So recently you've read about me dealing with my technological trials and troubles. Well, right now we're going to talk about something..wait your reading and I'm writing! That's not "talking"! Anyway, right now I'm going to write about something that's not so amusing and much more real.
This week, which is only half over, has put before me some hefty shit to shift through. Monday was a long day at work that started off with me learning about the customer I had taken down on Friday. Fortunately, the customer was not upset and the issue didn't get escalated. From there on the day was just a little 'off' but I could put my finger on it. I'm point out that my day started around 9 or 10am when I got up. My work day started at 2pm and ended at 4am. Okay, so it's not the longest work day on record and I just sit at a computer, but still...
Okay I just jumped over to Facebook to see when I heard the first bad news of the week as I was thinking it was Tuesday. Well I'm wrong, the first bit of bad news came to me on Monday. So Monday evening at some point I hopped onto Facebook and was messaged by an old friend. She was the unfortunate bearer of bad news.
My old-school best bud Mike was taken to Fairfax Hospital with a severe brain haemorrhage on Friday and was still heavily sedated. He is sedated in an effort to keep his normally high blood pressure down to a reasonable level.
Now to give a little back story, Mike and I go way back to the early 90s and the days of Dharma coffee house in Fairfax City. We were both recovering from tough break ups and rough patches in our lives. So...we were instant best friends. Inseparable for the better part of 2+ years. We went every where together and steam rolled anyone and anything that got in our way. We were a comedic dynamic duo. But alas our paths slowly diverged and on went life. We were in tough here and there but 100s and sometimes 1000s of miles often separated us. Until recently when we both found ourselves back in Fairfax County, VA. Granted we have yet to reconnect. (this I will change!)
I feel there is something else you should know at this point in this very lengthy blog entry. About a week and a half ago my dad went under the knife to have a mass removed from his bladder that could be cancer. It was an hour long, out-patient procedure with no lasting affects.
Back to Monday evening... I've just found out about Mike and it hits me. There I sit in a wide open room (a NOC), at work, fighting back tears. Have you ever tried not to cry in a situation because you don't think it's the right time? I believe it's akin to trying not to laugh in a quiet setting. Well, I didn't do so good. So, now I have tears rolling down my face, I'm at work and trying to figure out why I'm reacting so strongly to this news. My thinking now is that it was a culmination of many things that amassed over the past week. I pull myself together and move on with my night. I work out a plan with the messenger of the news (another old-school friend) to head to the hospital together on Wednesday, as that is my next free day.
Tuesday comes and goes.....(sort of). At some point I am reminded of the fact that my parents get the results of the pathology report (remember me mentioning the mass that was removed?) the following day. So, now my day off, Wednesday, is going to consist of an early morning phone call from my parents with the results and visiting an old friend in the hospital as he fights for his life. Surprisingly I sleep fairly well.
Wednesday morning, well mid-morning. The phone rings. It's a telemarketer. Damn THEM! Shortly there after the phone rings again. It's my parents home number. It's now about 2 hours after their appointment time. My mother starts out (after the "Hello. How are you?" stuff) by stating that they didn't get the results they were hoping for. In fact they are rather serious results. Now, I would really have to get into a detailed explanation of bladder cancer, but you have the Internet. The basics are this: Bladder cancer is rated differently than other cancers, for some reason.
Here's a good link for more information: American Cancer Society
There are 4 main levels (T1 - T4) with several sub levels before T1 and a few sub levels inter-mixed along the way up to T4. These levels indicate how invasive the cancer is. Initially this is a rough determination based off of the biopsy information from the pathology report. The level can change, I'll explain how in a bit. My dad is currently at T2, which means that the cancer is in the muscle of the bladder, not good.
There are also 3 "N" stages that indicate how aggressive the cancer is, again determined by the biopsy. 1 being the least aggressive and 3 being the most. My dad is at a 3.
Now there are a couple of options available to us, well, to him and I won't really go into them or what he might do. For some reason I feel that a bit too much info. Which is actually something I don't normally encounter as I'm a pretty open book. Regardless, I'm sharing this all with you because I want to put it all down.
It hasn't really hit me yet. I believe I'm in shock at this point.
In life, while I don't personally fear death in the slightest... The death of the my folks terrifies me greatly. I'm sure it's something that no one is really comfortable with but having grown up with a very small, tight knit family, losing the either of the remaining two........is more than I can even think about. So, I don't. Ignorance is my shield for now, but it would seem that life is going to happen and I'm going to have to learn to deal/accept/cope with the consequences.
So, I ask for your warm thoughts and well wishes for my dad and good friend Mike. Thanks...