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Dad has given up


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My father has been very weak lately and he was to go for his first chemo treatment yesterday. The doctor said there was no way he could have chemo since he is so weak and informed him that he has a spot on his liver and adrenal gland. Dad has decided that he is palliative and said he will never take chemo since the docs say there is no option for recovery and that he will only feel terrible in the meantime if he takes it. Dad was terribly tired and weak yesterday but seems firm in his decision today and almost cross with me. I don''t think he means to be but he doesn't seem like himself. I am still looking for options for him should he ever have a change of heart so that everything is set up for him. I guess I don't really have a question here but maybe if anyone has experience these feelings before or has taken care of someone who has they could let me know. thanks so much


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I would advise you to speak to a thoracic surgeon anyway. Believe me I know the feeling. My mom gave up at the beginning too, and she just accepted all her treatments and was in the dark about everything. In the beginning, all the research I did didn't mean squat to her. I remember it boiled to a point where an argument we had where I said something along the lines of, "You stubborn b----, I would give up my life to save yours, and all you can do is be impossible!". My mom also had a spot on her liver, but they called it hemangioma, which is not cancer, but like a swollen blood vessel. Make sure they rule that out.

What made it even more frustrating was that we met doctor after doctor who felt her chances for survival were slim. And said that there was nothing they could do about her trapped lung. We consulted with our local hospital, and then Rush, an NCI-designated multidisciplinary cancer hospital here in Chicago. For being so, they were no help at all. The doctor we met is supposedly one of the best "lung doctors" here in Chicago. He is head of the Chest Tumor Clinic.

He looked at the scans, and he was nice and reported little tumor activity at all. But he basically told us there was nothing they could offer. He also told us that since "it had spread to the liver", it was already Stage IV. All of a sudden this suspicious spot was cancer. Of course, he too was wrong, because my mom's clean CT and PET reports said the spot had not changed since they were found, which is "typical of hemangioma". What a clown. I swear, some doctors will tell you anything to get you out of their face. He basically "Rush"ed us out the door. The only good thing he did was say we could come back and try Iressa, if the chemo doesn't work. Even if there's no tumors? Gee, thanks moron.

Using information given to me by Mirrell, I also asked the doctor about intrapleural urokinase or streptokinase to at least treat the trapped lung. These agents are very good in breaking down loculations and adhesions and can be done without major surgery. My mom's first oncologist said no. Even though he never once looked inside with a thoracoscope, he assumed there was tumor(s) inside the lung that were preventing it from expanding(ie., airway blockage). Turns out he was dead wrong too(do you see a pattern here???), because my mom's lung re-expanded completely after the pleurectomy, which decimates everyone else's airway blockage theory.

Shortly after we switched to Block Center and met Dr. Mike who was the first one to give us hope, emphasizing the fact that there were no tumors. He is filipino like us, so I knew right then and there we were going to be comfortable with him. It was a bumpy ride at first because for 2 weeks straight my mom got sick from the chemo and it was horrible to see her being such a big baby. Eventurally, she stopped wasting away and actually started to embrace her treatment and even look forward to going to chemo. You would not believe how complete this place is. Aside from the supplements and special diet, they give you a pre-chemo vitamin infusion to somewhat mitigate the toxic effects. They also do breathing exercises, pilates, massage, and have a shrink on board that you can tell about your problems. All while doing chemo! A typical chemo appt. there means you are seeing about 5 or 6 other doctors too.

As y'all know, she got better and in January I spoke with Dr. Mike about this surgeon I had been emailing back in forth who "specializes" in surgery for pleural effusions. He said "In my humble opinion, I don't think she will have anything to offer, but I am not a surgeon, so go for it!". We met the surgeon and she offered both major and minimally invasive options to re-expand the lung, which as you know, she did. The moral here: be assertive! I would have never gotten my mom to even think about seeing this surgeon if I hadn't brought it up with Mike first.

Sorry for rambling on again :lol:

This has been a preview of my mom's story. Stay tuned for the director's cut :lol:

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