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Guest ecampbell

My head is still spinning.

Monday, Sept 22nd, Dad (84) had a bit of a fever (100.2), so on the 23rd we took him to the Dr. (over his objections). A chest xray indicated pneumonia, so we went home with antibiotics and a good attitude.

Monday, Sept 29th the fever was gone, but he felt worse, especially that his chest was 'heavy'. Back to the doctor, then straight to the emergency room. Another chest xray, cat scan, pet scan - yes, pneumonia, and pleural edema, and there is a mass in the left chest but no indication of spread. We can't really diagnose without a biopsy. He has heart issues now too, atrial flutter, probably from the edema. Check him in and we will stabilize him, then we can deal with the mass later. Brother and I start quietly looking into hospice "for later".

Friday, Oct 3, a 'tap' yields a liter of fluid, pneumonia, but no cancer cells. That sounds hopeful.

Monday, Oct 6, still trouble getting the heartbeat to stay normal, and the arhythmia causes him to need more oxygen.

Friday, Oct 10, finally (barely) stable enough for a bronchoscopy and biopsy. Non-small-cell lung cancer. Pulmonologist says his heart is too fragile for surgery, lungs filling fast, oxygen sats falling. Palliative care recommended. Dinner time, he rides up to 9th floor, propped up in bed going 'Wheee!", happy to be rid of tubes and monitors. Granddaughter trails behind with his tray - "Don't lose my dinner, I'm still hungry!" Brother and I start looking into a second opinion.

Saturday, Oct 11, sitting up in bed, laughing, eating, telling stories and jokes. Enjoyed a beautiful sunset, then fell into a deep sleep

Sunday, Oct 12, never really woke up, breathing became very labored, we made sure he stayed comfortable

Monday, Oct 13 4:30 am he passed away

That is 20 days from being diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home, until his death. There were no symptoms. He hadn't been sick a day since 1988, when he had bypass surgery. He saw his cardiologist in early september, and there was no sign of any problem. It isn't supposed to happen this way! Even with end-stage, we're supposed to get a few weeks, aren't we?

I know this is probably not the place for this, but I just had to write it all down and review it. No, I guess there is nothing more we could have done. But it was such a shock - I have never seen anything move so FAST.

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I am so very sorry for your loss as well as the speed that thiings progressed. I know there are no words that can make this easier or help to make sense of any of it. 20 days is just too fast, you cannot even get your head wrapped around a diagnosis in that amount of time.

Please let us help you through this next difficult period. I know first hand that even though you've suffered this traic loss, learning more about this hideous disease can be good therapy.

Lean on us when you need to.

With my deepest sympathies,


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I am so sorry for your loss and the speed of all. This disease just sucks big time...a silent killer just lurking. Peace be with you and your family at this difficult time. There are many here who have experienced the loss of family members and are more than willing to help you through this if you like. Take care


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whatever we can do to help we are here for you and the family also. My deepest condolences and thoughts and prayers go out to you right now...

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Your story is really quite an incredible one. I know you miss your Dad and I know you feel cheated you didn't have time for goodbyes, but, oh how much mercy the lord showed your Daddy by not letting him suffer. He was living a vital good life right up until it was his time to be called home. I know right now that doesn't make it any less painful for you, but, with time, I think it will make a difference. Love, Sharon

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