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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
  
  
  
 
Messages 1 2 3 

More About Dad by pandab on 17 March 2007 3:22am
 
I haven't been online much this week. Of course, I haven't been doing much of anything except working and looking after my dad this week. :+)

Dad had his biopsy yesterday, and while the preliminary results were not good, they were not hopeless either. The tumor is indeed maglignant and highly aggressive. His neurosurgeon is still not willing to be too definite until the detailed analysis is done (which is reasonable), but he has all but ruled out surgery. The tumor is too deep and too extensive. He fears there would be too much neurological damage if he tried to remove it, which would rather defeat the purpose. Dad would lose too much of his memory and cognitive abilities, as well as a healthy chunk of his motor skills. That was the bad news.

The good news is that the pathologist tentatively says the tumor is one of two types of cancer, one of which is very vulnerable to radiation therapy. The doctor was cagey about answering my questions about the other type, so I'm going to do some research and see if I can't find more information.

More good news is that Dad's spirits are good. He is concerned (naturally), and he says he's not ready to go just yet, but he says he is quite prepared for whatever happens. My brother and I are ready to support whatever decisions he makes, though we reserve the right to voice our opinions.

He comes home from the hospital tomorrow, and boy, is he ready! He was in an evil mood last night, grumbling and snapping at everything. Still, he was allowed because he had just had a hole drilled in his skull and had a wicked headache. He felt much, much better today ... except they wouldn't let him get up until his doctor cleared it. He HATES to just sit, so he was pretty restless by this evening. I think his doctor was a little surprised by how fast he bounced back after the biopsy surgery.

We need to work on getting his stamina built back up to prepare for whatever chemo and/or radiation therapy is in store, so we're going to start taking him for the mall's morning walkabout. Steve and I are going to see how his mental state is tomorrow and Sunday before we decide how much supervision he might need in the short term. His memory is still not good, and his motor skills aren't the best, but the prescription the doctor has him on is helping loads. We no longer feel he needs us to keep a constant watch on him, but we still think he needs someone in the house with him for a while yet.

Well, I'm off to bed! Sheesh, is there anything more exhausting than sitting in a hospital? All I did was sit, talk, read and watch TV with him today, and I'm whipped!

Pandab
 
Re: More About Dad by sighthound on 17 March 2007 4:24am
 
I'm so glad there is potential for a hopeful prognosis. Will keep crossing my fingers.

It's so debilitating and so totally consuming having to deal with situations like this that I have known many care-takers who ruin their own health in the process. Be sure to take care of yourself, too!

Hugs,
Geraldine
 
Re: More About Dad by Caty on 17 March 2007 7:17am
 
Good to hear that there's some hope! Remember, what you focus on expands, so just know we're all focussing on good news and a recovery for your dad! Sending good vibes and prayers to you and your dad. He's lucky to have you and your brother as children! Keep us posted!
 
Re: More About Dad by tucsonmike on 18 March 2007 11:04pm
 
Good luck. I have sat in hospital rooms all day. I understand.

My fingers and toes are crossed for you.
 
Re: More About Dad by kazzzz on 19 March 2007 12:15pm
 
Hope things are going well...thinkinog of you it's a difficult time for you all.
 
Re: More About Dad by canaveralgumby on 19 March 2007 11:05pm
 
Hi, Panda!

My mother had IBC Inflammatory Breast Cancer. It's not actually a breast cancer, but a cancer of the lymph system, which makes it spread around the body very quickly, but it starts in the lymph nodes under the arms/in the breasts.

ANYWAY, it is not treatable. At this time in history, it is a fatal cancer. She got second and third opinions, 3 unrelated oncologists all told her it was terminal.

SHE denied it til the last 2 weeks of her life. She chose the one oncologist who was willing to keep pumping her with poison chemotherapy as long as Mom went running into her office and saying "Doctor, DO something!"

From her diagnosis to her passing, Mom was a bed-ridden half-conscious invalid because she would not stop demanding chemo for a terminal cancer. She could have spent that time treating the pain, eating marijuana brownies and LIVING. She could have been hanging out with her grandchildren. She could have taken "that trip I always wanted to take"...

And frankly I think she might have lived longer if the chemo didn't wear her down so badly.

If your father finds out that the type of cancer he's got is untreatable, I hope he'll choose a better path than my mother did. If it helps, you could pass this along to him.


 
Re: More About Dad by perfectbitch on 20 March 2007 12:33am
 
That must have been frustrating and difficult for you Cori. I do so agree that chemo is not worth it for terminal cancers. It is unlikely that Pandab's father will be given any chemo as the large molecules of the poisons are too big to pass the brain/blood barrier. However, radiotherapy has less side effects apart from hair loss and a few days of tiredness and gave my husband a further 4-6 months of quality life during which we celebrated his 50th birthday with a big party, visited long distanced friends, went to the cinema/theatre etc. He didn't accept his prognosis until 2 weeks before he died either. Some of us just cannot come to terms with our own mortality - my mother stayed in denial with her dying breath. Ce la vie/morte

Linz
 
Re: More About Dad by canaveralgumby on 20 March 2007 7:04am
 
Everyone's gonna die. As Ram Dass says, "It's perfectly safe."
 
Re: More About Dad by johnnythemonkey on 20 March 2007 7:48am
 
Cori, I don't want to be critical but I think Pandab needs to hear more positive thoughts. She has already said there is some hope in his prognosis so I hope it works out. I have a sister with cancer who so far has defied the odds. Chemo worked for her in the sense that it shrunk the tumour enough for it to be operable. She has been set back at the moment but where there is life there is hope. She will fight till her last breath because of her love for her daughter.
I once again wish Donna and her father well.
 
Re: More About Dad by ev on 20 March 2007 11:53am
 
Here is another hopeful/positive story:

One of my relatives had a particularly unusual case where it was wrapped around the visual cortex (the bundle/cord of nerves that goes from the eyes to the back of the head). As he enjoys painting, he was very worried that he would lose his eyesight. However the challenging operation was a success, although a follow-up was necessary. He is now painting etc. happily and looking after his health better than he was previously.

What really inspires me is a positive attitude..

Here's a great cartoon drawing that some of you may have seen called 'Never Give Up!':

http://www.logobrand.com/images/bandw_never_give_up.jpg

If printed out I reckon this cartoon would make a nice 'get well soon' card..

I wish Pandab and Pandab's dad all the best!
 
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