Aug 01, 2011 - 2:48 am
Taking dad for a followup with his Onc tomorrow. Finished round 3 of 160 mg Temodar (3 wks on/ 1 off) which is treating stage 4 melanoma with numerous lung/ brain mets. During the first week of the last round I had to take him to ER for chest pains. Not his heart, best estimate was tumor pain. (Had been very lethargic, weak, etc since May.) And I use "treat" that way dr used it, as in helping slow tumors down, but not curing the cancer. Late June scans showed tumors slowed down but not shrinking.
Went to a followup the next week with the same dr we will see tomorrow. We had talked privately; I had asked about hospice and if it might be time. He told me dad has bleak prospects for 4-6 months from now. He said to go off chemo would be medically sound since it won't improve much. We upped his steroid, put him on 20 mg lexapro and continuing 5mg ritalin/x2 day. 2mg steroids really perked him up - he is so much more talkative and even getting up frequently to move about the house. 3 weeks ago that was out of the question - he barely wanted to move unless he had to. seemed very much like a stroke patient as his brain is so affected. anyway, he had been on steroids almost the whole time since early April but weaned down to 1mg. now they seem to be helping a lot more. problem is that dad seems to really think that he is "getting better" as in beating cancer because the effects of appetite, energy, comprehension are a nice change.
not sure what to ask the doctor to tell him tomorrow. when dad is on the phone now he acts like hes just waiting this stuff out. i have had several conversations when he is more lucid and seems to understand that he needs to wrap up chemo, needs to focus on living, needs to enjoy his life. but he tells other people how he just is waiting to get back to work and move several states away. he has trouble communicating, obviously, but i want him to be able to make a bucket list or something to tell us what he wants. its just so hard listening to him talk about going back to work and have just been talking with secretary who packed up his office, personal belongings, etc, as we all know he cant go back.
he was so bad for these past 4 months. we are happy the meds give him a little window back to life, but just wonder for how long til the pain comes on and he cant feel good. do i go ahead and ask for hospice so they can all get acquainted while he's sort of himself? i had someone from a hospice come a couple weeks ago just to explain what hospice is. i dont want to scare him or make him feel any more out of control than he already must feel deep down - though he will not talk about it with virtually anyone. i know he knows more than he lets on to his friends, but it's difficult because I don't know what he really thinks.
my emotions are just a mixed bag.