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Trib's thread for her step-dad

(50 Posts)
tribpot Tue 04-Mar-08 18:47:23

Okay, to summarise to date:

My step-dad is in hospital. He went to see his GP two weeks ago exactly, can't believe how much has happened since then. He's been feeling breathless for a while and was retaining a lot of fluid on his ankles. GP sent him for a chest x-ray. Radiographer said "go back to your GP. Today." because there was a shadow on his heart that looked like a mass of some kind.

He was due to be seen at the chest clinic today but had a CT scan done last Wednesday that confirmed it was a mass and that there was a big build-up of fluid round his heart. On Thursday the hospital phoned to say "why aren't you here?" Errr, why would I be? Anyway, he should never have been allowed to leave after the CT, so they admitted him and on Friday they drained the fluid.

Unfortunately during the drain my step-dad went into shock and they thought he'd had a heart attack. (Crash team called, my mum in the waiting room watching them go by ... )Fortunately this wasn't the case and with some saline and oxygen he was fine. He feels a lot better now the fluid's been drained and we're waiting to hear whether they can make a diagnosis from the fluid itself, or if a needle biopsy will have to be done. If the latter, hopefully he'll be out today and await the results in a week's time.

The two possibilities which have been mentioned are lymphoma (not good - but there are 'grades' of lymphoma) and thymoma. Thymoma would be the preferred option as the majority of them (it's a tumour that grows on the thymus, which is some weirdo entity near the heart) are benign and 'just' require surgery to remove.

So a worrying time, but my mum is coping okay for now, my step-dad's quite chipper. Just got to take it as it comes, I guess.

tribpot Tue 04-Mar-08 18:48:42

Okay and tonight's update:

He has had the chest drain taken out without any dramas. A needle biopsy has been done and we won't know any more until next Tuesday when he goes to the chest clinic.

He's being discharged tomorrow and feels really well! Long may it continue.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 04-Mar-08 18:51:27

Good news that he is being discharged.

And hoping for more good news next week.

Best wishes to you all.

katz Tue 04-Mar-08 18:58:01

thinking of you, i doubt there's anything i can do but if you fancy a meet-up in the near future let us know, our Junies can have a play together.

NAB3wishesfor2008 Tue 04-Mar-08 18:59:38

I wish you good news from now on.

TotalChaos Tue 04-Mar-08 19:05:15

good luck for next week.

DumbledoresGirl Tue 04-Mar-08 19:08:41

Tribpot, I really hope your step dad is diagnosed with something "trivial" that can be put right in a jiffy. You all must be going through such a rollercoaster of emotions right now. Despite the criticisms of the NHS, it is actually a great service for most people and the doctors are brilliant. Lots of love.

VanillaPumpkin Tue 04-Mar-08 20:00:49

Glad to hear more positive update Trib. Take care.

tribpot Tue 04-Mar-08 20:38:48

Thank you all. I feel very calm today, knowing it will be a week before there can be any news (and not just through 'confusion and delay' but actually a genuine clinical delay before the sample can be tested).

Whilst my mum is sleeping okay I am doing alright, all of us are actually more worried about her than my step-dad in coping terms. His main complaint currently is being bored in hospital!

Who knows what next week will bring. But the point is, it's next week. We can't change what it will be, so for this week I want to enjoy all that we have as a family, and simply entrust to the future that we might have that after next week as well.

ChorusLine Tue 04-Mar-08 20:47:32

So sorry to hear that Trib - DS and i will keep everything crossed for you x

berolina Tue 04-Mar-08 20:48:17

Oh goodness, trib, I've missed all of this. Thinking of you. x

tribpot Tue 04-Mar-08 21:29:12

Thanks both - it's been a long fortnight!

Take care xx

tribpot Sat 08-Mar-08 09:10:38

Just a quick update: he's at home, feels absolutely fine! Has lost quite a lot of weight (not a great sign) and we're calling this period "The Phony War" - almost certainly he's not going to be feeling fine in a few weeks.

We're off to visit again tomorrow and fortunately for ds his cousins will be there so he won't be as bored as he was last week when I had to spend my time sorting out my step-dad's 'Out of Office' reply for his email, working out how the new cooker hob worked for my mum etc!

I'm just calm at the moment. We can't do or know anything before Tuesday, and for once the reason for the delay in getting the biopsy results is clinical rather than inefficiency.

tribpot Tue 11-Mar-08 08:43:42

Well, today's the day. Just keeping fingers crossed.

I hope everything goes as well as it can today. Sending lots and lots of good wishes your way.


sfxmum Tue 11-Mar-08 08:51:06

fingers crossed Trib thinking of you and your family

Buda Tue 11-Mar-08 08:58:54

Hope all news is good.

tribpot Tue 11-Mar-08 11:04:09

Thanks all. He should be in now getting the news. I'm likely to be running a meeting with our supplier when I hear from my mum, not ideal.

Are you ok, Trib? You've been incredibly strong. x

tribpot Tue 11-Mar-08 12:49:14

Thanks again all. Well, the news is: there is no news. The path lab haven't been able to identify it so have sent the sample to another lab for them to have a look at.

What they have managed to confirm is that the cells are abnormal, i.e. malignant. So my step-dad is looking at chemo regardless.

I just want information: what is it? Has it spread? What are his chances? How bad is it going to get?

Just sad and bewildered really.

sfxmum Tue 11-Mar-08 13:33:04

I am sorry Trib lets hope for the best, so horribly uncertain nowsad

So sorry Trib, it must be so frustrating to go through all that waiting only to be no clearer at the end of it.

Thinking of you and your family x

VanillaPumpkin Tue 11-Mar-08 14:05:06

Oh Trib, just caught up. The waiting must be awful sad. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. It must be heartbreaking and so hard trying to keep things going for your dmum etc. Thinking of you....

katz Tue 11-Mar-08 20:42:30

thinking of you all.

i have the week beginning the 31st off if you fancy meeting up.

tribpot Tue 18-Mar-08 07:42:19

Well, today is the day. Again. And this time the nurse has phoned and confirmed there is news and a treatment plan.

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