Sunday, August 23, 2009


2 Weeks ago, on a pleasant (and long overdue) trip to Baltimore, we were in the way to my Mom's house for some R+R at the poolside, looking forward to a small meetup with her and Amanda, as well as Alicia's Mom, Tino and Linda, and even our old friend Lori.

On the way there, Sharon called and broke the bad news: that my Father was diagnosed with stage 1 oral cancer. His previous oral cancer scare from a few years back (where he immediately quit drinking AND smoking "cold turkey" **) was apparently not the end of the story. This was caught early, in a relatively premature stage, so with the proper series of tests and a meeting with a surgeon, should be dealt with in the easiest way possible.

That following Monday, he was hammered with tests, xrays, CT scans, and every other poke, prod and measurement they possibly could. By end of week, the results were in, and while they were still cautiously optimistic about treatment, it was upgraded to stage 2, and they began making difficult and gruesome decisions regarding surgery and treatment.

The following week (this past monday) he met with the specialist, who set up immediate surgery, taking him in on Thursday. They needed to remove part of his tongue (a terribly painful and long-healing process) which knocks out his ability to speak, eat, etc, as you can probably imagine.

On Thursday, he entered surgery, for a long tense day, where, during the course of the operation, we learned that a few things were looking better in person than they had in the xray, and not only did the surgeon downgrade his condition to stage 1, but also decided, while on the operating table, that 1 of the 3 particularly difficult aspects of the surgery did NOT need to be done after all. Good news? We'll take it.

He spent the night, leaving the hospital on Friday late afternoon, and has been resting and healing all weekend, mostly under heavy sedation and painkillers.

It looks like it will be a long and painful road to heal, but the doctors are optimistic that radiation is off the table (at least for the time being). Things can ALWAYS be worse, after all. We are wishing him well, and any and all good thoughts, prayers, letters, etc are appreciated!

I will post updates as I get them from Sharon!

** A Feat I NEVER thought he could or WOULD do. It's probably the most amazing and impressive thing I've known him to do. It also is a cold reminder that even if you QUIT after a lifetime of smoking, sometimes the damage is already done. Consider this if you are even THINKING of trying a cigarette in the near future.

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