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went with dad to the oncologist today


Debaroo

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Today I went with Dad to the oncologist, we saw Dr. G, who has been the dr. that has worked closest with my dad since his Dx in Jan 2002. (Dr. L was the one in the hospital, and the one that told me on the phone that chemo would depend on Dads quality of life, but we'll see, BLAH!!)

Anyway, when we got there Dad got weighed in and he is down to 148lbs, NOT GOOD :( . Dad and I were talking about his not eating while we waited to see Dr. G, and he said that food tasts bad, and he just has no appetite...he can't force himself, etc.. And he also said that it worries him that he is loosing so much weight. So I told him that he really has to try, and made a mental note to ask the Dr. if they'd tried Megace.

So Dr. G comes in, listens to dads breathing and comments that he looks good (he does, its really weird), then asks dad how he feels, and Dad says "Doc, I tell ya, I feel pretty good...I mean, I AM weak, but I'm feeling better since I got the lung drained...my breathing is better, but I just can't eat." he's so sweet, really. My dad is so honest and trusting. He just does not complain, he takes all that he is going through and always figures that it could be worse, he's not in any pain (thank God) and is just tired and weak (FOOD WOULD HELP).

I asked the Dr. about the megace, and he said that it was the first med they tried to increase his appetite, and it didn't work. So I brought up the point that dad was so sick from the fluid buildup in the lungs, and he was sleeping all the time, and did he think that, maybe, it would be worth it to give the Megace another shot, seeing as how dad is feeling a bit better and breathing and not sleeping soooo much. The dr. said that I brought up a good point and that he agrees, it would be worth it to give it another try, seeing as it has a good success rate. (I love that he listens to you, and talks to you as if you were a peer-he is truly amazing)

Anyway, Dr.G says "well, you look really good. We're going to start you on Navabalene, I really think that you tolerate it well. It has a good track record with the type of cancer that Dad has, very few side effects and is done in a 1/2 hour session, one day every week. Then he asks dad, "You're getting stronger, and I really think you will tolerate it well...plus, a half hour session every week is nothing compared to past treatments you've done..." To which Dad replies "a half hour, Doc, I could do that standing on my head...whatever you think is best, doc. Really, I trust you."

Dr. G says "how would you like to start now? I'd really like to send you home for the weekend knowing that you've got something in you to fight the cancer." so, in went Dad...he wasn't even SCHEDULED for chemo, but Dr. G put him right in.

When dad got into the treatment room, the nurses were both happy and sad to see him...they laughed and joked with Dad, saying that he was jealous that Mom was getting all of their attention, and Dad really got a kick out of the reception they gave him. And he's always so agreeable and pleasant, genuinly glad to see everyone and really likes them. The Doctor was joining in in all of the good natured ribbing, it was such a pleasant environment.

The funny thing is, that my Dad changed...I could visibly see a change in my Dad as soon as Dr. G started talking to him...I really think that Dad thought the Dr. would tell him that there was nothing more they could do. But when the Dr. started talking and was so positive and PRO ACTIVE!!!! Dad was the same as he was when this whole thing started last January, and he hasn't been like that in a while.

I caught up with the dr. in the hall as dad got treatment and asked him about the liver mets. He said that they could have something to do with his lack of appetite, too. I asked about radiofrequency ablation, and was shocked that I knew about it (thank you LCSFC message board), and asked if it would benefit dad. Dr. g said that it is usually used for colon cancer, but that it is being used in treatment of other cancers and mets to the liver, he continued to say that it was "good research' on my part, and that he would keep it in mind for dad...but for right now, with all that he's been through, they will moniter him closly and in the future, he would send Dad for it if necessary!!! He has sent other patients for it. Imagine that AN OPEN MINDED DR. THAT ACTUALLY INCLUDES YOUR FEELINGS AND IDEAS IN TREATING HIS PATIENTS!!!!

Anyway, during treatment dad said that he was hungry, and I wanted to get him something to eat, but he said he'd wait until he was done. Normally this hunger feeling is fleeting, whether or not he even takes a bite of food. But when we were leaving the office he said, "Deb, I tell ya, I feel like having eggs, and bacon and hash browns." and I said, "so when we get home you and mom should go to the diner" and he said "you know what, I think we will" (he has not wanted to go out to eat in MONTHS!!!!)

And do you know what???

They DID go, and dad ate THREE EGGS, some BACON, TOAST AND HASBROWNS!!!!!!! :D:D:D:D I am ssooooooooooo happy!!!

Then for lunch he ate lentil soup and noodles, then he had some devil dogs and after dinner he wanted ICECREAM!!!

I really believe that this poor mans nerves were doing such a number on him, and HE didn't even realize it. I mean, he has been getting by on a small bowl of cereal and a bite of toast every day for WEEKS AND WEEKS!!!

I am so sorry that this post is so long. After the appt. and after I dropped dad at home and they were leaving for the diner, I went to the gym and was literally walking on air!!! My dad never thought he'd eat again. He'd watch the cooking shows and say "will I ever eat normal again?" he didn't think he would.

I just want to thank you all for being here. I don't know what will happen, but the fact that the Doctor is taking action and that Dad is up for the fight and EATING has me sooooo elaited!!!

OK, OK, I'm done. Just wanted to update you with more detail than you need :lol: , because I know you guys have nothing better to do but sit at your computer and read MY post :wink::lol: . So sorry this is so long. I'll stop now. Take care, Deb

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Deb,

What a great post and I read every word!!

It's great to read that things are doing better. It's good to hear that you have a doc. that treats you like a human being. What helps make a good doctor a great doctor is his staff and it sound like they have it all.

May you continue in these great blessings.

Hugs, Shelly

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Okay...so what if I have nothing better to do than sit at my computer and read your post? :D Like, what else would I be doing at 2 in the morning, sleeping??

Seriously, I always read your posts to keep up with your situation. You have brought your dad to life for me and I am so glad that he is doing better. What a difference a good doctor makes, huh? Glad your dad ate.. am sitting here now in the middle of the night reminiscing about diners!!!

I hope that this is the start of a wonderful summer for you and your family.

Debi

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Deborah,

It's great your dad is eating more than before. Wow he eats more than me. My dad is kind of like yours. He never complains and he really believes in the doctors. We do have dad on MEgace, we will see if it works. I am happy for you. Keep on doing what you are doing because it works. Have a great weekend!

ray

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Hi Deb,

Dont you just love those good days. I think your dad has a twin in MI. because he sounds as kind , sweet, wonderful, unselfish and a Gentleman just like my dad. We are lucky! I am so glad your dad had a good meal yesterday and I hope he has plenty more.

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Guest colleen_33

Deb that is such great news! Your dad sounds like my dads twin!! Im so glad he is eating and has a renewed faith and strength!!!! I know exactly how you feel, my dad is currently in chemo with navelbien also and hadnt eaten for a couple weeks, just this week after his chemo appt he ate three plates of goulash, more food than he had had in a long time, we all celebrated like world peace had been declared! Attitude really is everything, along with a great doctor, im glad your family has both! best wishes!!! Colleen

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Deb,

Don't worry about your posts being too long. That is how we really get to know and love you. Your dear dad sounds so sweet and I could just picture the whole situation in my mind as I read your post.

It is so frustrating to see the weight loss. I think you are right that anxiety can affect our appetitites. It does seem that your dad has renewed strength for this battle and was "fueling up" with food! Hopefully that will continue.

I am always pleased when doctors speak with us intelligently about our options and are willing to listen to our opinions. One doctor told me that many patients are much better informed thanks to the internet and that he looked forward to discussions about alternative strategies.

You hang in there girl and give your mom and dad a hug from all of us.

Blessings to you,

Peg

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Deb

So happy to read your post which I thoroughly enjoyed -- every moment of it!!! I can realte to your excitement about seeing your Dad eat heartily after such a weight loss. Your oncologist's attitude really makes me think. My Dad's oncologist is professional and shows little compassion... When I've brought up things from the message board that I've learned, he's been "short" with me and tells me Dad isn't in a trial... (I just want to discuss these things with a professional who knows more about it than I do in case I have to consider these things in the future). Anyway, we need to see my Dad's rounds of chemo through; I have no qualms about what he is being given currently. But when these rounds are over, it's goodbye to this oncologist. I think my Dad agrees with me now; he wouldn't have even thought of switching before since he was so anxious to get treatment started after a long delay. So Deb, thanks for posting that long post and helping me reaffirm my feelings. I'm so glad your Dad has a positive attitude -- that really helps. Now you all enjoy your weekend and I hope you watch those numbers on the scale go UP!

Gail

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Deb, We are so excited for you and your family. Love reading your posts, they are always welcomed and never too long for me. All your thoughts and reports are giving me knowledge and courage to follow up on the things that I feel silly asking or doing. It makes everything seem normal for what we are all going through. Isn't it wonderful to have a Doc that will listen. That's how survivors are made, by Docs listening and encouraging their patients to go forward fighting. Enjoy this wonderful week end and may it spill over into endless months of continued weight gain and improved health for your Dad. Hugs, Carol

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So good to hear the good!!!! Whatever works for you and your dad--create those moments.

I had no appetite with my chemo for the breast, but did a lot of what was called "grazing", short little meals, and a LOT of yogurt. I remember standing at my kitchen window, eating absolutely TASTELESS yogurt, and saying "God, if my appetite doesn't return, that would be okay". It did, and 40 pounds later . . .

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I Loved every word of your post.

You captured every raw feeling and small happiness and described it all so well I hung on every word and smiled the whole time.

I just want to shout (YEAH!)

GREAT NEWS! and continued prayers for you and your parents.

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HEY DEB - I didn't really want to go out on a 6 hour training ride this morning. Now that I read your WONDERFUL post about the great rebound your dad has made, I'll only be able to go for a four hour ride! :wink: That post was so long I almost had to light the fireplace and get myself something to eat! I've read long posts before, but that one takes the cake! If that post were any longer, it would have to come out in hard cover! I think I'll print it off and read it at night when I'm having trouble getting to sleep! Didn't Leo Tolstoy write something just as long?

What a beautiful read Deb!!! I think all of us get that same feeling inside as if it were our own father's doing such a GREAT job after having struggled for such a long time. Thanks. I will read your post again...and again...and probably again, it was so good!!! Take care.

David P.

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Im so happy to hear about the doctor being proactive and your dad eating!! Such a relief!!

My father is being put on Navelbine as the Carboplatin was causing his platelets to drop too low. Do you know any more than what you wrote about this drug?

Thanks :D

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DEB, SO GLAD HE IS NOW EATING. THIS SAME THING HAPPENED TO MY HUSBAND DURING THE CHEMO AND RADIATION. HE LOST 60 LBS.

EVEN THOUGH YOUR FATHER MAY NOW EAT, TRY GIVING HIM CARNATION INSTANT BREAKFAST SUPPLEMENT IN HIS MORNNING MILK. MINE DRINKS IT EVERY MORNING. HE HATED ALL THE OTHER SUPPLEMENTS BUT CAN TAKE THIS WITH NO COMPLAINTS...HE SAID THE OTHERS WERE TO SWEET AND SICKENING...

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Dear Deb,

What a fabulous post! I'm SO HAPPY FOR YOUR DAD- AND YOU TOO!!!!!!

It really makes a BIG difference when you have a great doctor - he certainly is in that category! Maybe now that Dad has had a good taste of food, he'll be more inclined to try it more often - WONDERFUL! If he's an ice cream person, try to get Edy's Expresso Chip - WOW, is it great stuff. After reading your post - I WANNA GO TO THE DINER!!!!!!!!!!!

When a doctor can make you smile in the middle of all of this horrible stuff, and when he can make you feel positive - nothing beats that. Nothing. It gives you hope, which i wish for everyone on this board. Have a wonderful weekend and tell Dad about Expresso Chip! ok??

Joanie

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I'm thrilled with the turn around experienced by your Father. And I'm grateful that you chose to share how things went because this is EXACTLY what I needed to see today! When you share this kind of information you never know who in the big, wide world might be needing to hear exactly what you've written. It's a help.

Thanks,

Fay A.

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Thank you all so much for your kinder than kind responses, and for the support!! I am glad that posting the experience was as much of a moral booster for you guys as it was for me!!! I was more than happy to share this experience with my family here!

Oh, and I just wanted you guys to know that Daddy has gained 4 lbs since friday!!! :D :D :D

Thank you again for your responses, I really got a kick out of them!!! That warm fuzzy feeling is just sooooo welcome!!!

Take care everybody! Deb

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