Friday, June 25, 2010

Update On My Dad

My dad had a follow-up appointment with the oncologist yesterday to get the results of the PETscan he had done this past Monday. Here is what he learned:

1- The tumor is localized and has not spread to any other part of his body.☺
2- The tumor is very big and the surgeon wants him to have radiation to try and shrink the tumor before surgery.  (My dad saw the Radiologist this morning and treatments will start sometime next week.  He will have radiation treatments 5 days a week for 5 weeks before he can have the surgery.)  I am truly hoping the radiation will start shrinking the tumor because I know it will relieve the pain and discomfort my dad is having now.
3- This type of cancer does NOT get in the bloodstream.☺

4- Once treated, this type of cancer will not come back. ☺

5- He will need to see a cardiologist to make sure his heart is strong enough for surgery.

6- Radiation treatments will most likely continue after surgery (even though he will receive treatments before).

7- He also needs to see a pulmonary specialist because a spot is showing on his lung. My dad had surgery over 30 years ago and a spot on the lung was found but it was only a spot that the surgeon felt was there from the embryo stage. We are hoping this is the same spot they are seeing now.

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers in his behalf and for our family. We are still very concerned but so thankful the cancer has not spread. I do not know when I will be going to AZ since we don't know yet when he will have guess would be sometime in August but I will keep you posted.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I am so grateful for my dad!  He has always played a huge part in my life.  He has been and continues to be such a strength and has supported me in so many ways.  He has sat through countless hours of softball games, volleyball games, and Friday bowling leagues to cheer me on and give positive reinforcement.  He has ALWAYS been here for me, my siblings and my mom no matter what the circumstances.  With this cancer returning, it gives more reason to be extremely blessed to have him in my life.  I love him and would not change anything.  He is the strongest, yet gentlest man I know.  He loves his family more than anything and would do whatever he could to be there for each of us.  For any of us, family or outside of family, who know him, we know our lives have been truly touched in a great way because of him.  I hate that he is having to go through this trial in his life and I hope he knows that it is definitely my turn to be there for him.  I love you Dad!!!! ♥

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wish I Could Take The Pain Away

I talked with my mom a few minutes ago and she said both during and after my dad took a shower today, he was in a lot of pain.  It hurt him (first) just showering, then was painful while drying off and the need to bend, etc.  I really wish I could conjure up something magical to take away the pain he feels.  My mom did say that he has a "squishy" little pillow that he puts in the area when he is in bed which helps and he decided to use that today while laying on the couch.  She said it did give him some comfort.  He took medication last night to help him sleep but it didn't do the trick.  I hope he will be able to start sleeping better and if it is stress or anxiety that is causing him not to sleep, I pray he can be comforted and know that everything will be ok.  Hopefully after next week, all will go as we hope, and the tumor will be removed.  I know recovering from any surgery is painful, but each day the body feels better and better. 
Happy Father's Day (tomorrow) to all the dads out there!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Not The Way To Start Blogging Again

That is so true.  It is definitely not the way I wanted to start blogging again.  I wanted to blog about great news and fun and exciting things going on in my life.  At the same time, I know I have so, so many things to be grateful for in both mine and Bob's lives.
In May 2009, my parents came to visit for 3 weeks and it was wonderful.  While they were here, my dad noticed an area to the side of his left ribcage that itched quite a bit and as the days progressed, the area also became tender and sore.  Within just a few days of my parents returning home, my dad went to the doctor and was told it was a lipoma, which in reality is a fatty lump.  My dad does have smaller lipomas under his skin, so that was acceptable, it made sense, and we were all relieved.  Because of the diagnosis, I decided I did not need to go to AZ.  He met with a surgeon and the surgery was scheduled.  What should have taken routinely 30 minutes, turned into almost 2 hours.  I was going crazy waiting for a phone call to let me know he was out of surgery and everything was fine.  In my heart, after the first 1 1/2 hours, I knew everything was not fine.  I had tried calling my sister MaryAnn,  and got her voice mail.  I finally called my niece who said my dad was still in recovery.  Yes, I definitely knew there was a problem.  MaryAnn finally called and told me that it was not routine, that it was not a lipoma, and that in fact he had cancer.  Malignant Spindle Cell Sarcoma.  The surgeon said because of my dad's age (83 at the time), he did not want to break the ribs and cut into the muscle.  He said he wouldn't have done that to his own father.  There were 5 "feelers" extending from the tumor and everything was sent in for a biopsy.  This was an outpatient surgery and  within 24 hours I was on my way to Arizona to help my parents in any way I could.  After one week,  both my sisters and myself  went with my parents to the follow up appointment with the surgeon.  My dad had already decided that no matter what, he was not going to have any kind of follow up treatments including Chemo and Radiation.  The surgeon gave us great news that even though the tumor was positive, the biopsy on all five "feelers" came back negative.  My dad healed so well and finally felt great again.
Over the past few months, he noticed a little burning above the scar from the first surgery.  Logical thinking (we thought at the time) was nerve damage or scar tissue from the previous surgery.  My mom called me last Sunday and said they were not going to their summer home in Springerville this week as planned.  I asked why, she broke down a little bit and told me she wished I was there, and I knew something was wrong.  My dad decided he wanted to see the doctor and have surgery if necessary because the pain in that area has gotten pretty bad.  He said it is a burning feeling and every once in awhile a shooting pain will go through.  It also has been itching.  He saw the oncologist this past Monday and had blood work done yesterday.  He has a PET scan on the 21st and a follow up appointment with the oncologist on the 24th.  We are hoping the cancer is localized and surgery will be done the week of the 28th with radiation treatments following.  The oncologist said with the surgery and radiation (if the cancer is localized) my dad will be as good as new.  They will find out on the 24th if the cancer is in other areas and that point they will find out all the options.  We are praying at this time that the cancer is only in the one area and everything will go well.  As soon as I know when the surgery has been scheduled I will be flying to AZ to help out once again.  I know my parents feel bad that I have to be away from home and Bob, but they are also very appreciative of the help and support when I am there.  Both my sisters work outside the home and it is much easier for me to be there.  After all....they are my parents and I have absolutely no problem taking care of them whenever I have the opportunity.  I would do anything for them!