October 31, 2008

Big blow: Daughter, 24, has cancer

It's getting tiring to hear how unexpected it is for a 24-year-old to have cancer. To fight the insurance battles so soon. And to know how fast we must act.

I left Michigan on Sunday to drive to Indiana to get ready for the Girl Scout Convention, where a project was to drive Conversations That Matter and get girls to become digital storyweavers.

On Wednesday afternoon, I got the unbelievable news that my daughter has breast cancer. For the rest of the day, the phrase "first, you cry" came to mind as the tears just kept coming. I knew they needed to be out of my system before I made it to Tennessee where my daughter now lives.

The people I had been working with were wonderful - understanding why I had to leave and several people added to their jobs and new ones stepped up to take over some of the things I had taken on.

They also quickly provided support in numerous ways, making sure I ate, rested and surrounded with hugs and love.

I drove from Indy to Tennessee, through construction and detours, stopping frequently to stretch, and rewarded by being able to hug my daughter.

Today, we spent at the Hope Cancer Center learning how much we don't know yet and getting scared by what we know. One thing for sure is that it is aggressive and treatment needs to start ASAP. But first, we need to know more:

Is the cancer in one place? That requires more tests, which the insurance company says it must precertify the need first.

Did the pathologist have more information and it is just the fax that is missing it?

Yet, the doctor was frank: surgery, chemo and radiation is necessary. What's left is how much and when. And for that we need some of the blood results back, an MRI and a cat scan done.

Looks like we have found another good reason I took the buyout. I can now live in Tennessee and help my daughter survive choosing a doctor, a treatment plan and then living through it. Perhaps I can find a way to stop the weight loss, the pain.

Perhaps, my being here will help my daughter - already determined she will fight and win. In fact, she went to work today at her pizza place. She's swamped with customers, can barely stay awake and yet says she needs work to help her focus.

Much in the same way, I'm trying to help with the Girl Scout convention long distance.

But mostly, I still want to cry at the unfairness even as I know nobody ever said life was fair.
blog comments powered by Disqus