I went up to the hospital to see J yesterday. He wasn’t doing nearly as well as he was the day before.
For one thing, the pain in his leg came back, even despite him still being on morphine. They still don’t know what’s causing that but I hope they’ll do more tests tomorrow. He wasn’t eating as well either.
The real scary part is that they drained his lungs and it didn’t occur to me at first just what that could possibly mean.
They’re testing the fluid that they drained to determine if it’s a malignant pleural effusion (or MPE.) Basically what that means is that there’s fluid around his lungs and that fluid itself may be cancerous. It’s extremely common in cancer patients, unfortunately.
He’ll find out the test results tomorrow. Based on his symptoms (primarily the horrible cough he’s had since February) I will not be surprised if that is indeed what he has.
But the thing is that if that is what he has, it means he really might not have much time left at all. A lot of things I found about MPE were pretty grim. It’s usually a sign of very late-stage cancer and the average life expectancy is 3-12 months.
And if that 3-12 months includes the time since his cough began, yikes. But I don’t think it would be from the time it was diagnosed, though it might be.
He really might be gone in just a couple of months. He’s been living as though he still has plenty of time left but he might not.
Honestly, I just feel sick. I don’t want him to be gone that soon. Of course, I never want him to be gone. But this seems to have come on with a suddenness that I wasn’t prepared for at all.
Maybe he’ll get extremely lucky and will find out tomorrow that he doesn’t have MPE after all. That’s what I’m really hoping for. Because the alternative is too much to bear.