Thursday, June 01, 2006

June 1

I went to work this morning because I had a meeting with a carrier. After the meeting I left for the appointment with Dr. Jervis. Bill and Christi went with me. We arrived in his office and sat to wait. It had been a long night and I was pretty tired. We went in his office and I saw Maria again. She was a nurse that was so nice to me when I went to his office the first time. She was super nice again. I do not think she knew why I was there at the time, but her being nice made a big difference for me. Any way, we went into the room and Dr. Jervis came in. He brought up the CT scan and showed me horrible news. I had cancer. It was really crazy to see it in black and white. In my left lung, there was a distinct tumor of about 1.8 cm and then several smaller nodules. In my right lung, there were about 20 nodules. Basically, it was in both lungs. I had lung cancer, adenocarcinoma with a metastasis spread, stage 4 of 4.

Wow! What can I write at this time to let you know how we felt in the room? Nothing! It was the worse experience of my life so far, and I can not describe it. I asked the doctor to give us a minute and we got a little upset. After a few minutes, Dr. Jervis came back in and asked us if we had questions. Honestly, I think he was just as shocked as we were. He had no idea that he would find cancer in a 34 year old, non smoking male in good health. We had a few questions about prognosis, etc. Basically, he said that I had 4-6 months unless I went through some treatment that worked. It was very difficult to hear, but those were the facts. He is a pulmonary specialist, so he asked me to visit Dr. Chai in Matthews, NC. Dr. Jean Chai is an oncologist with Carolina Cancer Care. We decided to try to visit him that day, and Dr. Jervis got us in. As I was leaving Dr. Jervis and his office, Maria the nurse came up to me. She handed me a little wooden angel and said she would be praying for me. It was very nice of her to have such compassion at a time like that for me. She was very sweet. I will try to keep that angel in my pocket from this point on. I need one!

We went to Dr. Chai’s office and waited. We did see him, and he was very nice. Basically he explained a little more about cancer, and what kind I have. There were some positive things in this talk, but a lot was bad. We decided that I wanted to have some other opinions. Through conversations with many different people, I decided to contact Duke Medical, MD Anderson, Ohio State, Sloan Kettering, and Dana Faber. We left Dr. Chai with the hope of getting more information.

One of the hardest things I had to do was to tell all of my family that night. I asked my family to come over that night. Caroline, Mike, Tracia, Joel, Bill, Mom, Christi, and Addi were there. Even thought they had some idea something was wrong with me, no one wanted to hear the words I said. I also had to call my Dad and Grandfather, as well as Christi’s parents and close family. Everyone was shook up pretty bad. My Mom was really upset. We chatted and drank a lot of wine that night. I thought I was going to have to drive her home!

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