And a “fatty liver” too? Seriously!?

So after weeks of emotional ping-pong, why exactly am I so offended by the last thing my oncologist said at our meeting last Friday….”oh, and you have a bit of a fatty liver.”  Seriously? So apparently my current way of coping  with cancer (eating anything with sugar as a main ingredient) is no longer a really viable option. Who knew?

As it turns out “fatty liver” is a real thing – and it has nothing to do with how well your butt looks in your jeans.  (I know. I asked.) In the past it was something that was most often related to alcoholism.  (No comments from anyone who knew me in my college days required here.)  In any case, it is best treated by a Mediterranean diet and no sugar.  (I have to note here that I have looked at the ingredients list on what I thought of as my healthy foods and discovered that sugar is high on the list – although in my defense, most of them contain “organic” sugar. Apparently, organic doesn’t make it any healthier.  Again, who knew?)

Besides the “fatty liver” comment, the meeting went as well as a “chat” with your oncologist can go, I guess.  The results from my CT scan on Tuesday showed plenty of enlarged lymph nodes in the trunk of my body.  Unlike my fatty liver, they are apparently all on the small size – the largest being just over 2 cm.  To provide perspective, lymph nodes at 5 cm or more are an indicator for starting chemo treatments.  Oddly…to my new way of thinking, this is good news.  I’ll have more blood tests in two months and meet with her again to reassess the situation.  No treatments needed at this point – which was the high point of the meeting.  And so it goes…..

It’s been a week of emotional highs and lows.  I suspect that will be the case for some time.  I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so loved and cared for by so many people.  Thank you. So many notes, texts, phone calls, etc. of support.  One thing I have discovered is that I have to take a break from thinking about cancer at times. So….if I don’t respond to your messages, please don’t think I haven’t appreciated every word.  Indeed I have and will continue to.

The lowest point of the week was last Tuesday. It was time for Tee and I to tell Kelsey and Keenan. This is the kind of information no parent wants to share with their children.  We had already done it once when Tee had breast cancer….and there is no good way to do this.  However, we will always be indebted to our great friend Butch TerHaar for providing us with a small and very private room in our favorite restaurant (aptly called “Butch’s” in Holland).  Thanks also to our friend and server Ryan. The poor guy never knew what he would find when he brought in the next course of our meal – tears, laughter, sobbing…..a total shit show frankly.  But I am so proud of Kelsey and Keenan. They are strong, caring, smart and resilient young adults.  Couldn’t love them more.   We will do this together.

So what’s next? On Saturday I leave for Liverpool, England with 12 students and a colleague/friend.  To be honest, I’m a bit nervous about leaving. (It’s not the work part. I’ve been doing that since I discovered the first enlarged lymph node.  Sometimes it’s the work that keeps me sane.) However….Tee, Kelsey, Keenan and so many family and friends have provided much needed emotional support. How will it feel being so far away from that as I am still “adjusting?”  Honestly, I don’t know.  But I do know that I have some amazing friends in Liverpool.  After several years of going there, I think if it as my second home.  And as I have mentioned before, they invented the phrase, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”  I think I’ll be in good hands.




7 thoughts on “And a “fatty liver” too? Seriously!?

  1. Thanks for the update Tony. Was going to stop by today but got involved in too many things. I will do so tomorrow, to see you and Kelsey as well before she leaves.
    Am sure you will have amazing support from your “family” in England. From many of your posts in the past it appears they love you so “Keep Calm and Carry On”, old chap!! xxoo..
    P.S don’t forget the two angels looking down on you with love, always, no matter where u are…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the update! You have such a great sense of humor and love for life that I’m not the least bit worried about you going to London. You know our love goes with you. I already told our two angels to put in a good word for you. Travel safe and enjoy every moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Willie and Thea, Tony!! You will be just fine in England!! I know what a shock it is to get that cancer diagnosis–total disbelief, why me, why not me, scared, ok, what do we do now, etc, etc!!! And we ask everyone we can think of to pray for healing!! So that is what we are going to do for you, dear brother! Every single day!!! God bless you and keep you in His care! I love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Holy cow. I’m surprised and saddened to learn about this!! But, if any couple can beat having cancer–BOTH of them–it’s you two. I’ve been impressed with the awesome Donk (R-D) family since I babysat for you in college (not telling how long ago that was) and I continue to be impressed. Lifted up by the support and love of your great kids and amazing wife I am absolutely sure this will be just one more bump in the road for you. Love you all. Go put on some Shania Twain for me and jump on the couch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Since the news broke publicly, (family seems to be par with the GENERAL public…) I’ve be thinking about the big guy, Tony, that is, and all my run-ins with this in-law. Sometimes you can’t pick your family, it’s as simple as that.

    I’m thinking that if Tony’s oncologist knew him like I do, she would realize that even the most obnoxious of cancers wouldn’t stand a chance living within this toxic host.

    So cancer, know this…
    He moves his ships around when playing battleship.
    Imposes unorthodox rules on others. Even small children.
    Records false scores on family pool volleyball games on holidays, rain or shine.
    Any conversation, no matter how innocent the subject, goes south, way south!
    He has taught by beautiful children every nasty word in the English language, maybe foreign as well, hard to tell…
    Eats Oreos by the bag, I’ve seen this, it’s disgusting.
    I’m sure crack is involved somewhere.

    Keep it up. (No not that up! Jesus, there you go again!)
    Love you man!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: