Sent this afternoon to my support group:
First off I want to tell you what an old Southern Baptist minister once told me a long time ago. His name was C. H. Peaden and with all the faith in God he could muster and with a life of experience that gave him certainty like I had never known; his gravelly voice tendered by untold years of preaching , told me:
"Son, if you always turn right; you'll always be right."
I hope everyone is fine and I realize it has been some time since I have written to everyone. If was so good to see some of you at the last meeting. I cannot begin to express the pleasure and encouragement each and every one of you give to me. It was good to once again to be amongst smiles and hugs and people who care.
Now comes the confession.
I was sitting at the table in some pain. I have been having the pain for some time now. As I have shared with some of you in the past, I somehow am able to feel my cancer. I am not totally sure how odd or rare this is, but for me it is an unsettling occurrence as I go through the delightful battery of scans and test that my doctors need to have performed. I sometimes want to yell ( guess it's a good thing I can't) however, I do know and understand the need.
A few weeks ago I had an MRI of my neck. This turned out to be very clean and it appeared that my cancer was gone. I was very happy with this news and proceeded to explore other causes for the pain I was having with my doctor. Then came a PET scan. I knew. Somehow I always know. The call from Dr. Manning came.
Seems there was a spot; something new, in my upper left lung. Not a good thing but let's don't get to excited. There could be several reasons. After talking with Dr. Manning, we decided to wait this out, have another scan in about 4 months and see what if anything happens. No alarm. (However, I was concerned with how in heck I was going to get another scan authorized by my Wonderful, KIND, Caring ((can I be any more sarcastic here)) insurance company.) Sorry, I will refrain from further derogate behavior or statements on my part.
Followed by the call from Dr. Strat. Congratulations, your now are in the care of yet another doctor. You see him.....(insert the next day or so). Yes, I now have a Pulmonologist. Yes Jan, he is extremely nice. I like him. Thank you for the hug and encouragement.
Now, I assume you can figure out what he wanted. (?) Yes, indeed, like any expiring super star of the AMA, he wanted...say it with me here.....MORE TEST!
It was during this period of time that I was sitting with you at the monthly meeting and I decided to tell just 3 or 4 people. Not because I am brazen or stoic. To be honest; I am rather scared. That being said, I have learned to wait and make sure. No need telling everyone just to find out it was an old Valley Fever spot!
Fast forward to past the additional scans directly on my lungs and the blood test to dismiss anything un-thought of and to exclude those we had.
Here is where I am:
While looking at the CAT scan of my lungs, there appeared to be something that looked like a stick of chalk turned on its side and rubbed across cement. That Mr. Parker is a result of the Radiation you have had. 'Don't worry about that now!'
See these spots here, here, here, etc... that's called .... Emphysema. 'Don't worry about that now!'
About now I am wondering.... OK, what's the rub here?
"Mr. Parker, see, here is the original spot the PET scan showed". ...."Yes."
"Now, let me scroll down here and show you the second spot we have now found."
"This is another spot?"
"Yes! Smaller, but there."
"This is cancer correct?"
"Well, the biopsy will tell us for sure but.. chances are yes, more cancer."
I have always tried to be positive my friends, but I am very tired. I need your prayers and well wishes, please. I will have the biopsy on the 28th of this month. If you are inclined, it is at 11:00 A.M. Unit 600 at TMC.
A' la Pulp Fiction, they will stick a needle between my ribs and into my lung to obtain a bit of the blackness. OK, maybe not like Pulp Fiction but indulge me. There are some risk with this procedure and I am not excited by such invasiveness.
Now comes the really, really odd part. For reasons I do not wish to burden my friends with at this time, please pray that if it is in fact cancer, please pray that it is new and not a metastasis of my 4 year battle. The common sense of the second spot gives me cause for concern, but I will be positive yet again and believe this is something I can and choose to fight against. Please Pray! For now, I really want to continue digging. (See your nearest NASCAR fan for what that means.)
To Brother Peaden, I can only say I messed up somewhere and turned left. To God, I can only ask for forgiveness of my transgressions. I seem to have really screwed up somewhere. I am sorry; everyone!
Be strong my friends and loved ones, because Cancer Sucks!