Got a call from my mother several days ago, she said my pops was in the hospital because of severe pain in his back. They ran some tests, did some X-rays, found a tumor on his spine in his upper back, and additional spots on his spine further down.
He's currently undergoing aggressive radiation treatments, outpatient basis... once his last treatment is over with next week - they will then reevaluate further treatments going forward and then try to determine the most effective strategy. The tumor in his upper back is about the size of a half-dollar coin, and has probably been there for a while. Obviously the pressure from the tumor has compromised his mobility, and the discovery of other spots down further on his spine is cause for serious concern.
Truthfully, I would be lying if I said that I didn't consider this outcome several months ago when he initially started having health-related issues. I live 700 miles away, so the only encouragement I could offer was detailed in numerous phone conversations over the past several months encouraging him to go get it checked out. But my pops... he's hardheaded, a stubborn old coot, he is. He was born and raised in the mountains, and those familiar with that life can better appreciate the stubborn attitudes that often come from that upbringing and way of life.
Anyway... he's at home now and resting comfortably. Initially I was going to enjoy my holidays here at home with my daughter who's visiting during Christmas break, but now it appears that I'll be heading down south with the family on Tuesday and trying to spend an enjoyable holiday with him and my mom.
Not sure what to make of everything really... still processing things I guess. Don't know how to deal with something like this, this is new territory for me. The past week has been a blur, but at the same time I've tried to not let it consume me.
Anyway... I hope each of you have a wonderful Christmas! All of you are good people and however we engage in back-and-forth banter here, know that I appreciate your friendship and wish you and yours a safe, happy holiday spent with friends and family.