For those of you who may not know, my father, Duane, was diagnosed with throat cancer three years ago. He underwent several radiation treatments, finishing his last treatment just two days before Miss Cadence was born. He and Mom arrived almost as soon as we were released from the hospital, to stay a week with us while I recovered from my C-section, because, well, that’s just what good Dads do, and anyone who knows Duane knows that he’s a great one.
Since then, 2010, he has been cancer free, but it has been a slow battle recovering from the treatments and healing. There was a small spot, an ulcer, that didn’t seem to want to heal, some risidual pain in his throat, and a bit of raspiness in his voice that lingered even after several voice therapy sessions. And yet, every check up came back clear, and we all hoped that he would continue to improve as he healed.
This past year, Duane has experienced quite a bit more pain in his throat as well as his ears. And, since August, has lost about 35 pounds. Just before Thanksgiving, he underwent a biopsy and CAT scan and we got the news that the cancer had returned.
As I sit here writing this, Dad is undergoing surgery to remove the cancer which has affected his voice box and one lymph node. His doctors are extremely optimistic, not only for a complete recovery (including the return of Dad’s voice after speech therapy), but also for a much improved quality of life for many years to come. Mom, Lindy, Richard and I are all at the hospital right now, watching Dad’s name on the Leaderboard (that’s not really what it’s called, but we all agreed it feels like we’re keeping an eye on the current score at The Master’s). It will be a long day of surgery, and at least a week of recovery in the hospital before Duane is released home to relax and heal.
For those of you who are the praying kind, please include us. For those of you who choose to send kind words and well wishes instead, I know Duane would love to hear them. Keep in mind that he won’t be allowed to speak for at least three days after the surgery, so now would be the time to repay him for all of the jokes and harassment he may have doled out to you over the years. (And I know there are a lot of you who should be jumping at that opportunity). I promise I will be checking in when I can and posting updates. It’s times like these that I am especially grateful for being able to reach so many people between this blog and my Facebook page, so please spread the word. And thank you all in advance for all of the support!!!
And wouldn’t you know that our sweet Cosette even wanted to let Duane know she was thinking about him when she returned from her nightly North Pole visit. This is where we found her this morning, having a drink in Duane’s honor.
All he asked is that Cosette leave him a little so he can have a celebratory drink when he “gets out of jail.”
Don’t worry, Duane, we’ll have one waiting for you. 🙂