The Father-in-Law Update

This isn’t a real entry, but you do need to know after the previous dramatic entry.

My 87-year-old father in law has cancer. Strangely enough, we’re all pretty upbeat about his chances for taking the tumor out.

His biopsy revealed a lymphoma in his sinus cavity behind his right eye that is about the size of a golf ball. Right now, the poor old guy looks like his doctor slugged him. One of the nurse’s asked him if he fell while they were moving him from general hospital to oncology, and I assured her that they were responsible for his grandiose shiner.

Neal has been very upbeat and funny throughout this. It’s been touching to see him and Phyllis, 84, work this whole problem out as a team. Bryon’s two older brothers and their wives think Neal is at death’s door. This is not the prognosis that the doctors are giving. They say he’s a pretty healthy old guy, and they put his chances at surviving this as excellent. I’ve told Bryon that the person to listen to is his mom. If Phyllis says he’s going, he probably is. Until then, we’re going to listen to the trained medical professionals who say that something can be done.

In late January, they will begin attacking the tumor with chemotherapy and radiation. Cancer is no walk in the park. But we know from Neal’s PET scan that this is an isolated tumor, and they feel it will respond well to treatment.

The best of all this is that Phyllis and Neal are going home today to spend Christmas there. Which has got to be the greatest gift to both of them after 3 nights at the hospital.

I’m doing okay. The last couple of days were pretty intensive as I played the sane daughter-in-law. When I got home yesterday afternoon, I mostly caught up on sleep, and today I’m trying to catch up on my writing.

Thank you all for your good thoughts, prayers, and support. I’m sure more will be needed. But I think everything’s as good as it can get for Neal, short of not having cancer.

Merry Christmas,


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

2 thoughts on “The Father-in-Law Update”

  1. Sorry to hear – but glad his prognosis is favorable. A sense of humor about the whole thing is always a good sign. I’ll be sending good thoughts!

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