Tuesday, February 02, 2010

She never *did* like liver.

I try very hard to bring you the funny, my friends.
Today's post is not the funny.  It is far from the funny, and I invite you to skip it. I suspect it will be weighing heavily on my mind for quite some time.  I will try not to beat you over the head with this subject in the future unless it can somehow *be* funny.

Let's say you work in a hospital, and you cross paths with a doctor in the hallway.  For no real reason, you decide to ask, "Hey doc, I've got this lumpy area here on my righthand side.  Does it look like anything to you?  Or is it nothing?"
And after a cursory fondle of your abdomen, he replies, "I think we should take a look at that."

The good news is, because you are a valued and cherished member of the hospital staff, you get every test in the book, and you get your results pronto.

The bad news is, it's cancer.  And it's stage 5.

The worse news is, while it's not liver cancer, it's some rogue cancer that has migrated from somewhere else to settle in your liver.  You see, you have some other kind of cancer... but guess what?  You don't have any symptoms to indicate where that other cancer might be.

And you're my sister.

But again, because you are a valued and cherished member of the hospital staff, you're getting attention from people who know you and care personally about you.


Oh, yes.  Because she is family, her phone call to me started with, "So, has anyone in the family talked to you recently?"
Crap.  "No one called to tell me anyone has been in the hospital."
"Oh.  Well, I've been in the hospital."
"You work in a hospital."
"Well, yeah..."
"Are you calling me with bad news?"
"It's... news..."


I'm thinking of referring to her from now on as The Lily-Livered Sister and The Disease To Be Named Later.
(See how the humor works in there?)


There's no prognosis at this time. There's no treatment in motion. They need to know what all they're dealing with first.
For what it's worth, my sister says she'd prefer chemo to surgery. And since she works in surgery, that's really saying something.


I immediately pawed through my baskets of yarn looking for something special to crochet.  I'm thinking a hat for her in case she loses her hair. Nice yarn. Pretty yarn.
I have piles of baby yarn.  It's cute and all, but not for an adult woman.
I have piles of afghan yarn.  But, no.  It's all too thick.

Suddenly, I was in a panic to finish the Broncos hat I'm making for Richmond's dad and the two hats I started for the lady at work who'd just had emergency brain surgery.  I had to finish these hats.  I had to make a hat for my sister right away!
I was in the middle of planning a trip to the "fancy" yarn shop north of town when a quiet voice in my head told me, "You have time.  She hasn't had chemo yet.  She hasn't lost her hair yet.  And, honey?  Making a hat won't cure her cancer."
And I got really sad.

 Incidentally, when I told Richmond about my sister, she immediately volunteered to be tested to see if she's a donor match.
"You've never met my sister, and you're offering her part of your liver?"
"Of course."
"Huh.  And I was gonna give her a hat."


What I want you, dear reader, to take away from this is that my sister didn't feel sick at all.  Didn't look sick, didn't act sick.  No one said, "Hey, you're looking a little yellow.  What's up?"  She wasn't even thinking about making an appointment with a doctor to have this lumpy thing looked at even though she could feel it at night when she rolled over on it.
She just happened to mention it in passing.
Dunno about you, but I don't pass a doctor in the hallway everyday to just mention stuff to.

If something is bothering you, please see a doctor about it.
Right away.

Your phone is right there...  it's right there.

If you wait, well, what kind of co-workers have your back?


Sharm said...
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Arwen said...

Oh, Roses. How definitely scary and sad and bad. What is with this year?? I thought it would be much better than last, but so far it's just as much of a trial. Believe me, my thoughts are with you and your sis. I'm glad you are seeing the humor in it...make sure she sees some, too!

Dani said...

Well I'm not sure laughter is actually the BEST medicine but it is good medicine. Keepng a positinve frame of mind is important to healing. I've got my fingers crosed for your sister and sending her all the good thoughts I can.

Thumper said...

That is some serious, serious chit... scary thing is that even when you HAVE a medical type person who can try to judge every little odd thing, the chit still happens.

I have fingers seriously crossed for your sister.

Shanna said...

Not sure what the status of my liver is after 5 years of college plus lots of partying after that but I would be willing to be tested and share some of mine. (totally tongue in cheek attempt at humor coming next) I have been meaning to lose some weight anyhow.
Email me, I live in SE Wisconsin.

The Gray Monk said...

I'm very sorry to read this Roses, I'll keep her in my prayers, its about all I can offer at this time.

bx19 said...

You all have my prayers.

Andy said...

Roses, thank you for sharing this with us. Your sister, and your entire family will be in my thoughts as you all wade through this together.

I guess everyone knows "someone" that has dealt with liver cancer. My wife and I are no exception...a very close relative.

But, medical advances have been astounding over those almost 30 years now since we dealt with it. Hey, I know that probably doesn't help. And, I should have learned by now not to "sing songs to a heavy heart." It never does any good...

Please just know that your sis will be in our prayers.

R! said...
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vw bug said...

I'll add you, her and your family to my prayers. I'm sorry to hear this is happening. Very scary.

Nikia, May and da kids said...

Sorry Roses!
I'll keep a prayer for you and your sister. That wasn't fun to hear = (


Richmond said...

Prayers still being said here - and you didn't mention the part where I said she may not want my liver ;) but I would get tested anyway.... ((hugs))

The Merry said...

Oh Roses, I am sorry.
Of course, the good news is that with a cancer diagnosis, you get bumped up the transplant list.
The doctors told my brother that he had liver cancer and started him on an experimental chemo treatment. After a few months, they said "Oh! It wasn't cancer after all. Sorry." So now he's back down on the bottom of the list.
Prayers, definitely. And hugs. This is scary stuff to deal with.

Lemon Stand said...

Roses - this is the very first time that I have not been able to read the comments on a blog. I think it is because it hits too close to home. All I can say and wish for your sister is the healing power of laughter. Humor has a way of helping both the recipient and the giver. I wish I could invite your whole family to a dinner at my house... (I know you've read the kind of atmosphere that seems to breed here) Lots of prayers, good wishes and strength being sent your family's way.