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Stage IV Grandfather/Update Grandfather passed


Fishingbuddy

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My grandfather (and lifelong fishing buddy) is combating Stage IV and heart issues. It is a very hard thing for me and the rest of the family to deal with, and I found this forum. Hopefully, I can receive and give some support to family members going through the same thing.

I am a 34 year old from Alabama. My son is named after my Grandfather, and they have the same birthday. God knew what what he was doing there. :)

This man is my hero. He has been a father figure to me all of my life and today we were told that he has a 30% chance to make it another year.

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Hi, welcome to the LCSC!

We have a good number of members who received a Stage IV diagnosis years ago and are doing well. If you can give us more detail about your grandfather's situation, some bells will ring here and there and you should get some useful first-hand info.

...today we were told that he has a 30% chance to make it another year.

I should warn you that prognosis statistics is one of my hot button issues, so take that into consideration as you read the rest of this paragraph. First, are you sure that's exactly what the doctor said? Semantic differences here can seem very subtle but still have far-reaching consequences. If the doctor said "HE has..." then the doctor was being careless with his words and that's an issue in itself. More likely he said, or at least should have said, something like "people with this diagnosis on average have a 30% chance..." or "from our experience over the past several years, we can say that out of a group with [such-and-such], only 30% will be alive a year after diagnosis." That's far different from saying your grandfather "has a 30% chance..." since there are too many factors involved for any doctor to make such a specific prediction about any individual. But people continue to ask, and some doctors continue to supply these numbers, even without being asked. :evil:

You've joined a wonderful group, and you can expect plenty of help, usually without an angry face attached! :wink: My very best wishes and Aloha,

Ned

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Welcome to you, Fisgingbuddy!!!!! We are here for you ~ with support, information, and friendship. Ned said it all when he spoke of the stats. Mine were that I wouldn't be around for flowers blooming in the spring of '05.....told that in Nov.'04. As you can see......it is soon spring of '08. So I say 'POO' on statistics.

Kasey

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Welcome,

Glad you found us. I'm at Stage IV and still here 5 and 1/2 years later-- also have heart decease and Congestive Heart Failure, had two heart attacks since I was diagnosed so never never never give up or lose hope. It's all about taking it one day/one step at a time and staying positive with a good attitude. No one knows what the future lies. The statistics are what they are but does not hold true for everyone. Many many members here who have far outlived there prognoses and still had a life. Stay with us lots of hope, sharing, caring and support here. Hope this helps, prayers for the best.

Rich

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All of this started in October of last year.

My Grandfather had been coughing up blood for a while. He went to his regular physician and was sent for scans. The doctors found a problem and sent him on to a surgeon. The surgeon did exploratory surgery and observed the cancer in the upper portion of his right lung extending to his aorta. They classified him as Stage IV, and then referred him to the Cancer Center. He has undergone his first set of treatments. He was getting 5 radiation treatments and 2 chemo per week. They are not supposed to begin doing the next set until the 28th of January.

About a week before Christmas, he had to be rushed to the hospital with a heart rate of 270 bpm. No one gave us a good explanation. He had a catherization(sp.) and they found nothing major, just changed some meds.

Last week he had to go on oxygen 24/7. his blood oxygen levels had dropped to 74, and that is why he is currently admitted.

The doctors told us: "We are basically trying to just extend his time left. He has a 30% chance to make it another year." They then asked if he has a "do-not-resusitate" and a living will. None of this was said in his presence, the doctors asked us out in the hall.

His emotional state is good. He thinks that he is just going to get over this and be fishing in the spring, but I am scared.

I try to ask God every night for His will, not mine, but I do not want to see my Grandfather suffer.

Thank you for the prayers and support.

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Listen to NED, Kasey, and Rich...three of the toughest lung cancer survivors I know and I've met 2 out of the 3 in person !! ....

It's very new and scary for you and your grandfather and family right now, but you don't have to go thru it alone. This is the best place to be...keep posting. We are here for you.

Welcome,

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Hi again, Fishingbuddy, and thanks for posting the additional details.

To clarify the comment in your first post about "heart issues" -- has your grandfather had heart problems in the past, or were you referring to the hospitalization for rapid pulse which occurred after his radiation and chemo treatments? If there were no previous problems and his general health has been good up to now, I'd suspect the treatments to be the cause, though there may be no solid clinical evidence to support it. I've seen LOTS of comments from our members about rapid pulse following chemo and/or radiation. Maybe someone who has experienced that will have something to add.

The fact that his emotional state is positive and he's looking forward to springtime is GREAT! Keep us posted on his oxygen situation and treatment program, and if any questions come up don't hesitate to ask. For the more technical medical questions, I highly recommend onctalk.com. There's a wealth of information there, primarily on lung cancer, constantly updated by a Seattle oncologist who is an internationally-recognized expert on lung cancer and who gives high priority to promptly answering questions from people like you and me. A lot of us have "dual citizenship" so to speak, and use the same usernames there as here.

Aloha,

Ned

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Hello and Welcome Fishingbuddy

I am sorry you had reason to find a group like this but glad you have joined us. As you have already seen, there are many here who can and will help you with advice and information.

Please just let us know how we can help and we will do our best~

Christine

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I spent the last four + days at the hospital with my Grandfather. He was moved into the Critical Care Unit on Thursday evening. He now has double pneumonia and MRSA in both lungs. His heart went into ventricular tachycardia several times on Thursday night.

According to one of the nurses in the unit that I trust completely, he died and was brought back three times Thursday night. Once from respiratory arrest and twice from the vtach. They changed some of his drugs and placed him on a ventilator. At one point, his oxygen saturation fell to 35% and his blood pressure dropped to 67/37. He has been heavily sedated since the introduction of the vent.

Today, he is down from receiving 100% oxygen to 60%. His kidneys were starting to act up, but the kidney doctor has remedied that. His lungs were clearing, but are now retaining fluid again.

My question today is this, he has a living will. He also stated to his doctor before this last bout, that he would be willing to go on the vent if it was temporary. How long is too long before we allow the living will to go into effect? It seems that here at least, any family member can stop the LW from being utilized.

Please continue the prayers for him and our family as I will continue the prayers for all of yours.

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Today we got more bad news on my grandfather. The MRSA is not gone, the second treatment for the double pneumonia is not working and now he has a blood infection. The Doctors have told us that now is the time to bring the living will to the hospital.

One good note, this weekend, he was conscious when we came to visit. He is in a lot of pain though. His preacher asked him several times (and several different ways) if he is ready to go be with God. Every time he asked, my Grandfather nodded yes and squeezed the preacher's hand. Tomorrow, the family is going to be faced with the living will question.

I ask for continued prayers and support in this time, but feel comforted that he will spend eternity fishing in Heaven. I told him this weekend that he was my hero, that I loved him, and that I would take care of the family as best as I could.

God bless,

Derek

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"Fishingbuddy" ...This weekend, he was conscious when we came to visit...I told him...that he was my hero, that I loved him, and that I would take care of the family as best as I could.

Even if your grandfather pulls through this latest crisis, you'll always be grateful that you had the discussion. While he may have done little of the talking, I'm sure he heard your every word.

Many people have great difficulty bringing up the subject of death, passing, or whatever term one prefers. I know I did when my dad was deteriorating near the end of a lengthy hospital stay for multiple problems. But he was still able to communicate, and he started the conversation in his typical light-hearted way with "I sure hope I kick the bucket pretty soon." That opened the floodgates for an intense and long-needed exchange that brought peace to us both. Within a few days he became unresponsive and then was gone.

My best to your entire family. Aloha,

Ned

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Derek-

I am so sorry to hear your grandfather had MRSA- and it looks like maybe he is becoming septic as well. Do they have any idea how he contracted the MRSA? I hope that he is able to go peacefully. I just lost a friend to MRSA- I know it is hard to fight the infection. I am glad he is able to make his wishes known and that you are with him.

Rochelle

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Hello Fishingbuddy, and welcome to the club nobody wants to belong to, although this is the best site for information and support.

I'm sorry you are at this point with your grandfather. Our grandson would feel exactly the same way as you is Papa. They have been fishing buddies since our grandson was 2 years old.

I'm sending prayers that your grandfather can overcome his pneumonia and mrsa, but if that is not possible I wish him a peaceful passing and for strength and peace for you. God Bless

wendyr

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My Grandfather went to be with the Lord yesterday at 3:40 pm Central. He was comfortable and peaceful as he passed. Just hard to believe that all of this could happen in five months.

I was with him as he passed. When he met God, he seemed to glow. I know that he is no longer in pain or suffering at all, and that he is catching fish like crazy.

The decision was reached Wednesday to allow his wishes be fulfilled, and the ventilator was removed. Almost immediately, his oxygen saturation went from 85 to 100. He was able to regain consciousness and we were actually able to talk to each other for a couple of hours Wednesday evening. Late Wednesday night, his body tired and he had to be given the Dilautit (sp.) again. Throughout Thursday, he remained unconscious and his vitals just started to diminish.

We had a mini revival in his room all day on Thursday. My Grandfather was getting to go home. We sang, prayed, and praised God for giving us this man for so many years. We praised God for allowing my Grandfather no more suffering and for taking him into His arms and welcoming him into the Kingdom.

Tomorrow will be the visitation, the funeral will be Sunday.

Thank all of you for the kind words, prayers and much needed support during this time. Please continue to pray for the family.

God Bless all of you,

Derek

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