I sit here at Mom and Dad’s house typing away.  …the dishwasher is gurgling, Dad’s Essiac Tea is simmering on the stove, Mom is outside trying to corral all her fish into a bucket so she can clean out her pond and in the background is the sound of Dad’s weed wacker taming the North 40, and the air is filled with the beautiful, fresh, allergy inducing scent of cut grass….all this in preparation to hit the highways tomorrow.

Recent developments have caused the Cook family to go into action. Teri had come out to Oregon from Florida to attend the District Convention in May with Mom and Dad. When she got here, she found Dad in bed feeling pretty badly. Seems he had the flu for a few weeks and he was having back pain. Not liking the way he looked, she got him into see the doctor….long story short, Dad’s cancer has not behaved and is now rearing it’s ugly head and making itself known.

On May 19th, Dad underwent a CT scan. The scan revealed emphysematous changes in both lungs and pulmonary fibrosis, so the doctor ordered an oxygen concentrator to assist Dad’s breathing while he sleeps. There is no cancer in his lungs; however, the CT scan did reveal that Dad has cancer on his abdominal wall.

The Doctor ordered a PET  scan and when the results came back, Marta, Mom and Dad were in the Doctor’s office and Teri and I were on the phone to hear what the Doctor said. It was not good news. The PET scan revealed that there were three areas of concern…the abdominal wall, the area between the abdomen and the spine and on the left side of his neck near his carotid artery. The Doctor recommended that Dad meet with an Oncologist to discuss his options; however, he told him that surgery was not an option and described it as “Cherry-Picking”, saying that Dad probably had multiple areas of cancer. He described the cancer as Stage IV and very aggressive. Not what we wanted to hear.

I flew up to Oregon to attend the Oncologist appointment with Dad, Mom and Marta. The Oncologist…Dr. Buchannan, a fine looking young man with a no-nonsense, friendly manner discussed the findings and confirmed the surgeons thoughts that surgery is not an option. Of course Dad had already stated that NO WAY, NO HOW would he consider chemotherapy….and Dr. Buchannan said that Chemo would not be smart right now. Basically, he told Dad that he should go and do what he wants to do while he is feeling up to it and keep an eye open for any symptoms.

So…since Dad and Mom just had a great visit with Roger and his family, and Marta and her’s, Dad  has stated that he wants to go and see Tonja and the kids, go to New York, down the East Coast to visit friends and family and back through Texas to see Leanna and through Arizona to see Kyle, then head back up the West Coast. He said he wanted to do it in a RV…so we have spent the last week looking at what is available. After looking at his options, considering the gas prices, costs of insurance, cost of RV parks and such…for now it looks like its the old Ford that’s gonna pull the weight. Teri and I had tried to talk him into flying to Tonja’s and then she would pick him up in Missouri and take him on the East Coast tour…but it sounds like Dad isn’t going to go for the winged-thing.

UPDATE:  per Teri     motor home    Yep, he changed his mind.  … Or rather he made a decision and purchased a motor home on Thursday, packed it Friday and left this morning.   Of course he isn’t following the intended route as published above.   Which means I can’t tell you anything about their plans except that there is enough evidence to believe they are headed to Tamie’s in Ventura.   I can say that with a measure of confidence because Tamie is riding in the motor home with them and she has to get back to work some time soon.    Other than that, I can issue fair warning that Ray and Carol haven’t changed, they are liable to show up at your door unexpected.  So if you have a desperate need to keep the house in order go ahead; otherwise Mom and Dad won’t care, they’ll just want to see your smiling face.    And since they are coming fully self contained you won’t even have to worry about making up beds.   teheehee…

Dad’s feeling good and while not looking forward to the heat he is looking forward to the trip.   So stay tuned and we might be able to keep you posted on his ETA in your area.