Yesterday started out normal enough. I got up at 5am, and had a cup of coffee before I got the boys up at 6:30. It was their weekend with their dad, and we agreed to meet at the Home Depot two towns away, like we always do.
I dropped the boys off, gave my daughter, who was there to wish her dad a happy belated birthday, a hug, and had to get back home, because my friend Julie was coming over for coffee while her youngest played basketball at the local elementary school.
As I turned the corner, off the highway, I passed my parent's house like I always do. And just like I always do, I looked up at their house, and was about to honk my horn, when I noticed the flashing lights of an ambulance. I raced to the next driveway to turn around, and flew back to their place.
As I turned the corner in the driveway, I saw the ambulance backed up to my parent's house, with a police cruiser and another vehicle in the driveway. I parked by my brother's place and ran as fast as I could to their house, without falling on my butt on the ice. My first thought was that it was my mother, who just had heart issues this past summer, and had to have a stent put in.
As I ran into the house and saw my younger brother standing there, his first words were "It's dad". I stood by, trying to stay out of the way while the EMTs got him stabilized so they could take him to the hospital. While we waited, my brother filled me in on what happened.
As usual, my father got up that morning, went to the bathroom and got his first cup of coffee. He has a recliner in his bedroom, and sits there to watch tv. He turned on the news, took 2 sips of his coffee and then said "What the hell." My mother asked "What?" in a bit of an annoyed tone...my father is known to yell at the tv when there is a story on the news that he doesn't agree with lol. As my mother got up to go see what was wrong, she hadn't made it half way across the livingroom, when my father stood up. His entire body went rigid, and started shaking all over. Next thing my mother knew, he was crashed on the floor, but still in a seizure state.
She immediately called my younger brother, who ran down the driveway in his bare feet. They called 911, and followed their directions to get him on his side in case he choked. He just missed hitting his head on the treadmill that was in the corner.
Once the EMTs got him stabilized they took him to the hospital. I stayed as calm as I could, got my mother to take her own meds for the morning, and get dressed. We drove down to the hospital and waited until they had him settled in and then she went back to see him. Both my brothers showed up shortly after.
They took him for some tests, to make sure it wasn't his heart. After discussing the fact that he had lung cancer two years ago, and had beat it (his last scan showed the tumor at the base of his windpipe had completely disappeared), they decided to do a PET scan of his brain.
The news was what we feared. He has a very good sized tumor in his brain. They gave him steroids via the iv, to reduce some of the swelling around the tumor, which caused the seizure due to the pressure on the brain. They also gave him some anti-seizure meds.
He was scheduled to go first thing Monday morning for a check up scan of his chest, and he will keep that appointment. Then they will call the radiologist to get the full reading of both scans, and decide from there what his treatment options are. Most of the paperwork they gave us from the emergency room says surgery, then radiation on the brain tumor.
He was allowed to come home in the afternoon, once his body settled down. He was in a surprisingly good mood, joking and such. As he said, "doesn't get much worse than this". His best friend (who is more like a brother), is retiring this summer and they both made a lot of plans. We stopped by there on the way home so he could let him know what was going on. He told him "I am going to fight this, because we are going fishing this summer." I nearly lost it. He did break down, and it was hard for him to tell his friend.
I also almost lost it in the ER, while waiting for his meds and such. My mother was sitting in a chair next to his bed, holding his hand. He told her "I'm sorry. I will fight it as long as I can." I had to walk out.
They will be celebrating their 47th anniversary a week from today. Obviously he isn't up for a huge celebration, but I have decided to do a small family get together. I will cook dinner for everyone, and we will all be with them for that day. Nothing fancy, we aren't fancy people. Just being together is enough.
We are trying to be positive, despite having gone through this very thing with my uncle back in 1996. I helped my mother take care of my uncle the last 6 months of his life, watching as the tumor slowly took away anything he was able to do. But treatments have come a long way since then. Positive, but realistic, is the only thing we can be right now.
If you would keep my family in prayer, we would appreciate it.