Yesterday marked exactly 6 weeks since Dad received his incurable stage IV non small cell lung cancer diagnosis. At that time, he had severe pain in his stomach and diarrhea, which he was treated for before he left Florida to come for his visit. His doctor was treating him for diverticulitis, and told Dad that if symptoms did not improve, he should return to the doctor. Well, the 5 days were during his trip from Florida to Ohio.
He arrived on October 8, 2018 at approximately noon, and within 15 minutes we were out the door headed for the emergency room. His pain was severe and debilitating. After our 7+ hour wait in the ER waiting room, we were on our way to learning about Dad’s cancer. He was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for nearly 4 days.
Where We Are Now
Just before Thanksgiving, Dad’s legs had become so weak that he was struggling to get down the stairs. Now, he can no longer get down on his own. My son has been helping him up and down just so he can enjoy some time out of his room, but even this has become too much for Dad.
Monday, he is scheduled for a scan to see if his chemotherapy is working. I mentioned in my last post that Dad has decided if the chemo is not working, he no longer wants the treatment. It may be easy for others to say “why would you refuse chemotherapy”, but the reality is, his time is limited and he wants to try and enjoy the time he has left without feeling the way that he has felt for 5 weeks now (since his first chemotherapy treatment).
Part of me wants to believe that his condition is 100% due to the chemotherapy, but the realist in me is struggling to accept that. I believe that his health is declining more and more every single day. Today, he has not been awake for more than an hour (total for the day). As I write this, he is sleeping in the recliner where he has been for several hours. Before that, he was in bed where he had spent the entire day… sleeping.
He has not had a chemo treatment in 2 weeks, so for him to be feeling worse rather than better is a very big concern, as well as a potential indicator that the chemotherapy is not responsible for all of this. I am no doctor, and that is why we are reluctantly anxious to get the results back from his scheduled scan on Monday.
He barely has any feeling left in his hands, and is losing more in his feet every day. He can hardly take his own pills anymore because he is having a hard time getting them in his mouth.
Complaining of Dizziness
Yesterday, Dad began complaining of dizziness to where he worried about falling, as am I. Today, that condition is worse to the point that he did not even want to come downstairs early in the day because of the fear that he may not make it down (even with Austin helping him).
This is really concerning to me as he usually gets up in the middle of the night or early morning to go to the bathroom (it is right across the hall from his room and he uses his walker). I am very concerned about him falling in the middle of the night, and I can only pray that I hear him if he does, or he calls for help.
I just talked with my son (remember, he is 20 so he is no longer a child) and told him that I was considering having Dad admitted to the hospital, but then we both agreed that it would be more dangerous due to his low white blood cell count and the risk of infection. So, we will wait this out a couple more days. I do think that I will have Dad call the doctor tomorrow (or I will call for him), and ask if this dizziness is normal or if we should take him in to be admitted.
This blog has been instrumental in keeping track of Dad’s condition, and I would recommend to anyone in the same or similar situation to keep some type of journal of your condition so that you can track symptoms. I hope that it will help some of you who are looking for information on what to expect, but I also want to remind you that everyone is different, so your condition may not be the same as my Dad’s.