Saturday, October 5, 2013


2013 October 5

Life Goes On

First, the update on my 88 year old Daddy. On September 30, my brother, Vinny, and I accompanied Daddy to his oncology appointment.  Daddy has been experiencing a cough which often produces mucus and blood. This is relatively new. He is apparently losing weight again. He has intermittent pain, although Dr. G, the oncologist, assures us that if this were cancer pain, it would be "persistent and progressive", rather than intermittent.  Daddy is also very frail, as he likes to say, "well below his fighting weight", and his balance and gait are unsteady. Add to that the fact that he is a stubborn old man, who refuses to use any steadying device when he's at home and only a cane when he goes out. Plus, if he begins to wobble, and you touch him to offer a steadying hand, he becomes angry. He is constantly at risk for falling, but refuses to acknowledge it. 

Since Dr. G is an oncologist, he tried very hard to explain to Daddy which symptoms were cancer related and which were related to aging and frailty. I'm not sure how much Daddy actually heard. The next step, with regard to the lung cancer, was a CAT scan, to check the progression of the tumors, followed by two doctor's appointments, one with Dr. G and one with a radiologist on the same day. Those will happen on Tuesday of this coming week. Depending on what the scan showed, Daddy may have 10 days of radiation therapy, in an attempt to slow the tumor's growth and control the bleeding. 

It is very difficult for me to watch my Father become a shadow of himself, and an angry shadow, at that. I can only imagine how hard it is for Vinny, with whom my Dad lives.