Yesterday we had Joel’s appointment with the Urologist. It went well. He had all of his 46 staples removed. Going in he was pretty nervous about it but it turned out to not be a big deal at all-thankfully. The Dr FINALLY let us see the pictures of the cancer. He must have thought I was a crazy lady because I asked about it before & then immediately following the surgery. Yesterday we had it on our list of things to ask him but he beat us to it.“Do you guys still want to see the pictures of the cancer?” he asked. “YES!!!” we both exclaimed with much excitement. He rolled his eyes at us sarcastically & said Fine I'll go get the pictures. I don’t know what I thought cancer would look like but it turned out to look nothing like I thought it would. First of all it weighed 5-6 pounds. That is like a small baby! I told Joel-you basically ran a half-marathon-pregnant! I couldn’t believe it. They had the tumor sitting on a medical rolling cart & it took up almost the entire cart. It was bright red & very solid looking on the outside. Then he showed us pictures of it cut open. Joel had 3 different types of cancer-all encased in the one tumor. On the bottom left side you could see the white lumps of one of the cancers. The rest of it was completely black with all different types of blood veins running thru it. I couldn’t believe it was staring us right in the face this stupid cancer. Looking at it I absolutely could not believe it was in Joel’s body. We asked him well where is the kidney? He showed us a little 1 inch sliver & said basically that’s all that’s left. The tumor took over the kidney completely. I wish I could give a better description than that. I am still kind of at a loss though when I think of it. Secondly we learned that we will 100% be doing chemo. They believe that they have gotten all of the cancer out but they want to do it as a precaution because the cancer he has is so rare & unpredictable. They have set us up for an Oncology appointment in a few weeks. We are also going to be meeting with a 2nd Oncologist just so we have 2 different opinions of what we should do as far as the type of chemo. It still stinks to think of having to go through it but we just feel like we have gone this far we might as well go all the way. The decision is ours but we both want to do whatever we need to do to make sure Joel is 100% cancer free. We will still be having check-ups, CT scans, & blood work every 3 months. That will be hard every time we have to do it. Lastly, I went to OU Medical Center today. I have a good friend of mine who’s family member is in the ICU. The same ICU that Joel was in after his surgery. Today she went to visit her family member at lunch so I offered to go with her. When I walked through those hospital doors all of the memories of what we had walked through flooded back to me. While she visited her family there was one place I wanted to go-the critical care waiting room. As I walked down the hall & looked at that room I had a lump in my throat. I saw all of the waiting families & remembered the helplessness we felt that long day in that same waiting room. I wanted to go hug all of them & tell them it would be ok. As I looked to the right I couldn’t believe who was sitting there-Josephs family. They were still there-2 ½ weeks later-in the same spot. My heart broke for them. As I turned away from that waiting room I felt incredibly thankful. It put in perspective how far we have come & how miraculous Joel's recovery has been. And even though we have a ways still to go-we are on the other side of the worst part. God has been so faithful to us. We are so blessed.
Love you guys! Sarah