Hi Friends, family and loved ones. My daughter, Lindi, wrote the majority of this post as a guest columnist. Over the last 6 weeks, I have not had the energy or strength to write. I appreciate Lindi stepping in to share what is going on. So this post, until I provide the closing has been written by her.
As some of you have already heard, we brought my dad to Houston on Sunday night. His condition after 6 days at Kettering Medical Center never really improved to our expectations. After another week of outpatient care, we wanted him to be seen by Dr. Wolff. We took him straight to the ER at MD Anderson despite my dad’s warnings that you don’t go to an emergency room on a Sunday night. He was right – the care at the ER on a Sunday is sub-par and very very slow. He was finally admitted to the hospital in the middle of the night, and he’s been in the hospital there since.
Despite the rough start at the ER, Dr. Wolff and the rest of the doctors, nurses, and staff at MD Anderson have been providing wonderful care for my dad. He’s had extensive tests, many of which have created quite a bit of discomfort and pain. After numerous tests, indicatations are that the issue is that the tumor in his liver has gotten bigger and that he is experiencing what Dr. Wolff referred to as “liver insufficiency”. After consultation with his team, he has prescribed my dad a drug called Sorafenib to attempt to target that tumor. Unfortunately, it is unclear what, if anything, can be done if the Sorafenib doesn’t work. As my dad put it, it’s a “do or die” situation. My dad has been known for his dark sense of humor and making jokes out of the grimmest of circumstances, but this one may take the cake.
Despite Dr. Wolff’s assessment, we continue to follow my dad’s mantra he wrote early on in his diagnosis. Some of it includes: “Can’t waste any energy on negative thoughts, negative behavior, or any form of negativity,” “have an absolute commitment to finding the beauty in each day,” and “stay in the moment.” His mantra also talks about how his “inexhaustible perseverance and will” have gotten him through every hurdle life has thrown at him before. Although this is not the news we want to be sharing at this time, it’s the news we have received. My dad hasn’t given up the fight. He has always taught us that it’s important to set high goals and reach for the stars, but that we also have to understand what is possible. He taught me that being realistic isn’t the same as giving up.
My dad’s goal has always been to beat the cancer. As that goal seems to get further from being realistic, we set new goals, with the hope that achieving those smaller goals may lead us back to his original goal. We are all doing our best to stay positive, keep my dad feeling good, and enjoy our time together.
Please keep praying for my dad. Please pray that the Sorafenib works. Pray that he feels good. And please don’t feel that you can’t continue to reach out to my parents. We feel so fortunate for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received since my dad’s diagnosis. I do hope you’ll forgive any texts or calls that do not receive a response. Please know that the lack of a response is not a reflection of our lack of appreciation or our desire to connect with you.
As Lindi passes the ‘scribe’ back to me for edits and additions, I want to share how proud of and blessed I am for my family. Such a wonderful crew trying to help me overcome extremely difficult circumstances. Despite our understanding of the situation, it’s not as if I accept this probable outcome. In the same way that you have all embraced our situation over the last 16 months, I appreciate you continuing to keep my family in your prayers.
I hope to be back in touch, but to the extent that doesn’t happen, Lindi will take over any communications as we continue to maneuver these infested waters.
Your support has meant a lot to us. Yes, we are all scared of the challenge ahead, and it sucks. I’ve said all along that we don’t have a choice of how we die, but we have a choice of how we live. It’s hard. I want to be strong and I want to know that I will get through this, but there have been a lot of times lately when meeting that standard of strength has become increasingly difficult. This is simply a barbaric disease.
Thanks again to all for your love and support!
#cancer sucks #ShaneStrong #curecc