Steve is my dad and I have known him my entire life. He would say that I 'never shut up and have not since I came out'. He would be correct and I have since, passed that on to his granddaughter. So Me writing this story seems fitting.
Dad started to lose feeling in his fingers on a fishing trip in September after having his blood drawn. At first we assumed it was a pinched nerve or they hit 'something' weird while drawing blood. After much encouragement (really nagging) from me and my mom he went to the doctor and pushed for more information. That, unfortunately, lead us to the big C word. Cancer.
There have so far been a lot of ups and downs in his diagnosis and exploration into the cancer. So I am writing what we know now and will keep people updated as I am sure things will change as we go along.
Brain: This is NOT brain cancer. I want to point that out right off the bat. We just discovered the cancer because it had moved to the brain and created some neurologic symptoms. Glad he listened to our 'nagging'. This was at first devastating news. But Siteman has done a great job of giving us a real good idea of what is actually going on. His cancer is actually lung cancer (see lung in next section). The fact that it went to his brain doesn't mean the cancer is untreatable because the lungs have a direct bus route to the brain. Therefore, the brain stuff is actually less scary than it sounds. He has 4 small tumors living on the outside of his brain sucking up all the lovely moisture since that is what makes that spot appealing. The original treatment plan was to use Gamma Knife technology, to cut out those tumors, then further monitor if any others should pop up. But based on scans these are the only 4. But the one causing the symptoms...decided to grow 3 sizes (like the grinch's heart) and has been giving him a lot of issues. He has no use of his right hand and his balance is off. He has had a few seizures from the pressure and swelling as well. They are upping some meds and giving him seizure meds to help with that. BUT the treatment has changed now. He is instead doing 5 separate gamma knife procedures because it is too big to do it at once. In theory, once this is all done, he will go back to normal with some occupational therapy. Don't worry Jason and I have already prepared him for any "HULK" issues that may come to light... Purple pants and all. We even pre-ripped them!
Lung: Oh the original weasel. So Dad's cancer is Lung. There is good and bad news coming from that. Clearly it is spreading so that is the bad... but the good is that it is not spreading fast. It is also small and contained. The biggest 'bad' is that it is inoperable. Meaning we will never be cancer free. At this point we are looking at remission which could be a really long time! There is a lot of optimism surrounding this treatment. We also don't have a whole plan because it was a huge jerk and didn't have enough cells during the biopsy to be able to get some answers. They are going to be looking into the genetic markup instead. But, as of now, he will be starting chemo treatments the week of the 11th and it will be intravenous traditional at first, with hopes of just a pill once we learn more about it. That could happen before his original treatment. Then we move on to radiation after that. At some point the cancer did move to 3 lymph nodes. But they are still confident those are a non issue. They have done tests and think it has not gone much further so just removing them should be enough plus whatever chemo they are planning.
In conclusion my dad has a lot going on now and there will be more. You support and love will always be appreciated. I would say come visit but he is miserable not using his hand so lets see if his Hulk treatments get him back in good spirits!