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I am so happy I have found a resource like this. I never thought my life would be turned upside down and inside out so quickly. So here is my story:

In August of the past year my 59-year-old father told me something was wrong with him, and he thought it was lung cancer. I told him to go see the doctor but he refused. In November my fiancé and I finally got married after 6 and half years of dating. Right before the wedding my father told me that when I was born the only thing he asked of god was that he see me grow-up and walk me down the aisle. I told my husband right before the wedding that I didn’t think my dad was going to hang on to much longer. On 12/19/05 I called him to check in on him and he was speaking very oddly, he was having aphasia (I didn’t know this at the time) and wanted to drive to the local VA clinic. I panicked and told him to stay put and that I was on my way. When I arrived at his house he was fine, so he got into the truck and went to the clinic anyways. Once we arrived he started getting very confused again, and the VA told me I should take him to the ER. I got him admitted to the ER and they did a CAT scan and found two lesions on his brain. By the time the CAT san happened he was experiencing really bad aphasia, and had a seizure in the ER. He was admitted into the hospital and I was told that he had a large mass (12cm) in his lung and they believed that the cancer spread to his brain. They did an MRI the next day and it was confirmed. I had no idea that lung cancer could spread to the brain. He stayed in the hospital until 12/26 clinging to life the first 3 days, then miraculously he started to get better on the fourth day. The doctors recommended hospice care. Luckily I had spoken with my father about this a few weeks prior and he agreed that it was a good idea. He was discharged from the hospital on 12/26 and moved into an assisted living facility.

He is still at the facility and under hospice care. He is still mobile and able to perform most ordinary functions, but he needs someone watching over him at all times. Ever since the seizures in the ER he has not been the same. His memory is pretty much gone and he can barely carry on a basic conversation. I stop by everyday after work to see him and you can just tell he is getting worse day by day. The hospice nurse comes by at least once a week, and every time she comes by they increase his pain medication. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to go through in my entire life, and I would not wish this on anyone. It is basically just me and my husband taking care of him, with the exception of the assisted living facility. Any advice you could provide on what I could expect, what to look for, or anything would be appreciated. Before I found this site I felt like I was alone in this battle, but now I know that there are others. Thanks for listening.

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I am so sorry to read about your Dad. He is so young. I wonder why he does not want treatment, it is so sad. I am glad you found us. This is a really difficult disease for bothe the patient and their family, we all need help. Keep us posted. Donna G.

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my husband is 58 and his lung cancer also spread to his brain. He went through radiation treatment and is doing well.

My best advice to you, as your Dad has decided against treatment, is to make as many memories as possible.

I am happy to hear your Dad was able to walk you down the aisle, Alan was in ICU and missed his daughters wedding. So that is a wonderful memory you will always have.

This is a difficult disease to live with, both as a patient and caregiver/family memeber of someone with lung cancer. many of us get through day by day. I am happy you found us and we will be here for you whenever you need us.

I will pray for you and your Dad.

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Welcome Jessica,

I'm sorry you and your father are taking this journey. You are right, it is the hardest thing I think I've ever done as well.

I don't have any advice as to what to expect, but I agree with others about taking every opportunity to build warm memories and share precious moments together. Take pictures, give your dad a journal and ask him to write his thoughts down or reflections on your family or his life story or whatever, and you can ask him to write you a letter when he feels up to it, write him a letter back telling him what he's meant to you. What's most important is that you cherish each moment you have right now and not let any moment go by with feelings unsaid.

As far as what to look for, hospice has a lot of experience in this, so let them do the looking but you ask a lot of questions. They are used to it, and should be more than happy to help you through this transition as much as they are helping your father through it.

I am so sorry you have this pain to experience at a time that should be so joyous for you and your husband; as you are just starting your lives together. You and your family will be in my prayers.

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Thank you all so much for your kind words and support, it really means a lot to me. I know my father is young and it is still hard for me to comprehend why he doesn’t want treatment, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he has fulfilled his purpose in life. His main goal since the time I was born was to raise me and see me grow up. Now that he has done that he can let go, and start his new life in heaven. When we were in the hospital the doctor said my father should have passed away two years ago based on the size of the cancer, and she could not understand why he was still around. My husband and I looked at each other and smiled because we knew why he was still here. Now that I am married it is time for him to go and I have to understand that and not be selfish, but it is still hard to let go. All I need is faith and strength and I will get through this. Thanks for listening.

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