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Dad's In ICU: UPDATE-5/7/07


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What a difference a few days make on the cancer rollercoaster! It was just last week that I gave a praise report about how Tarceva kept my Dad stable. Well after suffering from dizziness and shortness of breath since Monday, my Dad went to the emergency room where they later admitted him to the Intensive Care Unit because he was suffering from an extreme case of Shortness of Breath.

They gave him oxygen but his breathing was still around 60-70% so they brought in an oxygen mask which (THANK GOD!!) has gotten his breathing up to 97%. I pray that he is able to maintain this, if not they will give him a breathing tube.

The oncologist came by and said that it was unlikely that the phlegm in his chest could be pneumonia but is more than likely cancer-related such as a pleural or pericardial effusion (don't know which one since my mom was the only one to talk to him). They are going to put him back on chemo to try and get rid of the fluid build-up. My dad is not happy about this at all and his breathing became worse after the doctor left (that's when they eventually gave him the mask.)

I am almost too stunned, hurt, and exhausted to cry but I'm sure tonight the tears will come when I go to sleep tonight :cry: :cry: .

Can anyone who has experienced this personally or with a loved one give me some good news related to this situation? As my user name states, I NEED HOPE!


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My dad was not having shortness of breath, but when he went for a scan, he had too much fluid in the plueral space, thus a pleural effusion. He was on some meds for his heart that made them wait one week before doing a procedure that draws out that fluid to be tested. When he went back that week, he did not have much fluid. They tested what they could, but they said it really wasn't enough and would skew the test results. What they did test was free of cancer. We go back in about 3 weeks to find out of it has returned or what. Blah....

I will say a prayer for your dad. Blessings to you.


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Hi Rochelle,

I have no experience with this either, but I'm wishing the best for your dad. I know it's really difficult, but try to keep your hope up. There are so many stories on here of people being in absolutely critical situations, then pulling out of them.

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Sorry to hear the news, I wish that I could inform you of something, but Ican't I just want to give my prayers to you and your family.

If you can do what I have to do sometimes and thatis just to know thats its all in GOD'S hands and that it will be alright. Just believe.


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Last week was one heck of a week. The morning after he was given oxygen, the hospital called my mom and said that his body still wasn't getting enough oxygen and that they would have to give him a tube. After we got to the hospital, his body crashed and his heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels plummeted. After giving him a ton of medication, his blood pressure and heart rate stabilized but he still wasn't getting enough oxygen, even after he was put on a ventilator and given the maximum amount of oxygen they could give him.

The physician assistant came to us and said that things didn't look good and that at the rate he was going his heart would stop because of the lack of oxygen. She said, "all we can do is sit and wait." :(

By this time his 11 brothers and sisters (and their immediat families had gotten word and were beginning to file into the hospital. The whole morning was so surreal. I thought to myself that this could not be the end. He had been doing so well. Well we got together and prayed and prayed and prayed.


Right now he is still in ICU but he is stable. They are slowly weening him off the oxygen. Yesterday he was quite testy because he hadn't had anything to eat. They are still emptying out his stomach. They said they found blood in his GI tract. He should be getting something through IV atleast today. They are treating him for pneumonia and fluid build up. And will soon start him back on chemo (My dad's pissed about this. He wanted to stay on Tarceva.)because the onc feels that the cancer may have caused the fluid and not pneumonia (the hospital's lung specialist thinks otherwise). Hopefully he will be in a regular room in a couple of days and out of the hospital and well enough to attend my sister's college graduation in two weeks.

I praise God everyday for what he continues to do in our lives. Though we have been through the storm we can begin to see the sunshine now. I truly believe that while there is life there is always hope and God allowing my Dad to survive this latest episode is just a testament that my Dad still has much to hope for.

Thanks for your prayers.


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My dad is still in ICU. They took him off of the ventilator last week but put him back on again yesterday after the lung specialist said that his breathing still isn't where it should be. They had to give him a sedative to calm him down (he was P.O.'d about getting back on that machine :evil: ). For the last two days he has been sedated and the docs are just trying to keep him calm and again slowly ween him off the oxygen. He was on 100% yesterday and is now on 75% oxygen (Praise God for Progress!).

This has been one emotional rollercoaster with one thing happening after the other to the point where we all are just exhausted. I pray that he keeps a positive attitude. When I talked to him the other day I could tell that he was worried. I am sure anxiety can definitely have an effect on your breathing patterns and can become a hindrance when you are trying desperately to get oxygen in your body.

They started him on a new chemo yesterday as well. Gemzar. We pray that it will be successful.


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