Okay, first off. Thank you all for the comments. Know that I am doing pretty well, probably better than you might expect actually.
Here's what we know. Dad went in sometime around September or October to get his prostate checked. I have to give Shelly credit for that one because she was the one who pressured him into going. His PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels were a little high at the time. So they tested him again last month and they went up significantly. They rate Prostate cancer using the Gleason scale and it is a 1-10 kind of rating. Because of the rapid rise in his PSA the doctors rated him at an 8, which means they consider it pretty aggresive. He had a CT scan last Wednesday and that came back clear. He has a bone scan tomorrow which will tell us more. Apparently the first place that prostate cancer spreads is into the bones. If his bones are clear they will schedule surgery and remove his prostate. He will probably need chemo, but his odds sound pretty good. Shelly came to the house with Dad to tell us. They didn't really go into the options if it is in his bones. Basically all she said was that they probably wouldn't do surgery at that point.
My dad seems really scared. As odd as it was, I found myself comforting him and telling him things like 'everything is going to be fine'.... 'we've done this before'. It was pretty strange to take on that role. It is possible that I was saying it more for my own sake, but in all honesty, that is how I feel. Something tells me it isn't in his bones, he'll have surgery and that will be that. Could be wishful thinking, but I just don't think that it is. Even if it is in his bones, I don't feel hopeless. If there is one thing I have learned from my mom's fight, it is that there is always something to try. I am not sure if I have talked about it here, I meant to, but a couple years ago I stumbled upon Dr. Max Gerson's Cancer Therapy. My mom was big on research and I have obviously been a big nerd when it comes to that too. Just because my mom died, doesn't mean I am going to sit idly by and wait for this cancer to come looking for me. The fact that my mom and my mom's mom both died of it, gives you an idea how aggressive I plan to be with this shit. My mom did get tested for the BRCA gene and it was negative, which in theory reduces my chances to "normal" levels. But I am not taking chances. Therefore, despite wanting nothing more than never hearing the word cancer again, I've kept researching. I won't go too far into Gerson's therapy but his treatment techniques have proven successful for some really aggressive cancer cases. So I feel like there are options if they won't do surgery. I feel like there is hope.
As for Lincoln, his x-ray looks like bone cancer. The vet who specializes in it, and who is actually his regular vet, is on vacation until tomorrow. She will read the x-ray tomorrow and let us know what she thinks. There is still a slight chance that it is just a strain or tear of some kind. The image wasn't the best because Lincoln was still awake. They might decide it is inconclusive and do another one while he is asleep. They gave us pain meds and anti-inflammatories. My fingers are crossed that it is a strain or tear, in which case, the meds should help him relax so it will heal.
You know it is bad when Andy is having a hard time holding it together. He didn't want to go into the other end of the spectrum, but I asked him to just lay it all out for me. If it is bone cancer and it hasn't spread, there are a few options. The most aggressive is to take him up to CSU where they would do a shoulder amputation and give him chemo. That would give him 12-18 months. They could do just the amputation and no chemo and that would give him about 6 months. We can give him meds to keep him comfortable until he isn't comfortable anymore and then put him to sleep and she anticipated that would be about a month or two. As much as we didn't want to talk about it, especially as we waited for my dad to get there and deliver his news, I kind of felt the need to discuss it. I told Andy that it seemed like an amputation would be incredibly selfish of us. As much as I love Lincoln, that kind of step would be more for us. We both agreed that the most rational option would be the meds and maybe not even wait a month before we take him in. We watched him last night and he is doing his best not to use his leg. He pretty much laid on the couch until we got him up to go to the bathroom. Granted he was pretty drugged out, but I can't really justify keeping him like that for a whole month just so I don't have to let him go.
Basically I am trying to stay really positive on both accounts. Maybe I am living in the land of denial, but I like it here and I am going to kick and scream and try to stay as long as possible.