Sep 11, 2019 Latest post:
Dec 23, 2019
July 1st is the day our world changed. Dad went to the emergency room for pains in his upper right back shoulder. Little did he know he would be told he had a large mass on his upper right lung. On July 10 was his first of many doctors appointments. He met with Dr Armstrong, Pulmonologist, who explained to us about the mass and more than likely it was cancer. He was sent for a biopsy on July 15.
Dad received a call on July 31st that confirmed the mass was cancer. Later that afternoon, mom, dad and I had an appointment with Dr French in Dr Armstrong’s office. He explained the mass was 7.3 x 5.87 cm-very large. The type of cancer was non small cell and if it had not spread more than likely surgery to remove. While there, they did breathing test to check his lung function and if a portion of his lung was removed he would be ok. Dr French said if Dad had not stopped smoking 20 years ago we would be looking at a different diagnosis and treatment plan for sure. His lung function was perfect. All praise to God for that.
August 1st, Dad hat a PET scan to see if the cancer had spread anywhere. And then an appointment with Dr McKee, his cardiologist, to check in and get clearance if surgery was an option. He got the all clear!
August 5th was the first appointment at the STAT lung clinic at Kennestone. We met with a Doctor that rocked our world worse than we could ever have imagined He basically told us there was no hope. It had spread to his left adrenal gland and was probably in his brain. He sent him for another scan of the brain to see if it had spread there. The way he talked to dad and us was unbelievable. His bedside manner was horrible. He basically told dad he was untreatable. We all left in shock.
August 8th, Dad had his MRI of the brain. On top of everything else he had going on they found he had a stroke at some point. So they immediately took him to ER. On way they stopped and told mom that dad was having a stroke. Needless to say I thought we were going to have to admit both of them. Mom called me and I rushed to Paulding Hospital. Dad did not have any symptoms of the stroke nor did he have any lasting side effects from it. Another Praise to God!! They kept him in hospital overnight. However the next day had to take a trip right back to hospital and stayed one more night. Which postponed his biopsy of adrenal gland and any future appointments for surgery due to the blood thinner they put him on while in hospital.
August 21st, another appointment at the STAT clinic but this time with a different doctor. Dr Andrews was wonderful. He told us the cancer had not spread to the brain and was isolated only on the lung and left adrenal gland. With this type of cancer he was a perfect candidate for surgery to remove both and do a couple rounds of chemo and pending any unforeseen circumstances we should be able to beat this thing. I felt like we had been given the best news ever but that only lasted a short while. They were concerned about stroke and had to get clearance from neurologist. At that time Dr Mayfield was brought into the picture. He is the thoracic surgeon that would remove the mass. He was very kind and thorough explaining what would take place. They hoped to only remove the upper and middle lobes of the lung but because the mass was so large they couldn’t tell if it was attached to the lower lobe as well and wouldn’t know until they got in there. Plus whether it could be a small incision or larger. He sounded very positive.
August 26th - the day of surgery! 5 am arrived at Kennestone. Surgery began at 7:30. At around 10 we received a call that the surgery was complete and dad was in recovery and the doctor would be out shortly to talk with us. An hour and fifteen minutes later - Dr Mayfield comes out and takes us to a private room to talk. Can I tell you that walk to the room I felt as if I was walking by some super power bracing myself for whatever came next. Dr Mayfield explained the surgery went better than anything we could have hoped for. They only had to take the upper lobe and the chest cavity was not effected. The mass was the size of a softball so that meant larger than anticipated. They had to make a larger incision and spread his ribs to remove. The lymph nodes in the upper lobe area bled a lot more than normal and dad lost 2 liters of blood. They also removed all the other lymph nodes around the area for precaution and testing Around 1 we got to see dad in a room and he looked very good considering. He had a lot of pain but they were managing it. He spent 5 days in hospital with a drain tube out of his side. Dr Mayfield was pleased with his progress and released him on Friday. Dad has been in a lot of discomfort and trouble breathing. But we thank God for his hand in this all along the way.
September 4 was follow up appointment with Dr Mayfield. He told us all the lymph nodes were clear!!! Another Praise to God! And Dad’s healing was going well. He was concerned about some fluid in his lung but sent him for ultrasound and it was not enough to drain. So referred dad to the next surgeon for the removal of adrenal gland
September 9th was appointment with Dr Schwab to discuss next step. He told us that this surgery would be laparoscopic and much easier than the lung surgery pending any unforeseen circumstances (don’t you hate when they say that). He also mentioned putting in a port at the same time. We were all a little puzzled. He got in contact with Dr Andrews and he said yes he would like to do some chemo treatments after all surgeries if Dad agreed. Which of course he did. So at the same time of the adrenal gland remover he will have a port put in. This surgery is scheduled Tuesday, September 17th.
So that is our journey so far. We know God is in control and we have all given it to him. That doesn’t mean fear doesn’t enter into each of us at times. Prayer is all we can ask for right now and all we need. Lots and lots of prayer for healing and comfort for Dad!!
I am starting this so maybe it will be easier to keep everyone posted and for everyone to communicate and let Dad know you are thinking and praying for him.