It's taken me a few days to get round to posting this, because what I'm about to say is painful even to type out. It's still so hard to believe that this is really happening. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up any minute and the bad dream will be over.
My beloved Dad, Jack, aged 65, was diagnosed a few days ago with stage IV adenocarcinoma. There's a large tumour in his right lung, another large one in his chest cavity, it's spread to his ribs and eaten away part of his breastbone, and lesions to his abdomen. The docs have said maybe a year without treatment and 18 months to two years with treatment.
We are a small family, just me, my Mam and Dad, and we've always been very close and still are. My Dad has always been a central part of my life. Nearly all of my most important memories, from childhood to the present day, involve him in some way, and I have a million of them. He's always been my hero. I love him beyond the power of words to describe, and the thought of him not being there anymore is too horrible to contemplate. Yet it's a reality I must soon face, far, far, far too soon.
To say I'm devastated doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of how I feel. Anger, grief, shock, terror - these are words to label some of the emotions flying around in my head, but to be honest the pain is just beyond all description.
I also can't get out of my head the thought that this outcome was avoidable. If only the cancer had been spotted sooner. He's been under the doctor for chest pain since January. To be fair, the doc did send him for a chest X-ray right at the beginning, which showed nothing, so it was assumed it couldn't be cancer and the chest pain was diagnosed as costochondritis. The doc then proceeded to treat him for a condition he didn't have for the next ten months, while meanwhile this monster was growing and growing inside him until it was too late to do anything much. It's now thought that the initial lung tumour was missed by the X-ray because it was hidden behind the heart. I know that 'if only' won't change anything now, and we'll never really know what the outcome would have been even if this had been diagnosed back in the spring, as I think he's probably had it for a couple of years or so, and it may have been too advanced to cure even back then. But I can't help feeling so angry and bitter that it wasn't spotted soon enough to give him at least a fighting chance of beating it.
I've been lurking around this site for a few days and I've found at least a little comfort and inspiration from reading some of the posts here. I have some wonderful and very supportive friends, but none of them can really understand what we're going through. So I thought I'd post here and maybe talk to some of the only people who can really understand, people who are going through or have gone through this nightmare themselves.
Would be very grateful for any responses.
Bless you all.
Edited December 26, 2009 at 8:33 am