View Full Version : Win some, hope for a tie next time...

05-17-2010, 06:27 PM
20 years ago my dad had colon cancer. After surgery to remove 18 inches of colon, he was in an experimental program where the cancer cells were used to make a vaccine which was injected monthly for 18 months. He has been cancer free until now.

He's been having some issues with weakness, loss of stamina, breathing difficulties, any or all of which could be related to being 85 years old. Blood work early this spring found some markers indicating cancer, but of a type which is not unusual for the age. For 90% of the people with these "markers", no treatment is necessary. He's been unable to get over an insistent cough and lack of energy, so another round of testing was done last week. Found something called a plasma tumor on the inside of the rib cage, pressing against one lung. More testing and finally results. Multiple Myeloma, which I understand to be bone cancer. Incurable.

He absolutely refuses any chemo or radiation due to seeing limited results in friends he has lost to cancer. Drs. are putting him on a pill regimen which has 75% success rate. "Success" being holding where he is without getting worse for 1-4 years. Without treatment, prognosis is a quick escalation of extreme pain and 4-6 months before he dies.

I talked to him today and he's in fairly good spirits, happy to finally know what is wrong with him. He takes aging as a personal affront and appears most disturbed with the fact that he may have to have help to keep his yard mown. He has been griping all spring about having to break it into 2 or 3 sessions to get it done... Gotta admire his drive. I hope he keeps that attitude in the battle to come.

05-17-2010, 07:46 PM
So sorry to hear this sad news. Hopefully the pills will be able to improve things for a while.
You and your family are in our prayers.

05-17-2010, 08:07 PM
Life takes some terrible turns with us. I hope that he is able to live a life that is fullfilling for his age. I wish only the best for him and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers for a successful treatment.

05-18-2010, 12:41 PM
Your family is in our Prayers.

Florida Bill
05-18-2010, 08:23 PM
Hi Lazy,
So sorry to hear the bad news. Hope your Dad enjoys his remaining days and that the medication does indeed give him the additional four to five years. Hope that if something like that ever happens to me that I have the same fortitude that your Dad has. I'm convinced that attitude is a really big part of the cure.

05-18-2010, 08:44 PM
I'm prayin' for the best for him and your family. A good friend of mine lost his wife to cancer last summer. It was a four and a half year battle.

chef schwantz
05-18-2010, 10:36 PM
Well, Lazy, I wish I had more to offer you besides saying "that sucks". Spend as much time with him as you can, and make the most of it. I watched my Grandmother go through remission twice, and relapse 3 times. The 3rd time, she said no to the chemo and radiation. She felt that it was only killing the cancer a little bit quicker than her, and made the decision to go out her way, without spending the rest of her life(73 years) trying to decide what made her feel worse- the treatment or the cancer. She researched hospices, got her affairs in order, and took care of a few things on her "bucket list" before it got bad. The hospice people were great, and showed a great deal of compassion and integrity in the last days. It sounds as though you and your family have some time to prepare, and seems your Father has made a decision about how he wants to proceed with the rest of his time. I wish you and yours the best in the times ahead.

05-19-2010, 03:01 AM
Sorry to hear that Lazy. Prayers sent from our family. All the best to ya...

05-19-2010, 05:42 AM
Thoughts and prayers sent.

07-15-2010, 06:05 PM
Well, he's doing better. He refused chemo, but agreed to a treatment program of pills...(whichis chemo, but he evidently didn't realize it:chillpill:...). The first week just tore him up, so he quit taking them until he could get back in to the dr. Dr told him they always hit hard the first week to see what the body can handle:shrug:... They reduced the dosage and put him on one week on one week off routine.

First test results show a drop of blood "markers" of 50%:wings:, with other tests corresponding with good results. He seems to be a bit less depressed with everything, and resigned to having good days and bad days.

We're headed up to see him next week. Even managed to schedule time with our elder daughter (between class/work/music festivals/social life) and she's going up with us. I'm planning on digging through the freezer and taking with us any vacuum-paks of brisket and pork I can find. Plus what I've smoked this week will be packed and frozen to go along. At least he & Mom will have some easy-to-fix vittles after we come back home. Plus, I just can't let him think that pulled pork comes from a crockpot....

07-15-2010, 06:09 PM
Great news! Have a great trip / visit and keep us informed please.

07-15-2010, 07:19 PM
You and your family are in our prayers.

07-15-2010, 07:30 PM
Glad to hear the good news....enjoy your visit.