Apr 08, 2013 - 5:38 pm
Ill try and keep this brief, so much has happened these last few months. In December Dad, he will be 73 tomorrow, started complaining of a backache, which is a normal thing for him. When the pain did not get better and other symptoms started to appear we became concerned that this was something else. He was experience a lot of confusion and balance issues. We actually were begining to think these may be storke symptoms. Many tests later and deterioation of his condition which lead to a fall that left my mom with 2 broken ribs from trying to catch him, they finally admitted him for further testing. They found a 2.2cm tumor on his cerebellum. He had surgery to remove the tumor on 2/5/13, we were told this was a metastic tumor but at that time the origin was still unknown. 9 days in rehab, and then released home, he began to deterioate again. Balance and confusion were getting worse instead of better. He was re-admitted, more tests and scans found he had excessive fluid on his brain and 2 more very small tumors were found on the frontal lobe. 3/6 He had a shunt placed to drain the fluid. He was sent to a rehab again, He actually gets out today.
He had a scope done on 3/30 which found the orgin of the cancer, what had appeared to be an inflamed portion of his lower espohgas was cancer and the cells match the cells of the tumor removed from his cerebellum. The PET scan taht was done also found 2 lymph nodes, and 2 other small spots near the esophogas. We met again with his Oncologist, on 4/5, who confimred the diagonsis as Stage IV Espohgeal Carcinoma. We were told surger is not an option because this was an "established cancer" (not sure what that means). Dad is currently on day 10 of 15 of whole brain radiation, to shrink the 2 new tumors and to kill any cells left at the site of the removed tumor.
I am a little overwhelmed with all the information that is being presented, and dealing with the facts presented, trying to honor my Dad's wishes. trying to be supportive of my mom, and keep the rest of the family informed. To say a ittle overwhelmed is an understatement for sure.
The treatment plan at the moment is to have a begin chemo the week of 3/22, giving Dad 1 week off following the daily radiation. Chemo will be 1x per week for 3 weeks and then a week off.
A few of the questions (issues) I am trying to figure out, Dad had said prior to the visit with Oncologist, that he knew he was in denial of the cancer and the one thing he didnt want to be told was that it was incurable. Sadly that was the first thing the Dr told him without being asked. I understand the importance of Dad staying positive at this point, but i am finding it had on my side with all the information at hand. I am greatly concerned with eating issues that may present themselves. Dad has a living will which specifically says no food or water. The Dr did make a comment that Dad was almost 3 months post diagonsis and doing pretty well. Very hard to know what he meant by that without thinking of some of the very grim statistics out there on prognosis. Distance between the rest of the family and my parents is a issue too. they live 1300 miles away. I am currently home for a week after spending the last month done with them.
Not really sure what question i have specifically now... but have found since coming home, this is all sinking in.