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Update on my dad...


Cathyanne

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Aloha, everyone

I am truly sorry I have been MIA for so long. My dad has been having his regular checkups, and up until yesterday (his birthday, of all days), things were stable: no new or enlarged growths. However, his latest CT scan showed two new "something's" that weren't there before. Doc isn't sure if it's just inflammation, or actual cancer, so dad is scheduled for a PET scan next Monday, and as a precaution, a brain MRI at the end of the month. I knew that last one threw dad for a loop. Doc said that the fact that my dad feels fine and isn't having any dizziness, headaches, etc. is a good sign, but that they had to check "just in case". If it's more cancer, then we will probably have to start chemo again.

I know there of many of you here who have gone through (and are still going through) much worse, and I admire all of you, more than I can ever articulate. I come here for inspiration and strength. I wish I knew how to remain positive, and help my dad to remain positive. He's in his stoic, "We have to do what we have to do" frame of mind, but I know he's very worried. Not so much about himself, but everything and everyone that will be left behind; unfinished things. And I take after him, to a "T". I'm having a very hard time moving on with my life, knowing he's going through this. At the end of last year, i told myself that this was going to be my year when I was going to get my own health issues in order; get out more, maybe meet a "special someone", etc. I feel like its all come to a screeching halt now. I just can't concentrate on anything but my dad.

I'm sorry - I know that all sounds incredibly selfish. He's the one with cancer, and most times, I wish I could take it from him and put it onto myself.

Well, thank you all for listening. Dad's brain MRI is on 1/30, and he will have a follow-up with his doctor after that. I will keep you all posted. :)

Cathy

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Cathy - thanks for posting the update on your Dad. I had a suspicious scan that turned out to be inflammation, so I will be praying that is the case for your dad. Since I am the patient, and not the caregiver, it is hard for me to imagine how it would be to go through this journey watching someone you love suffer and feeling like there is not a lot of you can do. You dad is very lucky to have you. Remember that you need to take care of yourself also if you are going to be there for him. I know that, like your dad, most of us are first and foremost concerned for our families. Having children, I am also pretty sure that your dad would want you to get out and enjoy your life and not spend all of your time worrying about him.

This is a good place to come and vent. Please keep us posted and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Diane

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Hi Diane!

Thank you so much for your quick reply. I am crossing my fingers (and everything cross-able) that this anomaly is just inflammation, too. I'm normally a very pragmatic, no-nonsense person with a "do what we have to do" attitude, but that has softened significantly in the past year. Sometimes I wish I could get that back, as it would make it a bit easier to deal with all this.

Today is a bad day for me. I've been wondering how "Ned"/Leon was doing after his bout with brain mets last March, and finally thought to back to my Inbox messages, where I discovered he'd signed his full name, so I hesitantly looked it up in my local newspaper. I was hoping NOT to find an obituary, but I discovered that he'd passed last April, only about 5 weeks after we were supposed to meet for lunch. He emailed me the day before we were to meet to let me know about his condition. He died at my local hospital, only about 10 minutes from my apartment. I feel just awful that I didn't keep in touch, and now he's gone. I cannot stop crying.

Thanks for listening. :)

Cathy

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Cathy - I'm sorry you just found out that Ned had passed last spring. He was such a hugh presence here, as well as at Cancer Grace, and is very much missed by all and if anyone is irreplaceable, I think it is Ned. His story was one of the first that i read here when I joined and just loved his attitude. I think you may be too young to appreciate the following quote from Ned's story, but I think of it whenever I'm down and can't help but smile.

Since lung cancer didn't enter my life until age 71, I don't feel it's cheated me out of any opportunities that I hadn't already squandered through previous poor choices or inattention, and I'm looking forward to my remaining years and whatever comes next.

Ned would not want you to spend too much time being sad.

Diane

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Hi Diane

Thank you so much for those links! Yeah, that didn't help my tears much... Made them worse, in fact. But I think I needed to let it all out, and am better today.

Hi Judy

Thank you for stopping by, and for your words of reassurance about the MRI. I will pass them on to my dad. We've been at the imaging center for almost 4 hours now (got here early), and he only started his scan a little over 2 hours ago, so I have a loooooooong wait. I can only imagine how hungry he is, as I am STARVING! LOL

Cathy

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Lots of positive thoughts and prayers for you and your dad....and you're not complaining, you're venting and your feelings are normal. Everything changes and everything is delayed or put on hold with a cancer diagnosis...it robs us of so many things...one day, maybe even bits at a time, we reclaim parts of our lives and make new normals. We get it. Don't ever be afraid to post it....it does help.

I'll be keeping an update for your post!

Katie

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Hi everyone-

Well, we got the test results back yesterday. Thankfully, the brain MRI showed no tumors. I wish I had better knews about the PET scan, though. In addition to the two other new areas they discovered, there are also a couple of spots up near dad's clavicle area. Since biopsies are so tricky for my dad, considering his other health issues, they're hesitant to do one. The oncologist is going to consult with dad's pulmonologist to see if he's willing to do another bronchoscopy to see if he can get a sample of the new tumor in his left lung. He's also going to do genetic testing on the original tumor to see if there's any mutation.

We'll be proceeding with more chemo beginning on 2/16. He'll be getting Carboplatin and Pematrexed, once every 3 weeks, for 4-6 cycles. He'll do a CT after every 2 cycles. If after the 4th cycle he's responding well, then they'll continue with the last 2. Also, if the testing shows a mutation, they'll be adding on a chemo pill, either Tarceva or Crizotinib. He'll also need to start taking folic acid and getting a B-12 shot.

Our biggest worry right now is that the cancer seems to be moving upwards, from the lung to the clavicle area, and we're afraid it will eventually go to his brain. As my dad was speaking with the doc, my sis was mouthing to me, "I want to ask the doctor about the cancer moving up toward the brain, but not in front of dad." I mouthed back, "Yeah, not now. I will check online later." I looked it up and it seems as if that can, in fact happen. (Yes, I'm thinking of Ned as I type this...)

Trying very hard to be positive... yet, finding it very hard to. I'll be getting out of the house for a bit today. An old friend is taking me out to lunch for my birthday. I would normally cancel, as I have so much on my mind, but I realize that I need to not sit and dwell on something I can't do anything about. I also need to keep lines of communication open with friends who are there to offer help. Because lord knows, I'm going to need them later.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

-Cathy

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