Ok….this is not what was in our plan. But I guess it’s not about our plans, huh?
I know that there are so many of you who know and love Kevin….so I wanted to find a way to easily communicate what is going on with him (and myself) and so….this blog.
Kevin’s courageous battle has begun.
Here’s the story…from the beginning… Kevin has been having back pain for quite some time. In hindsight, there were many other symptoms that may have been related to this disease that were missed along they way. For the past few months, the pain has been getting progressively worse. He went to the doctor three times in the past month looking for answers and solutions to the continually worse back pain he was experiencing. There was a situation where he fell at home and hit his right side on a chair, so he went the third time to the doctor to see if he possibly had a broken rib.
His appointment was at 3:20 and we had dinner plans to celebrate his father and brother’s birthdays at 6:30pm. So after he finally got to see the doctor, she ordered xrays and he went back to wait for the doctor to see the results of the xray right away. He waited and waited for her. At a little after 6, she came back to see him and he was more than a little frustrated that he had to wait so long, and seriously, he had somewhere to be (not to mention he was hungry!) So he impatiently asked the doctor to tell him if he had a broken rib or what. She advised him that he did have an abnormal xray. But upon further (very quick) conversation he got her to tell him that he had ‘spots all over his lungs’. In response to his questions, she advised him this could be cancer or valley fever. He knows about Valley Fever and it’s incubation period and deduced since he knew he hadn’t been exposed in the past 5-21 days, that this was not his problem, so it must be cancer.
I found him, in his car, sobbing. He told me she used the ‘c’ word. I got very limited details from him, because in true Kevin style, he didn’t want to be late for his dad’s birthday dinner.
We sat through that dinner, for what seemed like eternity. Not wanting to ‘ruin’ the celebration. He ate one bite of his lobster and then was too hot to stay at the table and had to sit outside for awhile. I don’t know even how to begin to explain the feelings and emotions and anxiety that went along with this information. Oh yeah….did I mention, it was Friday night? So the parting conversation with the doctor was, “I’ll call you Monday and we’ll go from there.” BTW – no new options for pain relief.
Saturday was a hard day. The sun was shining. One of the most beautiful March days in Ventura. I didn’t have a clue what to do. I found my way to the beach and some time to chat with a friend and connect with my Savior about how I was going to prepare for my part in this battle. Kevin was home in pain and misery. He wanted to come see Blake play baseball and got there in time for the start of the game, but didn’t last very long because he was in such excruciating pain. Low Back, sciatic nerve as well as a very acute pain leading from the right side of his abdomen and extend across the front of his abdomen. He watched about half the game and then just couldn’t stand the pain any longer so he went home.
That evening, the pain continued. Kevin hadn’t been sleeping much at all for weeks. Most nights he would string together 1 – 2 hours. and then maybe a few hours later could sneak another 1 or 2 in. This particular night…he couldn’t string 20 minutes together. Around 2 am I told him we should just go to the ER. I figured they would have better pain meds and then maybe they could start some testing and we could get some real answers about those spots.
For some reason, he just couldn’t let me take him there until 6am. He said we could go at 6….so we waited….not sleeping until 6am and then went to the ER. He was checked in to the ER, and at first only talked of his pain, didn’t mention his abnormal chest xray. But when we got to the see an actual doctor, he mentioned that sooner and the doctor immediately ordered another xray so he could see what his Friday Dr. was talking about.
The portable xray dude did his photos within 15 minutes of that conversation. It was kind of surreal how things started moving in the hospital. Soon after the xrays were looked at the doctor came back and told us, indeed the xrays were ‘extremely abnormal’ and they needed to do a CT scan to get more information. We waited awhile for this next step to be done, but in the meantime, they were giving Kevin some medicine for his pain so at least he wasn’t quite as uncomfortable. We had the very calm conversation about it could be cancer, but it could be an infection or a virus so just wait for CT results. What seemed like less than 5 minutes later, doctor came back and let us know that indeed it was cancer. But after his evaluation of Kevin’s symptoms and his age, he believed that it was most likely testicular cancer.
WAIT?!?!? WHAT??!?! But it’s in my lungs? You do know where the testicles are, right? Oh yeah….he did because next was the exam to confirm this diagnosis. And confirm it did.
More tests were ordered and more photos were taken. BTW – have you ever had the chance to look at photos from a CT scan? It really is pretty cool…I wish I had some to share.
Ok….back to the details. He was shortly admitted to the hospital and his private room on the 6th floor. With a beautiful view of the ocean. A little warm…but not bad.
I’m not sure which day was worse, the day he heard ‘it might be cancer’. Or the day we heard, ‘yes, as you suspected, you have cancer.’. Kevin thinks the confirmation was easier because now at least we know what’s going on and we can go on to step 2…..What the hell are we going do about this???