It's Not a Fight: CancerCalGal -- Monday, December 24, 2012 -- 06:25:02 PM
This thread is tagged: cancer, chemotherapy
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I "know" 4 people w/in one degree of separation w stage 4 lung cancer...sunny was the first but three since. All but one are women in their 40's and non smokers. Its my bogeyman under the bed.
My father has stage 4 prostate cancer. Diagnosed a couple of years ago and had a good remission after radiation therapy. It's returning slowly - PSA is rising and there's a "spot" on his spine. He's being treated with medication to strengthen the bone and they will move on to chemo or radiation when it gets worse. It's all about buying him time and quality of life. I used to work in oncology, so I've done some researching and reading between the lines and I'm guessing he has a year or two. The bigger issue will be that he will leave my mother behind and she can't live on her own after having a stroke 3.5 years ago. He's done some putting his affairs in order, but there's a lot more to go. Fortunately, they are set financially and there will be money for Mom's care.
I have a group of very close girlfriends (The Ladies) back home and we get together every Wednesday at our local for beers and chat. I FaceTime in via someone's iPhone. K's husband, C, was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell squamous lung cancer in September. He had failed a company physical because of an undiagnosed heart murmur. K pressured him to follow up with his doctor and a CT discovered a suspicious shadow in his lung. That shadow turned out to be a large tumor. He went to the University of Michigan for surgery but when the surgeons opened him up the tumor was much larger than they anticipated and they were unable to remove the tumor. He is now undergoing chemo and radition. When I was back in Michigan my friend said the doctors have called the cancer "terminal". C is only 45. K is younger, and now is facing life without her husband and had her dreams of having a child ripped away. Fuck cancer.
He is determined to fight and refuses to believe he's terminal. K says, who am I to discourage him from fighting? so he's doing several rounds of simultaneous chemo and radiation. She has not said how long the doctors are giving him. I am serving as an outlet for my friend, so she can vent her feelings about this horrible situation without feeling judged. She doesn't really have to "see" me in the morning, you know?
F@$& cancer. DH's cousin, D is undergoing her 4th surgery for brain cancer on jan 7th. This is after she beat breast cancer which included double mastectomy and hysterectomy along with the many months of chemo and radiation. She is 37, married and has 3 girls aged 12, 9 and 8. She has already lost function in her right arm after the last brain op, this time they have warned she will lose more function down her right side. Also this is the last time they will operate, if the tumours come back after this, then there is nothing more they can do.
Just to really rub it in, her mum passed in November. My MIL is there every day and we have the girls when we can. There is little else to do but pray.
Our oncologist is no longer prescribing treatment - he actually told me that he didn't expect Mr Java to live this long. He has good days and bad days and is still smoking. I cannot tell you how much I hate the tobacco industry.
Thinking of you jje. It must me maddening to have mr. java continue to smoke. I'm not sure I'd handle it with the grace you have shown.
Well, not always so graceful. Sometimes yelling but I've given that up because it just tarnishes the time we've got left together. He has a very stubborn streak which I think is a factor as to why he is still alive.
Java my Dad smoked until the day he died. He had prostate cancer so not necessarily from smoking. It seemed silly to make him him quit when he was not going to get better. As you say it would tarnish what time we had left so we let it go.