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My wonderful beautiful dad....


Pam

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I'm finally introducing myself after coming to this site for the last 8 months. I'm sorry it has taken so long, I always hoped my dad would gain strength and could type his story for himself, which I know he would have liked to do. But I want you all to know I read the posts and took the stories to my dad every day, they did help him to know he wasn't alone, and that his symptoms were "normal", if anything about cancer can be normal that is.

It's so strange that you all don't know me, I feel closer to you people than to most of my old friends. You all know how I feel, some posts feel as if they came straight from me. I cried for hours when Katie's dad passed, I worry for Jay, I look for messages from Norme, the list goes on....I talk about all of you to my mom and my husband all the time, I really feel as if I know you all, and yet none of you even know the story about my dad....until today.

My dad was getting tired this spring, run down and couldn't sleep well, so exhausted, he finally went to a doctor in May. That started a series of tests which found a "spot" on his lung. After appointments week after week, after biopsies, and checking lymph nodes and a bone scan, they determined it was NSCLC but the nodes were clear. The surgeon said he could get the tumor, it was contained. August 7, one hour into surgery, he came back out and said, sorry, the tumor was attached to the rib cage and spine. The nightmare had begun.

He never really regained all his strength, since that failed surgery. He had a huge scar, 47 staples, under his arm up his back. It was awful. My dad shook from that day on, his hands were never steady again. This was hard for him to accept, those hard working hands which took care of us all those years. My dad could fix anything. He could lay linoleum and carpet, build a deck, fix a faucet, fix our vehicles, you name it. His greatest hobby was tying fishing tackle, and he had his own business and sold tackle in our local convenience and tackle shops. Now his hands couldn't tie tackle. His left arm started losing feeling, hung to his side. A week after the surgery, we took him back to the doctor to find out about rehab for his left arm, and they found the brain tumor. I'm so angry that they didn't find this before they attempted surgery, it would have saved so much strength. He immediately started radiation for the brain tumor. He fought it so hard - he always believed he could kick it. After head radiation, he then started chemo and radiation to the lung, but ended up in the emergency room right away. It was so hard on him, the combo of chemo and radiation at the same time. Looking back, I wish they would have recognized this and stopped. But he wanted to fight it, he wanted to live.

I have a son who is 3, whom my dad completely adored. He loved Matthew and spoiled him, called him his "little buddy", took him for drives, looking at semi-trucks, anything little Matthew wanted. The only time my dad smiled in those last six months was when Matthew was around. I am very glad that my mom, Matthew and myself were able to be with him daily during this awful nightmare.

He was in the hospital for a week, being taken to radiation every day by the ambulance. It was a shock at first, but we saw others on the oncology floor doing the same thing, so we believed it would still work. Oh the pain my poor dad was in....my mom and I would scramble to get the nurse and ask for his pain meds, they would say it's not time yet. My dad would be gritting his teeth and yelling out for his pain pills. The pain in his shoulder was unbearable. My mom and I would stay with him in the hospital, taking turns, never leaving him alone. The pain would get under control and we'd take him home. He was on so much medication - the steroids produced other complications which required more medication. His legs filled with fluid from the steroids, they then gave him water pills which drained too much water and they gave him more pills for that. He was having trouble breathing, lost all strength and couldn't stand up. Back to the hospital. This time they put him in rehab to gain strength of his legs again. He went home on a tuesday.....by friday the home health nurses brought a hospital bed and oxygen. He told my mom he wanted to be at home, not go back to the hospital again. We honored his wish. By sunday he had slipped into a coma and hospice hooked him up to stronger pain meds. Monday morning, October 27, 2003 at 6:15am, my wonderful, beautiful dad took his last breath. My mom and I were holding his hands and crying, telling him we loved him. I promised my dad I would take care of mom and never leave her alone. His heart stopped beating under my hand. I never knew such horrible pain as losing my dad.

I ache for my dad with every breath I take. Not a day goes by that I don't cry, my mom is the same. I will love and ache for him until the day I die. I'm angry at the doctors, the nurses, and of course that hated cancer, for robbing us of this wonderful man, who was only 61 years old, and who didn't want to leave us, he fought so hard to stay with us and live. He loved us so much, as we continue to love him.

I'm so sorry that I couldn't introduce my dad with him sitting next to me, but I feel he is a survivor, cancer took him but his love remains. He would want you all to know he never gave up the fight....

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Pam

I am sitting here in tears reading about your wonderful father. I am so sorry that you had to go through all of this. I know what it is like to lose your Dad. He was probably the champion in your corner who always encouraged you to do your best. I am sorry your son lost his wonderful grandfather. I know my grandson still asks for his PaPa to this day. The last two weeks he has told our whole family how much he misses his PaPa. All we can tell him is we miss him too. His PaPa was the world to him. They loved each other so much. The one thing that would make Randy smile was Jacob. The picture posted for me was the last one we took of Randy and Jacob together. It just shows how much they loved each other. Totally and completely loved by one another.

You, your mother, and son, and the rest of your family are in my prayer. I pray for peace and comfort for all of us that have to deal with cancer.

Wishing you enough....

Much love,

Shirley

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Pam,

I know this story well, as it sounds so much like mine. I was lucky too- I got to spend everyday with him for 11 months and 21 days of his dx. I cried when I read your story...I am crying now. Losing my dad was the most horrible thing....but the worst was watching the disease win when he had fought so damn hard.

I don't know if I could have helped you before, but I promise I will be here for you now. Stay with us. You are a part of this family.

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Pam,

So, SO sorry you and your family had to go through this. Your Dad sounds like he was a wonderful person. Someone I might have like to have known.

Having lost my Mom to lung cancer five years ago, and now having th disease myself, I know well the sadness and anger you speak of. But I also know that, in time, your pain will ease, though your memories never will fade.

Please let me echo Katie's words. Stay with us now. As you know from reading the posts here there are a lot of broad shoulders to lean on, caring hearts to draw stength from, and loving hands to hold on this board.

Dean

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Pam, I am so sorry for your loss of you wonderful father. So much of what you have posted reminds me of my own dad-he left us on tuesday (dec. 23rd).

I know that you have never posted about your dad before, but you sure did an incredible job of making him known to us. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

\

Please stay on here, I know that you know what wonderful people are here, but you can be such a crucial part of this family-you and your fathers experience could be of such help to others...not to mention that we would like to be there for you and your family, as you get to adjusting to life without your father.

Please take care, and stay on with us. Deb

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Guest canuckwebgrrl

Pam,

I'm so sorry you lost your Dad. I know how you feel. I'm very happy you brought him excerpts from this board, it has given so many of us so much support.

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Pam

You wrote of your dad with such love and depth of feeling that it gave me the sense of having known him...and what a delightful, energetic person you depicted. I'm so glad you have your mother for support and you have your son to know that something special of your father continues on in this world. Thank you for sharing and please accept sincere condolences.

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Pam,

My deepest and sincerest condolences to you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. He sounds like such a warm and loving man. I can feel the depth of your love for him in your post, and it makes my heart ache to think of the grief you and your mother are going through.

Please visit us, and post to us. Let us know how you are doing. You are a part of a wonderful and supportive family now, and we care about you. Let us help you when you need to cry out to the world. Let us benefit from your experience as well.

Basically, what I'm saying is, welcome. I hope to hear from you again.

Carleen

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Pam,

I would like to offer what has been said in previous posts. My sincere condolences and pray that the hurt and pain be softened for you and your mom. Your father looked like a very gentle and kind person. Praying for you and your family and a cure for this horrible disease.

Peace and God Bless...

Karen

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Pam,

My deepest and sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Rich

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The Power Of People Helping People / The Power Of Knowledge / The Power Of God / The Power Of Believing / The Power Of Positive Thinking / The Power Of Never Taking No For An Answer / That’s The Key

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http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/healt ... hqcanc.htm (Best Hospitals)

https://www.alcase.org/advocacy/sign_the_petition.html (Advocacy /Sign the Petition)

http://www.cancersymptoms.org (Oncology Nursing Society)

http://www.plwc.org/plwc/MainConstructo ... 08,00.html (Questions to Ask the Doctor)

http://www.alcase.org/education/publica ... reath.html (With Every Breath A Lung Cancer Guidebook / From ALCASE / A Wealth Of Information / Free)

http://www.cancersurvivaltoolbox.org (The Cancer Survival Toolbox / Free / From NCCS)

http://www.centerwatch.com (Clinical Trails Listing Service / Center Watch)

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&editi ... ung+cancer (Lung Cancer In The News)

http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org/pro ... /guide.asp (The Wellness Community / National Cancer Support, Education And Support / Free)

http://www.drugs.com (Drug Information Online)

http://www.alcase.org (ALCASE / Alliance For Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support, Education)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov (Unites States / National Library Of Medicine)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html (Health Information / Medical Encyclopedia)

http://www.google.com (Great Search Engine)

http://blochcancer.org (R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, Inc. / Please read: A Letter to all newly diagnosed cancer patients)

http://www.cancer.org (American Cancer Society)

http://www.cancer.gov (Cancer Information Service / NCI)

http://www.cancerresearchcenter.org (Cancer Research Center)

http://www.aicr.org (American Institute for Cancer Research; Nutrition Hotline / AICR)

http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org (Cancer Hope Network)

http://www.acor.org (Association of Cancer Online Resources / Free Online Lifeline For Everyone Affected By Cancer & Related Disorders)

http://www.meds.com/lung/lunginfo.html (Lung Cancer Information Library)

http://www.lungusa.org (American Lung Association)

http://www.ama-assn.org (American Medical Association)

http://www.docguide.com/news/content.ns ... g%20Cancer (Doctor’s Guide / Lung Cancer)

http://www.healthfinder.gov/Scripts/Sea ... ?topic=506 (Healthfinder)

http://www.medicinenet.com/Lung_Cancer/article.htm (Medicine Net)

http://www.cancerindex.org/clinks2l.htm (Cancer Index / Lung Cancer Resources Directory)

http://www.nfcr.org/site/PageServer?pag ... ncers_lung (National Foundation For Cancer Research)

http://www.patientadvocate.org (Patient Advocate Foundation)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/effects ... fects.html (Lung Cancer Online / Hematologic (Blood) Effects)

http://www.cancerlinks.org/lung.html (Lung Cancer Links)

http://www.cancer-free.com (Cancer Free Connections)

http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/C ... ung_cancer (Health Insite)

http://www.lungcancerclaims.com (Lung Cancer / Lung Cancer Information Page)

http://www.cancerlifecenter.com/engine. ... =dictionar (Cancer Life Center/ Cancer Dictionary)

http://www.canceryellowpages.com/Resour ... G%20CANCER (Cancer yellow Pages)

http://icare.org (ICARE / The International Cancer Alliance)

http://www.vh.org/index.html (Virtual Hospital)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/support/financial.html (Lung Cancer Online / Financial, Legal & Insurance Issues)

http://cancernews.healthology.com/focus ... cancernews (Cancer News)

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If I Could Catch a Rainbow:

If I could catch a rainbow, I would do it just for you, And share with you its beauty, On the days you’re feeling blue. If I could build a mountain, You call your very own, A place to find serenity, A place to be alone. If I could take your troubles, I would toss them in the sea, But all these things I’m finding, Are impossible for me. I cannot build a mountain, Or catch a rainbow fair, But let me be what I know best A friend that’s always there. Author Unknown

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Pam - I'm so sorry that you had to go through this horrible experience with inadequate pain relief and delayed diagnosis. What happened to you and your Dad should never happen. Losing your Dad is painful enough without adding anger at the health care providers on top of it. I'm sorry. I hope that your sweet memories of him will sustain you and your loved ones in your grief. Do stay here and tell us how you are doing. With sympathy, Teresa

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