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My first post- My dad's story

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Hello all! I'm Erika and my dad, John, was officially diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in mid-October 2012.

It's an odd case, that I will do my best to explain! My dad is 48 and smoked since he was about 15 or 16, but worked hard and quit completely 5 and 1/2 years ago. Thankfully so, because who knows what other kind of damage could have been done. He initially began having pain in his back and lower stomach area in Feb. 2012 but the doctors blindly called it a pulled muscle and that's all. The back pain got worse and eventually, in Sept. I believe it was, he finally got a CT scan of his back. That's when the tumor on his L5 was spotted and our lives immediately halted. They scanned his entire body, finding 2 small spots on his lungs, and a tumor on his jaw. The diagnoses of lung cancer is confusing for his doctor because the spots on the lung are so small and because of the places it spread to, but that is what they are calling it.

My Dad's mom died of cancer at age 51 or 52, so there is a genetic component as well. He also has been a mechanic since age 16 so who knows what chemicals he has been exposed to. Needless to say, its been a tough couple of months. I'm 21 and a college senior and I have a sister, 25, who is a nurse. And then there is my awesome mom. She is such a great support to him and even before the diagnosis, there relationship was beautiful but it is wonderful to see how it has grown even stronger the past 3 months.

My dad finished a 15 day cycle of radiation for his spinal tumor and a 15 day cycle for his jaw. He started first round of chemo about 2 weeks ago, and it is a combination of 3 drugs I believe. Maybe I will post something about them specifically for some more insight. Anyways, he's doing pretty good on chemo, some days he works, others he doesn't. But the days he is not feeling well, it is so hard to see his spirit down even more so than his body. But I like to think his support system is helping!

The doctor gave his around a year to live, but we know they have to give you an estimate. My dad is relatively young, otherwise healthy, and active. So we, well at least I, refuse to believe that prognosis.

If you can relate at all, I'd appreciate some words! I hope to post more often on here and hopefully not as long :)

Thank you for reading and THANK YOU for posting your stories. I showed my dad and my family and friends this site, simply because of the hope and information it has given me!

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my first and initial thoughts are take a look at the Inspirational and the good news forums for some uplifting postings and energizing postings. Sorry you and Dad are going through this.... Throw the 1 year thing out the door with the garbage for the most part no one knows except for god and he will get us when he needs us...

Hang in there and keep posting up we look forward tor getting to know and help you out...

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HinErika, so sorry to read about your dad. It's awful when trips back and forth to the doctor provide more questions than they answer I know. My mum had a similar problem and went to the doctor 10 times in 8 weeks with back and abdomen pain as well as a persistent cough and each time she was sent home with a different explanation and set of tablets...

It was only through a late night trip to accident and emergency because the pain was so bad that we found the true cause, stage IV SCLC.

I remember being very angry with the doctors at the time but realise now that even if they had sent her straight to the hospital, it was already too late for her.

Stay positive - my mum also has a dire prognosis in terms of life expectancy but we try to focus on positives and enjoying our time together. And when I can't find that positivity, I come here where i can always find support or inspiration.

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Hi Erica,

Welcome to LCSC,let me first wish you and your family a Happy New Year,may it be a very special one for you all.I am really sorry to read of your Fathers dx,I am lung cancer survivor myself this October is my 5th year from my dx,I noticed you mentioned your Doctor being obliged to make a time forecast on your Dads survivability,I have to tell you both my appointed lung nurse and GP,without any solicitation from me,told me I had a maximum of two years to live,how kind of them,they only succeeded in making me more depressed,fortunately only temporarily so.I have been appointed to a committee as a layperson by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidlines Network (SIGN) to redraft a document called the management of patients with lung cancer,this document is a quality document which sets the benchmark for the care and treatments for lung cancer patients in Scotland,so ensure everyone has equality in their care and treatments,regardless of which hospital or centre they are receiving their treatments.This committee is made up with surgeons,oncologists,medical physcologists,pharmicists researches and reporters,my role is certainly not a passive one,I have written my first draft on a section of the document to be published this year called information to patients,I have made the comment that doctors should not arbitrarily make comment to patients about expirey dates,unless with the request by the patient diectly,even so,not to be too explicit,bearing in mind,doctors experiences in making there predictions are often so way off the mark as to be rediculous,I really think we should leave these decisions up to God.

I do accept that my lung cancer may have been a direct result of smoking small cigars from my mid twenties until I was sixty,I did come as a complete surprise and shock to me,never thought I was doing any harm to myself,well,it did say on the packet mild cigars LOL,but my cancer may well have been caused by other factors,enviromental,exposure to chemicals,possibly even genetics.In your Dads case,working as a mechanic would have put him at risk by exposure to chemicals like diesel,fine dust from brake pads which were mainly formed from asbestos.I really think we should just forget about pondering why this has struck us and just get on with the fightback.I think your Dad is most fortunate in having such a support team in his corner fighting with him,yourself,sister and Mum,you will do him proud as his treatments progress,please pass onto him my best wishes for a full and complete recovery,and blow that expiry date Doctor a great big rasperry,your Dads going to prove to him otherwise.

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Thank you Katie for the information! I will make use of it, I'd love to Learn as much as I can.

And thank you Eric for your encouragement!! I agree with what you said and the work you are doing is awesome! I hope to get my dad himself on here, to talk to all of you since you are all so encouraging and very helpful in understanding things. I'm sure I will have questions along the way so I will be posting lots. Thanks again!

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As of Sept 2012, I have been Dx'ed with laryngeal metastasis to the lungs. My prognosis is also bleak. The only good thing about a bleak prognosis is that it is easy to beat. I am taking to ultra-healthy diet. This is to complement the chemo that's in my future. And a lot of water. I am sure we would have our differences about the details of an ultra-healthy diet, but we can (I think) agree that everyone should eat as healthy as reasonably possible. One day at a time. Rick.

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Hi Erika, I am new here too. I am the one with lc tho, and my kidlet ~ I mean Daughter, is 22.

My few words on the doc saying anything about how much time... In my many years of having friends and family having children, I can not BEGIN to count how many were told the wrong gender of the babies that were due. Think about it, the tests are much simpler AND there is only a fifty/fifty chance and they were STILL completely opposite about 25% of the time!!!

I hope that gave you a giggle along with the truth that sometimes, a guess is just a guess.

BTW, I think it's super sweet of you to be taking such an active role in helping you & your family find some support and info. I will keep y'all in my thoughts & prayers.

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  • 1 month later...

Rick- I like your approach! Ultra healthy diet is a great thing! I've recently began eating healthier, taking wheat grass shots in the morning, and being more active (or trying!) and I think in your situation it is one of the most active ways you can help take control of the situation! You will be in my prayers and I will be looking for updates!

Mary (i'm assuming thats your name) You did give me a good laugh! thank you! very unique way to put things, and very true. I just posted a little update here :http://www.lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50307 if youre interested. Thank you for the kind words also! Its hard as a family member to watch things like this happen and its easy to feel like we can't do anything about it but i'm trying to change that feeling and do what I can and learn what I can! I hope to hear from you again and will be praying for you as well!


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