Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sorry I haven't posted recently

Life has been crazy - some good & lots bad. This is where I wish I had somebody to ask if they wanted the good news or bad news first.

The good news - we moved at the end of May & beginning of June! We're in a much bigger house, in a much better neighborhood, & since my dad is our landlord now we're not struggling as much.

The bad news is that my Dad fell & broke his hip in 4 different places as we were in the midst of moving & required surgery to place screws in it. He was in the hospital for over a week, but he's recovering nicely from it considering he's 75 years old. He's actually getting around with just a cane in just this past week!

Further bad news - about a week after his release from the hospital he followed up with his GP who was not happy with the fact that he'd lost 18 lbs in a month's time! He wanted to do a CAT scan & blood work because he suspected the big c in his digestive system somewhere. All of the results were negative, so he prescribed appetite enhancers & we figured it was related to pain from his fall.

Worse news - 2 or 3 weeks after the fall he was out eating lunch one day & suddenly felt ill. He couldn't make it to the bathroom in time with his walker, so asked for a bin & vomited bright red blood. He rushed to the ER, where they performed an endoscopy. He was admitted to the oncology dept because they found a burst blood vessel in his lower esophagus & a mass beneath it that was biopsied. They assumed it was cancer, & a few days later it was confirmed. He was released the next day.

In the past week he's had many Dr's appointments - with oncologists, thoracic surgeon's, etc. A couple of days ago he had an ultrasound done of his esophagus & to determine what stage he's at. They also placed a chemo port just in case he'd need it. We went into the surgery hoping it was stage 1 or 2 based on his lack of symptoms, but at the moment it loos like it's stage 3. It was heartbreaking to get the news, but then I had to be the one to break the news to him which was even worse. The Dr talked to him as he was coming out of surgery, but he had no memory of the conversation because he was still groggy from the anesthesia. When I went to see him in recovery he looked at me with hope in his eyes & voice & asked if I'd heard the results. That was the most difficult news I've ever had to deliver!

I try to stay positive when I'm around him & have asked other family members to do the same, but I'm scared for him. They're going to do a PET scan next to determine if it's spread. As long as it's isolated to his esophagus they will do a combination of chemo & radiation. The thoracic Dr said that he stands a chance of being cured - though not as great with stage 3 as it would've been if it was stage 1 or 2. However, even if he isn't cured he'll be able to extend his life by years vs months if he does nothing. I'm clinging to that, but I'm so so so scared of what the chemo & radiation will do to him. Surgery is out of the question because he's lost so much weight. The Dr said he wouldn't do surgery on anyone with stage 3 anyway.

I remind myself daily that my Dad is one tough old fart with the most positive outlook of anyone that I know. I just wish I knew how he maintains such a positive outlook on life! It's a skill I continue to work on. He says that he just places his troubles in God's hands & trusts that he will find a solution. I do that too, but I still worry.

I apologize to I See Me & Niapads. I promise that I will do the reviews!!! Please be patient with me. I also promise that I will do more reviews & giveaways as my life settles down into a more normal pace.

Here is a picture of my family with my Dad on Father's Day, outside the house that we rent from my Dad.