Re: [MOL] APPRECIATE ALL YOU MOLERS [00339] Medicine On Line

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Your message touched several areas of my own ordeal with my Dad.  I've copied
and pasted the ones that apply.  I can't offer info as I'm new to this too,
but it may help to hear what someone else who is new is experiencing that is

> I found out my step father has lung cancer. He is 56 and the cancer has
>  throughout both of his lungs. He's smoked since he was 14. 
My father was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (squamous cell) in
August. He thought he was having a heart attack, but the x-ray revealed a
walnut-sized lump in the bottom of his left lung.  He is 75 years old, but
even at 46 yrs of age, I am not ready to let him go and he wants to be here;
this moment of my life is forever frozen in time, burned into my heart and
memory as not even the birth of my son was 25 years ago!  My father smoked
very heavily since he was 10 and quit completely 55 years later!  He has LOTS
of strength, both physical and mental.  He is a very faith-filled man, which I
think has been his major hope since August.

Mom said they haven't even x-rayed him to see if it's doing a thing. She said
he isn't getting nauseated which the doctors say is a good thing. 
Surgery was scheduled to remove part of the left lung on Sept 30.  While my
father was unconscious, the new Dr. (the surgeon) who had not until then seen
the x-rays decided to have another look and found suspicious marks on the
right lung.  Tests revealed that they were also malignant and the doctor
decided to remove the smaller new growths instead (it's a slow-growing form of
cancer, we are told).  My father awoke, all alone for more than an hour, in
fear and wondering why his right lung hurt instead of the left. I'm sure he
thought they removed the wrong lung!  My father is still getting chemo and has
been since Sept or Oct; plans are to continue through the month, then maybe
radiation. He has had some ups and downs with reactions to chemo, but so far
only one was severe.  They offset the side-effects with other drugs to aid his
appetite, keep his blood count up, and eliminate nausea, etc. But in all this
time, they have only done one MRI, and one set of bone and abdomen scans
(which were clean).

I heard they do so many radiation and chemotherapy treatments and then that's
that his life is up to God from there. Is this true?  
I know someone who has had cancer 3 times in her life (as a child, as a young
mother, and in midlife) but she is still here and in her late 60s.  She has a
very determined attitude, a bright smile, and if she hadn't told anyone about
her health, no one would ever have been the wiser.  I have a friend who has
been undergoing cancer treatments on & off for more than a year; she is still
with us and has good days and bad days, but her cancer has not gone away.  She
has never had any surgery, just chemo and radiation.

He's in Arkansas and I'm in Virginia. 
I only live 25 minutes from my father and still there is difficulty in
communication. He doesn't want to discuss it nor does he question the doctors,
just goes along with anything they (actually the onc is a "she") tell him.  My
sister lives 1 1/2 hrs away and it's more difficult for her.

They did tell my mom who has been relaying everything to me that they will not
perform surgery on his lungs because the cancer is spread throughout them
>From my experience, this is true.  This is what the surgeon told me, that they
CAN'T operate on both lungs...maybe one now, another in the future may be
possible if the tumor shrinks enough.  The doctor said that the cancer moves
through the nodes from one lung to the other, and that was his reason for
supporting the oncologist's decision to use chemo although he originally
agreed (in private) that radiation for his type of cancer was the better
choice.  I asked him, "...if this was your father, which would you choose?"
He said, "My grandfather did have this.  I would go with the radiation."  He
is from Mayo Clinic and arrived here only a few months ago; in the face of the
oncologist he wouldn't agree with me.

My mother is not asking very many questions and the doctors don't seem to be
giving very many answers. I feel pretty much lost and the separation of many
miles sucks at a time like this.
For whatever it's worth, Sonya, I am in the same boat.  And the question and
answer problem is true here.  I gathered a whole book of info from the
internet, from email like this support group, and included prayers from a
prayer group and lots of jokes for my Dad.  He refuses to pick up the book.
He doesn't want to know anything and gets angry with me if I even attempt to
discuss it.

The only One I've really relied on totally is God.  That is the only truly
valuable advice I can give you Sonya.  And even there I've had a bit of a
problem because I was disappointed that God hadn't not answered a prayer I've
prayed for years, "...please always protect my family and friends from all
forms of violence: physical, verbal, and diseases."  I truly believed my
family was safe, but God has shown me that no matter what comes we are still
in His Hands. I have chosen to continue to place all my faith in Him because
the doctors are like the Three Stooges, communication is pitiful, and He has
placed me in this situation with only His true light to guide.  I trust that
He will give us sufficent time for all our needs.  That's really all any of us
has, this day.  Will I live tomorrow? Will my son? Will my Dad? Only God knows
for certain; we simply trust that we will.

God bless you Sonya.
Chris R.

 He keeps telling me on the phone he's fine and he sounds fine but I know he's
not fine.
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