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My dad's 3 years of remission are over.....I'm a mess!!


teresa567

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Wow. I haven't posted on here in so long mostly because things had been so good (stable) for 3 years....and now, just a month after I got engaged, his cancer is back and spread to his bone, liver, and pleural space. We're all in shock...and I'm so scared that this is now the beginning of the end. So many questions....do I move back to Wisconsin now (I live in California) like I did when he was first diagnosed? Do we plan a quick wedding so he can be there or will that be a horrible experience for everyone knowing that it is likely his "last" big family event? I don't even want to think about planning a wedding with him getting sicker, but people keep warning me that someday I'll regret it if I don't do it before he dies. How can I be happy planning a wedding? Is it wrong to not want to do all this "in case" he dies? Does anyone have any thoughts (since we all know what cancer can do to our life plans)??

But, maybe, when he starts chemo again, it will buy him more time...the cancer will stop growing again. His cancer had never left his lung before so I don't know what to expect? Has the chemo helped you guys stop the growth in other areas? Is there still hope or should we prepare for the worst? I don't want to lose hope but I know we have to be realistic too.

For all of you reading this, thank you....it is really hard to stay strong for him when I'm so scared and sad! I'm glad I can let some of it out on here. Please pray for us. Teresa

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Teresa,

Gosh, I hardly know what to say except I'm sorry about this new development. I understand what a shock this is to have it spread outside the lungs when it hasn't done that before. My husband's has stayed in his lungs and we just keep our fingers crossed, but you almost lull yourself into a false sense of security that it will stay put. Damn, damn, damn.

I'm sure others will chime in with appropriate comments regarding your Dad's new treatment. Talk to your Dad about the wedding plans and see how he feels about it. Follow his lead and do what your heart tells you.

Welthy

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Dear Teresa,

I am so sorry to read this latest update about your Daddy. I know you are shocked and more than anything very afraid, thats all so "normal".... But... there is still hope, there is still time. What do Dad's Doctors say? Have them given him a game plan on how to progress next? How are Dad's spirits? Is he willing to keep fighting? These are all questions you need answers to, and then, you will be able to make some decisions on how you want to proceed with your wedding. Don't try to make any quick desicions just yet. This is all so new... you need to breathe and take it one moment at a time for now. You will find your right answers. I will pray extra hard tonight for your Dad and your family. Love, Sharon

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I agree to get a better idea of what the Dr. expects as far as a response to treatment.

Then you have to ask yourself "Will I be happy to have my Dad in my wedding photos, sick, healthy, or somewhere in between?" OR "When I get married, how will I feel if dad is not here to be with us?" OR "Should I focus on helping dad through his treatments rather than planning my wedding?"

I feel for you, I really do. You have many decisions to make and you want to make all the right ones. I understand that. I will pray for you Teresa as you move forward over the next couple of weeks.

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When were you planning to have the wedding before you knew the cancer was back? I remember two or three other members moving up weddings for their parents and posting about how happy they were that they did. I was always glad that my dad was able to be at my wedding- he was in poor health and did not live much longer. I think you would be happy you moved it up.

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I am so very sorry to hear this news about your dad. I certainly will pray for all of you. I think your dad would love to walk you down the aisle. I think it would always be a treasured memory for you with pictures to show your children in the future.

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I'm just so sorry you're all dealing with this... Don't forget there IS STILL HOPE. Grab onto it with everything you've got.

As for the wedding and other decisions to make--there aren't any wrong answers, though I know the decisions are still hard... Don't forget that. You will find your way. I'm a big fan of moving weddings up for all kinds of reasons. If you're worried about it all falling into place, I promise you, it will.

Many, many hugs and prayers for all of you.

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Teresa,

I am very sorry to hear your Dad's cancer is back.

This now becomes a very confusing time with your up

coming wedding. I can only share my husband's story.

Alan missed his daughter's wedding because he was in ICU. I do not think he has ever gotten over

not being at his daughter's wedding. Alan was doing

well prior to the wedding date, but then developed

pnuemonia and spent 30 day's in the hospital.

As Ry stated planning your wedding just might be the best medicien for you and your Dad.

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First off I am so sorry. I'm sure after 3 years, this news is tough.

Secondly, I understand the sadness that comes with a life event that you now fear may not be shared with your parent. And a lot of people have A LOT to say about it. And sometimes terribly insensitively.

Thirdly, I've just prayed that Dad makes your wedding and beyond whatever you decide.

I don't really have advice on what to do...we'd all do something different.

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I'm very sorry that you got this news!! My Mom also recently had progression after being on Iressa for 2 years, and off course it was a shock: back to reality! But, progression doesn't always mean the beginning of the end, aren't there more chemos your Dad can try? did he try Avastin or Tarceva? We have a game plan for my Mom, she is now on Taxotere and will go on to Tarceva after that.

As far as your wedding plans, I agree with what others have said: I'm sure your Dad would love to be at your wedding, and no doubt it would mean a lot to you to have him at the wedding, plus planning for the wedding would a happy occasion which would distract from the pain and uncertainity of the cancer.

I wish you the best of luck!

Rana

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Teresa, I'm very sorry to hear that your Dad's cancer has come back.

Our family had a similar situation to face when my Mom was first diagnosed last January. My Brother and his wife were planning to get married in August of this year but my Brother could not accept the fact that Mom might not be there. They moved their wedding up to March and held a celebration (reception and dance) in August. Mom ended up making it to both. They managed to put together a wedding in two weeks. It was small and intimate with only family and very close friends. This was the type of wedding they wanted anyway, so there wasn't a big compromise on that part of it.

My Brother told Mom that the reason they were moving it up was just because they had everything ready to go. We were concerned that Mom would think we doubted her ability to beat it. My Brother and I had long talks and many tears about that and even though we both had complete faith in her ability to fight, we didn't want to leave it to chance.

Mom started chemo two days after the wedding and passed away less than two weeks after their celebration in August. At Mom's funeral service my Brother said that the dance he shared with Mom was one of the proudest moments of his life.

I am a wedding photographer and when a bride's day doesn't work out quite the way she planned, I always tell her that how you marry isn't nearly as important as who you marry.

I wish and pray for everything to work out with your Dad's health and for your wedding plans.

Shauna

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I understand what you are going through. My father was in ned for 2 1/2 years before it came back. When it came back it had spread as well. My father's cancer came back in July of 2005 and was on chemo and then was stable. My father passed away unexpectedly in May of 2006 from an erupted abscess caused from the treatments. You do not know what tomorrow will bring for any of us, but I sure know that I would want my father at my wedding. I have a picture with at all times which is my father at my wedding. Maybe your wedding will help your father to forget his problems for at least a little while and hopefully he can walk you down the isle. Don't deprive your father that honor, if he can and don't deprive him the opportunity to sister his little girl get married and be happy.

Good Luck. My best wishes for your family.

Cathy

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j's girl...I was thinking of the same suggestion!!!

I had a buddy in the military years ago who did his wedding and did the reception on his 1 year anniversary...because of the complexities of timing.

Teresa, you could throw on your dress, walk the isle, dance your dance, get pics...all that stuff.

And then, with Dad, plan the big party. He could very well be there for the party too. And then you get the possibility of the blessing of celebrating not once but twice with Dad.

I hope all this works as well as it can for you.

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I'm so sorry to hear this news. A recurrence can be overcome- he beat cancer before and he can do it again.

Your hands are indeed full with everything, but there's been some really good advice here about the wedding planning and how to deal with that.

Only you know the situation, so look in your heart and make your decisions from there.

Praying hard for your dad, you and your family. Please keep us posted~ You've been missed!

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Check out New treatment Forum. There is so much that has changed in 3 years. I have been here 1 myear as Mod of that forumand I am amazed sometimes at how much has happened just inthe last year since Deb passed away. Take a look. I also have Clinical trials links under stickies for info. NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!! :wink: THINK POOSITIVE!! 8):)

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Thank you all so much for your thoughts and ideas!

My dad is starting back on chemo (taxotere) tomorrow...it was the last drug he used and he got 3+ years out of it...so his MD (who has become part of our family over the years) wants to give it another try...hopefully it will knock the cancer back down again for awhile. The side effects were minimal and my dad is emotionally and physically ready to fight...so here we go. If there is more growth after 2 cycles of taxotere, he'll switch to Altima!!

Its weird...he has these liver and bone mets but NO symptoms from either. Has that been anyone else's experience? The other thing that bugs me is the liver mets did not show up on the CT a month ago, but did on the PET scan? Can we really trust these CTs or do you guys get periodic PET scans too? This was his 2nd one (the 1st when he was diagnosed), but it seemed to see so much more!

Thanks again!

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I feel the treatment will have some positive effect on your dad, and like you said they will try Altima if the taxotere does not work. So there are alternative.

Meanwhile, you should move the wedding up and start to make plans, that will at least take your mind of the situation for awhile.

Also, listen to what the doctors tell you about his prognosis, maybe he will be able to wait till your orginal date. But this is a decision you will have to wait and see. Can you just play it by ear for awhile to see if there is some positive changes? When is your present date?

So sorry you are going through this difficult time.

Keep my fingers crossed for good results for you dad.

Maryanne

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He started chemo today, but he also saw his doctor today. The liver is worse than expected...the onc said the chemo worked before and it can work again, but that extensive liver mets are tough and can take a person quickly. The picture doesn't look too pretty. He also has one on his tailbone, which doesn't concern anyone nearly as much as the evil liver ones. Anyone else deal with liver mets?

I know some of you had asked when our wedding was planned for. My fiance and I just got engaged about a month ago and planned to wed in summer or fall of 2008. We were just starting to plan our wedding in California (my dad lives thousands of miles away in Wisconsin, but grew up in california and planned to come here for the event). Weddings are very expensive these days and we are paying for it on our own (almost 4 years of cancer drained my family dry financially). So financially, moving it up and also moving it to wisconsin may be very tough. I also am a firm beleiver in pre-martial counseling and not getting caught up in the wedding planning or rushing to the alter. We really planned to use the next 1.5years to prepare ourselves well for marriage (we don't want to end up in the statistics of 1:2 ending in divorce) and take our time. Both our sets of parents are still married and we want to do everything we can to have wonderful marriages like they have had.

I also just don't know if emotionally I can handle it.....I feel like it would be giving my dad his last rites and would take away any hope he has left (which is dwindling). He knows we planned on 2008 and he knows we were planning it out here....so there is no hiding why we would be changing it.

Man, this just really sucks. The cancer and possiblity of losing him soon is bad enough, but trying to throw the wedding (one of the happiest days of my life?) into the mix is not working well. I wish I could say I could simply ask him what he wanted, but he will not talk about anything "death" related...he could never even tell us what he wants in terms of burial and cremation..etc.... It gets him crazy depressed and negative...and I can't do that to him. I just don't want to make the wrong decision.....thank you all for listening.....Teresa

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My dad was diagnosed with two liver mets that were completely controlled by his chemo. They never were a problem for him and he never lost liver function. Everyone is different.

When I first went thru the research 4 years ago, I was sure the liver mets would be the most worrisome for us, but they never were a problem and remained stable with little growth.

I'm hoping the chemo wipes them out completely for your dad!

As far as your wedding...if it were me, I would have a small wedding now so that my father could be there- and if you still need the big wedding you can always have it later.

Excuse for dad- I wanted to have my head clear so that we could tackle this recurrence together- wanted to get the wedding out of the way- because it's not about the wedding- it's about being married and we just thought we'd do it so that we could move on and we can focus on our life together and on getting you better! I can plan a big wedding or a big reception later when you're well and I have more time to really plan.

Of course none of what I said above is relevant if you and your fiance are not ready to be married yet. Don't move it up if you are not ready in the relationship, but if you are- then I'd consider your options. I know you would want your dad to be a part of your "big" day whether it was at the park or the plaza.

Keep us posted. Many prayers for your dad and your family.

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