Saturday, November 23rd
We hit the road as early as we could, hoping to be in North Carolina by dinner time, in case Cetty could get away from the hospital for a bit for dinner. I don’t think I’ve told the story because this all happened so quickly; Tim and I decided to go to South Bend for Thanksgiving, and I was looking at maps trying to decide what awesome thing we should stop and see on the way. Then we found out that Amy could come with us, and not knowing if she’d ever been back to the Cashiers area since they moved when she was a toddler, we hit on coming through North Carolina and stopping at the Biltmore.
Not even days after we decided that – and I mean, literally, because we just decided about two weeks ago and not two days later we saw on Facebook a note from Cetty that Joe had not felt well, they had gone to the hospital, and he’d been diagnosed with aggressive, fast-growing, and very angry colon cancer. The fortunate part of this is that when it grew it blocked off his small intestine, and that made him sick — if it had grown even a centimeter to either side, well… well. So he was rushed into surgery that day, and they were able to get everything out. Because of how fast it was but how soon they found it, it hadn’t had time to spread.
And it just so happened that the hotel where Cetty was staying was just a block or so from the Biltmore, and the hospital was just a few blocks behind that. Perfect! We were able to get a room at Cetty’s hotel (Cetty reserved one for us before we even left Gainesville) and so all we had to do was get there. By the time we got on the road Joe was doing so much better that they were even talking of releasing him by Monday.
The drive up was uneventful. Some light rain, some traffic that Amy saw on her GPS and we were thus able to avoid, and for the most part it was just drive, drive, drive! We got to Asheville right around dinner-time and went to the conveniently located TGIFridays at the other end of the hotel parking lot.
Before we had dinner we stopped in to see Joe, and honestly, if you didn’t see his scars you wouldn’t have known something was wrong. He had lost a lot of weight in the last two weeks, and was pale, but was in fantastic spirits, laughing and joking, smiling, and oh-so-ready to go home. His appetite was great, his attitude was great… and everyone agreed that although it was just about the worst type of cancer to be diagnosed with, because of how it grew he was lucky in that instead of being silent, it basically knocked on his front door… and then was given an eviction notice. His prognosis is Clear Skies, and we look forward to seeing him and Cetty (and their pup, Ashley) when they come down in the RV in February.