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May 24, 2018
In March, 2018, scans showed a mass in my dad's bladder and he was scheduled to remove the tumor at the end of April. On May 16th, the pathology report showed the mass tripled in size and had invaded the bladder wall. It is highly curable, treatable, and it has not metastasized. The difficult news is that chemo is going to be a long, tough road and if that is not enough, he will have to have his bladder and prostate removed. He is encouraged NOT to work throughout this since he is in a customer service industry and his white blood cell count will be wiped out. We have an appointment with oncology on the 24th and will get more answers then.
All I can think right now is how do I take this information that I can't and don't want to process and where do I begin to help him? My first concern is keeping him alive, healthy, and comfortable. With that, I need help creating care packages, letters, cards, and anything that will brighten his days. He is a positive person and I will be damned if cancer takes that light from him. He won't be very positive when Maddie shoves homemade kale chips down his throat though. It is a super food though and he will just have to deal with his granddaughter showing her love that way! :)
My second concern is how will be work without a secondary income to support him. He is not married, and as his only child, I am limited in helping him. This is going to be a challenge in which I will need to learn more about how to help him.
One of my dad's concerns is making sure his 3 dogs are active and get exercise when he can't take them for walks. He is an avid lover of nature and hikes the Cuyahoga National Park as a volunteer with his dogs. He has hiked EVERY trail there. Yes, EVERY trail. He did not miss a day of hiking in well over a year. Totally a rock star, eh? He has amazing neighbors who have stepped up to help with Muffin, Molly, and Mindy. Molly is my favorite - she earned her doggie good citizenship award and is perhaps the most loyal and attached to my dad.
Lastly, my dad is going to need a lot of good vibes and prayers, not just because he has cancer, but because, sigh, he is a Steeler's fan.