March 23, 2008

It's called Renal Cell Carcinoma...

and my beloved Big Shooter has it.

In other words, he has kidney cancer.

For those of you who we have not personally been able to get to before this - so sorry you're learning of it here. (Drs. Scheel, if you're reading this...he has about a bajillion questions just for you.)

Let me answer all the questions I hear over and over:

How long have you known? Officially March 11th. Unofficially March 6th.

How did we find out? Brian has been suffering from severe abdominal pains under his right ribs since mid December. He went to the doctor for this in mid January. They found gallstones and knew there was something else from his blood results. So .... the roller coaster ride began.

What is kidney cancer? Can it be cured? If you have to have cancer - honestly, pick your kidney. The only cure is to have it removed. If it's caught early enough, they cut it out and that's the end. No chemo or radiation...unless you're past the first couple stages...

What stage is Big Shooter's at? Honestly, we wish we could just easily say, "Why it's stage 1. Nothing to worry about." Well we can, but, we can't. The size is categorized as a 1. The scans and tests show no spreading in the nodes or metastasizing...but, they won't say it is Stage 1 b/c the tumor is growing right in the center, the cortex where all the blood from the body gets filtered...there is a possibility it has spread through microfilaments in the blood. We won't know until his kidney is removed and sent to pathology. Nothing like a little stress hangin' over your head huh?

When will that be? Remember I said what lead us down this road to begin with is his gallbladder? Well, he has to have that removed and recoop from that surgery before he can be cut in half to remove the other problem. His gallbladder will come out on Thursday, March 27th. His kidney should then be April 21st (ish).

How is everyone? For Big Shooter and me it's a wild roller coaster ride. We find if we buckle in tight together it's a little less scary. We have been riding it now for a while so like any ride we are getting used to it. The Crumb Snatchers are fine with it. Big Shooter did an awesome job telling them. (another post another time) and they are cool with it. In fact, #1 told me yesterday, "It doesn't worry me cause it's Stage 1 and he has a 95% chance of living through that..." To which #2 replied, "Huh uh! It's like 95 and a half...and a half more than that % he'll live!" Reeaallly? Where do they come up with this?

And How are you coping? Like we do with everything in our lives...with lots of inappropriate, morbid humor. For instance, tonight for Date Night we saw The Bucket List. It's about two men dying of cancer and the list they want to complete before they die...

BTW - it was a great show! We both snorted, cried, guffawed and snorted out loud with laughter again!

Do we freak? Absolutely. I cannot imagine taking a breath without my Big Shooter. He is my heart, my lifeline... Then we pull it together and start in with the morose behavior again. You'll see/read it on here sooner or later I am sure of it. You'll just have to bear with's how we cope.

What do we say to him? Honestly, nothing. He truly does not really want to talk about it. I don't mean that to sound rude. He just chooses when and who randomly. When he feels the need to talk, he does. He has said to me several times, "Maybe, I should charge $50/hour for people to fulfill their need to talk to me or give me advice about my cancer." Other times he's said, "I talked to so and so today and it was good..." Got me people! I just live on the wild side and say what comes to mind when it does...that's a stretch you weren't prepared for I'm sure! Sometimes he's cool and others he is not...which is understandable.

Speaking of coping , how do you cope with stressful situations? or news? or life? Please leave your ways/advice for me in a comment.

Love Note to My Big Shooter: When you do the deep-breath, snortin', can't breathe belly laugh, it is music to my ears.

P.S. He says in order for me to post this with his permission I have to say, "If you'd like to show you care - Send Money. It's his dying wish to drive a Ferrari."

See what I mean about morbid, inappropriate behavior and humor...?


Queen B said...

Wow. I am so sorry that you all are having to go down this road.

I will be praying for you.

Keep us posted on how we can best pray for you.

(I think handling all uncomfortable/painful/anxious situations with morbid humor is perfectly normal!!)

Anonymous said...

YOu two are in the harness of life and for life...pull'n for each other! Googd will keep you brood together through it all..Prayers from CT, NJ and FL.

FerLee said...

You are, of course, always in my prayers. We will do anything to help out...including, but not limited to, listening to morbid humor and laughing hysterically with you.

Unknown said...

Oh guys, I am so sorry. I will be praying for you all.

~ Straight Shooter ~ said...

We are FINE guys. Thank you for your support and prayers. We appreciate you ALL with all our hearts! Much love & Many hugs to each of you!

faroutmom said...

yup...morbid humor gets us through a lot here too. I am so glad that you were "allowed" to you can know. Love you all!

Karla Porter Archer said...

wow ~ I feel so dirty that I laughed through some of this post!

You two are so blessed to have such a wonderful sense of humor and each other to deal with this serious cup that has been handed to you.

I will pray for you and Big Shooter and the Crumb Catchers.

Big Hugs and blessings,