Our Wedding Day

Our Wedding Day
On our wedding day 6/13/09 (Just 5 days before finding his tumor)

Friday, July 11, 2014


Let's get right back to where we left off....

Danny was scheduled for a PET scan and we were scheduled to see the doctor again. We only had to wait about 2 more weeks to get any sort of results/plan/see the doctor. What's two more weeks, right? Just two more weeks of hell is all....

Before we knew it, though, the days had passed. We went to work that day, knowing that by the end of our work day we'd know our course of action. We'd finally have a plan in place to beat this cancer.

We went to lunch together and we headed to Danny's dr appt. PET scan results and a plan of action, that's what we needed.
We checked in with the nurse, Danny got his vitals taken. All the norm.... Until Dr J walked in. He heaved a big sigh.
Well that can't be good.
"Okay you two... First, how are you feeling?" I'm sure he's not doing too great considering that sigh you just gave us... 
"I'm okay, nervous over these results."
"Well, I have the PET scan results here. The good news is it doesn't look to have spread anywhere. The problem is the scan didn't really light up at all. Even where we know the tumor is." But, that's good news, right? It hasn't spread anywhere else... That's GOOD. 
"Now. I feel like you deserve to know what's going on. You deserve answers." Well, FINALLY.
"This spot... It's not on the liver or in the liver. It would honestly be better if it was either of those things. Instead it's just NEAR the liver. It's recurrent colon cancer. And it's dangerously close to some arteries and veins and ducts. Being that close, there isn't any surgeon here that can go in and get it out. It's too dangerous. So. It's technically inoperable. And that makes it incurable. We could probably control the cancer with chemo for... I'd give it about two years."
Cue my world crumbling down around me.
Two years? TWO YEARS?!?! No. Ryssa and Faith need their dad. Ryssa needs MEMORIES with her Daddy. This can't be. No. Someone will operate. Someone WILL get it out of there. Someone, somewhere. We'll go anywhere. ANY. WHERE. Someone will save him!! I won't take no for an answer.
"Now, I don't know if you guys know, but I am retiring. In a week. So, I'll transfer you to Dr D____. He's very knowledgeable on colon cancer and I have complete confidence in him." Yeah yeah yeah, we knew you were retiring. TWO YEARS? This cannot be happening. 
"I don't talk to my wife about my patients... Ever. But, I have to admit I've talked to her about you this week. You're young, with a young family. A very young baby. I don't want you to settle. I want you to find a surgeon who will figure this out. So, if you're willing... I'd like to send you to MD Anderson in Houston. There is one other option, you'd travel North to ______, but I'd prefer you to go South to Houston, and MD Anderson, for this. I think if anyone will have a surgeon willing to try, it would be there." Done, we're going. Why are you even asking? That's our only option, we're going. Losing isn't an option. Giving up isn't an option. Surgery it is. We'll find someone.
"Is that something you'd be willing to do? Travel to Houston?" YES!!!!! 
"Well, we'll have to figure out how to afford it. But yes. Let's set the appointments up. I want to fight this." There's my husband. There's my fighter. Fighting for his wife and his girls. 

We walked out of that office and stopped at a desk to set up his MD Anderson appointments. A lady said she'd take care of it. Then we had to wait for Danny to get his flu shot. An afterthought, because we had anticipated him going through chemo again.
We sat in the waiting room. And I cried. Quietly, with nose running, I cried. A lady a few seats over handed me a Kleenex. And I cried some more. Danny's pager went off and he went to get his shot. And I cried some more. And then I felt a sense of urgency.
We have to get to Houston. We have to. We have to find someone that will save him. How can I help make this happen? 
And then I remembered a friend who helped us raise funds for IVF had offered to have another QM for us. I sent her a message. I didn't explain in detail, just that we'd have to travel and we'd take the help she offered.

Danny was done and we left. His mom had Ryssa that day, and I knew I couldn't go back to work and actually work. So, I decided to go back to work, get my stuff, and then head to Vickie's. Danny was going to head back to work, explain the situation, and meet me there.

I walked into work, grabbed my stuff and my pump... And ran into my mom. She could read my face all too well, as moms do. And I told her what we were told.
She hugged me.
And she told me that we'd figure this out. We'd get to Houston, somehow. And I believed her. As daughters do.

Then I had to head to get my baby. From my mother in law. I knew I was going to beat Danny there. And what in the world was I supposed to tell her in those minutes while we waited for him to show up? A mom isn't willing to wait on news of her son. So. I told her. I held Ryssa, and I told her what we were told. And somehow, I held it together.
Together we made a plan. She agreed to go to Houston with us, to take care of Rys during Danny's appointments. Rys had to come since she nursed and we couldn't leave her for a week, we just couldn't. Just knowing someone could go and help with her, one less stress and worry taken form me, was enough of a release that I felt like I had some semblance of control again. That there was hope. Hope is what we rely on, every day, it seems.
Danny finally got there, from work. And we talked some more. Went over what the doctor had said. What MD Anderson was. How long of a trip it would be. How much driving it would take, if we should drive, or fly. What was cheapest. What our options were. All the while my phone was absolutely exploding with texts since I'd sent out just a few to update people.
Faith's mom was one of the first to get updated, and we were sure to tell her NOT to say a WORD to Faith. She had been unaware of the cancer, and we wanted to keep her that way. We were NOT going to tell her that the doctors were giving us two years. We were NOT going to tell her that no surgeon here would be willing to try to save him. We were going to tell her GOOD news, once we got it. AFTER our trip to Houston, we'd tell her. And we'd tell her that they WOULD cure him.
And one of my best friends was asking questions, asking permission to share our story on a separate page, website thing, in order to  help us get to Houston.

We had a plan, things were falling into place. We were just back to the waiting game. Waiting for MD Anderson to get back with us to set up the appointments, then I could book our rooms. We could decide on the route to drive, make plans to see loved ones on the way there and back. I was making lists for things to pack. Because when a planner has no control over the big picture, they embrace what they do have control over. That's what I did.

More to come next week, I promise!

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