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usafwife
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2008

My Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2007. We found out in June 2007 that it was in his lymph nodes. June 2, 2008 we found out that the cancer had spread to his brain. Everything was moving so fast. He's been in bed for 3 weeks. He can't do anything for himself... In those 3 weeks, we've had at least 2 days where we thought we were going to lose him. Now for the past 4 days or so, he's doing awesome! He's come outside (in his wheelchair) and "played" with my kids. Has anyone else been through something like this? It's been such an emotional rollercoaster. A little back round... I'm a 29 year old only child. I have 2 boys 8 & 4. I have been married to my husband for almost 11 years and he's been in the Air Force for almost 17 years. We battled breast cancer 4 years ago with my mom and my dad had prostate cancer back in 1992. Thanks for any words of wisdom.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

USAFwife, your experience is not uncommon. (Incidentally, I spent some years in the USAF myself, back in the good old days of the early 1980s :)).

My mom had breast cancer in the mid 1970s, which doctors appeared to have eradicted through what amounted to brute force. Later, in the 90s, she was discovered to have ovarian, and was fighting a brave battle against that when drs also discovered cancer in the brain. This turned out to be metastatis from the breast cancer from long ago.

Suffice it that I lived two thousand miles away, and was called home on three different occasions, as it became 'obvious' that my mom's life was coming to an end very quickly (just as you describe). The first two times I went home, my mom was waiting on the back patio by the swimming pool, big smile on her face, the perfect picture of health :). Each time, I stayed for several days (the first time with my wife and kids along for the ride), and my mom was fine. My dad later suggested that just knowing that she would see us/me one more time brought her back around (I was her oldest).

Alas, the third time was the 'charm'. When I arrived at my parents' home, my mom was comatose in a gurney in the den (my dad chose to treat her at home rather than use the hospice option). I slept on the floor beside her that first night I was there, not sure if she could even understand me, and sometime before dawn my father awakened me to advise that she was gone.

It is a sad story perhaps, but over time, what I remember most is the happiness she expressed during those TWO first trips home :).

I am sure that you are enjoying the times with your father when he is alert. Eventually, it is likely those opportunities will pass, based on your description.

Enjoy him while you can! That is my best advice. Let him enjoy you and your hub and your children while he can. Cancer is indeed a roller coaster, but we can choose to relish the highs and disregard the lows as much as possible, and as difficult as that may be.

I wish you and your family the very best, regretting that I have nothing more to offer.

Take care,

Joe

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