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Talked with Dad's Oncologist


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Well I spoke with Dad's Oncologist this morning about several different things. One was wheather he was strong enough for another chemo treatment this week. We agreed to stop chemo for a while and take a break.

I also asked him the tough question of how much time he thought my Dad had left. He gave me the answer I thought he would but it was not easy to hear. He said he thought my Dad's fear of death was the only thing keeping him alive and when he accepts death he will go very quickly. He did not give him more than 6 months and said I should prepare my family. He said there was no longer any chance for a miricle. I remained so composed the whole time I was on the phone with him. Almost like I was talking about a stranger. It has hit me hard since though. Scared, angry, worried about how we can go on without him. Had to tell brother and sisters latest information. My brother was shocked. He thought my Dad still had a good chance in fighting. Told me just last night Dad might have 7 years left. Really don't know what to do now. Feel numb all over. I have to take him to the Doctor today to have a pain in his stomach looked at. I pray he doesn't end up in the hospital. I also have to tell my Mom the news. How do you look your Mom in the eyes and tell her the love of her life will be leaving her soon. It all seems so unfair. I keep trying to remember how extremly blessed my family has been for so many years. We have been blessed with good health and loving relationships. We have so many wonderful memories to hold onto. I also wonder if I should get an other opinion on my Dad's condition. Although just looking at him makes you think he does not have long. It is confusing because we have been able to control cancer gowth so is he dying from treatments or cancer. Sorry I'm rambling on but it really does help to get my thought out. You all understand my pain and are so helpful to me.

Thanks again for listening.


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Doctors do not control miracles, and to tell you that there was no chance for a miracle was wrong.

I think you may want to have your father seek a second opinion, his current oncologist doesn't seem to hold out much Hope - and that's an important commodity.

Luck to you,


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Our dear Denise,

If you give up on your dad's fight he will know.

If you give up on your dad's miracle, who will cheer him on?

Continue the blessing of loving relationships by offering support and optimism. That is a gift you can give your dad every single minute of every single day.

Hugs and strength to you.


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oh no... this is so hard! I am so sorry you are going through this.

I do know your onc. He has a strong reputation of pulling every miracle out of a bag that he can. He is an aggressive fighter. That is my knowledge of this doc your dad sees.

And for this reason, I am sad to hear what he had to say.

I don't think that he would have volunteered a time-line of living, had he not been asked. And, a person will not ask unless they are prepared to hear. Even though you asked and heard, it makes it not that easy. Not one bit. I am sorry for your suffering.

Don't know if there is any advice to give to you. I just know how your heart must be breaking. I am sorry.

love, Cindi o'h

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You have a complicated situation. I think if your dad were feeling better emotionally, it would be much easier to keep up the fight and remain hopeful, but watching him in obvious emotional agony makes the thought of prolonging that, in any way, seem more cruel than caring. If the emotional experience could be brightened, I think all of you would feel much better about the whole situation.

Here's a quote I read today that applies: "In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip." ~Daniel L. Reardon

I think I would hold off saying anything gloomy to anyone just yet and wait until you've actually been to a couple of caregiver support meetings. See if you can't work with the doctor and the other people in the group on some ways to improve your dad's mood, and leave the "time limits" alone. Whether your dad has one hour or one decade of living left is less important than how he experiences the time.

My concern is, if everyone agrees to accept the notion that the situation is hopeless and all the future holds is a grim and sad slide downhill to the inevitable, I think the chances of making remaining time worth living are slim to none.

Your dad's doctor may be very skilled scientifically and medically, but I am concerned he does not put more effort into improving the quality of your dad's remaining time. He may not have such strong skills or expertise in that area. You might get a good referral to another doctor or provider at the caregiver's meeting.

Maybe it's time for someone who says, "okay, maybe there's not much we can do to stop the progression of the cancer. But we certainly can make every effort to ease this man's and this family's emotional pain."

You've only just found a couple of new resources - LCSC and the caregiver group. See what you can accomplish with these resources for a little while before making up your mind what facing reality really means in your dad's situation.

Good luck. You face a great challenge, but it need not be as grim as you are expecting.


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Becky is correct, IMO. Miracle or no miracle, all a doctor can tell you is his/her opinion and/or what the statistics say, and we all know about those ...

If they pretend to know how long you have, it's just an estimate based on their own experience - and never forget that your dad is an individual. He may outlive the doctor for all we know.

This is one of the hardest parts of all this, I think. Had I not come to terms with my own mortality a while back, I don't think I could have handled all this now. I think it's something we all have to go through, but that doesn't mean we live each day as if we are dying!

Your dad will probably know when it's time to stop treatment or see what else may be available, or whatever. You're already doing the best thing for him -- being with him and being an advocate for him.

God bless you all.


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