Monday, January 31, 2011

Todays update....

This morning Dad had his "exploratory" surgery and tissue biopsy. We had hoped to find that things were fairly under developed and that was not the case.  The doctor said that the cancer was along the entire leangth of the left lung, and on the left side of the diaphram.  At this point however, they are unsure as to the actual sub type of cancer it is.  They said that there is a chance that it is a carsonoma tumor, and not mesothelioma. The doctor said that there are different sub types to each cancer, and each one is treated by a different cocktail of chemotherapy. The tissue biopsy will tell us more.  We should have the pathology results by Thursday or Friday. 

Dad is doing good tonight..  He has a chest tube draining fluid from his lung.  That is a normal procedure after a surgery like his.  As soon as he gets that tube out, we can take him home.  The plan is, reguardless of the pathology report, to start a chemo-therapy regimin as soon as he is able, and proceed as if surgery will be an option.  The closest cardiothoracic surgeon who specializes in surgeries like this is in Boston, Massachusetts. The doctors feel that sending him to Boston is the best option for surgery.  We will know more about the possibilites of surgery later on.

For now, I am having a hard time holding on to the reality of all of this.  As I am sitting here typing, my head keeps telling me that this is all a dream, and that some how in my week of sleepless nights, I have managed to dream all of this.  Please keep dad in you prayers, thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and well wishes!

We will be setting up an account in dads name, where donations can be made.  I will keep you posted as to the details of that.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A diagnosis and a wrench in the works!

I wanted to start this blog in hopes of keeping the many, many people who love and care about our Dad updated and informed about his status. Dad has a large family, and so it makes it difficult for him to contact each person with every detail, hopefully this blog will help to keep all of our loved ones well informed.  Please feel free to leave your comments and well wishes.  I will teach him how to check them! :)

Dad was diagnosed with Malignant Mesothelioma on January 24, 2011.  Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that developes in the outer lining of the lungs.  It is caused by exposure to asbestos.

On Wednesday, January 26th we met with 2 local oncologists.  Dr. Dickson and Dr. Shull. They both seem to be very optimistic! He had a PET/CT scan on Thursday to determine the exact location of all cancer cells, and we were referred to a cardiothoracic surgeon to see if surgery was an option.  We met with Dr. Rundell on Friday and he mentioned that there were some things that he was "curious" about with Dads test results. He wanted to do an "exploratory" surgery with a camera down the throat and also take a tissue biopsy of the lining of the lung.

Most people with mesothelioma have calcium deposits around the outside of the lung, which Dad did not have on his scans. That could be a very good sign that the cancer could be in the VERY early stages.  He felt that a larger tissue biopsy would be a better way to give a firm diagnosis, and it would also give us a better idea of treatment options.

We set up for Monday morning to do that surgery and went over to the lab to do all of the pre-op testing.  During the EKG, they found a total blockage of the lower chamber of Dads heart.  His heart rate was in the low 40's and normal is 65.  Dr. Rundell immediately admitted him to the hospital and contacted a cardioloogist.  A pacemaker was placed Saturday morning at 10:00a.m.

Since we had no idea that there was any problem with his heart, we were all thrown for a major loop! It was definately a very unexpected wrench in the works!

Dad is feeling better today.  Tomorrow we will stay on schedule for the tissue biopsy and scope surgery, at 7:00 a.m.

Thank you in advance for all of your love and support!  I will do my best to keep the most current information updated!