Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We met with the oncologist this morning (but Cooper says he would have rather been splish splashing at the pool).As we sat in the waiting room, I took note of several things:
1) Chris is approximately 43 years younger than the average patient at the cancer center. So many sweet little blue haired (well, used-to-be-blue-haired) ladies. Everyone has a story to tell. I love it. Nothing like a waiting room full of stories about the human spirit and how it triumphs in the midst of chaos.
2) Although I'm sure hospice centers like to give away freebies as PR initiatives, is it really necessary to hang a Hospice Calendar in the waiting room of an oncologist's office??
3) Ex-hotels make lovely chemotherapy suites (I am absolutely positive that the Gwinnett location of Georgia Cancer Specialists was a Holiday Inn in its previous life. I tried to find a picture online to show you, but the lovely people of GCS, aka "The Cancer Answer"-bleh, are obviously aware of the hotel-like resemblance and are too embarrassed to publish such evidence).
4) Lots of people have cancer. Either that, or the 57 chairs in the waiting room are just there for looks.
5) If you want to lighten the mood of a cancer center waiting room, bring your 5 week old baby along. Seriously. Lots of smiles at this little fella.
Dr. Szabo was absolutely awesome! We fell instantly in love with him. He has a great personality and while he didn't sugar coat things, he was anything but gloom and doom. He shot straight with us and told us lots of useful things such as:
1) He doesn't trust a needle biopsy when it comes to making a diagnosis. He is mostly sure that we are dealing with Hodgkins Lymphoma but wants to do a surgical biopsy and bone marrow biopsy (Thursday morning) to confirm. He suspects Hodgkins or Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. Both have fantastic prognoses, but treatment is somewhat different, so it's important to determine (for sure) which type of cancer it is.
Cooper says "Mommy, this is BORING. Zzzzzz"
2) Chris will get chemo every other week (lasting about 3 hours each time) and will either get 6 treatments or 12, depending on the severity. Mommy and Nana say "We'll toast to that!"...we were initially expecting treatment to last 10-12 months.
3) Aside from the surgical biopsy and bone marrow biopsy, Dr. Szabo wants to do an ECHO of the heart (chemo can affect cardiovascular function, so it's important to obtain a baseline), and a PET scan (to determine how advanced the cancer is).
4) If Dr. Szabo had to take a guess at the cancer stage, he'd say Stage II (based on physical exam and lack of symptoms such as fever and night sweats). Upcoming tests will be the true indicator.
5) The side effects of chemo are expected to be mild. Chris will lose his hair and will be worn slap out, but the old days of nausea, vomiting, and yuckiness are pretty much a thing of the past. Grandada says"Thumbs up" to that!
Now get down off that chair Grandada.
6) A surgeon will insert a port so that Chris can get his meds and have his blood drawn without having to be stuck every time. No more fretting over the thought of losing arm hair to surgical tape with every blood draw, Daddy.
We are sure of one thing: Chris will come out on the other side of this nasty disease stronger and braver. There's no bursting his bubble.
We love you all and can't even begin to express how grateful we are for all of the encouragement, support, and prayers. Go team Davis!
Whew, all this cancer talk makes me tired Mommy!
Now lets go play!


  1. Dr. Szabo is wonderful!!! He was at Emory for years. You know you have our prayers as well as many others!!
    Love y'all.

  2. It's crazy how life can throw these challenges one's way when they are least expected. You know Bev's story and how we endured some rough times for a few years. In the end we both grew closer and stronger and were able to truly see just how amazing people can be. Let us know if there is anything we can do and our thoughts and prayers are with both of you. Chris is one tough son of a gun! Can't wait to meet lil Cooper.

  3. Thinking and praying for you three, if there's anything I can do lemme know!!!

  4. OH ALI!

    1) How am I so not smart and behind the times, that I am just now learning you have a wonderful blog!

    2) I think you should start a comeback show - Hanging With Mr Cooper II. Even though he's not a 6 ft tall high school teacher, I think it would be a hit. Your Cooper is awesome, way more interesting, and his parents are hilarious!

    3) My heart goes out to you and your husband with his diagnosis and tough times ahead. I suggest getting in the car and listening to Sister Hazel for 4 hrs. :) I know if anyone can get through this, y'all can because you know that God is strength and peace and joy! I'll be praying for you.

    4) My mom used to sell ports all over the South! Ok, that doesn't mean much, but not many people know what those are, so I got excited.

    Hope I'm lucky enough to see your sweet face around Lawrenceville sometime soon!