Friday, May 2, 2014

dad update: 18 months

the end of april marked 18 months since my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. 18 months! i've mentioned before, his diagnosis has an average survival time of about 8 months, and fewer than 7% of people make it to 5 years - which is crazy (and scary). i am so grateful that he is one of the lucky ones so far. that time just keeps marching forward and he is still here, living life pretty much as he did pre-cancer. he still goes for chemo every 3 weeks and has a few crummy feeling days following it each time, but overall he still feels great. he told me on the phone a couple weeks ago "this morning i was feeling lethargic and didn't want to do anything, but i just said 'forget this!' and got my butt out for a walk and i feel so much better now!" he rarely complains, which i think is so admirable considering the cards he's been dealt. 

he and my mom just got back from spending 6 months in florida. we miss them a ton when they are gone, but i know it's so good for his mental health for him to be down there in the warmth and sunshine, so i don't hold it against them :) and thank goodness for skype! we are so happy to have them home. this week he had his first pet scan in 4 months, so needless to say we were all very curious how things looked. 

it was a "mixed bag", as he called it. the good news is, the cancer has not spread. this is huge! he is considered stage 4 because the cancer had already spread to his spine and shoulder bone when they discovered it. it continues to be in those places, but no where else. the not so good news is that the tumor in his lung has started to grow again. not an alarming amount, but enough that they are pulling the plug on his current drug and going in a new direction. also, he is hoping to be enrolled in a clinical trial which will test the effectiveness of a new drug that's not even on the market yet against a drug that is just new to him. he will find out next week if he is accepted and which drug he will get. if he's not accepted, he will just be put on a drug they haven't tried yet. 

so that's where things are at. we're just taking life one day at a time and dreaming about the day that they find a way to get rid of this awful disease! thanks for checking in on my family, i really appreciate it! 

ps. today is also my parents 33rd wedding anniversary. so glad they get to spend another one together! 

10 comments:

Diana said...

Better a "mixed bag" of news than all bad news. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for him to be accepted into the clinical trial! And a very happy anniversary to your parents - 33 years is a awesome achievement!

Rachel said...

My dad was diagnosed in August 2013 with stage 4 lung cancer as well. He's doing amazing so far as well! He's on his 2nd chemo drug because some liver lesions weren't responding to the first drug. So scary though with what the future holds. I have 2 small children as well and don't want to have to tell them or explain things. Ugh.

Melissa @ i carry your heart said...

Rachel,

I don't know if you'll see this, but i would love to talk to you more! I can't see your profile or your email address :(

Sarah said...

So glad that he's still doing really well! A little scary that it's started to grow, so I am thinking about you guys!

Kelly B. said...

It's "funny" (not really, but you know what I mean)- I went back and read your first post again after reading this and read my comment and it was eerie- I obviously had no idea I'd come so close to losing my dad and then lose my mom within 6 months of each other. Whether it's that, or a diagnosis with some time to adjust/cope/battle, life is hard. I'm so glad to hear that there are still options and treatment and that there was at least some good news! It's hard to watch your parents in such a vulnerable position. Thinking of you guys and hoping for continued good news!

Sarah said...

i love that your dad has all of you! it truly helps him, that i know! cancer is oh so, so hard.
heres to another year of ass kicking, dad!
praying for those new meds to do great things!

Lisa said...

Thank you for the update! 18 months- that is incredible and I am beaming with joy for your wonderful family! I give thanks for your Dad's awesome outlook, and would you just give him a big hug for me?!?! Praying that this clinical trial is a miracle worker and keeps things all good for many, many years to come. You are a wonderful Daughter, Melissa!

ajs {of MN} said...

i love your dad's positive attitude! he sounds like SUCH a good guy!!! keeping your family in my thoughts!

Happy 33rd wedding anny to your parents to, that is awesome!

Brittany said...

That's so awesome that your dad is so positive and still living his life. I hope they find something soon that works for him!

Syndal said...

wow- I can't believe how amazing he's been doing so far! I'm so glad he's been able to still enjoy life through all that treatment and spend time with you all (and 6 months in florida?! NICE). Thinking of you all!

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