Irineo Rodriguez

First post: Jan 24, 2019
My dad was diagnosed with pneumonia at Christmas.  He went to a follow up appointment a week later and was told he was fine.  A week later, he admitted himself to the ER with pain that did not let him sleep.  He learned he had water in his lungs and cancer.  He tried to wait his turn in bureaucracy, but finally readmitted himself to the ER this past Sunday.  He was seen by a pulmonologist and then an oncologist.  They confirmed that the water in his lungs has cancer cells and said that the cancer is concentrated in his glands, neck, chest and hip.  He remained in the ER in a low pressure room for the first two days and has been in ICU for the past two days.  He has had his lungs drained three times and has had two surgeries intended to support his lung function.  Unfortunately, the surgery was not a success.  His lungs continue to fill.  The doctors are frustrated that his lungs are draining more slowly and that the liquid is appearing thicker. My dad began taking medication for the cancer last night.  (We were pleased that his cancer was finally addressed and understand the oncologist's position that he cannot conduct a primary diagnosis until my dad's lungs and breathing are stabilized.)  My dad has been connected to a respirator for the past two days following the last surgery.  He has two tubes coming out of his lungs that facilitate drainage, a tube coming out of his mouth to help him breathe and another connected to his nose that allows him to be fed.  Since the surgery, my dad has been sedated at night to help him sleep peacefully.  During the day, the medical staff have been working to ween him off of the respirator to achieve the goal of removing the tube from his mouth.  In order to achieve this goal, the medical staff cease sedation and pain relief during the day and reduce the work the respirator is doing.  Yesterday and today, he showed progress.  We hope that he will be removed from the respirator tomorrow.  My dad has been strong, positive, cooperative and has provided wise and loving words to help us adjust to seeing him in this weakened condition and in the face of hard news from the doctors.  (He has lost 30 pounds this past month.)  However, today, we hit a turning point.  My dad objects to the tube in his mouth and demands that we remove it.  I told him that the plan is to remove it tomorrow.  Since arriving in Los Angeles, I have been sleeping in my dad's hospital room on a cot.  When the nurses go through his morning care, it is just him and me. He will have to decide if we remove the respirator and then he will have to decide whether to allow them to put the respirator back on, if he needs it.  I pray for the wisdom to talk to my father and inspire him to persevere.  Please continue to pray for us.  I will keep you posted.