Don’t Blink

My cousin suffered one of the most tragic losses a person can suffer yesterday; His child died.

Jackson Conrad Gray, named after my deceased uncle, passed away yesterday afternoon unexpectedly. Frank and his brother, Wayne, were here visiting me in Charleston when it happened. We were hanging out at an oceanside pool enjoying a couple of beers while we talked about my father and the battles he faces, while the life of his baby slipped away. I cannot begin to imagine the agony he felt during the 3 hour return ride to Greenville, or the pain he will feel for quite some time. I know it isn’t terribly uncommon for babies to die, but that doesn’t make this less tragic.

It is sad that so many of the most undeserving parents have more children than they deserve, and parents who struggle to build a family have so many losses.

Life can be so unfair. Trying to make sense of it can lead you to insanity.

Rest in peace, little Buddy.



My dad started chemotherapy yesterday. I thought it was going to be a series of weekly sessions, but it was just the one yesterday. He has another scheduled for October 4th. Before he began the chemo he was feeling like this was a death sentence, now he has a little hope and his spirits are up.

The doctor says his white blood cell count will be at the lowest on Wednesday and he will feel the worst then. So far he hasn’t had any side effects, but it’s only been 24 hours.



Update on Dad

Pathology reports took longer to come back last week. We were hopeful that we would hear something on Wednesday, but that didn’t happen. The results of the PET scan were posted online on Thursday, but we weren’t able to see a doctor until Friday at 2pm. Unfortunately, the pathologist said the stains that were done did not show markers for the cancer we thought this was, Extensive Small Cell Lung Cancer. We still don’t know what name to put on this cancer. He will hopefully have another CT scan on Tuesday to find which lymph nodes will provide the best samples for another biopsy, then they will schedule a biopsy and we’ll wait again. This next biopsy will be staining to see if this could be Lymphoma. The oncologist is hopeful for Lymphoma because it is more treatable than the small cell lung cancer.

Here are the facts we have so far: he has cancer in his right lung, a tumor on his right lung, the cancer is in his liver and his lymph nodes. What we don’t know: what the primary cancer is that we are dealing with.

This week they will also be installing a port for chemo and bloodwork. We have another appointment with the oncologist Friday morning and I plan to be there for that appointment. I hope we can find some answers so we can start treating this.

On a good note, I had a wonderful visit with him this weekend. I went with him to the last Greenville Drive baseball game on Wednesday night and then I took him flying over Clemson on Thursday. I think it’s important to stay focused on enjoying our time together so he can heal with a peaceful heart. I hope I’m able to stay strong for him.