January 24th, 2019: Day 1 of 129 – Diagnosis Day

“You will never forget this phone call.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Dad’s CT came back. They released the results on MyCare It says he has advanced lung cancer.”

Immediate tears. Not even tears, sobbing.

“I’ll be right over.”

That is literally all I said. I hung up the phone.

I called Craig. Bawling. He couldn’t even understand what I was saying. I’m scrambling around the house. I’m trying to get Carver in the car. It’s so freaking cold outside. My huge pregnant belly is in the way. I have to scrape my car off. Carver wants to know why I’m crying. What do I even say.

I get to my mom’s house. I walk in the door. I’m okay for the moment. Mom is in the bathroom with kids. I can tell she’s been crying. She can tell I’ve been crying. I can tell she’s being extra chipper for the kids.

“The results are up on the computer.”

I read it over and over again.

Advanced lung cancer. 9 cm tumor. Critical result. Advanced lung cancer.

“Does dad know?”

“Not yet.”

Just then mom’s phone rang. It was Dad. He had gotten a call from the clinic. They want him to come in this afternoon to review his results. They didn’t tell him anything more than that.

“I’ll watch the kids. You can go.”

Dad came home. Mom showed him the results on the computer. Dad went down to shower before his appointment. He came back upstairs. I can remember the shirt he was wearing. Long sleeved navy blue striped. He was eating a cookie. He needed a haircut and to button just one more button. He was leaning on the baker’s cabinet he built.

“Were you expecting this?”

I was so nervous. This was so delicate. Dad and I didn’t talk about this kind of stuff yet.

“Well I’ve smoked since I was 13.”


“You know it might not even be cancer. Some people get misdiagnosed.”

Advanced lung cancer. 9 cm tumor.

“Yeah…true…” I mumbled…

“I really appreciate you watching the kids.”

“Of course.”

To think I’d lived 22 January 24ths without realizing how significant this date would be. Now I know better. I know how a phone call can bring you to your knees. I now know how any day could be that date that you’ll never forget.

I can still see the test results in my mind. Advanced lung cancer. 9 cm tumor. Critical result.

That was day 1 of 129. Diagnosis Day.



  1. Lori Sparks Douglas
    January 24, 2020 / 12:14 pm

    I miss you dad too!

  2. Ellie
    January 24, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    A very sad day. I hope you feel the love being sent your way today.

  3. Lynne Nicholson UK
    January 24, 2020 / 1:48 pm

    Wrapping you all in love. It may be tough. It will never be just a day anymore.

  4. Sherri C
    January 24, 2020 / 3:12 pm

    Tears here.
    January 14, 2020 will be a day to remember for us. My hubby had a stroke 10 days ago. A very mild one, thank goodness but super scary.

  5. Toni Wood
    January 24, 2020 / 11:35 pm

    Our son was found dead in his pickup from a massive heart attack on Feb 19 ’18. He had been dead two days. You never forget those phone calls or in our case the police and chaplain showing up at ten at night. Jeff was 52.

    • thepinkshoelaces_nobzq1
      January 29, 2020 / 2:22 am

      I’m so sorry to read this. God bless you and your family.

  6. Susan the Farm Quilter
    January 26, 2020 / 5:14 am

    A pivotal day in the life of your family. The world will never be the same. That was your family’s D-Day. You all packed as much living into the next 129 days as you possibly could. I’m so glad he got to meet Gannon and Georgia. They brought much-needed life and love into the whole family.

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