I know exactly how you are feeling. In November, they discovered a recurrence of my Dad's bladder cancer on his right ureter, a lesion about 5cm large. My Dad had his bladder and prostate removed almost 6 years ago when he was 80 and no lymph nodes were involved. Now he is 86 and his oncologist said the type of chemo he would need would be too harmful for him. A PET scan done in December showed something in the lungs, too. I sent his scans and records to some very qualified urology/oncology/surgeon guys and they said since the cancer had spread, the surgery would not be curative and would be too risky for Dad especially without chance of a cure. Like you described for your Dad, my Dad has no energy and is in a huge amount of pain for which he has been prescribed some powerful drugs.
My Dad is also concerned about leaving my Mom. They have been married for 65 years and Mom has never lived on her own. This is absolutely the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. It is hard to watch someone you love suffer. My Dad is the most courageous man I have ever known. He gets up each day, gets dressed and does his best to "soldier on".
I hope your Dad can tolerate the chemo and it works for him. My Dad is scheduled for 15 radiation treatments to try to shrink the tumor and relieve some of his pain.
Thank you so much for your quick reply and insight. You bring a very good point that my dad's story may give others hope, especially young patients like yourself. I was diagnosed when I was only 38 and I know how hard it is to think that my life may be cut short too soon. At least I'm comforted by the fact that my dad is 75 and not in his 40s like me.
He's still very, very tired and haven't done a blood test in a while. I hope he regains some strength before his first chemo.
So sorry to hear about your day's situation. I doubt any of us can give you the answer you are looking for. I think only his doctor can make the kind of prognosis you want.
It's understandable that you'd want him around longer and if chemo works he may be. Even when longer gets here there will be other things on the horizon that you'd want him to be there for. Unfortunately (or fortunately, deeding on one's preferences and beliefs) none of know when our time is up exactly.
I'm not surprised he's exhausted. I had a few intestinal blockages before I finally got a bad kink removed from my intestines and it exhausted me and I was only 51.
Almost 20 years from initial diagnosis is pretty good when you think about it. I know that doesn't really matter right now given the current situation but it may be helpful for people who are just now being diagnosed for the first time when they read this.
I wish him and you the best of outcomes. Please let us know what his doctor says once you speak with him or her.
I'm new to this forum. My dad (75) was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in '94, for which he received BCG. His cancer returned in 2001, and he went through another round of BCG. In late 2010, he learned that the cancer had returned and it was muscle invasive. He went through a cystectomy in April 2011. There were no lymph nodes affected, but the surgery had complications, that led him to have a temporary colostomy put in. He removed he colostomy last year and had clear scans in July. Since July, he's had two episodes of intestinal blockage that resulted in hospitalizations. During this last episode, right after he had recovered from a UTI caused by KPC, a MRI showed multiple lesions in his liver and peritoneum. One of the lesions is very large, above 5 cm.
I'm very afraid right now and concerned that he may not have much time left. He's still at the hospital and I'm here with him typing this away while he sleeps. He's been sleeping a lot and is very fatigued, without much energy to even walk more than a couple of laps around the hospital floor. He has a fever at the same time every day, but the fever goes away with medication. His veins are shot so we're now waiting for a port to be inserted so he can start chemo next week. The plan is to give him gemcitabine and carboplatin. I'm afraid that he's already weak and will have a hard time tolerating chemo.
I'm no stranger to cancer myself, as I'm an almost 4-year survivor of stage 3 breast cancer (not sure if there's a genetic predisposition in our family, but it seems likely). I'm trying to remain positive for my dad, but it's tough to watch him deteriorate so fast. He's worried about leaving my mom behind.
Those of you that have taken this chemo, or are currently taking it, can you please share your experience with me? In particular, I'm looking for hopeful stories as much as possible. I want him here for his 76th birthday in March, I want him here to see the grandkids play soccer in the summer, I want him here for at least another year. Is that too much to ask for given his type and aggressiveness of mets?