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My father has been diagnosed with an aggressive form

Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2009

It is now Thursday August 6, 2009. My father is dying of Stage IV Esophagael Cancer. This cancer he has is aggressive, it came on in a month (may have been longer but nobody saw the signs)and once it was realized that the pain couldn't be controlled by the pain medication he had been prescribed for bad back pain(which we now see the pain was his liver being covered with lesions). Friday August 1, 2009, my father was admitted to Memorial Hospital out here in Colorado Springs, the cancer specialists, and surgeons ran their tests, did their biopsies, and by Tuesday August 4, 2009, my family was told my father has an aggressive form which has spread to his liver, and bascially my father has weeks to live, they could not do anything for him, but help alleviate the pain. If they were to try to operate on the large mass that is in my fathers esophagus he would not make it. If they tried chemoradiation on my father that alone would finish off his liver. He has been moved to a hospice where he will stay for 5 days then move home to finish his days out in the comfort of his home,with his family. As i write this my emotions flare wildly from how quickly this disease has ravaged his body. My father Mel Parnell Turner, Sr. is a 56 year old husband, father, brother, and grandfather,Air Force Retired Veteran after 27 years in the service, he retired an E9 Chief Master Sergeant. My father is a vietnam veteran, he WILL be buried at The Arlington Cemetary for Veterans in Virginia. My father enjoyes riding with the professional bicyclers out here, he has rode in quite a few charitiy rides! My father while in the military helped in a program like "Scared Straight", but it was here in California, as well as here in Colorado. My dad has seen so many things others probably won't see, he is such an amazing daddy, and right now, it hurts to see how in pain he is, how i see deep within his the fact that he wants to stay. Today I saw my father cry for the first time. It is difficult to remain emotionally strong right now. My mom is doing okay, she is hurting, but with our faith i know this is a test on that. We do believe in miracles, however we do know that whatever he has in store for us, he will remain on his path. Right now I am desperate for anymore information, I am in such disbelief of all of this. I am 31 and I have 3 other siblings, as well as a nephew. The strength and many prayers would help, and i hope help alleviate the pain of what is happening. Please tell me how to help him be more compfortable with this it is affesting everyone. I do thank you so much.

MOE58's picture
Posts: 649
Joined: May 2009


I am so sorry to hear about your father, I am a caregiver for my husband of 45 years old, he was diagnosed on April 1, with esophogeal, we were devasted, we had surgery on the 23rd of July, and had a very very rough start, It was not an easy surgery at all, I have hardly left him since he has been here, I am very fortunate that my husband was only stage 2 and operable and had not spread, only because he couldn't swallow. Please never say never miracles does happen. There is a person on this site named KITTEN, she was only 23 years old and stage 3 at the time of hers, and doing wonderul. Also, there is a gentleman names William Marshall66, please go on his sites and read his infor. I will tell you not to be scared he just tells it like it is, I was petrified of his words in the beginning, and it scared me bad, but as I got to know Bill and his wife, I couldn't have gone through what I have without him, when I was down during surgery I could ask him and he would lift my spirits, please note: we are not the surgeons or the doctors, but we are people that have walked these shoes, and know what to expect, we are not counselors, but we are advocates, that try to help someone as scared as I was when we found out on my husband. I hope you will go on our sites and read them. We never know when GOD is calling us home, but we know that he will do all he can to help him while he is here on earth. There is a young guy on this site named ancientweb, he is approx 32 years old, and nonoperable and I believe he is also stage 4 something like your father, you might try to reach him on this site and he may be able to help you more. I would be glad to help you with as many questions or answers as I can. As I write you my husband is still in the hospital recovering from his surgery from 2 weeks ago, I never thought I would be facing a road like this. Like I said it is not easy.
I have not left him much since the day of his surgery, and with this site prayer and friends i have been blessed alot. You have come to the right site for help. Please do not be scared by what you read we are just a group of people that have either had the surgery, a caregiver for someone with the same disease, or some people are like you and have come to this site for relief and help.

Please know if you have any questions or anything please ask


Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2009

I can't express how thankful i am to have met some truly amazing and comforting individuals here. Thank you. It's tough, it really is, but the faith my family holds on to is strong, so that also helps. Thank you. My prayers are with you as well, it is still a trying thing to experience.

Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2007

Dear Azockie, I don't usually post, but I do read the entries here every day or so. This group is a wonderful source of information and comfort. After reading your post, I felt that I HAD to respond to your cry for help. My husband also was in Viet Nam, and he was diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer in July 2007. Same situation, no symptoms, a slight back ache, and trouble swallowing. He had mets to distant lymph nodes, not the liver, though. Agent Orange has FINALLY and just recently been recognized and acknowledged by the Veteran's Administration and by our government officials, as one of the causes of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. (That is another whole long story, which I won't start here at this time).
My husband has had wonderful success with chemo alone. He was given 9 months to live, originally, and he is STILL doing well, in remission and living a happy productive life. He is 63.
What I wanted to ask you is this:
Are the doctors absolutely sure they cannot treat your father? Many people on these and other boards with stage 4 and with liver involvement have been successfully treated, including my husband, and have had good results. There are so many new things available now, Radiofrequency ablation can be done to the liver. It is not as invasive as radiation, and has minimal side effects. I don't know any details, but I just have to believe that your father HAS to have other options. Has your family gotten a second opinion? Have you considered taking him to one of the National Cancer Centers, there is one in Colorado. University of Colorado Cancer Center here is their web site:


Hope this helps, and please keep posting so others can help, too.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

Could you tell me more about the Agent Orange link?

kitten0385's picture
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2009

I am so sorry you are going through this. I would recommend getting a second opinion if you haven't done so already...there are many people out there that have fought off stage IV cancer. If you continue to get the same news, stay strong for you dad, he will need you through this ordeal. I'm not sure how else to respond, other than to tell you that my prayers will be with you and your family as you encounter all that lies ahead.

I wish you the best


Posts: 53
Joined: Aug 2009

I am TRULY SORRY to hear about you father As i Nam Vet I know what he went through over there
Please hang in there and do what you are doing it sounds like his final days will be with his family who LOVES him

Abe AKA Runabe also newbie

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Posts: 31
Joined: Jul 2009

I just read your note, please note that all of us here have had some connection either directly or indirectly with this unfortuante disease. We all know how difficut and unbearable the pain and emotions can be, however know this, that second opinions are there, and that we all are praying for you and your family and the support here is phenominal. remember you are not alone!!


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