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My father, David Gordon has a long history with cancer. As a matter of fact, he has experienced several different kinds through out the years including skin and prostate. He managed each of those situations with grace and toughness, like he does everything in life. This time, however, lung cancer hit like a ton of bricks. His first diagnosis was actually found by mistake. The doctors told him he had emphysema and when he went to get a CAT scan they found a small, malignant tumor instead. Initially the first doctor said he would have to remove a lobe in order to get it all. After seeking a second opinion, Dad found a doctor at Brigham and Women's Hospital who offered David an experimental surgery. This procedure would remove the tumor rather than the entire lobe which would allow him to keep basically the same lung function. David was extremely adament about hanging onto his breathing as much as possible to continue playing baseball, doing Tae Kwon Do and working his very busy business. The surgery was a success and the recovery time was minimal. This was great news. Even better, all the tests revealed no cancer was present for three years following the surgery.
After going in for regular tests and check ups, the lung cancer re-emergered. This time it was not as simple as the first go 'round. The recommended surgery involved removing part of the lobe. There was no other option. And believe me, David asked. With that said, the surgery was done and deemed another success. But this time David had a very long and difficult recovery. His breathing was a problem. His energy and general health did not seem the same as it was before this procedure. The PET scans and CAT scans that followed revealed that David was in good shape and once again, no sign of cancer. We breathed another sigh of relief.
At the beginning of winter, 2017 David got bad news again. The lung cancer was back but this time it had also spread to his bones. Initially Brigham and Women's said David had the gene needed to try Immunotherapy. This would have been the best possible information and we were all relieved. However, when David went into Dana Farber (Boston), he was told that no, unfortunately he did not have the correct gene. Since surgery was no longer an option, his only other one was chemotherapy. Of course this was the most upsetting news we could all hear. But like the WARRIOR that he is, David faced that with dignity and guts. He told me he is going to do whatever he can to beat it. I have always said that David is my inspiration for strength and independence. I believe this more than ever now.
Due to fluid build up in his pleural cavity, David was going to the hospital constantly to have it drained. Finally it became necessary to insert a chest tube so that this procedure could be performed at home. First a visiting nurse came to do it but after that his wife, Debbie could take over. The fluid needs to be drained every 2-4 days and although it's not a painful procedure, the tube itself is painful and extremely uncomfortable. It causes David to sleep in a chair most nights because lying down is mostly not an option. Most likely due to this new sleeping habit, David's neck has become super stiff and painful also. Massage and pressure seems to help, which is a good thing.
Three weeks after his first round of chemo, things have not gone well. As a matter of fact, David's quality of life has really suffered. The side effects from the chemo have been horrific. And because David's white cell count has been dangerously low he was not able to fight off infections. In addition, his blood pressure has been a constant concern.
I know this is a lot of information but David has SO many friends and family who love him very much - and you all reach out to check in. I just thought that this form of communication would be helpful so I can keep you all updated as needed. In addition, you are more than welcome to leave David messages here. I know he will love them! Thank you for taking the time to read about my father. I love him so much and can only hope he can get comfortable very soon. Big Hugs To All. -Jen