Today is the first anniversary of the death of my father-in-law.
Today is also the day we found out that my husband's tonsil cancer is considered Stage 4.
OH! Lemme get the good news of the day outta the way--the Beautiful Physician's Assistant (and she is
quite beautiful--and she's fuggin smart--bonus!) at the Man ENT's
office who gave us this devastatingly shocking news did take out all 17
of the surgical staples today. And lemme just say I'm thankful those goddamned things are gone. No more Frankendaddy. The boys feel much better about it.
So, the four of us made an early trip for a post-op appointment in Seattle. Thank you iPad for helping us through that. And Jack-in-the-Box for nuggets and fries and shakes (not for me; I ate fruit and nuts, drank my water).
Stage fucking FOUR.
The boss level.
The pathology report puts it at Stage Four. Actually, that's Stage IV, according to the American Cancer Society. Goddamned Roman Numerals that nobody can read. There is no Stage Five or V (again, Roman Numerals--so glad that shit's done!)
The Man ENT took a total of 24 lymph nodes from Randy's neck, and of those 2 tested positive for cancer, and one of them was leaking cancer. Leaking. Cancer.
What. The. Fuck.
Like a balloon that's leaking air....
There's still cancer in his neck, because, as good as the Man ENT is, and god knows he did his best, there's only so much he can do...and he got the best margins as he could. But he couldn't get it all out.
Perhaps that's why he was a bit jittery after surgery.
I picked up on something...but wasn't sure what it was...thought it was a bit normal, you know, since the man had just recently had his gloved hands in my husband's neck.
But he knew. He even said something like "got as much as I could"..."margins were as clean as could be..."
He did his best. The science he has studied for years and his skills enabled the Man ENT to do his best to help my husband.
So, Randy will be starting radiation soon...probably in July. We meet with the new Radiation Oncologist at the Sequim Cancer Center next week. My Radiation Oncologist is no longer there, which is unfortunate. BUT, Lynn the Rock Star Nurse is there, and so I sent her a direct message in Twitter when Randy was first diagnosed, and really, we're going to meet with Lynn and break the new doc in.
According to the Beautiful Physician's Assistant, typically radiation is every week day (Mon - Fri) for 6 to 7 weeks. Right. So, mathing that, that's 30 - 35 doses of radiation.
To his neck.
His fucking neck.
Stop. Stop the fucking ride. I wanna get off. Gimme your hat so I can throw up in it.
I can't rally the troops.
I'm more scared for him than I was for me.
Mine was just a Stage Two (or "II" as the Romans say) tumor. No lymph nodes involved. But mine was a Triple Negative, which means there were no hormones attached to the tumor, so they had to give me the biggest doses of the most effective forms of both chemo and radiation.
He gets more radiation and less chemo. The Beautiful Physician's Assistant said that they typically do chemo in conjunction with radiation, two treatments, maybe three, during the 6-7 weeks he'll be receiving radiation.
I've seen those people at the Cancer Center. The ones who wheel their IV (and I mean "intravenous," not "four") pump on a pole from the infusion area over to the radiation area. And my heart bleeds for them. Every time. Because that takes a lot of energy to do that. It takes an indomitable will to take a chemo infusion and take a does of radiation at the same fucking time!!!!
Randy Anderson has an indomitable will.
I have faith in him.
And I hope that we, that he, will survive.
I'll do my best to be at peace during this stage.
I love you, dude.