This is yet another note from my Dad. Thank you all for reading this, for your prayers and again your words of encouragement! I have seen so many changes in my Dad over this past few weeks. His relationship with the LOrd is one in particular. We had a family meeting tonight while my Dad took my brother to the airport. We discussed w/our kids how the Lord is moving in so many lives but most importantly in the heart of my Father.
My husband leaves tomorrow evening and it will be so hard to let him go but I know how very blessed I am to have his love and support while I remain here in Florida. Many of my friends back home have asked "when will I return, or do I have a plan?" I am taking this one day at a time. We have an appt. with the radiologist and the oncologist tomorrow and we hope to receive some answers to our questions. One of Dads desires is to go to Missouri and see his Mom, my Nana before he begins chemo. To do this would only be possible IF he is able to have an MRI This Friday AND to receive the results stating that the Brain spots are gone and no more radiation is necessary on his brain. The Lord knows Dads heart to see his mom and we are trusting in His Will ....day by day.
I will let you know what we find out tomorrow, in the meantime, here is the note from my Dad.
My dad's blog - Stay away from the Internet
Yesterday at 11:30am
I do not have much new news on the health front this week. Yesterday, I completed the sixth radiation treatment on my brain – four more to go! During the first few days, the only side-effects I experienced were some nausea and a few tender glands around my ears; but that all went away in a couple of days. Other than those annoying little side-effects, I felt pretty good.
Today has been a good day and the third good day in a row. I’ve felt better the past three days than I have in the past three weeks.
One of the reasons I believe I feel better is because my radiologist changed my meds and put me on a light steroid. The best thing about the steroid is it is also an anti-inflammatory and reduced my cough. That was a very welcome change. The down-side is the steroid hypes me up most of the time and I don’t have the energy to do anything with this need to get things done.
There’s a common theme among some of the people who have dealt with cancer – either personally, with a friend or with a relative. Several people that I talked to about having cancer said the same thing: “Stay away from the Internet”.
Unfortunately, I heard this message a little too late. I subscribe to the idea that “knowledge is power” and I started researching the Internet before I talked to the people who knew the risks and dangers of reading some of the information on the Internet.
For me, I started my knowledge quest when I received the biopsy report following my endoscopy. Although the results were incomplete, the laboratory noted that the specimen was “suspicious for non-small cell lung cancer”. Of course, I hadn’t ever heard of non-small cell lung cancer so I went straight to the Internet and Googled it.
I spent some time reading about this type of cancer. It was very alarming. Later, having heard peoples’ advice about the Internet; I knew immediately what they were talking about. The Internet can be a depressing and scary place to find out about cancer.
In my opinion, the Internet is a two-edged sword. It provides some harsh facts and also gives some hope and valuable information. In the case of the information about cancer, the Internet laid out some disturbing statistics; and, on the brighter side, presented some new treatments that are available.
Fortunately, I have a very positive attitude and I worked through the negative information to come to an conclusion that I am happy with.
Before I share some of the information I read, let me say that at first I was very alarmed with what I read. It is scary. I was afraid to share it with Barbie because I was afraid she would be very upset when she heard some of the statistics. I was also afraid to share it with others because I was afraid they would have negative reactions
Here are some of the statements I found on the Internet about the type of cancer I have (non-small cell lung cancer):
• Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men (after prostate cancer) and women (after breast cancer).
• Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) accounts for about 15% of all new cancers. During 2009, there will be about 219,440 new cases of lung cancer (116,090 among men and 103,350 among women).
• Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. There will be an estimated 159,000 deaths from lung cancer (89,000 among men and 70,000 among women) in 2009, accounting for around 29% of all cancer deaths. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
• The overall 5-year relative survival rate for 1999-2006 from 17 Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) geographic areas was 15.6%. Five year survival rates by sex and race were: 13.7% for white men, 18.3% for white women, 10.8% for black men, and 14.5% for black women.
• And a bit of good news: Despite the very serious prognosis (outlook) of lung cancer, some people are cured. More than 400,000 people alive today have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point in time.
When the doctors first discovered the cancer and after my PET scan, I was pretty sure I was at Stage III-A. The cancer was localized, pretty good sized (about the size of a golf ball) and was attached to my left bronchial tube and some lymph glands, but it hadn’t spread anywhere else. At that time, I felt my chances were really good. I felt that the doctors could reduce the cancer with radiation and chemotherapy and then remove my lung to get it all. I was more than willing to sacrifice a lung to live. There are a lot of people running, (OK – walking) around with one lung and having only one lung would slow me down but not stop me.
Last week I learned that my cancer had metastasized and there were three small growths in my brain. As a result of the change, my cancer stage changed from Stage III-A to Stage IV and the statistics are even more alarming. After working through this information and sharing it with Barbie, I realized that statistics are statistics and they do not pre-ordain a person to the positive side or negative side of the statistics.
For a number of reasons, I feel that I can work though this disease. First, for my age, I am in excellent physical health – except for the obvious. I don’t smoke or drink and I minimized my sugar intake again. I reduced the amount of fat I eat and I’m doing everything physically possible to beat this thing.
Equally important is my mental state. I am happy and I am not worried about this disease. I’m not angry that I have it. I have it and there is no reason to get upset about it. I am not depressed and 95% of the time I am not afraid. Sometimes I think I may not be in touch with reality, but then I cough and reality gets in my face again.
Finally, my spiritual life has never been stronger. I’m not begging God to let me live - I just want God’s Will to be done for my family, friends, and me. There is nothing better than to accept His Will because it is so Wonderful and Awesome. Having His Will manifest itself in my life is the best possible outcome for everyone – including me. I have a great deal of faith in this fact. It is in the acceptance of His Will that I find real peace and can deal with this disease.
So my recommendations to anyone who contracts a disease that is life-threatening: “Stay away from the Internet – until you can handle the negative information you may encounter”. Don’t play the Blame Game. Work on your mental state and work through the fear, depression, anger and other negative emotions that hound you. These emotions only make things worse. Recognize what a wonderful day each day is and what a blessing it is to be a part of it. And finally, get right with God. Let Him lead your life and accept His Will – whatever it is! It is in the acceptance of His Will that you will find peace.
Love and Blessings,
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