Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Update on Dad

Hey everyone who might be reading this, I just wanted to give you all an update on how dad's doing. I don't remember exactly what I posted in the last update (I know it's been a while) and I don't want to go back and read it (because I don't like to re-read about this). I will try not to repeat things and also not leave any major gaps in the timeline.
Dad was having radiation and chemo done for a second round: this time they were radiating all of the areas that were originally of concern (the skull, the tibia, the ischium, the rib and the vertebra). They did a bone scan and all of the areas were showing improvement (the tibia and the spinous process were pretty much completely gone)!! But dad was having some GI issues so he underwent some extra testing just to see what was going on, and a spot was found at the base of his esophagus. They took tissue from 8 different spots and 1 of the 8 spots came back positive for cancer cells. So, they found more cancer, but it wasn't huge. The debate on whether or not to radiate that area began (one of the big cons being the high risk of strictures) and continues to go on today. Meanwhile, dad had been experiencing right elbow pain that had been getting worse over time. It had been bothering him for several weeks, so they took a look at it, and again the answer came back positive for cancer. Another new area--ugh! That was where we were last week.
That brings us to today. It's been a rough week. Dad has lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks. He is having a really hard time eating anything. Not for lack of appetite, but because everything tastes and smells wrong and it makes him sick. So he and mom have been searching for the things that he enjoys eating and can keep down so he won't continue to lose weight at such a fast rate. It has been a frustrating and saddening experience for both of them. Then this morning happened: dad's elbow fractured due to the weakened bone surrounding the two small areas of cancer cells. It might not have been such a deflating and heart-sickening event except that he fractured it trying to open a protein shake (one of the few things he can keep down). My dad is not a weakling, he's the strongest man I know. And he broke his elbow opening a bottle.
So, they are going to radiate that area while he wears a brace to try and keep everything in place so it can grow back together. He goes in tomorrow and they will decide whether or not to start chemo again. We are all a little beaten down right now. Dad is frustrated and his frustration is multiplied by the fact that it's his right elbow-the one he uses for everything. He doesn't tolerate being "handicapped" well at all. He is a go-go-goer, NOT one to take a lot of rest. I, personally, feel like there's something they're missing. I'm sick of hearing that the doctors "aren't impressed" with that new spot, or "aren't too concerned" about this area. I AM IMPRESSED with it--it's not going away and new spots are showing up. To me that means there is OBVIOUSLY something we need to "concern" ourselves with. I wish I could make my dad's health and his life mean as much to the doctor's as it does to us--but it's humanly impossible. And that's ok...I just want them to keep looking and keep pushing and keep making my dad better!! Sorry for the rant, it's just been a hard day.
Please pray for my dad: for healing, for physical and emotional strength, for peace, for him to be able to keep food down, and for him to be strong for my mom. For my mom: peace, understanding, patience, and for her to be strong for my dad. For the rest of the family: for peace and that we will know how to best serve my mom and dad right now. Thanks for reading-I feel blessed to have each of you in my life. Baby post coming soon!

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