I don't know how I missed your posting earlier! So sorry! I know the terror you live with every day...and getting through each day has been an event at our house, but we are doing it. Dad has been in remission for almost 1.5 years. Do I worry every day that it will return...YES...but I have always hung on to this. If one person can survive...then why not two? And why can that next person not be my dad?
I find that the new normal involves hanging on to the good stories. The new normal is living with that dull ache inside of me, where I know what COULD happen, yet trying to cover up that dull ache with peace, hope, and the blessings of life.
We are faithful people, and I pray every day in thanksgiving of remission and for the miracle of healing. I do that for all of those here. I remember asking for people to pray, both for my dad and for me in my quest for healing and I remember getting shaky at the number of people who sent their prayers. God knows to watch out for my dad. For that I am certain.
May you know the comfort that can be found, while dealing with this dreadful disease. It sucks. There is no doubt about it! But people can live, they can survive, they can be cured. That can be my dad or you, or ConnieB, or Geri from these boards. The list is endless.
Blessings to you!
[size=75]Loving Daughter, with three siblings, praying for a Dad with SCLC, superior vena cava syndrome.
3/16/06 DX Mass and/or adenopathy within the right hilum..consistent with bronchogenic carcinoma. May also be subcarinal adenopathy. Small right pleural effusion.
3/17/06 MRI head with/out contrast. Biopsi-lung, right middle lobe bronchus. Small Cell Carcinoma of the right lung with SVC syndrome
3/21/06 Bone scan. No evidence for skeletal metastases
3/21/06 Etoposide and Carboplatin chemotherapy (3 days)
4/12/06 Chest XRay - Obvious shrinking of tumor
4/12/06 Etoposide and Carboplatin (3 days)
5/2/06 CScan - again, obvious shrinking of tumor
5/5/06 Meet with Radiologist to determine radiology plan
5/9/06 Day one of Radiation
5/10/06 Chemo (?) (3 days)
6/4/06 In the middle of radiation, going EXTREMELY well, aside from sore eating, and tired, tired, tired. Dad is hopeful, sure that he is coughing up tumor every day, and spirited. Thank you God!
6/18/06 Went into local hospital for infusion. Chest X for possible pneumonia.
6/20/-6 Went to local hospital for infustion. DX with pneumonia in both lungs. O2 levels low, and irregular heart beat. He does not feel heart beating 140 and above. Meds for regulation not working. Made it to Mayo 6/25...back in the hands of the amazing!
6/29 Radiation Graduation! Dad is now home, and regaining strength every day. He is tired, tired, tired, but again, getting stronger every day. Will return to Mayo on 7/30 for all new tests.
7/30 "There is nothing in your noggin but a brain, Keith!" Amazing words to hear! "I would give your chest a clean bill."
8/1 "Keith, you are in remission." We don't consider a cure until you are clear for five years.
8/7 Began 15 rounds PCI brain radiation treatments. This was a difficult decision to make as we were given the side affects, and quite honestly it does sound scary. However, most all SCLC survivors appear to have some form of brain radiation at some time throughout their treatments. Dad figures that mom does the money books, organizes the meds, and keeps the house going already, so what the heck. "I don't want to die from cancer," he says!
August 25, 2006 Mom and Dad return after PCI. Dad feels great, has a tan, bald head, and got out onto the boat on day 1 of his return! Thank you God!
11/29/06 3 month Check Up...Still in remission. Lung scarring from radiation occuring. Dad feels great. Depression and low activity are going away!
2/25/07 Another check up shows no progression...however a slight pleural effusion that has grown since November. Could be one of three things...1. Infection 2. Scar Tissue 3. Cancer. Must go back to Mayo next week to have it drained and checked.
3/1/07 Drained pleural effusion yesterday. However, when they got in there, there wasn't enough fluid to drain and check...this means it probably wasn't cancer, and more than likely was the tail end of some kind of infection. She decides she wants him back in two months instead of three, just to be safe. Heart doc gives dad the clean bill of health. Go home, enjoy life!
5/11/07 Dad had a standard chest CT, which showed nothing new. He feels great and again was given a clean bill! Yeah! Doc will do a "big" check-up in August...complete with chest CT, bone scan, and brain scan...all because at that point he will be one year in remission! Yeah...I pray every day for these years to be granted!
8/21/07 Dad had a full body scan yesterday and results today were very "boring!" We LOVE boring. There was one nodule, in the lung area, that she could see, but it is smaller than small, and leaves no reason to be concerned. Dad will return for a check-up after Christmas. When mom said, "So, do we not need to be worried anymore" she answered with, "Your new normal will be that you are always worried." Yuck...but oh so true. Thank you God for the gift of healing, and may you continue with that wonderful gift. I pray in thanksgiving.
1/21/08 "I am going to call you my miracle man! Keith, I still don't see any evidence of cancer in your body." Wow! Blessed again!
5/19/08 "Keith there is no change. I see no evidence of any cancer." Wow! We are so blessed to be given another clean report. "Every day is a gift," my dad said. Isn't that the truth!
Sept. 08 Still Cancer Free
4/8/09 All evidence of the small cell is still gone. She believes Dad is cured. However, a dot on the CT almost a year ago has turned into an eraser sizes spot. This could just be a product of his recent bronchitis or could be when he breathed during the scan. She DOES NOT think we have anything to worry about. Scans will be in 3 months now, instead of 6 months...I am happy for that!
7/20/09 CT shows growth in spot on opposite lung than original cancer. They do not want to leave it alone. Will have PET and surgical consult next week with the hopes for simple removal.
8/2009 Removed spot. Biopsy showed trace of NSCLC. No SCLC found.
11/2009 All clear
3/2010 All clear
7/2010 All clear
11/2010 All clear. We really are so very blessed to continue to be cancer free. Thank you God.
8/23/11 - Still clear. Thank God!
Picture at left is my husband and I, October 2007. Below is Dad crossing the line during the survivor lap at the Relay. The other pic is just one of my faves!