This is a difficult post to write, but I’m struggling a lot today, and as many of you know I have been for several weeks. It’s even more difficult to know where to start.
My Dad has a rare and very slow growing cancer, it gets called carcinoid tumours. This is because it is not like normal cancers, where they grow in one particular place. His are connected to his hormones and the tumours can get deposited in various places (I hope that makes sense!).
As I said, it’s slow growing, and we’ve known about it for many years. He’s had many treatments (surgery, radiation, pills, injections) over the last few years, and even been involved in medical research. His last bout finished in October, and at the time he was told that his body couldn’t cope with any more of the radiation treatment.
Fast forward to November, and he starts feeling unwell. He doesn’t immediately see the Dr as he thinks it is flu – even though he’s had the jab. By mid December he’s had a couple of weeks not being able to keep anything down. The Drs all think it’s the flu, and he’s taken in to hospital where they confirm it is flu.
A week later he’s still struggling to keep anything down, but it’s Christmas Eve, so they discharge him. Christmas Day he’s back in hospital – the sickness is getting worse.
He now has carcinoid specialists and stomach specialists. They spend several weeks arguing – is it another carcinoid tumour, or is it stomach cancer? All they can figure is there’s a blockage in his stomach. He’s too poorly for a biopsy or for them to operate.
Eventually they decide to try putting a small tube (stent) down to make a hole between his stomach and the tumour – the hope is he will be able to eat mushed up foods and build his strength up for an operation, fingers crossed he’ll be allowed home to do this. While he waits for this, he’s fed with some nutritional stuff that looks like milkshake through a tube in his nose – apparently this alone won’t be enough to build him up.
Then comes more bad news. Firstly, there’s only a 50% chance that the stent will work. Then the news we’ve all been dreading – even with everything going to plan he’s not got long left.
So, attempt one. It doesn’t work. Attempt two is aborted as he has pneumonia. As I write this he’s had attempt three – and we don’t know yet if it’s worked or not.
We are now into the ninth week of this dragging on, and I’m really starting to struggle. I had some seriously bad thoughts due to my depression on Saturday, and today I’m having wave after wave of panic attacks.
I’m not taking anything new on, but I’m still reading and there will be the odd blog post.
Sorry this is not book related, but I needed to get it off my chest.