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FINALLY!! A Diagnosis For My Father!


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I had posted about a month ago regarding my father not being able to get a "definative" diagnosis for my father. Finally, after three months, we finally have one. Squamos cell stage IIIA, and he starts chemo today. Donna and onco doc talked about a new procedure that is done by a GI doctor. That is exactly what they did for my dad. What happened is that my father was hospitalized twice in September for a colon infection called C-Diff (for short) which he picked up in the hospital in July when he was there for pnuemonia. The second time he was in, he got a fabulous doctor that I cornered and pleaded for help. I told her our plight, and begged her help to get a diagnosis. She got together a "think tank" full of doctors at University Medical Center in Tucson, and they realized they could get a biopsy going down the esophogus. The GI doctor told us the only two places this procedure is done in Arizona is at UMC and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. He also said that not many pulmonologists know about this procedure, in that it can help lung cancer patients obtain a biopsy where none could be done before. The GI doc said that they use it a lot for liver and other biopsies in the abdomen, but he said unfortunately, not many Pulmonologists refer him patients who could be greatly helped with this procedure. My fathers pulmonologist (obviously) did not even know about the procedure. Even the oncoligst said he would have never even thought about getting a biopsy that way! My father has no spread of the cancer except a few lymph nodes and the mass in his right lung which is 5cm x 4 cm. What a scary roller coaster it's been not knowing if we were going to be able to get him the care he so desperately needed. I just want to spread the word about this procedure, as it was a lifesaver for my father, and could be for many more! As my father starts chemo today (carbo/taxol) we are very afraid. My father is so weakened from having the colon infection for so long (went undiagnosed by his doctor for 6 weeks ) now comes the chemo. He will have two cycles, once a week for 3 weeks then the 4th week off. He said my father will have very few side effects, mostly fatigue and loss of hair, but not a lot of the severe effects such as vomiting and nausea. After that, radiation, which the oncologist said after the 3 1/2 to 4 week mark would get unpleasant due to the radiation field encompassing the esophogus. I must say that my father has a WONDERFUL oncologist. My father thanked him for taking such good care of him, and he responded that his philosophy is to treat all his patients as if they were his own family. You don't find that very often anymore. My mom told the oncologist she was afraid of everything that is going to be happening, and the oncologist told her "I am confident I can get him through this safely". Coming from a man we respect so much, that meant a lot. I hope this information can be helpful to someone else in this situation, and I pray for my father and everyone else jornying down this path we would have rather not taken. I will try and update when I can and let you know how he is doing!

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Prayers to you and your family during this trying time. My Mom has a very similiar dx and is just finishing up her chemo as well as having radiation during the first part of chemo. I am glad you father will be able to get treatment under way. Mom has handled her chemo pretty well, and the radiation to the esphogus is tough but its temporary and does get better.

Feel free to PM me of you have any question or just wanna chat.


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Glad you finally got a much needed diagnosis! My Dad had six rounds of carbo/taxol and had very few side effects. His biggest complaint was that when he got the taxol, it caused bone pain in his legs. Not severe, but enough to take a mild pain pill. If your Dad doesn't have any pain meds, ask for some when he gets the taxol. Dad got his treatments on Tuesday and the bone pain usually hit on Friday and was gone by Saturday night. Also, stay on top of the anti-nausea drugs. Dad took Kytril the day of his chemo, one the next morning and one that afternoon. He also took one compazine each morning. He wasn't sick a single time!

Wishing you all luck!

In my thoughts and prayers~~~


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