Friday, February 15, 2013

February 15th

February 15th, 1973: "It looks malignant." That's what Dr. Bunting thinks. Dad goes into the hospital Sunday, and they will do some tests Monday and Tuesday. They will be performed by a doctor I wouldn't trust with a dog, let alone my father. But, if any lung surgery has to be performed, it will be done in St. Louis. Dr. Bunting has conferred with six well-known doctors in the country, and they'll do everything they can. I guess there is no God.

February 15th, 2013: Dad was "officially" in "trouble." The news just confirmed week-long suspicions.  Cancer treatment has come a long way in 40 years. But it's still a brutal disease. Even now however, as back then. To the best of my knowledge, if one is stricken with lung, liver, or pancreatic cancer, the odds are still stacked against that person.

Mom and dad had been talking to Dr. Bunting about strategy and types of treatment ahead of this news.  That information was given to me on an "as need" basis. I believe they were pretty honest with me about what to expect. I don't believe they wanted me to know the odds of him beating the disease, barring a miracle. Even though I was old enough to be fully aware of what was happening, and it crossed my mind dad could die. It only crossed my mind. Not my dad. No way. He'd beat it.

The doctor mentioned in the original post shall remain nameless. "Small Town Talk" is a great song by Rick Danko. In it, he sings something about "Believing half of what you see, and none of what you hear." Pittsfield is small town. Gossip existed. Kids listened to conversations their parents held at dinner, and other places. The physician in question was said to have been "knife happy," performing surgery when not really necessary. I'll follow dad's advice on this one, and be "Seen, and not heard."

As for the "six doctors" Dr. Bunting had talked to. I have no idea who they may have been. Or from where. And though dad was a human being who deserved a shot to live, he wasn't the president. He was a "regular guy,"  I would imagine the  resources were limited. I do remember the Mayo Clinic being brought up, however. I think Dr. Bunting was doing his best. Any action he took on the matter couldn't hurt. But, based on the diagnoses of where the cancer was located, not much was going to help. Dad could be treated, but not cured.

Another reference to God in the original diary, too. God was good when the news was good. God was against us when the news was not so good. I was writing for drama, and full of crap.

Dad was 57. I think mom would have been 37 at that point. And I'd just turned 14. My parents had to pretty much know he was living on borrowed time from this day forward.

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