Jump to content

the diagnosis

Guest kjdenver

Recommended Posts

Guest kjdenver

My father is 80 and a non-smoker. He developed a persistent cough after a recent gall bladder surgery. Months later the general physician ordered an x-ray. Results showed a spot on his upper lung. A cat scan and biopsy yesterday confirmed the cancer. I do not know the specific diagnosis, stage classification or proposed treatment, yet. I believe he also has a growth with blood (tumor?) in his throat. I am just starting the information gathering. I can already see this is a very supportive group, so I want to say thanks to anyone who has even read this far. I live in Denver and my father is in Richmond, Virginia. I have a brother outside Boston. My father lives alone but has a supportive partner nearby. I'm going home next week but am trying to decide whether I should stay in Virginia. I don't know how long we will have together. Trying desperately to stay in the moment. :cry: Would love to hear from other kids who live far from their diagnosed parent. My father is strong and has yet to show his vulnerability. I want to be loving and supportive, but what can I do??

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I am sure several of the members who are in the same situation will pick up on your post and will answering soon. I am a patient/survivor at the moment ahdn am going throuigh chemo. I have completed 5 3 week cycles and the last one is due this coming Tuesday. I can say that chemo has taken its toll on me and I am looking forward to the recovery period before entering the next phase of my treatment.

I am 59 years old and have 2 adult children. Both of my children have relinguished the primary care responsiility to their mother, as I have also.

your situation sounds some what different as your father is the only surviving parent. The thing to do is find out how much in control your father is, as he may be fully capable of managing his own care. Of course, if he wants it that way then let him have his way.

I hope others will answer and give better advice or the correct advice, through their own experience.

Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're looking for me but I have no answers. I live in British Columbia, Canada and my Dad lives in N.Y. My mother passed away 5 years ago. My sister lives close to my Dad and has done a lot for him (he was first diagnosed in 2000 and had a recurrence in May of this year). However, she was having a lot of job pressure due to time off, she recently married and they want to save for a house... Since I am a teacher and have summers off, I have spent virtually all summer here. As a matter of fact, I left my job two weeks early due to my sister's employer making her uncomfortable with taking time off to take my Dad to various appts.

Anyhow, up until the start of chemo, my Dad has always done fine on his own -- no outside help was needed at all. However, chemo has taken a lot out of him. He often doesn't feel up to driving, he almost always used ot eat out (he does not cook and has developed a swallowing disorder), he is also developing nerve damage in his leg from the chemo and I'm somewhat concerned about him walking outdoors alone.... It seems that his first couple of chemos weren't too bad. These side effects, along with tiredness and weakness, are hitting more now than at the start.

September 2nd is coming and my job begins then. Also I do have a family back in BC. Admittedly, my son is 17 and my other 3 kids are in college but I do miss everyone terribly, my husband too. So we've been looking into "companion agencies" for my father -- these people cook, do errands, do laundry, provide transportation.... It's not ideal, it's not like family but I think we have to settle. When I had a minute to speak to my Dad's oncologist last week and told him that I'd be heading home soon and was worried about Dad, the oncologist basically said that this is going to be long term. (I can't live here forever). But if and when the situation warrants it, I will certainly be back here for him. My sister will take time off to take him to important appointments...

I am even looking into bringing my Dad to Canada for medical treatment -- as a possibility. That way, I could work (at least part time), be with my family and help care for my Dad.

So as I told you, I won't be of much help but I am in basically a similar situation. To add complexity to the situation, we are currently waiting for his scans to see if his first 3 rounds of chemo have been effective. If they havent, then what? If they have, they may not want to continue chemo due to the nerve damage in his leg.

No, it's not easy being away from ill parents, that's for sure. I don't know if there is an ideal solution. If there is, I haven't found it yet.

Please let me know what you decide to do. My advice would be to take it slowly. Go for a visit, assess the situation and then if the situation changes, it might call for reassessment. You did mention your father's partner. Perhaps this individual could keep you aware of things too, just in case your father tries to "spare" you.

Good luck. Prayers and thoughts are sent your way.

Gail P-M

PS. Thanks for letting me vent. didn't mean to but it was therapeutic

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I am in a similiar situation..although you seem to be living farther away than I am...Here's my brief story..

I'm 22, living in Boston, one year out of college, doing cancer research at a hospital here. My mom is 46 and was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC in April. My parents are living in Pennsylvania..which is about a five hour drive from Boston. I'm an only child, and have no way to get back and forth to see them (can't afford to buy a car)...they're financial situation is pretty bad as well.

There was a family decision made that I would not return home to live full time with my mom and dad, and they feel that this would only disrupt things further. I think a lot about the time I have left with my mom...and we spoke about the fact that I want to be near her if its running short. Ultimately, its best for me to stay here and just visit as much as possible. Right now, I'm trying to go twice a month and borrowing friends cars to do it.

If your dad needs you as a caretaker, then you may have to consider going there temporarily. But, he may also treasure his independence a great deal. My mom told me that if I come home I am making her feel like shes dying...and at 46..shes too young to die.

Anyway, good luck with your situation. I know you will do the right thing. Feel free to PM me anytime.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sorry for your situation. I am lucky enough to have a stepfather living in Omaha with my mother; I am in Las Vegas. I fly back every couple of weeks and am going for 2 weeks starting next Tuesday. I started a new job in November, so I don' t have a lot of vacation, which makes it a little tougher. The good news is that we refinanced our house and have some cash out of it in savings, and I have a very understanding boss.

The recommendation about agencies with companions was good, also check the American Cancer Society. They have volunteers who will drive your dad to appointments, shop, etc. And there's no charge. It's not ideal, but it does help some.

I wish I had better answers and a solution for you. The only other advice I can think of is to go see him, meet with other family members and his companion, see if you can line up friends, etc., and see if you can organize a schedule for people to check on him and help. I've found that most people want to help, but they don't know what to do. So, you have to tell them what to do, and generally they will do it. We set up a "circle of friends" and each one comes to see my mom on a different day, so she has visitors every day. This is partly for her and partly for my dad; he needs a break now and then.

Hope this helps a little...hope my thoughts and prayers help even more.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to thank everyone for the feedback. I'm walking around quoting some of the things I've read on the boards (and practically calling people by name!). It's helped with my attitude and has helped me talk to my father about proactive things to look forward to. I have a lot more hope than I did just three days ago. The hard part is still ahead, but I know where to turn when I have questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.