February 19, 2012

A Very Hard Post To Write

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.

Thank you.

16 comments:

  1. You are going through a very tough time. I wish you and your family the very best.
    Hugs to you!

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  2. Oh man I am so sorry to read this. Thinking of you during this incredibly difficult time.
    Lusi x

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear this. Praying that you and your family pull through.

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  4. I will keep your dad and your entire family in my prayers. I hope everything works out, and I pray for strength for your family.

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  5. I am so sorry that this is happening. I am sure this was a really hard post to write (and re-live as you wrote it). Thank goodness your mom was there and that your brother was so close. What a scary thing to drive past their house and see the ambulance. I will certainly keep your father, mother, brother and you in my prayers. Please keep us posted. There are many fishing trips to be had! :)

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  6. Oh, I'm so, so sorry to hear this. What an awful experience you've had and will be heading into. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'll keep you in my thoughts. My FIL fought a valiant fight with a brain tumor years ago so I'm familiar with what you will be facing. Hugs to you.
    Judy

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  7. Oh, Stephanie, it must seem very scary right now because of the shock and all the unknowns. But as you've told us, your mom and dad, as well as you and your brothers, have been through this before and will all be strong. So glad for you that your brothers are near you and your parents for support. I'm glad you posted here; sometimes writing it all down helps to calm and center when emotions are going in six directions at once.

    Know we're all praying for your family and sending support your way. Please keep us updated.

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  8. God be with you..your family is in our prayers.

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  9. ((Stephanie)) I am so sorry, what a hard day, and a hard post to write. Many prayers for you, your dad, and all the rest of your family.

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  10. Stay positive, it is good they let him go home that soon. Wishing them a Happy Anniversary.

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  11. oh Stephanie ,I'm so sorry I know how bad you are feeling,know my prayers are with you daily. I had a nephew in his prime in collage, had a seizure the same way ,it was the same ,A brain tumor ,its so sad. than last thanksgiving we lost his mom. some days are just not like the others ,they are tougher

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  12. I am so sorry to hear this. I had tears in my eyes as I read your posts. I had a friend who had a brain tumor. She lives for almost 12 years with it. It is not the death sentence it use to be. She raised horses and would be out there working with the animals with her shaved head. While she had problems...sometimes she would just pass out so she couldn't drive...she lived a very full life for those 12 years.

    I will light a candle in hopes that your father has many more fishing trips and
    anniversaries to share. I'll light a candle for you and your family as well.

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear this Stephanie! I'll keep your father and your family in my prayers. It is good that he has the attitude he has, it helps with recovery.
    Lots of hugs!

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  14. Oh, Stephanie! Yes, I am praying! (((hugs)))

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