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Update on my FIL.


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Well, we went to the appointment today, me armed with my 2 pages of questions, and my in laws armed with their xrays and medical records.

We started out getting some information that we were not really prepared for - apparently he has a hiatal (sp?) hernia and a portion of his stomach has moved up into his chest cavity, and he probably has had a mild heart attack at some point. The inferior wall in the right ventrical of his heart is not functioning properly - not something serious enough to prevent him from having surgery.

He has a 1 1/2 cm tumor in his right upper lobe. They are 99% sure it is non-small cell, but could not tell me what specific kind. They do not know right now if it has spread to his lymph nodes, although they are "highly suspicious" of two of his nodes, based on CAT and PET Scan results.

As of now, they have scheduled a bronchoscopy and mediatinoscopy for Sept 1. If the lymph nodes come back neg, then they will do surgery (resection, upper lobectomy) on Sept 7. If the lymph nodes come back positive, then they want to do a 6 week round of chemo and radiation, and then surgery a few weeks after that. Because of his age, they don't feel that they can do the VAT procedure - something with not having clear fissures between the lobes.

It is scary...and it was so hard to sit there with them and be the strong, clinical one to ask all the questions, but that is what they really needed from me. I think I did ok. They want me to write it all out and send to all of the kids, so that everyone knows exactly what we are up against. Right now, I think that they are just ready to get moving. The doctor and the fellow doctor (some kind of resident) were terrific, and spent a ton of time with us. I was very happy about that, and I think that it made them much more comfortable too. The doctor even had a lung transplant that was coming together this afternoon, and still was able to spend a lot of time going through all my questions.

At least now we know...and now we can move on with dealing with everything. I want to thank everyone again for giving me the tools I needed to get the info the family needed.

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You seem to be doing a great job of gathering information. Over the years that has been my job as well. Drs these days are much more comfortable with having family members write everything down, which makes it great when you have to report out to folks who couldn't be at the Dr office. I've also learned to ask for spellings, and read everything back for confirmation at the end of a visit. That cuts down on the, "I though he said..." comments later.

I know this is very hard, but you are doing a fantastic job for your family. Keep up the great work, and you and your FIl will be in my prayers.

:) Kelly

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I hope things will feel less strange, less shocking, and less frightening as time goes on - it happened that way for me.

Sounds like your parents and siblings are counting on you for a lot of strength and, perhaps, leadership. Give yourself permission to lean on others and ask for comfort once in a while, too. You're already doing that here - be sure there's someone around to give you physical hugs, too.

Sending caring thoughts and strength to you and your family,


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