Friday 19th June – Day 3 of what now feels like for my dad intensive chemo to say the least. For someone that doesn’t do sickness and has never been ill, I can’t imagine how he must be feeling.
The day is long with the usual 8 bags ready and waiting.
One thing that we have been naive with up to this point is knowing exactly what my dad has – we know its Lung Cancer though what type it is and the exact name has escaped us. It’s also been difficult due to this being able to tell our loved ones what is happening.
We meet with one of the nurses who has become quite friendly with us. We ask her what the name of the cancer is and she tells us quickly in Spanish. Our faces must have shown her that we had no idea and so she immediately finds a computer so she can write it down. She tells us it is ‘Carcinoma Microscopic Broncopulmonar’. Just a name and doesn’t change anything but somehow feels good to know.
We then ask the question that perhaps shouldn’t be asked. What stage is it? We are told is Stage 4a. Again we are told just how serious it is and we finally ask the one question we dread to know the answer. What is the Prognosis? We are told 6-12 months. Tears roll down my mums face – it is only the two of us in the room with the nurse. My dad is not aware of this.
Nothing has changed in my mind – A prognosis is an average figure used to gauge an understanding of a patient’s life expectancy based on their current health, fitness levels etc… My dad is bionic and so there is no known reason in my mind why this 6-12 months won’t be much more. Many years more – though my logical mind holds me back slightly knowing that sadly – based on how things are the time scale could be scarily accurate and if anything overstating things.
We return to the room where my dad is receiving treatment, heads held high and pushing to one side the devastating news we just received.
Thankfully Chemo is almost complete for the day and no sooner have we returned to the room, the fluid transfer finishes, the machine beeps and its time to go home.
Tiredness has consumed my dad now and his energy levels, desire to eat, his desire to do anything have gone. He looks defeated. Whilst he has colour in his face you can see the pain and suffering as he realises the chemo is taking hold. He goes to bed. It’s a restless night as he grunts, moans and winces at every opportunity. Hiccups fill what was the silent nightly air and the three of us all feel powerless to help him.