and Dad during the surgery and during the early part of the recuperation period.
This morning, however, she received word that the surgery for tomorrow had been cancelled or postponed and that there was an appointment with the surgeon for 1pm today. Nancy quickly packed up and headed to London to attend the appointment and reported back to me late this afternoon that the reason the surgery was cancelled was that the cancer had spread beyond the lymph nodes under the left arm, and in fact had spread to the nodes under the right, as well as the right lung and spleen. The doctors figured at 90 years old, the invasive surgery would not be successful at getting all the cancer and that there was a good chance it would do more overall harm than good.
So…. Nancy’s Dad will now undergo some further radiation treatment to try to keep the cancer in check and will try to made as comfortable as possible through his last days. The doctors figured that normally they would be looking at “weeks to month”, but since generally he is very healthy, “months” is probably a better guesstimate.
It’s hard to be upbeat about such news. We know that he’s had a great, productive life as a pastor, and will leave a lasting legacy through so many people including his family, friends and parishioners, and we know that at 90 years old he’s had a *long* life as well, but even so, it’s one more reason, not to particularily enjoy January.
But life goes on. The kids are back at school. I’m back at work. The circle continues. Even if this part sucks!