The subject header confused me for a moment -- "Fwd: Your Austrian booking confirmation" -- but then I remembered that when we were down there at the weekend, C. had taken the opportunity to book the some flights for our wedding in Vienna for them. Perhaps this wasn't medical news after all....
I opened up the email:
"Very many thanks C.Somehow the email is typical of the man: it was a "good meeting" but he has a "large cancer". He needs a "radical nephrectomy"; he will be having surgery within the next three weeks.
Had a good meeting with the surgeon. I have a large cancer of the kidney confined to the organ (Stage 2). A total radical nephrectomy is recommended (removal of kidney plus surrounding tissues). He hopes to have me in hospital within 3 weeks. Week in hospital off work around 4 weeks. Regular follow ups to check for recurrence. Cheque payable to you? Prognosis depends on the histology."
This is big news.
Hell, even Raymond Terrific might agree that this is not just big news, it is massive news. ("Don't desert me boffins!"). And then, on the back of this, and without leaving enough of a gap for anyone to draw breath, nevermind for the ramifications of this news to sink in, he is asking who he should make the cheques for the flights to Vienna payable to.
But wait! We're back onto the cancer again.... his prognosis depends upon the tumour's histology.
Ridiculous, amazing, frustrating man.
Anyway, I spoke this evening. It is cancer, and because it is the size of a mandarin orange, it is classed at stage 2. It is operable - which is good - and in the next few weeks they will admit him and remove his kidney and all of the surrounding tissue. They will then examine the cancer to see how malignant it was. If it is the worst case, then the survival rate after 5 years (if they've got it all) is about 75%. If it's the best case, then the survival rate is over 90%. It's definitely cancer then, but apparently as cancers go, this is about the best news he could have got.
Again, I find it almost impossible to react emotionally to this news because of the calmness with which it was delivered by my father, and because I could hear my mum in the background talking to the dog and seemingly without a care in the world..... This is my dad we're talking about here, and yet I find myself being as rational and matter-of-fact about his health as I am about almost everything else.
It's good news though. Really. It is.
Well, it's as good as it could have been, and that will do for now.
In other news, and in a sudden change of subject material, I just wanted to announce that you are now able to subscribe to the Earworms of the Week podcast through iTunes.... (just click on the iTunes logo on the right hand side). That way all of the new podcasts uploaded will be whizzed automatically onto your computer). That struck me as kind of cool.
Out of interest, have any of you been downloading any of these?
I ask partly so that Erika - who has been putting an awful lot of work into this - can get some feedback, but also because she is going to have to delete some of the older ones to make way for the latest batch and wanted me to let you know so you have a chance to download them if you want them.
Get'em whilst you still can, ladies and gentleworms.