what we don’t know


    Today was a rather normal day at work for me except for one finger and one toe. For whatever reason, I both digits are swollen and painful. I’ve kept them slathered in Neosporin and covered, but nothing’s changed for a couple of days. Tomorrow I’m going to the doctor to she what she can do. The unusual circumstance has been ample fuel for my imagination. I begin to think there’s some sort of infection in my system that only works its way out through my fingers and toes. Ginger looked at them tonight and said, “They don’t look like leprosy.” I was grateful for her humor. It doesn’t look like the Plague either.

    But it’s what we don’t know that makes it difficult.

    Friday night Ginger left a message at the restaurant for me to call her when I had a moment. Things slowed down around eight, so I called home. She wanted to pass on news my parents had left on my voice mail, so I didn’t have to hear it by recording: my father has bladder cancer. On October 14, my dad will celebrate the tenth anniversary of his heart surgery. The big irony is my mother is a bladder cancer survivor, after having dealt with it off and on for almost fifteem years. Her experience — and our experience with her — helped temper the news somewhat and it’s what we don’t know that’s difficult.

    The pathology reports were supposed to come back today, but because of the holiday on Monday, it looks like we will not know the details of what is going on with my dad until Friday. What we need to know is how aggresive the cancer is, because that will have a great deal to do with the treatment options. I know they removed the tumor they found and it had not broken through the bladder wall. I know this is a treatable form of cance. I also know the treatment takes its toll. We don’t know much else.

    I will call on my way home from work in Friday and hope we know more.

    I’m not up to being philosophical or even creative in my writing about this tonight. Thanks for your prayers.



    1. Milton
      I’m praying.

      BTW, I’m giving my wife your “cookbook” – dressed up, of course – for one of her Christmas presents this year. I’ve printed the year off and it looks pretty good.

    2. Cellulitis, which is a skin infection that usually starts in extremeties like fingers or toes, can be very dangerous. Take a pen and draw a line around your hurting finger and toe; if the swelling and redness creeps above the line, immediately see a doctor. My husband has had it twice, both times in his feet, and both times it was treated with twice-daily IV antibiotics for a week (which meant twice-daily trips to the ER for the IV).

    3. Milton,

      Thanks for coming by my place and leaving a comment. Strangely enough, I do research on bladder cancer. Obviously, the pathology report will be crucial, but the fact that they removed the tumor and that the bladder wall was still intact is a good sign. Sending hopes and prayers to you and your father in the meantime.

    4. Kai

      I went to the doctor today and he started me on antibiotics; he did not seemed alarmed, but was glad I came in.


      I heard the Gomez song again today and thought of you. Thanks for telling me about your research — I will be in touch if I have questions. I hope you saw your link on my page.

      Thanks to all for the prayers.


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