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Nueroendocrine Carcinoma

CS3800
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2009

My Dad turns 90 years old next month. He still works 6 days a week at the retirement center. He has never been sick with anything. Not even a cold. As far as my brother and I can remember, he never stayed home from work because of any "sickness" reason. Much to our surprise, he has just been diagnosed with nueroendocrine Carcinoma.
A few weeks ago, following a minor fall leaving on small scratches, a knot began to appear behind and under Dad's left ear. A visit to the doctor resulted in the recommendation of having it removed and tested. Dad, since there was no discomfort, reluctantly agreed. They removed the knot and some lympth nodes. The results were devastating. We have been told it is an aggresive form of cancer. Doing some research on line seems to bear this out. We have an appointment next week to visit with an oncologist who is supposed to assess Dad's condition and make recommendations for the future.
Dad is very confident with his belief in where he will go following his bodily death. Our main concern is the process between here and then. Does anyone have any words of wisdom on how to make the process as pain free as possible? My brother, my wife and I understand everyone is different and what works for one, may not work for another. However, we are new to this cancer arena and would appreciate knowing if anyone can speak from experience about neuroendocrine carcinoma.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

about your dad's diagnosis. I have no experience with that type of cancer, but my dad is 89 and I have been his caregiver for 13 years. My first suggestion in managing whatever pain or discomfort your dad may experience in the future is to stress to him the importance of being open with all his caregivers (from his medical team right down to anyone who looks after him even for a short time) about anything he is feeling, no matter how trivial it may seem to him. One of the best defenses in pain management is to counter it in the beginning and not allow it to escalate. I imagine that your dad is probably a lot like mine in that they are from the 'grin and bear it' generation. But this is not the time for heroics.
The other suggestion that I have from my own experience and that of both my parents (I also cared for my mother several years until she passed) is that if one thing doesn't work, move on. Ask the medical team for a different drug or strategy if good results are not forthcoming in a timely manner. These days there is no reason for anyone to spend their last days in misery.
And finally, as long as your dad is in a strong frame of mind and capable of making reasonable decisions for himself, be prepared to honor his wishes even if they are not what you would choose for him. Maintaining his dignity will be as important to him as maintaining his physical comfort (or perhaps more so).
God bless you all on this journey.

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