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Dad Battled Stage 4 Cancer

jessiejoyce
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2015

My father recently lost a nine-month battle with Stage 4 Kidney Cancer.

I am posting on this board to offer any advice to anyone battling this disease (patient or care-givers). I started a blog halfway through my fathers journey, and I'd like to share it. I hope that anyone who is going through this battle may find comfort or prayers answered through my personal reflections.

My father was an amazing man. He battled until the very last moment, but unfortunately he was diagnosed with a very non-responsive and agressive type. My hope is that others will find answers and comfort through our journey.

I was by my father's side throughout the entire nine month journey. We received our medical care from Duke University Hospital. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I find strength in coping with my father's loss by helping others.

Here is a link to my blog- feel free to reach out with any questions: https://jessiejayh.wordpress.com

My father and I battled a lot together and he trialed many different drugs. 

 

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 924
Joined: Mar 2012

Very sorry for your loss! I know you were an excellent caregiver!  It is also very kind of you to want to help others. I agree, it is a definite way to heal. What treatments did dad do?  What type of cancer did he have? Sending love and prayers your way! Big hugs!

jessiejoyce
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2015

Hello! 

My father tried both Sutent and Afinitor, in addition to Whole Brain Radiation.

Although my father could handle the heavy side-effects that accompanied Sutent, it did not work and speed up the spread of my fathers cancer. Before Sutent, the cancer had not entered the bones. After three months on Sutent, the cancer was everywhere.

My father then needed to complete Whole Brain and Spinal Radiation. Three intensive weeks, but he handled it like a champ.

The day after WBR completed, we met with our Oncologist and dad was slated to start Afinitor a week later.

My father had horrible side-effects on afinitor. Unfortunately, he fell into that 5% of people who suffer kidney failure and we spent the next month fighting for his life in a hospital off kidney failure. He beat the odds and his kidneys recovered, only to find out a week later that the cancer was eating his femur bone, putting him a severe risk for his leg to shatter.

My father had surgery two days later to insert a titanium rod into his leg to keep the break from happening. He was recovering at home, and less than a week later had an allergic reaction to the blood thinners prescribed after surgery.

It was determined a week later that my father was too weak to endure anymore treatments and he entered hospice, where he fought for 10 more days before God called him home.

I've experienced a lot though this journey and my hope is to be able to help others who are coping with this horrific disease. I understand my father's story did not end the way we all wanted, but a long the journey we experienced many ups and downs and at the end of the day, it's important to never lose hope. To fight with everything in you and never give up. I also am looking for ways to help in the research to find a cure for Kidney Cancer. Any ideas to help me along this journey are aprreciated! 

 

Thanks all!

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

I'm sure your love heartened and sustained him through his journey, and I hope the knowledge that you helped him will hearten and sustain you in your loss. I hate this disease with a passion, but it does make one appreciate the capacity for love and open hearted caring that exists in so many people.

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 898
Joined: Mar 2012

So sorry for your loss Jesse. But I know without knowing that you were an enduring light for your dad throughout. Thank you for sharing.

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

I read your blog, albeit with much tears. Feel free to share more here about your journey. 

Terri065's picture
Terri065
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2014

Jessie, 

my prayers are with you and your dad. God bless his soul. 

I came to this forum to find some answers and everyone has been so supportive.  There's a part of me that's afraid to ask questions but I know I can't stick my head in the sand. Anything you're willing to share is appreciated.

God bless you. 

Theresa

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

So sorry.......You have no idea how close you hit to home. I am there.

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Jesse,

I am so sorry for your loss. I read some of your blog and was touched by your devotion to him.

I was close to my dad, too. He had alzheimer's. Once he went into a home, I went to visit him once or twice a day. He was scared and confused, and didn't know me (he called me the Dutch girl with the round face, lol). His last few days, I didn't leave his side. I slept in the chair by his bed, fearful that he would be alone when he died. The morning of the day he died, he woke up, and although he couldn't talk, I knew he was very clear and lucid. I took that time to talk to him about our happy family memories, and how much we all loved him and that we would take care of Mum after he was gone. He passed away with the whole family around him - just as he would have liked it. It has been 7 years and I miss him terribly. I wish you strength and know that your fond memories will get you through the difficult times without him.

Thank you for reaching out to us, thinking of those that have been hit by this terrible disease.

Your dad would have been proud.

Big hugs,

Jojo

 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

Oh dear Jesse, how sweet you are to take the time and come here to us.

It means so  much. I admire you for doing this for others.

Not sure what your beliefs are, but I believe your father is all around you. He continues his legacy through you. He inspires you too. Right? I hope you find comfort in that thought.

When I worked in Hospice care, I was reaching out to the husband of a woman dying from Alzheimers. She ws unconscious by then. I was checking with him how he was coping. He said, Oh I did all my grieving years ago. I am fine. Well, I said, this may be different, it may be a relief. He agreed. And I added, Maybe you'll even get a surprise, you never know. He looked at me, like, yeah sure. Soon after that, his wife opened her eyes, and she looked only at him, smiled and said his NAME!! It brought him to tears. He was so amazed, as was I.  She passed peacefullly a few moments later.

So, Jess, I cannot thank you enough for the work you are choosing to do in behalf of your father and his legacy. How is your Mum doing now?

Gentle hugs, my dear Jesse!

Warmly, Jan

mrs_blkjak's picture
mrs_blkjak
Posts: 103
Joined: Apr 2013

I am so sorry for your loss  My husband died 10 months ago, 13 months after being diagnosed with a very aggressive and non responsive stage 4 kidney cancer. I understand healing through helping others. I expect I'll do more in the future but for know I do a fund raising team for the sole burner in his name. Just forming the team for the second time. Emotionally that's about what I can handle right now. Caregiving is hard but also such a blessing. 

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