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Old 05-30-2009, 07:02 AM   #1
Teacher03
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Questions about lung cancer

My dad was just diagnosed with lung cancer. I'm not quite sure what stage it is in because up to this point, he hasn't allowed anyone to go to the doctor with him, and he seems a little confused. He had a PET scan and the cancer has not spread anywhere else. He is going to have surgery to have part of his lung removed and I'm not sure what to expect. I am going to go to the surgeon with him on June 8th so hopefully will get all my questions answered. I just would like to hear of other's experiences with this type of disease.

I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer less than three years ago, and my two sisters and I don't have a great relationship with my dad. He is very difficult, was verbally abusive (and still is at times). I don't want to get into stories of my childhood, but my family life was not a happy one. My sisters have already stated how lucky it is that I have the summer off (I'm a teacher) so I can stay with my dad. Lucky for them, I don't know how lucky it is for me. I know I am sounding selfish, so I am also dealing with the guilt of that! We have a trip planned to Disney June 15-22, so that is up in the air. To give my dad credit, he said he does not want me to cancel my trip, but we'll see what the surgeon says. I'm hoping the surgery will be scheduled the week we come back, and I won't have to make that decision. (I have three adult children, and it is difficult for all of them to get the week off of work at the same time, but hopefully we can reschedule if necessary.)

I know I am rambling, but this board helped me deal with my mom's cancer. I am hoping for the same along with many others. Thanks for listening.
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:47 AM   #2
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My sister in law had "smokers" lung cancer. Hers was inoperable.
She had radiation and chemo.

In regards to your trip, I would wait and see what the surgeon says and you may want to explain to him about the timing of your trip and see what he may say. It may depend on the doctor's schedule too and what they found on your father's tests.

No matter what happens you should not be the only one doing all the care for your father. It would put a strain on you and your own family. I know sometimes it may not happen but your siblings should also pitch in whenever they can whether at night or on the weekends or just running errands (grocery shopping and the pharmacy) because when you go back to school, it will only be that much harder to take care of your father.
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:03 AM   #3
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It's just hard waiting and not knowing what is really going on because either my dad doesn't know exactly what is going on or he isn't telling us everything. If the surgery is scheduled during our planned vacation, I will have to postpone it. I know my older sister will help out whenever she can, but I'm not too sure about my younger sister. There's alot of hard feelings from when my mom was sick. My older sister and I were there for my mom from the time she was diagnosed. My younger came the last two weeks, and that's because we called her and demanded it. (We all live within 20 minutes.) However, my dad assumed that my younger sister sprouted angel wings and told everyone he could what a big help she was, he couldn't have done it without her, she was the main caregiver for my mom. This was during the time she was sick, AND at the calling hours and funeral. My older sister and I were never mentioned and we were not asked to ride behind in the limo to the cemetary. (Obviously there are other issues.) I have never forgiven my dad for that along with many other things. But I am determined to help him through this. (I hope someone can help me through it, because I'm not sure I can do this again.)
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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I have a family member going through the work up right now, too, so I'm subscribing.

I can relate to your family dynamics on many levels. I'm sure plenty of people can. I think when things like this happen there can be a lot of anger that bubbles below the surface for many reasons... I hope you can find the peace you need to get through it.

The end of your second post made me think of this, though. I hope it helps you somehow.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:09 PM   #5
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I went through this with my DH. He had surgery & they removed his entire lung. Doctors sent him home to recover from the surgery & then he went through chemo & radiation. Bring a notebook with you to the apptmt with the surgeon & write everything down. It's pretty overwhelming while you're there & it helps to have notes. Ask about the treatment plan - when's the surgery, approximately how long is the recovery time. What is the post surgery treatment plan ie if it's chemo or radiation, what's the frequency - daily, weekly, etc. Ask about side effects from the treatments they propose. If you have any questions before the apptmt, write them down & bring them with you. Once you know what stage your Dad's in & their proposed treatment plan, you'll be able to make some decisions. I wish you & your Dad all the best. Take care.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
I have a family member going through the work up right now, too, so I'm subscribing.

I can relate to your family dynamics on many levels. I'm sure plenty of people can. I think when things like this happen there can be a lot of anger that bubbles below the surface for many reasons... I hope you can find the peace you need to get through it.

The end of your second post made me think of this, though. I hope it helps you somehow.
You are so right. I hope I can start to forgive my dad. There is so much bad history starting from my childhood, but I do love him. And although I don't expect him to change, I hope we can come together during this time. I don't want to look back and have regrets. Thank you for your reply, and I will keep your family member in my prayers.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen l View Post
I went through this with my DH. He had surgery & they removed his entire lung. Doctors sent him home to recover from the surgery & then he went through chemo & radiation. Bring a notebook with you to the apptmt with the surgeon & write everything down. It's pretty overwhelming while you're there & it helps to have notes. Ask about the treatment plan - when's the surgery, approximately how long is the recovery time. What is the post surgery treatment plan ie if it's chemo or radiation, what's the frequency - daily, weekly, etc. Ask about side effects from the treatments they propose. If you have any questions before the apptmt, write them down & bring them with you. Once you know what stage your Dad's in & their proposed treatment plan, you'll be able to make some decisions. I wish you & your Dad all the best. Take care.
All good ideas. I'm just so scared right now. I find myself obsessed with it and have spent my whole weekend on the internet, researching, trying to find answers. To be honest, I just have to wait to talk to the surgeon to get most of my questions answered. I hope your DH is doing well, I will keep you both in my thoughts.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:04 AM   #8
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I remember your battle with PC with your Mom and I am so sorry that you are dealing again with cancer for another family member. It worries me so as it is so prevalent now and seems like 1 in 3 end up with some form of this disease..

I am thinking about the rest of what is going on with your Dad and the feelings that you mention. I hear the hurt in your writings and I feel so bad that you have to deal again with this and yet not in the same way as you did with your Mom. Forgiveness is a tough one when you have had many years of verbal abuse and indifference......hopefully you can work through this. I will be thinking of you. Your trip...I would not cancel until I had to, to get the money back, but truly, if you can go you should.

One more thought, it seems that you cannot get information to make an intelligent decision on what is going with your Dad. You need to know what is going on with the surgery etc. and I would be asking for that information especially if you are to be part of the cargiving group.

Hugs to you..
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackey Mouse View Post
I remember your battle with PC with your Mom and I am so sorry that you are dealing again with cancer for another family member. It worries me so as it is so prevalent now and seems like 1 in 3 end up with some form of this disease..

I am thinking about the rest of what is going on with your Dad and the feelings that you mention. I hear the hurt in your writings and I feel so bad that you have to deal again with this and yet not in the same way as you did with your Mom. Forgiveness is a tough one when you have had many years of verbal abuse and indifference......hopefully you can work through this. I will be thinking of you. Your trip...I would not cancel until I had to, to get the money back, but truly, if you can go you should.

One more thought, it seems that you cannot get information to make an intelligent decision on what is going with your Dad. You need to know what is going on with the surgery etc. and I would be asking for that information especially if you are to be part of the cargiving group.

Hugs to you..

I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing you are. You are always here for a listening ear and support, even when you are going through tough times. Even though we have never met, please know that I consider you a friend and your family will always be in my prayers.

I am waiting until the last minute for our trip. The truth of it is my dad really wants me to go. My children are grown, my son is joining the Peace Corps, and I don't know if and when we could ever reschedule. But I am waiting to talk to the surgeon, talk to my sisters, and then make a decision. I love my dad, I just don't like him very much. I sure don't want to see him or anyone else go through cancer. It is such an ugly disease as many of us know.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:27 AM   #10
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Sending hugs..

although I cannot give you information on the specific cancer, I can relate to the guilt that you are feeling about your relationship. My mom had throat and neck cancer from smoking and drinking. We had a very strained relationship because of her behaviors and the effects it had on my children because of the drinking. I supported her through the whole chemo and radiation driving her to everything and having to farm my kids all over creation. It was my whole life for a long time as it sounds like you are throwing yourself into this now. She went into complete remission (having had stage 3 becuase she refused to go to the dr for sooo long which was amazing).
Then she went home and soon started her old habits and it recurred. I am telling you this because I know how you feel about your relationship.
I just happened to see your posts on todays posts, but if you ever need to vent, just send me an email.
My mom died in Dec and it was a lot more difficult than I had envisioned. Take care and I will say a prayer for you all to find stength to handle a difficult situation.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:18 PM   #11
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Family dynamics are always difficult but even more so when there's a crisis. I think most of us are guilty of dredging up some not so great family history when we're dealing with a relative who needs our help.

Please go on your trip. Your Dad wants you to go and it sounds as if at least one of your sisters will help for the week you're gone. Honestly, if he's in the hospital for part or most of the time that you're away, he'll be getting the care he needs. I'm sure the weeks following the surgery are when he'll need you the most.

Take care.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:18 AM   #12
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Family dynamics are always difficult but even more so when there's a crisis. I think most of us are guilty of dredging up some not so great family history when we're dealing with a relative who needs our help.

Please go on your trip. Your Dad wants you to go and it sounds as if at least one of your sisters will help for the week you're gone. Honestly, if he's in the hospital for part or most of the time that you're away, he'll be getting the care he needs. I'm sure the weeks following the surgery are when he'll need you the most.

Take care.
I work in a Catholic school and my principal who I so much admire and respect said the same thing. I'm the type of person who always wants to do the right thing, to make others happy. As of now, we are plannng to go on the vacation. You are exactly right about his time in the hospital. We're not even sure at this point when the surgery is. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:08 PM   #13
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I just wanted to update you all on what happened with the surgeon. My dad is scheduled for surgery on Thursday. They are going to take the left lower lobe of his lung, surgery will last about 2 hours, and he would be able to go home after a couple of days. The cancer has not spread anywhere else according to the pet scan and it seems to be in its very early stages. Between my two sisters, grandchildren and friends, he has enough care when he gets home, so we are going on our vacation (leaving Sunday) with his blessing. I'm glad I will be there for the surgery. I still feel a little guilty for going, but my older sister is leaving for her vacation when I return so it will all work out.

Thanks to all of you once again for your support and prayers. I will update on Thursday after the surgery.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:01 PM   #14
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Thinking good thoughts for you. Glad to hear that you were able to find out that as far as they know, the cancer hasn't spread. My dad had a lung cancer, confined to one part of a lobe. They took that lobe out and he has been fine, and that was over 3 years ago. His cancer had not spread to any lymph nodes or anywhere else in his chest, so he didn't even end up having radiation or chemo therapy, though your situation may be different as it would depend on which kind of lung cancer and what they truly find at surgery and in the pathology reports.
Good luck, and go enjoy your vacation!
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:39 PM   #15
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OP here, I just wanted to give an update on my dad. It's been a little over two weeks since his surgery and he is doing great. They took the lower lobe of his left lung out; the tumors were malignant. The good news is they got it all and he doesn't need chemo or radiation. We went on vacation with his blessings and had a great time, although there were times when I worried or felt guilty. I talked to him everyday and my sisters every other day. Hopefully this will be the last of the cancer and we can begin to build a better relationship. Thanks once again for everyone's prayers.
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