Ancient History (part one)

Five years ago today: Monday, April 9, 2001. My husband went into the radiology department for a "routine" CT scan.

He had had cancer surgery (called a whipple procedure) in November of 1999 after being diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). We had a wonderful surgeon, a Christian man who came to visit so that he could read the Bible with us - even after my husband was no longer his patient.

Fast forward to March, 2001. It was an eventful month.

My family was planning a trip to Florida over spring break to visit my parents (they had a little house on the Gulf coast.

My mom had a minor heart attack. While being treated for that, they discovered an eye condition (I can't remember the name) - the arteries going to her eyes were becoming blocked - the end result would probably be a stroke. Average life expectancy: 5 years. (yes, this was five years ago; since then medicine has progressed and she's had surgery that has taken care of the problem).

My husband was on new meds for "primary sclerosing cholangitis". this is a disease that is either caused by his cancer - or it caused his cancer. He was losing weight, not feeling well, not eating well. But we were told (in March) that from what the hemotologist could see, the cancer was gone and he didn't want to see us again until August.

On Wednesday, March 28 I talked to my mom. My dad had an angioplasty early in the day and they discovered that the main artery to his heart was 90% blocked. They scheduled a bypass for Monday (April 2). It turned out that his doctor looked at the results and said, "um. No. Friday."

So we finished packing and left for Florida on Thursday morning (in our van).

Other than being in the hospital with my dad (the Sarasota hospital has an entire wing for geriatric patients with diabetes who have had cardiac surgery- only in Florida?), my husband was not doing well. He wasn't able to eat and was exhausted. While we were in Florida I called the liver specialist, who scheduled a CT scan for Monday.

Art didn't want to slow down and he wanted to spend time with our kids. We went to the Mayakka River State Park (a favorite FL place of ours). The other day I was looking through some photos and there's a boardwalk in the tops of the trees and we have a photo of Art and I at the top of the boardwalk. We took the airboat ride and saw alligators.

Looming ahead was April 9, 2001 - the CT scan - which would hopefully tell us the extent of liver damage and what kind of progression we could expect from the PSC.

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2 thoughts on “Ancient History (part one)

  1. Having come to visit you from Jen's place where you offered comforting words re: her recent miscarriage, I can only surmise that this doesn't end well. Or does it? My, oh my, how could one cope with all of that without the Lord? You strike me as a very spiritually grounded person. I'm interested in reading Part 2. God bless.

  2. no, it didn't end well. Or maybe it does, depending on your defintion of "well". I'me content where God has me for right now.


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