Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dad

Many of you already know this, but just before Christmas, my dad was diagnosed with cancer.  It has been an emotional time for me and my family.  I guess it started out as a small patch of squamous-cell carcinoma that they weren't too concerned about and did radiation treatments on this fall, but it metastasized to a lymph node in his neck.  So I think now it's called lymphoma?  I'm not sure.

At any rate, since my dad is a kidney transplant recipient, and since cancers behave differently in transplant recipients, they aren't exactly sure what the prognosis and percentages are for him.  He had surgery at the end of December to remove the lymph node, and subsequent scans look like they got all of the cancer.  But the tumor wasn't encapsulated in the lymph node, so they are worried about possible spreading.  And also because he only has one kidney, they didn't want to do the typical chemotherapy with him, because it can cause kidney damage.  But he started some other form of chemotherapy in February, along with radiation treatments.

He and my mom are in incredibly good spirits, or else they put on a really good show!  They are hopeful that it is just a bump in the road.  I am, too, but I find it hard some days to be quite as sure as they are.  But at any rate, he finished chemotherapy on Monday, and although he's not feeling great, I think it could be a lot worse! I think he finishes up radiation this week or early next week, and then we wait a few months until his next scan and see what they say.

So, with all of this going on, I've decided a couple of times to take off and go visit, just to be up there and spend some time together.  On the weekend of the 8th of February I went up with Calvin and Hannah and left the other kids with AnnaMarie--thank you so much!.  I had a great time spending time with Mom, Dad and Kelly and her friend, Amanda, who came along with her son Xander.  The girls and I went to a Justin Timberlake concert while we were up there, too!  I can't say I am a big fan, because I'm really not.  But going was really, really fun!

We spent time hanging out around the house with Dad, who was tired and in a bit of pain from having his port placed, but otherwise was doing really well.  It was so nice to go and spend the weekend together.

Ryan's baptism was on the 23rd, and I'll post about that later, but Danica and Zack came into town for it.  Unfortunately, however, my dad ended up being hospitalized with a port infection a few days before the baptism, and he ended up not being released until the day after the baptism.  So we were all pretty sad that he wasn't able to make it.  But we were also all very grateful that he was getting the care he needed.

So, since we were missing dad, we decided to go up for another visit with Danica and Zack on the 25th.  I brought all of the kids, and we had a really nice time hanging out with dad.  We played games and did a couple of projects and mostly just enjoyed each others company.  I'm so grateful that we live close enough to just pack up and go, pretty much whenever we feel like it!

We love you, Dad!  Here's to you kicking cancer's butt!

Here are some pictures from my trips up.

Kelly and me, doing some selfies with Dad :)


Dad always makes this sad face when he is showing someone that he feels bad for him.  So we took a sad selfie in a show of  solidarity:


Me and my Mom:



Me, Hannah, and her main squeeze, Xander:



Mom, Dad and the Babies:
 




Me, Mom, Kelly and Amanda in our homemade matching Justin Timberlake shirts!  Michael thinks I am ridiculous, but I still wear mine to bed sometimes.  It has nothing to do with Justin's face, it's just a really comfy shirt!

  
Pretending to be groupies?

 

These ones are from my trip up with Danica and Zack and all the kids.  Hannah LOVED Danica's dog, Dieter:






Giving him kisses!  He's such a good dog.



Sophie getting some Grandpa snuggles:



Danica brought Hannah this sweet Pittsburgh Pirates outfit.  I love it!

 

Steelers fan and Pirates fan!


Hannah likes to be upside down.



My Ryan guy and me!



Me and Hannah Banana.

4 comments:

Lindsey Hicks said...

I was so sorry to hear this difficult news. I'm glad you're making visits a priority.

Nancy said...

This makes me sad:( I sincerely hope that it is just another bump in the road. All my best to your dad and mom and you.

Mark Walton said...

Caroline -- you are too wonderful. Yes, it has been challenging (and somewhat painful), but there are just 2 radiation treatments after today and then I get to feel better. It is a little speed-bump in the path of life. Looking forward to seeing you and your family again very soon. Love, Dad.

Mark Walton said...

Caroline -- you are too wonderful. Yes, it has been challenging (and somewhat painful), but there are just 2 radiation treatments after today and then I get to feel better. It is a little speed-bump in the path of life. Looking forward to seeing you and your family again very soon. Love, Dad.