Wednesday, January 13, 2016

20 days after surgery

On Sunday, we gathered as our usual Sunday lunch group (family, john, and Mable) and headed out to Mayuri. We used to eat Mayuri almost every Sunday from the time I was pregnant Mia, until about a year ago. It was our family outing and we really like Indian food. It is pretty close to the food we had when we visited India, and we love the owners. They treat us like family and have watched the girls grow from babies in car seats to the little balls of personalities they are now.

Beginning about a year ago, we started to eat more at mom and dad's house, where dad would cook a family size meal and we would just hang around and chat afterward with no rush to go anywhere. It's great and we always sprinkle some Mayuri in every few weeks for good measure.

Mariam has been over regularly to cook and ensure we have the best food available for dad and make sure there is always something to eat. There are about 6-8 people at the house around dinner time every night, so we end up with a buffet style dinner. She leaves us tomorrow to return to Egypt and will be greatly missed.

Monday, dad had his oncology appointment at the VA to discuss treatment options. After a long talk and then calling and talking to them again today, mom and dad decided to use the VA instead of West Clinic for his chemo and radiation. Dad LOVES the VA, and though I think of it as a bland hospital, that's where he wants to go, so that's where he will go. The oncologist there also practices at the West Clinic, and assured dad that the treatment is comparable.

Today, he had his neurosurgeon appointment, and got his staples taken out. I asked if it hurt, and you can only guess dad's response.

"Well, I don't know what you mean by that. It wasn't any more discomfort than I had anticipated it would be when someone pulls staples that they shot in to your head out."

"Ok. Fair enough dad. But did it hurt?"

"Pain is relative."

"Ok... Never mind."

I think he's fine... Lol. His neurosurgeon also told dad that he could have a Guinness and smoke a cigar with his smoke hole buddies, so I think that lifted his spirits a little. He's anticipating being able to break up his day a little more and get out of the house.

He has been more tired overall. Also, he confuses my littlest ones when he first sees them each night. As soon as he is sure which one is which, he remembers, but it's still a little thing that's different than before. I think it's more a vision thing, but the tumor was pressing on his optic nerve, so hopefully that's some swelling that is still subsiding.

All three of dad's sisters will be coming in town to visit at some point this week. Paula came today, and Tommye Kay and Shela will be here Friday. That's also when Mark and Wendy will be back, and Katherine and Martin come home Sunday. It will be a completely full house!

Paula, Mable, and dadWe had hoped to get the genome results of the tumor today, but haven't heard back about that yet. I am eagerly awaiting those results because throughout all of my research, there are various target mutations that stand out as making the tumor more susceptible to the treatments which will be provided. They are meeting with the oncologist again soon to set up the beginning of chemo and radiation, so hopefully we will know before then!

Annabelle playing the harmonica for Opa
I apologize for the short post, but I have become increasingly tired these past few weeks. My mind races, scanning through the data I've read, testimonials, clinical trial data... Trying to make sure I get the best information, present it to my family with confidence, and hopefully we can make the best decision with dad to ensure we have him as long as possible, with the best quality of life as possible. Like Karen and I were talking about earlier... I'm the kind of person that gathers all of the facts, plans for the worst, and hopes for the best. In this situation, I am also living each moment with dad in the present and and taking full advantage of the dad we still have right now.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and visits. They mean so much more than you could know.

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