I talked to Papaw this morning. It was hard for me because I had no idea what to say. Here's the latest.
Papaw had a CT scan on Thursday, June 28, while I was still there because his food had been backing up again and he was in pain. The doctors found that there was some blockage in his intestines, but didn't know what it was. I asked Papaw then if he had been chewing on any Fisher Price toys lately, since that was Bison's issue a while back. :) They even ran a Barium series on Papaw just like they did on Bison to find out exactly where the blockage was! Papaw grinned and said, "Well, I guess we all work about the same way!"
They did surgery on July 5th to see what was going on. We were hoping it was scar tissue from the last surgery, which had given him problems at that time. But no. Papaw's cancer has come back. The doctors removed what they could, but they could not get it all. Apparently, it's a thin film that is in and around his intestines that would be impossible to remove. I talked to Mom a little this morning, too, who was telling me about when Papaw woke up from the surgery. The doctor said that they didn't have to tell Papaw if they didn't want to, and that they could just "play dumb" until the surgeon got there. Yeah, right. Like Mom and Mamaw were just going to lie when Papaw asked what they found. Which, of course, was his first question when he woke up. So Mamaw told him, and in typical Papaw fashion, he said, "Well, John Brown."
When I talked to him this morning, he said he was in a lot of pain from the surgery. They made the incision at the same place as the last one was. Plus, Mom said that whenever they do surgery on the intestines, there is a lot of gas that has to make its way through afterwards, so that's painful, too. Then a quick, "I love you," and we hung up.
The next step is to get Papaw strong enough so that he can have some kind of chemo. We don't yet know what kind he will have. The worst thing is that the doctors are using words like "incurable" and "inoperable," so this is what will take him; we just don't know when. The doctors haven't given us any idea of how long. The chemo is supposed to reduce the tumors so that his bowels won't be obstructed and he can live "normally."
Thanks to Tara who took my call this morning! Mamaw had stepped outside to stretch her legs and get some coffee. Tara said that Uncle Randy had stayed the night at the hospital last night. Papaw is getting so many visitors from church friends and other family, which is so nice and also so good for Mamaw! I get to go back in a couple of weeks for one of my best friend's (Adrienne's) wedding, so I hope to spend a lot of time with Mamaw and Papaw, too.
Thanks so much for your prayers. We're all trying to be strong and dwell on the good things.