Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another thing in common with...

my father. And it's not necessarily in a good way. And, I'm not breaking a promise by talking about it here but I'm going against his wishes.... I'm not even supposed to tell my partner. Of course I did - I share everything in that relationship.

There must be something seriously wrong with my family's genetic immune tree. My grandfather's been dealing with non hodgkins lymphoma for the last 6 years and there's some suggestions that has some immune related issues. Now, and now, and NOW... my dad's been diagnosed with CLL.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

If you notice I'm not just bolding and underlining it for grins and giggles - it's linked to Health Talk's information about it. Cuz, when I hit up the site for MS and it was one of the few sites recommended by my docs about it.... I figured it was go to go to about CLL.

I felt like I was the parent on the receiving end of that bad joke of -

Mom/Dad I'm dying of an inoperable, malignant brain tumor. Insert hysterical crying.
Until son/daughter tells them that he was just kidding - He/She's only gay.

Cuz, my dad started out the conversation that he had something to tell me, and that it was he had cancer. I was driving at the time.... luckily when it took a few seconds for it to sink into my brain that I had taken my foot off the gas while driving and had slowed considerably. Luckily it was not too long after that he delivered the punch line and said that it was cancer but it was "inactive" or something to that effect. Then he told me it was CLL.

Apparently his heart doc thought something was up after my dad had a case of the flu this past summer that he could not get over. They almost admitted him into the hospital just to give him some high dose antibiotics IV. Luckily he eventually got over it with bed rest and lots of meds and a couple of rounds of oral steroids. Anyways, he started telling me a little bit about it and how he did not want anyone but his children and wife to know about it. How he did not want the stares/comments that people get when saying the C word - cancer. He said he was already sick of people asking how he felt and how he was doing... Which was funny - he actually laughed pretty heartily when he said it and told me he now knew how I felt when I got frustrated with people asking me that! I asked him what our family did in past lives to deserve such horrible immune system luck.... he actually laughed at that too, and my father is not a laughing type of guy...

He told me that he apparently has a very mild case and that the normal blood tests were not how he got diagnosed - his blood had to be sent to a geneticist to be diagnosed. Sorta correlates with my spinal tap being negative for the proteins we MSers usually have in a spinal fluid but the number of lesions and other blood work was confirmation of my MS.... So, isn't that just some great info??? Apparently what I read up on it - my father's going to live to be a very ripe old age... especially since both his parents are still alive and kicking in their late 80s and my nana, his mother, is still living alone and driving!!!!! She's a little batty now but still kicking!!!

Geez.... he's telling me now he now has an idea of what I feel like about my MS and I now know how he felt about being told about a chronic illness diagnosis..... I know we're supposed to naturally reverse roles sometimes in our relationship with our parents but I could have done without this. My dad's very upbeat and positive about it so I will be too!!!

Course, I'm not being entirely truthful with him about my back. I told him my appointment today was a routine post-surgery follow-up. The good news was the doc said he's not too concerned, especially when I kicked booty on my strength tests but he did order another MRI... next week I get to go back in the pill box... I don't care. I fall asleep in them now. And he did clear me and actually ordered me to get back in the pool and start getting some strength back.... Yeah!!!! The saga continues... : ]

1 comment:


That's sucky news, no matter what the age or stage in life...and that role reversal thing? It's not pretty...I'm just sayin'.

Linda D. in Seattle