One year ago today, not to the date, but to the day... Alan was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer. Many of you have followed us this past year so you are familiar with our story. I guess I just feel the need to recap this weekend a year ago.
Alan was put in the Crossett hospital by Dr. Malloy on Friday, August 29, 2008. He ran many different test on Alan through the weekend trying to figure out why he was so anemic and having other issues. We thought the main problem were stomach ulcers (Alan had 8), but obviously, that was not the problem. I was actually at home getting ready for Alan to get out of the hospital on that Sunday. All he wanted was some potato soup, so I was getting that prepared and then planning on getting him from the hospital. He called me from the hospital and said Dr. Malloy needed to talk to us. Of course I said "Why?" He told me he didn't know (which Alan already knew) but I needed to get up there. We live maybe 4 miles from the hospital. I remember taking my time b/c what could be so important that he needed to talk to both of us....I mean, it's stomach ulcers...right?! A sick feeling went through my body, but I made it up there to find Alan with a blank look and Dr. Malloy sitting there waiting to tell me the worst news of our life...so far. Basically, it went something like this "Alan has a large tumor on his left kidney. This is called Renal Cell Carcinoma or Kidney Cancer." I'm not sure what all else he said, but I remember he drew us a picture and after that the tears were flowing. He told us a little more and then he wanted us to call our parents and have them come to the hospital so he could talk to all of us. He left for a little while to give us some time. I remember laying in the bed with Alan and just crying and holding hands. What else could we do. We were confused, scared and of course still trying to take this news in. I had to pull it together to call my parents and Alan's parents. I didn't want them to get upset on the way to the hospital, but I'm sure they could hear it in my voice. Each grandparent just happen to have one of our kids, so it worked out for them to go to their "second family", the Higginbotham's. They came to the hospital, Dr. Malloy was already there waiting with us and then he told them the news. We were already crying again. **A quick note** We live in a small town anyway... where you know everyone, but Dr. Malloy is like family to us. His daughter Christian is married to Alan's brother Trent, so it was just hard for everyone. We had our moment of sadness/weakness in the hospital and right after Dr. Malloy got through talking to everyone, Bro. Eric and Bro. David walked in to visit with us and they had no idea what news we were just told. God knew we needed them at that moment. These are two wonderful Christian men that are great family friends also. Bro. Eric is our preacher. So, what's next , well, we pack up and head home. Dr. Malloy sets us up with a Urologist in Little Rock and the rest is history....or on my blog..:-).
I remember after we got home some of our friends calling to see if we were home b/c they knew Alan was supposed to get out of the hospital Sunday anyway. They'd say, "I guess you guys are home", and my response in tears, "Yeah, we're home."...in an extremely sad voice. I remember specifically talking to Kami and Paula that night. Those were two extremely hard phone calls. I really didn't even want to tell people because I honestly wasn't even sure what to tell them. I also remember the hurricane hitting a couple of days later and us loosing electricity. Now, that's a real mood killer to be sitting in the dark. I think Carson also got a bad stomach virus about this time too. Not a good week.
Last year this specific weekend was Labor Day Weekend. The whole McCone family was together that Monday. After the news we had just been handed Sunday, we needed family. I know we also did a family picture. I'm sure we all looked sad in our eyes, but we tried to put on a smile. Well, this weekend we all got together again. Christian just got a very nice new camera, so we tried to get some family pictures done. I've posted a few below. So, between the rain and humidity (notice the frizzy hair!!), we got some pretty good shots.
I know this was a long post, but I just want to post this in honor of Alan and everything he has endured this past year. He has been through alot, but he has always kept a smile on his face. I just please ask that you continue to pray for our family and that one day we will be rid of this cancer! Please remember other families in need to prayer.
I love the look on Sydney's face. It was so sweet.
Carson...what can I say. He's all boy!