I was speaking with my cousin, Martin, the other day. Martin (of The Hamburger Company) suggested that I needed to extend these blog posts to include health updates of other members of the Hamburger clan; Martin — this one’s for you.
What does it say about the state of Hamburger health that I am one of the more healthy members of my family? Actually, I really only have news about my father and my sister. As I have reported previously, my father has been having quite some difficulty with breathing in the last several months. (Paraphrasing from Juan Sarmiento — who would have been my surgeon if I had had my Whipple here in Atlanta — not breathing is incompatible with life.)
For those of you just tuning in, my father had surgery last May to remove a portion of the right lobe of his lung in an effort to battle lung cancer. In recent months, though, his doctors noticed spots on his scans that were “suspicious.” Unfortunately, those spots have grown and were biopsied earlier this week. I’m sorry to say that my father’s lung cancer is back. Even though it was not unexpected, I am still deeply sadened by the news and feel, as I am sure many of my friends did when I was dealing with my cancer, unable to provide any substantive solace to my father. I spoke with him today and I found myself repeating the same platitudes that I abhored people professing to me. As of right now, there is no definite treatment plan, but I would like to ask that all of you who have been sending me thoughts and prayers to please direct some towards my dad.
A picture of me, my sister, Marjie, and my brother, Sid, at Hamburger Hannukah. (Not pictured is my other brother, Isaac, who was not able to attend the festivities.)
In other Hamburger news, my sister, Marjie, apparently felt jealous of all the medical attention my father and I were getting. This past Monday, she went to the emergency room because of gastrointestinal difficulties (let’s just say things were running through her) and she was pretty dehydrated. After a number of tests, poking, and prodding, the doctors believe she has ulcerative colitis (feel free to click the link to read more). While her family breathes a collective sigh of relief that the problem is not more serious, my sister is still stuck in the hospital until she is able to eat food again and not have it run through her.
What does it say about my family that I am one of the more healthy of its members?
As for how I’m doing? Well, tension continues to mount as we get closer to June 15. I continue to stay present; given how busy I seem to be, I don’t think I’m letting my concern about the results from this next set of scans prevent me from doing stuff and living life. I like to think that I am being realistic when I consider the possibility that these scans might reveal that MY cancer has returned. If that is the case, my family and I will deal. If not, then we have a respite until August (when I’ll have my next set of scans).
It’s odd to think that it was just over a year ago that I started my initial treatment for cancer. In fact, June 4, 2008 was day 3 of my pre-surgery chemo and radiation. As my karate instructor’s wife, Sang Le, mentioned yesterday, “What a difference a year makes!”
Until next time…