These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Friday, May 04, 2007

better days

it's been more than a week since my last blog. there has certainly been things to write about: my birthday, birthday party and other fun stuff.

but i felt it wasn't right, especially after the last blog concerning my dad. things weren't going so well. i didn't want to blog something "fun" after that last post.

well, it turns out, i still can. wednesday my dad had his appointment with the oncologist after weeks of chemo. it was a benchmark visit. they were going to determine if the chemo worked or not.

previously, his cancer marker was in the mid-400s. it was the highest it had bene since his initial testing a year and a half ago. plus, he'd been in and out of the emergency room and hospital about three times in april. there were times when he didn't look good at all, according to my family. he often sounded tired, disoriented and didn't want to talk much.

the outlook going into the doc's visit was bleak. i expected bad news.

instead linda called me and said the doc gave good news. his marker had gone done significantly. she hadn't asked mom how much. it was a quick call. however, later i found out that it was something like 1.9. i am guessing it went down all the way from the mid-400s to 1.9.

the doc also gave him some pills to take prior to going in for chemo (this coming week) and some other pills for his appetite. he got after my dad, too. he told him he had to eat to keep his weight up and to have a positive attitude. i know it's hard to do that when you've got cancer but i understand it's important. good attitide helps the mind, which in turn helps the body.

when i talked to him wednesday night he sounded better, relieved. my thoughts were that the visits to the hospital were not due to the cancer but to the chemo and to infections his body couldn't fight off because of the chemo (low white blood cell count). his cancer never caused him to go into the hospital.

he will start chemo again monday and we'll see where it goes from here for him and us. i know the chemo will not kill off the cancer completely but all we can ask for is to keep it maintained to his liver and at a low amount.