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Scared for my dad. Is there any hope?

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

I am a 26 year old male and I am the 5th child of 8 kids. My father is 61 years old and still smokes. He has survived major cardiac issues throughout the years and is living with a pacemaker and a difibrilator.

On 7-28-09 he was rushed to the ER with stomach pains. He survived a high risk surgery on a perforated bowel. He was told he has Stage IV metastatic lung cancer that has spread to his abdominal area and caused the perforation. He met with an oncologist in the middle of September and found out that he cannot start chemo since his stomach scar has not healed completely. He also found out that it has spread to his lower back. The doctor recommended him to get started with the radiation process and meet with a radiologist. This doctor told dad(last week) that he has it in his brain and will maybe live to see past 4 months without treatments or 6-8 months with treatment. Dealing with the sickly side affects under treatment and maybe adding some time or living out "4 months" sounds like an easy decision. Today(10-12-09) him and my mom found out the cancer has already caused his brain to bleed and could happen again anytime. The heart doctor today recommended against radiation with his heart condition and is at high risk of a heart attack. The radiation doctor today was for it and said if it bleeds again he will die. Are these the only choices he has to make a decision on? Why do I hear of cases where people make it through treatments with little to no problem? If my dad's heart can make it through what it has made it through why is radiation risky?

PBJ Austin
Posts: 347
Joined: Mar 2009

First of all I am very sorry for what you and your family are going through. I am certainly no expert but I have an idea as to why radiation is risky. When my sister was going through radiation we were told it compromises the immune system and she will be much more vulnerable to disease than others. At the time my sister was only 25 years old and she was just beginning cancer treatment so she was otherwise very healthy. It sounds like your dad has been sick awhile so he might be much more at risk than most people. Once again I'm not an expert and this is my best guess.

Many blessings to you and your family during this difficult time.

cobra1122's picture
Posts: 244
Joined: Jul 2009

After reading your post I realize that you may feel that given your Dads condition there is not much room for hope, but there is. Your Dad and I have some similar health conditions, If you read my bio you will see what I mean.
As for treatments they can always taylor the treatment to meet his health issues as they did mine, until the treatment became to much, then I stopped. I truly believe in Quality of life voer Quanity. My family supports my desicions and has/is been by my side through the whole ordeal began.
I am 49 yrs old and as I said if you read my bio you'll see I have a very complicated health history, and I am currently on Hospice and going strong so to speak.
There is always Hope and surrounding your Dad with Positive attitudes and support will help make this journey more bearable for all.
Cherish the time you have, don't look to tomorrow it will be here fast enough, but enjoy today, create memories and just cherish the time you all have together' No one has any garruanty on how long we have sick or not, and no Doc can tell you foresure, they can only go by what they have heard or read. I have out live every prognosis they have given me, and I plan on continuing to do so, as I hope your father does...

Our Prayers and Best Wishes are with Your Dad, You and Your Family
Dan and Margi Harmon

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