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This is about my dad too.....advice needed!

10 years 10 months ago #13552 by James275
Thank you all for your support and help. Update time.

Debbie, thanks so much for your encouragement. You are so right about how close i feel to him and i am really enjoying it. I do know that it will only be for a limited time but am thankful to the Lord that i have this time with him.

Sunday, my brother and i spent time with Dad and he poured out his heart. He's a naval aviator, always proud, and i saw him cry for the third time in my life. He has come face to face with the future and is working on end of life issues. We went through finances, burial, and he wanted to make sure that we just continue to love and look out for each other. Wow... He has already taken care of all his funeral issues. Wow again. He doesn't want to do any chemo. He just would like to feel better.


We met today with his primary physician who confirmed the diagonsis and agrees about the chemo decision. Dad was feeling great. Doc took him off of some of his other meds that he didn't think he would need now. Some of these are a cause of some of his "feelgood issues" so maybe it will help in that regard. We will meet again later next week. I feel like we are in the "eye" of the storm today. I will be talking to the hospice folks pretty soon. My daughter, who is a nurse, will work with that too.

Thanks for listening ....

My best to u all.

Jim

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10 years 10 months ago #13543 by Debbie
Hello Jim:

First of all, you are clearly a loving son and your Dad is very fortunate. In addition to soothing his own fears, the care and love you are giving him will comfort you later. I believe that is the 'gift' that older parents give their children...the opportunity for the children to in some way return the love and care provided growing up and through the years. You will never regret any time spent caring for him now.

Both of my parents died of cancer: Mom from bladder cancer (undetected--or hidden--for many, many years...certainly a far cry from with the wonderful people on this forum) and my Dad of prostate cancer. I have no regrets with their decisions to end or bypass treatment. Yes, I would love to have them here, but the sickness, the weakness, the fear during quiet lonely nights...enough was clearly enough. Of course, respecting life is the ideal, but sometimes "life" and "living" are two different things. In both my parents' cases, the opportunity to survive another 3-4 months was not worth the hard work getting through chemo so each went home and passed away surrounded by love. Hospice was wonderful; angels on earth. They carry the heavy load so you can do your job....which is taking care of your Dad on a mutually-emotional level.

Jim, I hope I'm not stepping out of line; you should feel no guilt in whatever the decision is. I don't think either scenario is a "win", but on the other hand, maybe neither is a "lose" either. If the decision is to let nature takes its course, there is plenty of smiles and moments of joy yet to be had. Those moments will stay with you forever. Chemo at this age may deprive both of you of that...just something to consider.

Everyone on this board will support the decision. Please keep us posted.

Debbie

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10 years 10 months ago #13433 by Gene Beane
Jim,
I am sorry for the position you are in with your dad. I personally would vouch for the no chemo route. My father passed at 87, after open heart with complications over and over again..he was a fighter The chemo can work for some and not for others, he is able to be himself now, I personally wouldn't put him thru it. Enjoy him as he is now.
Hospice, there are different views as they all operate differently. Talk to 3 or 4 and see what they offer for your dad. Theres the in house where my dad was. A small 12 room facility, we were there 6 days. He had a private room. Hard to believe but some rooms had two patients in them. I must say it was beautiful there though, its the reason your there that takes away from the envoirment. Or he can be at home with home visits, they can keep him pain free, please research this idea very well and choose which works best for your dad and the family.
I am sorry that these two topics are in your life right now. The most important thing is dad, take care, keep him comfy kozy...Ginger Beane

Hospital Cleveland Clinic r/c Sept.14,2007
Surgeon. Dr Stephen Campbell and Gill
Gene Beane..66 Ford Motor Company
Engineer, retired Vietnam Vet

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10 years 10 months ago #13429 by James275
Hi all. Want to give an update on my dad. We had a CT scan and met with the Oncologist today.

Not good news. The cancer has spread through the lymph nodes and also has blocked the functioning of one kidney. He also has signs of spread to the lung. THey aren't sure if that is related? The oncologist was very upfront and said that Surgery and radiation are not options. Without chemo, he will be with us from 3 to 6 months. With it, and assuming he can stand the chemo, that might extend to a year.

Well, i'm pretty upset at the reality of knowing, but dad and i agree that knowing is better than not knowing! We are now going to have a pow wow with my brother and discuss. Doc said that to do the chemo, he would really have to be a fighter.

My concern now is quality of life if he does do chemo. He is not feeling well and isn't strong now. Doc said they would have to substantiallyh reduce the dosage (and effectiveness?) of this regime because of that. Wants to use a drug called Carboplatin if we do it? Does anyone know anything about side effects with that one? Right now, i think quality of life is king, be it 6 months or 1 year.

Well, i am blessed that this forum is here, and to know that others care and are here to help. I also have to look into Hospice I think. Don't know anything about that as well.

Thanks for listening..


Jim

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10 years 10 months ago #13259 by momof4
Jim,

I wouldn't understand an oncologist that would actually recommend chemo for your Dad. Unless he is adamant?? His immune system will be compromised because of the chemo which leaves him open to numerous infections, pneumonia, etc...If he has grandchildren, or a lot of family, it is suggested that the Chemo patient minimize there contact for these risks...Just something else to consider.

Caregiver for my Wonderful Husband Angelo, who has Metastatic Bladder Cancer.

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

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10 years 10 months ago #13258 by James275
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I brought my dad home yesterday from the hospital and he has a kidney issue now as well. That is treatable but the docs say treatement of it will depend on what we do with regargind chemo. It is his decision but he does look to my brother and i as his advisors. I just don't want him to get talked into doing a regime of chemo. What does it do? i wonder, just prolong his existing life?

After we see the onocolist, we wil know better. I just dad to understand the "cost" in terms of sides effects with the benefits. right now, i don't think it makes sense....

Thanks for your help and sharing of experience.

Jim

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