Friday Favorites: Dad update

If I’m being honest today, it’s been a long week. 

After having a great weekend at the Lake last weekend, Dad developed a fever on Sunday and was re-admitted to the hospital with a blood infection. He seemed to be doing ok until 2 days later when Dad woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t open his left eye, it was swollen shut. They rushed him down for a CT scan, which showed a lot of swelling around the eye and optic nerve.

Things moved very quickly and he had an MRI which confirmed the inflammation around the eye and nerve and possibly the lining of the brain. The ENT doctor did surgery to look at the area with a scope to try to figure out what was going on with his eye and found it was a very serious fungal infection. He was immediately started on anti-fungal medications. Unfortunately, he has permanently lost the sight in his left eye.

Thankfully, he was at the perfect timing of his current chemo cycle, that his white blood cells started to rise the very next day to help the medication and his body fight this infection. It’s been a very precarious few days while we wait to see if the medication and Dad’s body can turn this infection around. 

My favorite thing of this week, was my sister’s (Jenny) post on Dad’s Caring Bridge site this week. . .

After Dad came out of surgery last night, he asked for a mirror. Mom pulled out her compact and he peered into it, looking with his one good eye at the left eyelid, swollen completely shut, the muscles around the eye socket too numb to move. I held my breath — if I had just gone blind in one eye and was seeing the damage for the first time, I’d probably burst into tears.

“Well,” he said, holding the mirror out at arm’s length and tilting his head, “if I get an eye patch I’d make a great James Bond villian now.” And he grinned.
Turns out the optic nerve is not connected to the funny bone.

He’s in fine form today. When Mom and I arrived at the hospital this morning, Dad was already bantering with the nurses, who had just finished outfitting him with a temporary, clear plastic eye patch to protect the dead eye from drying out.

“Arrrrrrrrrr,” he said when he saw us standing in the doorway. “Come aboard, ye mateys — I’m designing a new line of pirate fashions.”

Team Tom is ecstatic that he’s in such good spirits. During rounds he cracked up the entire medical staff; one of the doctors finally came up for air long enough to say, “So I see the real Tom is back to his old self. Best sign of health I’ve ever seen.”

All day Dad’s kept up a running commentary in his usual manner:

“Everytime I blink now, people will think I’m winking. Your mother will be so confused.”

“For Halloween I’m gonna dress up like Captain Jack. Lukie can be my parrot.”

“You know how some men have a midlife crisis and buy a Corvette? Let’s tell people I had a midlife crisis and went pirate.” (Me: “Ok, Mom can be your first mate. See what I did there?”) (In other news: Turns out Dad can still glare at me with one good eye.)

It’s a relief to see Dad being Dad. This is serious stuff. He must fight off the infection before it claims his other eye; he needs his white blood cell count to come up dramatically, but letting the count come up runs the risk of sparking another blastic crisis; he needs to be on the anti-fungal meds for 30 days, so the bone marrow transplant will be delayed. It’s scary. I can’t think much beyond today — there’s too many horrible “what if” possibilities. I have to focus on the present moment, celebrate today’s wins, or it would all be too much.

Thank God our family uses humor as a coping mechanism. It’s the language of our people.

Dad just asked me for mandarin oranges — “gotta eat citrus so I don’t get scurvy out on the high seas.” Better go get some; if I’m mutinous he’ll make me walk the plank. It’s the pirate life for me.

Despite the seriousness of everything going on, Jenny’s post made me smile and laugh out loud. Exactly what I needed.


What made you smile and laugh out loud this week?

And cheers to a great weekend!! What are you up to??

Linking up Friday posts with Heather and Clare!

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Filed under Friday, Recap

20 Responses to Friday Favorites: Dad update

  1. I loved what your sister wrote! You dad is one strong man. I’m still keeping him and your family in my thoughts dear! XOXOXOXOXOXO
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted..Friday Finisher 7/10/15My Profile

  2. Wow, your dad is in such good spirits, that is amazing. I definitely think the power of positive thinking is very strong. Thinking of you and your family.
    Leslee @ Her Happy Balance recently posted..GoMacro Bar Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Sending positive thoughts your way. Glad your Dad is in good spirits right now.
    Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment recently posted..Iced Green Tea RefresherMy Profile

  4. Sounds like your Dad is keeping his spirit up, which has to help him fight on! I’m so sorry, Katie. I hope you have an okay weekend in spite of all this!
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted..Friday Favorites: Health, food and groomingMy Profile

  5. Katie, I’m so sorry to hear that your Dad (and you) had a hard week. I am glad to hear he is in good spirits. Your sister’s post is great. I back the idea of Luke being a parrot for Halloween. How cute would that be?! Sending lots of virtual hugs!!
    Danielle recently posted..Happy Father’s DayMy Profile

  6. I’m so sorry you & your family are going through this <3 Positive thinking is always helpful, and it sounds like that is what you all are doing. Hugs to you all!! xo
    Annette@FitnessPerks recently posted..Friday Favorites {7/10/15}My Profile

  7. Pingback: Sandhills Half Marathon Recap: Thoughts and Lessons Learned from the Worst Race of My Life |

  8. Hi Katie, I’m new to your linkup, and so far I love reading your blog! Oh my gosh! Sorry to hear about what your family is going through! It sounds like you all have a great relationship, family and humor go so well together. Sending good thoughts your way!
    Kelly @ Life as We Love It recently posted..Sandhills Half Marathon Recap: Thoughts and Lessons Learned from the Worst Race of My LifeMy Profile

  9. Your dad sounds like such a strong, optimistic man – I can totally see where you get your positive attitude. Thinking of you today and hope that you have a great weekend with your people, Katie XO
    Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants recently posted..Friday FiveMy Profile

  10. I’m sorry your dad has had a tough week, but it sounds like he is making the best of a hard situation. His humor is the best medicine!! Praying for you and your family. Hope you have a great weekend!
    Suzi recently posted..Friday Favorites #23My Profile

  11. Jodi

    You have an awesome dad and an incredible family, Katie! We’re praying for your dad’s health to improve and for your family during this time. I’m glad he’s got such a positive spirit!

  12. Heather@hungryforbalance

    I am so sorry that you and your family, especially your dad, are having to go through this. It is so wonderful that you all have each other during this tough time. You and family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers in the difficult days to come. I wish there was something more I could do for you guys. I am sending a virtual hug your way!

  13. So sorry to hear about your dad but glad he is in good spirits. Positivity goes a long way. Prayers with you and your family. Have a great weekend.
    Samantha recently posted..Friday Favorites #7My Profile

  14. I hope everything will turn out okay beautiful, my prayers go out to you and your family <3!
    Niki @ Life With Niki recently posted..Friday Favorites: All Of The Books & FoodMy Profile

  15. Sending you and your family love of positive thoughts.
    Jamie recently posted..It’s Here!My Profile

  16. It must be such a blessing that your dad’s personality is still shining through. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you and your family, but you know I’m here for you whenever you need me. On a lighter note, I think we need to see a family pirate-themed photo shoot this weekend 🙂 I’m pretty sure Luke (and your dad!) would love it 🙂
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted..Friday FavsMy Profile

  17. Your dad sounds amazing. It takes such a brave and strong person to be able to laugh and joke when things get that rough, but your dad is doing an incredible job. I love what your sister wrote and it’s clear you have an awesome role model in your dad.
    Thinking of you and your family this weekend!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food recently posted..Fancy lunches and homemade meatballs {WIAW}My Profile

  18. Your dad sounds like he has a good sense of humor. Thankful that he is doing better. I will pray for your dad tonight. <3 Don't despair.
    Emily recently posted..My Five Favorite Recovery/Body Image LinksMy Profile

  19. Sending positive thoughts and vibes your way- your dad seems like a hoot, what a great sense of humor he has! xoxo
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted..Kickin’ Off the Weekend with Madison CountyMy Profile

  20. Clara

    I actually said “oh no!!!” out loud to myself when I read this but I am so glad he is in good spirits! I’ll definitely keep you all in my thoughts and prayers!!!!