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This is going to be cancer isn't it?!

(91 Posts)
Olderkidsaremine Mon 26-Nov-12 13:07:29

My Dad has had a rough time of it over the last few years - servere mental health issues and approx 10 years ago a big operation to remove lymph nodes in his neck due to skin cancer and weeks of radiothearpy afterwards.

Last Tuesday he had a chest xray after complaining about a pain in his chest - long story about doctors dismissing his concerns because his heart sounded fine and he didn't seem to have a problem with breathing, mum insisted on xray! Anyway on Thursday he had a call arranging for a consultants appointment on the 5th December and then over the weekend a letter came through booking him in for a 'scan' on Saturday 1st at 1.30pm.

We are all trying to stay positive - better knowing sooner rather than later etc etc. But this isn't going to end well is it? Any ideas what it could be? Should mention that he has been a smoker for over 50 years.

MumOfStan Thu 06-Dec-12 05:33:44

So sorry you've had this news. I am also experiencing the pain of my darling Dad being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He was diagnosed around a month ago but the initial shock and horror has to some extent subsided and whilst I am in constant grief for what we're going to lose, I do manage to have some days/moments where I can enjoy life. I talk to him everyday more or less, say all the things I want to say to him, and spend the rest of my time trying to find positive info to help my mum get the best care for him and not to abandon all hope. I hope you get answers and info quickly and that some kind of treatment plan is put in place. In the mean time, I am here everyday and very glad to talk/listen/understand/whatever so that all of us on here with the same situation feel less alone....

Olderkidsaremine Thu 06-Dec-12 11:51:38

Thanks to everyone for the support and words of encouragement, it helps to know that I'm not alone. I'm trying to be strong for my mum and try and think positively - unfortunately my default is a pessimist so finding that really hard. It was really hard telling my grown up kids - they had some inkling that their Grandad was really unwell by the speed with which scan and consultants appointment came through, one through the tears said "I know how bad it is for me and I can't imagine how hard it is for you" which has me in tears just thinking about it!

The man in my life - for the last 6 months - doesn't know how to approach me I told him not to be nice to me or I'd cry and then proceeded to cry anyway! He just held me and let me soak his shirt! smile

We'll know more about tests etc tomorrow and mum was told whatever they decide to do test wise they will be done in the next two weeks so at least before Christmas we will have some definite plans in place.

I'm so sorry for anyone else going through this - I thought I understood how devastating it would be - I now know that I had no idea!

MumOfStan Thu 06-Dec-12 12:33:55

I really, really feel for you, and somehow it's all the more poignant because it's christmas time isn't it - where we're reminded constantly that families should be happy and together and at home. It is perhaps the hardest thing I've ever dealt so far in life, but I found once we knew the full story and what we were dealing with, and of course what could be done to help dad, it was somehow slightly easier. I have also found that my kids and my work have been an absolute help in ensuring I have at least a few hours a day where I feel relatively 'normal', if that's the right word.

I know this next year is going to be very tough so I am also trying where possible to not be hard on myself in other respects - so eating what I fancy, taking naps and rest at weekends, and not going all out to be at work for all hours. It is hard, hard, hard, but certainly in my limited experience to date, there are some days where it is not as hard and you can smile or feel okayish. Wishing you all the best and hope you and your family get through this first very difficult period as well as you can. xxx

thewhistler Thu 06-Dec-12 19:52:22

Op and ink,so sorry and thinking of you.

Olderkidsaremine Fri 07-Dec-12 16:44:13

Appointment at the other hospital is on Tuesday, on a day ward as he has to be there at 8am and for him not to eat or drink, so its sounds like its going to be a bronchoscopy biopsy, not sure when the results will be available. So still a waiting game - I hate the not knowing, it feels like I'm wishing my life away by wanting it done and the results known but in actual fact I could be wishing my dear dads life away sad

My brother has gone into denial and everyone else is just sad and tearful, trying to be normal is so hard!

Mumofstan my thoughts are with you x

Incapinka Fri 07-Dec-12 22:10:05

It is so so horrid. Evil disease affecting loved ones. I was really struggling coping with it as was trying to be so strong for my DM and DB and everyone else and kept on collapsing in to tears when out of sight of people. I ended up going to the doctor who has prescribed some pills to help take the edge of things and whilst I know they aren't everyone's cup of tea I am finding that I am functioning better. Do try and look after yourself as you need to be strong to support them. My mum had her biopsy done last Monday (11 days ago) and started chemo today. We are now on that scary road and I just hope that it gives us more time with her as she is so special. Thoughts are with everyone also on this bumpy road. And do look after yourselves...

BensonBunny Fri 07-Dec-12 22:33:09

OP Sorry to hear about your Dad, hope this information might help.
Biopsy results take about a week, sometimes nearer to two depending on the number of tests they need to do on the samples. They will discuss the results at a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting where there are oncologists who give chemotherapy and radiotherapy and surgeons present. They can then give your Dad the results along with a plan for treatment or further investigations. Treatment will be based on the type of cancer and the size / spread of the tumour.
Roy Castle are a good source of information. I'm happy to try an answer any questions, you can pm me if you prefer.

Incapinka Tue 11-Dec-12 11:23:48

Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you today. Mum had her biopsy done 2 weeks ago and started chemo last Friday so I can relate to what you are going through. Fingers crossed for some hope and positive news x

digerd Tue 11-Dec-12 11:59:50

Been thinking of you. My DH had a bronchial endoscopy before the CT. But he had no sedation, just a numbing spray and had no discomfort at all.

Good luck for him on Tuesday. The biopsy will determine the type of cancer and the stage it is at. So fingers crossed for him.

Olderkidsaremine Tue 11-Dec-12 20:23:29

Well Dad got through today with little memory of the proceedure and no sore throat so that is all for the good. Unfortunately not only did they take a sample from his lung they also took samples of lymph nodes - he has one large one in the centre of his chest and 4/5 smaller ones around his chest!

Mum and him were talking and they both think that this is not looking good. Mum has fallen apart now and can't stop crying and at the same time trying to be strong and not upset Dad. She has insisted that my brother comes to the results so he can't bury his head in the sand anymore.

Dad is being so brave - I don't think I would react the same in his place.

We'll get a call on Friday to let us know when the appointment is for getting the results.

Feeling stronger over the last couple of days - at least not dissolving into tears every little while!

Feeling so sad for everyone going through this sad

digerd Wed 12-Dec-12 12:48:21

Thank you for updating us. So sorry your DM has fallen apart, but she does need to cry, and is good she is insisting your brother go with them for the results. My DH was unable to ask questions or even listen to the answers, .I did both for him.
It appears your dad's lung cancer is not the same as my DHs, more like lymphatic cancer that has spread to his lungs which was probable due to his cancer 10 years ago. There are good survival rates in certain cases with lymphatic cancer. Hoping for encouraging results for your dad.

thewhistler Thu 13-Dec-12 23:39:16

Op, well done just for continuing.

To you and all the others coping with similar things on thus thread, thinking of you at this very difficult time if year.

Olderkidsaremine Sat 15-Dec-12 10:16:44

Well no news is good news so they say - but in this case no news is killing me! Dad has to go for a PET scan on Monday - to see where the cancer has spread in his lymph nodes. We hoped that Monday would be the day of results but that has been moved to Thursday now to enable the results of the PET scan to be seen as well.

I made a fool of myself in Tesco's yesterday, thought while I'm in here I'll get all the Christmas cards everything was fine until I tried to pick one for Dad - they were either have a lovely 2013 or they seemed to be saying 'Goodbye'! The tears just tricked down my cheeks and I noticed some people glancing my way so I put everything down and walked away sniffing loudly and hoping I didn't see anyone I knew - just couldn't face telling anyone else at that point!

And now the question of whats happening on Christmas Day and Boxing Day has been asked - kids are coming home which is great, my new man will be around which is also great but my mum says that Christmas Day won't be the same as other years and then in the next breath says that she doesn't want things to change because at this moment Dad isn't actually unwell.

The only thing we can't do at the moment is change the date the Christmas falls so we have to get on with it - but that means planning and as she was always the lynchpin of Christmas since mine were tiny (divorced for years, their Dad was never around) Christmas was about spending time with Granny and Grandad, she planned it like a military operation and now shes saying well perhaps you can come for dinner but your new man can't, but my daughters boyfriend can and that we can't stay overnight - which we weren't planning to do anyway as there are to many of us - but we'll see you again on Boxing Day when Brother and family are going round! Luckerly they only live 30 mins walk away.

I'm just so confused and sad and I know she is too but I need everyones support as well and to choose between probably my Dad's last Christmas and my new man seems cruel. I don't want to be in this situation anymore than she does and the funny thing(!) about it is that Dad probably doesn't really care about the arrangements as long as everyone is happy - he goes along with what mum says as he is quite laid back.

Sorry for the essay but it seems to help by writing it down.

digerd Sat 15-Dec-12 16:18:31

I love your DF for being so laid back about his cancer diagnosis. Please take consolation in that. My DH was traumatised. However, I coped only by acting as if everything was normal, perhaps like your DM. If your sister's BF was with him last Xmas, then it will be normal for your DM to have him there this Xmas. Do you understand, how she may be thinking, although it seems a bit extreme to me too about her not wanting your new BF there. I do hope he understands, as must be difficult for him too.
It is encouraging that your DF does not feel ill. Wishing him luck for a promising prognosis after his Pet scan.

digerd Sat 15-Dec-12 16:29:50

Your dd's boyfriend, sorry.

Olderkidsaremine Fri 21-Dec-12 10:25:11

Well Thursday is over and we are still unsure of the course of action, there is a 50/50 chance that Dad can have his whole lung removed - the cancer is quite large and more to the centre of his lung which means if the operation goes ahead then it has to be the whole lung - but he needs to have lung function tests to see if the other lung is capable of ensuring that he has a reasonable quality of life! Tests will be on Monday.

Dad said numerous times during the course of the consultation with the doctors that he would like the operation if possible - I think he is pinning all his hopes on it but I don't think it has dawned on him that if it is not possible what will happen next!

We do know the type of cancer - squamous cell (sp) but didn't ask for the stage it is at but reading up on it they wouldn't offer an operation if its too advanced. It is a primary, although it is they same as the previous time.

So more tests, more decisions and no nearer a conculsion. I'm tired of the not knowing now - not knowing means we can't prepare!

digerd Sun 23-Dec-12 16:48:15

Good to hear from you again and that it is not a primary lung cancer. Also, Specialist told me and DH that an operation was out of the question as so advanced it would spread even faster. That it was inoperable and the only hope was Chemo and Radium Treatment, so you are right. There is hope for your dad.
I know nothing about his type of cancer, but assume it is Lymphatic cancer, which he had in his neck 10 years ago?
Which other tests is he having? DH had the CT to see where else it had spread to, but within 2 weeks he was in for 6 months of chemo and a month of daily radium treatment. He never had a PET scan.
Hope they soon make a decision and get it sorted.

greyvix Sun 30-Dec-12 17:36:55

OP, we are in exactly the same situation as you with DM, who had her first x ray on the same day as your DF. Just like you, we were given the 2 week window, but we are still waiting to have an exact date for the operation. When she phoned the hospital a couple of days ago she was told her timing was bad because of Christmas holidays. It is now likely to be mid January.
I am astounded that there is so little sense of urgency in these cases. We are all staying positive, but want to get on with fighting it asap. I hope things work out for you and for the other posters on here.

Olderkidsaremine Thu 03-Jan-13 22:05:25

Just an update. Dad had his lung functions tests on Christmas Eve and according to the nurse - who my mum spoke to on the 27th - he did very well. Today was the day we met the surgeon and got the information that he is prepared to do the operation to remove the whole lung. And he is going to do it next Wednesday the 9th!

Very relieved that we have finally have a date but now the worry turns to whether he will survive the operation!

Mum and Dad couldn't stop smiling - not what you expect when told your whole lung will be removed! but very positive news for everyone.

This has been a very long month, a very strange Christmas and looking forward its going to be a very strange January. But now there is hope that last Christmas wasn't my Dads last and I am thankful for that.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone on this road x

Meganlillymai Thu 03-Jan-13 23:24:14

I can't put into words how sorry I feel for you and ur loved ones. It is an awful thing use are all going through. I hope and pray ur father has a good out come from his operation wich I'm sure he will as he sounds like a very strong man.

CornyClam Thu 03-Jan-13 23:31:32

So sorry about your dad's dx but really hope that his op is successful.
it must be such a shock for you with your dad having his op next week.

NorthernLurker Thu 03-Jan-13 23:39:37

Just seen this and caught up with all your updates. I'm sorry it was cancer as feared but it sounds like your Dad is being treated quickly and proactively and is coping ok so that's good. Hang in there.

greyvix Fri 04-Jan-13 11:42:20

OP, my thoughts are with you, and it is good news that your dad has a date and a plan. My uncle had a lung removed 15 years ago (lung cancer) and is fit as a fiddle now. He is well into his 70s.
My mum is STILL awaiting her next appointment, and is getting increasingly anxious. We found out this morning that the surgeon isn't back until next week, and the hospital has been hit by norovirus, so things are being delayed even further. She was originally told her operation would also be the second week in January.
Good luck to your dad, and anyone in a similar situation.

digerd Fri 04-Jan-13 21:27:55

I know a woman whose dad died at 88 last year, after being cured of lung cancer years ago. Being operable is a really positive sign.

Meganlillymai Sun 06-Jan-13 20:15:34

Good luck to your father for Wednesday. My prayers are with you all.

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