A scary word, and scarier when there is no bedside manner, and during the wee hours of the morning when you are alone in a room of strangers.
He was sent for a number of tests during the following month, where on the morning of my 39th birthday, we discovered that it was Type 4 Non Small Cell Lung Cancer, which had metastasized to his brain. The battle for his life began.
He began radiation treatment, and as the doctors were dragging their feet, and not forthcoming with any information, and a complete sense of aloneness and uncertainty fell upon our family. My sisters and I started researching. I dragged my dad to a Chinese Doctor and a Naturopath and began reading books written by stage 4 survivors. My sister Jackie went with my dad to many of his appointments at the Cancer Hospital. Meanwhile, my sister Debbie, researched nutrition and supplementation.
After Stereotactic surgery on his brain, there was a bit of a waiting game, until his chemotherapy was to begin. To date, he has completed two of four chemo cycles, just started the third today, has fought infections, and had a battery of tests. Good news came when his bone scan came back clean (an incredibly scary appointment I went to with my dad, as my mum had a breakdown that morning). The CT scan of his brain came back without any change, the main tumor in the right lobe of his lung decreased by one quarter it's original size. Finally, the tumor on his lymph node (where they were worried it would grow and block off his airway, resolved itself (disappeared).
However, the battle rages on. This was a battle that my Uncle Tony, Zia (Aunt) Gigetta, Uncle Frank, Grandpa, and my Nonno (Italian grandpa), and Asti (my dog) all lost.
So, when my friend Tom signed up for the ride I donated money towards his fundraising, and thought, "maybe I should ride." I went to work for a few days, and when I got back home I was skyping Tom and Pam, during that conversation I signed up. Pam signed up, and I knew I could count on Sabrina to join the fun. After all it will be great training for the death race.