Well we've at least had some good news today.
My dad had originally been told earlier in the week that he would have a CT scan taken of his chest on Thursday, now obviously that didn't happen yesterday and he was told that he would be discharged today and that there wouldn't be any urgency in having the scan done immediately and that it could be done at a later date at the outpatients dept. My mum wasn't particularly happy about this and lets just say she made the poor doctor aware of her feelings. Anyway, when my mum arrived at the hospital this morning to go through everything with the oncology nurse and bring my dad home, he wasn't in bed and it took her a while to find a nurse who knew where he was. Yep, off having the CT scan.
The good news is that the scan showed his chest to be completely clear and so far the only signs of cancer in his lower torso is that one large tumour.
My mum and dad were sat down with the oncology nurse (who I'm told is absolutely brilliant) and she talked them through everything, they were admittedly a bit concerned about waiting five weeks now for the surgery, but the nurse called the surgeon who will be operating on my dad in and he assured them that the surgery would take place sooner than this.
My mum said they felt 100x better after speaking to the nurse, she explained that this type of cancer starts as a polyp which becomes cancerous and continues to grow at a very slow rate and it can often remain undetected for as long as ten years. The reason most people are referred to hospital because of this cancer is because they need blood tests for some other reason and their blood count is low. The only other symptom which it seems to cause is the odd bout of deli belly, and sod's law hasn't my dad tried a couple of new fast food places in the last few years and been on that Liverpool ferry more than once! You just wouldn't connect the two, would you?
The surgery will still be major, in the majority of cases it can be removed by keyhole surgery and all being well my dad's will be no different although he will have half his upper bowel, appendix, nodes and some tissue removed. Then the nodes will be tested, if they're clear then so is he, but if they contain any cancerous cells he will have to have a course of chemotherapy.
It doesn't feel quite so up in the air now and we feel like we've at least half an idea of what to expect over the next few months. It's going to be difficult but the cancer is very treatable, and we can prepare ourselves now and just get through it one day of it at a time.