Saturday, December 8, 2007

Where Do We Go From Here?

Deb and I anxiously awaited for our anticipated 9 am consult with the Oncologist, but that time came and passed. We waited as patiently as possible, but by 11 am, our nurse noticed the emotion in our faces and paged the Oncologist. She returned with news that he would stop by between 3 and 4 pm.

It was great to have visitors during the afternoon to help keep our spirits up. Even though we didn't know exactly what I was facing, it was good to share what we knew with our friends and family.

At 4 pm, when our Oncologist arrived at our hospital room for the consult, Deb and I were in great spirits. We went over my medical history, including my previous experience with melanoma when I was an undergrad in Chicago. At that time, the surgically removed melanoma was diagnosed Stage 0, which typically means that cancer had not progressed deep enough in my skin to reach the bloodstream. The Oncologist answered all over our questions the best he could with the information he had. He was optimistic regarding my recovery, saying that my condition was "serious, but not hopeless." His next steps for me were to get additional scans of my brain and bones to determine if the cancer had metastasized elsewhere in my body. In addition, I would be seeing a melanoma specialist at the Karmanos Institute.

Although I was still exhibiting pain in my left side, the consult with the Oncologist was a real lift for Deb and I, as we finally had some sense of what the future looked like for us.

When I had become ill, our DIY kitchen remodel was at a point where half of our new cabinets had been installed, but the critical (i.e. sink and dishwasher) portion was completely gutted. John, Ben, Deb's dad (Cal), Deb's mom, and Jorge (John's contractor back home) worked all day Saturday to build cabinets, prep the sink, and mud the walls. Derrick offer to be a liaison for me with the crew at the house, which was great considering all of Derrick's experience in the field. I can't thank enough all of the help we received from our family and friends aiding the completion of this project.

Thanks to Derrick and Mike for bringing Pizza Papalis for dinner. The day was capped with a visit from Deb's family, which was special for all of us. John, Cal, and Jorge returned home after the visit.

John and Carol
Mike, Derrick
Deb's mom, John, Ben, Cal (Deb's dad)


Anonymous said...

Nate and Deb,
Sorry I haven't written earlier but I wanted you to know I think and pray for you often. I also sent a note out to my friends and they are always asking about you and praying for you.
Please let me know if you would ever need someon like me to come and help, during the week or on the weekends. I am usually available. Aunt Rosemary

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nate and Deb!
it is surely nice that we can read your comments, Nate. It is good to know what you are doing, how you are feeling, what progress you are making, and what activities you are involved with.
We pray for you every day...and one thought keeps coming to my mind-I had asked grandpa when we first heard about your problem, "Is it possible to cure liver cancer?"And his answer to me was quick "Rose, with God all things are possible!"
Every time I think of you I remember his answer. We do not know God's will, but we do know He is our Heavenly Father and loves us. And He loves you! And we will unceasingly pray for you!
Good news that you may be able to go back to your office soon.
Thank you for your blogs!
With love, Grandma Rose

Anonymous said...

Dear Nate and family,
I can tell from reading your postings that you have been very blessed in your life with a beautiful family and many good friends. I hope that you continue to be blessed in even greater ways in the future. And I'm so impressed and humbled by your strength and grace in dealing with your health issues--you seem extremely brave to me--and you are an eloquent writer, as well.
Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have a son just your age and newly married; so, your situation kind of 'hits home' with me and motivates me to continue reading your comments, wish you the best, and hope and pray for your recovery.

Marge's tennis friend,