Daddy's 1 Year Cancer Free Anniversary!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 18, 2011 - I flew from Las Vegas, NV to Dallas, TX. My momma booked the flight for me a couple of months in advance, and a week before we realized that God has impeccable timing. Within the month before my trip, my dad's doctor found a "lump" at his general check-up. They said it didn't seem too big. He was sent to a specialist who looked closer and said about the size of a volleyball. My mom, sisters and I began to get nervous at this point. 

Is it cancerous? How did it go undetected? Where is it at? (my dad is a tall, thin man) But he's healthy - he's been renovating and building my Denton Ranch for the past 2 years without any troubles. How did no one notice it?

About a week or two before my flight into Texas, my parents met with his doctor. He called me as I was on my way back to base (I remember exactly where I was - at the stoplight on Craig and Lamb Road) when my dad calmly said, "Hey Katie, just wanted to let you know the doctor told me it's cancerous." He said it as if all he said was, "Hey Katie, just wanted to let you know we'll be making burgers for dinner." I don't remember if I cried. I do remember wanting to be mad at him for not being more concerned though, or at least for not showing it. My dad's a smart man though, with a house of all women, I think he knew if he broke down and showed fear, we'd all lose it. That's my dad, he's the backbone of our family and the only bit of testosterone and sanity we had (until my husband joined us bunch of crazies). He also informed me of his surgery date: May 18. Just a few hours before my plane landed. 

Lauren & Megan (my little sisters) picked me up from the airport. Funny that we were totally fine; we rolled down the windows and cranked John Mayer's version of Free Falling as loud as we could, I stole Lauren's lip stick, and we laughed a lot. Until we got to the hospital. We ate Italian pizza with my mom waiting for my dad to be able to have visitors. The doctor called my mom to tell her surgery went well, and that he'd email her a picture of the tumor they removed. It was a 22lb cancerous tumor of fatty tissue, so the cancer stays contained to the tumor and cannot spread to the rest of the body (thank God). The doctor held the tumor up in the picture like it was a newly delivered baby, and it was HUGE. Later, we got into his room (which we weren't supposed to be in) and all cried. I've never seen my dad in pain like that. Look so little, so helpless. At over 6' tall, my dad has always towered over me. Now, I towered over him in a hospital bed with more tubes and wires than I could count. 

We didn't stay long. My sisters and I left and headed home, arguing in the car ride about directions and which highway to take, getting lost once. The rest of the trip was filled with lots of hospital visits, more hours in the car driving between Fort Worth and Dallas than I'd have liked, spending my shopping money on gas money because seeing my dad was more important, and lots of nerves snapping because we couldn't take the pressure. The day I left, my dad came home smiling. He had a tube attached to his abdomen for drainage (i'm still grossed out because i looked at it, lauren begged him to show us) and got comfy in the old La-Z-Boy my sisters brought into the family room for him. 

I'm so happy to say that 1 hospital trip came after he came home, and due to pain his bag caused him, not anything with his tumor. He's had doctors appointments since to see if another cancerous fatty tumor has grown, but so far, so good! I'm happy to say my dad is one of the healthiest people I know. For his 50th birthday this past March, and as an anniversary of another bill of clean health, he went ski diving. Yup. Ski diving. That's my dad :)

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful story and testimony! Thanks for sharing that Katie!! :)

    p.s. your dad is braver than I am!


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