I have a neighbor, and friend, a friend who has helped me find the bottom of a few bottles of bourbon. Just last week he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Not a little either. The tumor is 6cm x 10cm x 10cm. The MRI showed it has spread to a local blood vessel, and liver. My attempts to find out how bad is bad, have been well not good. I haven’t heard a complete diagnosis, but it looks to be stage 4. Stage 4 isn’t bad, it is the worst possible.
He went in yesterday for surgery to remove the tumor, I suppose graft in a new blood vessel, and probably shave off the growth on the liver. I don’t know yet. Havent heard the results or the prognosis.
I fear the worst. Cancer is a bitch.
UPDATE: I just got the call from my strangely upbeat neighbor. They could not operate, it would have killed him. It is stage 4. It is also in both lungs. No cure. They can give him medicine to slow its progress, but it’s just a matter of time.
The doctors could not believe that with the level of cancer he has, that he is still bright eyed, bushy tailed, and full of vigor. Most people with this level of cancer are in wheelchairs and a lot of pain. I suppose if there is a silver lining that is it.
He intends to live what life he has left to the fullest. He has the unique circumstance none of us really want, that is he knows it is coming, and knows how it will go. He said he might come over later for a snort, when he gets some bush hogging done. I know I could use one.
When I hear stories like this, I can’t help but think of a few things. First, we should all be grateful for our lives and the people in them, because you never know when it’s all going to end. Second, the human body is an amazing thing. I wonder what genetically makes your friend able to hold out against an aggressive form of cancer better than other people. And lastly, I read about amazing research being done all the time with regard to cancer. Yet I never hear anything about clinical trials.
If someone is terminal, what’s the harm in trying some radical and untested therapy? Maybe it’s cost or funding, I don’t know.
This is slightly off topic, but sometimes when I see the little pink ribbons for breast cancer, I can’t help but get a little miffed. We did it already! Yes, breast cancer is horrible, but it’s now one of the most survivable cancers out there. I think it’s time we moved the spotlight on other more aggressive cancers.
Anyway you slice it, though, that sucks, man. Losing someone that way is never easy. Hang in there.
I was wondering the same thing, this guy could be a case study. He is on his way over right now. It is time for a shot glass of Kentucky bourbon I believe.
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Sad and ironically inspiring story. I admire the way your friend is facing the reaper. I hope, when my time comes, I can be half as brave. My thoughts are with you, and him.
I feel pretty much exactly the same way. He has accepted his fate and intends to do what he can, with what he has left. We should all do as much, with or without cancer.
i wish him the best in the days ahead
In a strange way, it is a gift. In a sad way, I think in this situation you begin to appreciate living, only to hear last drinks being called.
You know, my uncle was in much the same situation several years back. He had cancer, knew the end was near, he just accepted his fate and quietly enjoyed the time he had left.
I was able to take advantage of the situation myself, he had helped my family through a low spot in our lives many years earlier, and I had a chance to sincerely thank him for that. He requested that I would be one of his pall bearers, I accepted. You don’t always get, or make, the opportunities to say or do the right thing before someone passes. Looking someone in the eye and having that conversation isn’t easy, but you just man up and do it when you get that opportunity.
While he spent a lot of his time “getting right” with jebus, I would not, nor could not begrudge him that. That would not have been my personal plan of action, but this is the south and I understand how dire situations drive people to religion.
Now that I think about it, I have lost 3 people in my life that were close to me to cancer. My uncle being one, also one of the best friends I have ever had in my lifetime was diagnosed with brain cancer and died 3-4 months later ( I still miss that guy), and now my neighbor. Obviously my neightbor is still with us, it is a matter of time.
I intend to share a few of those drinks. We got together yesterday and had a couple of shots. We finished off a bottle of Old Charter I had, and taste tested against some Crown Royal. Charter wins for flavor. Crown for smooth. 🙂
…I know I talk a lot about having a drink, but just so ya know I’m a long way from being a slush. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good drink now and then.
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