Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This Stinks!

So I took Dad to his surgical consult at Tufts Medical Center. The news is not good. The doctor is talking a complete removal of Dad's voice box as well as the lymph node that lit up on the pet scan if we want to treat for a cure. We were given a lot of information....none of which was retained by Dad. The doctor is taking Dad's case to the tumor board that is made up of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and medical doctors who will look at all the information and analyze the options. We'll go back on the 30th to hear their findings. I feel awful about this entire situation. Again I did not expect the news to be so bad. After doing some research again I'm guessing that the cancer is either stage 3 or stage 4. I am unsure if Dad can tolerate the surgery and it's life altering results. I think his brain damage/short term memory loss from the years of alcohol abuse will impact how he recovers. It also impacts the decision making process. I'm feeling a huge weight on my shoulders. I also keep thinking that we should have found this earlier. Sigh.....

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Call to Action!
Come learn how we can all effectively advocate and support our schools this year.
Times are tough, and our schools are working harder than ever to help our children thrive. Join Plymouth Superintendent Gary Maestas, Plymouth Stand for Children members, and others in an important conversation about how we can support our schools even in these very challenging economic times.

When: Wednesday, October 21, 6:00-7:30 PM
Registration begins at 6:00 PM
Program begins at 6:30 PM

Where: The Loring Center, 386 Court St, Plymouth

RSVP: Please RSVP to Katie@stand.org

Bring your thoughts, your friends, and your family!
Childcare, Entertainment by Big Ryan, and dinner from Water Street Café
will be provided for children.

The problem is that we don't have enough grassroots democracy. You can't do it alone. If you're sitting at home feeling depressed about what's happening in your child's school, you need to get out and participate in a grassroots advocacy group like Stand for Children.” – Representative Steven D’Amico

Stand for Children – 781-891-1300- www.stand.org/ma
For additional information, visit us on Facebook at the
Stand for Children- MA Plymouth Chapter page!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Well today my SIL and brother took Dad for his scans. He had a PET scan and a cat scan. If he comes back clear we will be able to consider the option of surgery to remove the cancer on his vocal chord. If not the only choice will be chemo and radiation. Not sure that he can tolerate the chemo. He has not been eating and is even having a hard time getting in his recommended number of boost drinks each day. What is even more worrisome is that his memory seems to be deteriorating. He has short term memory loss issued due to alcohol abuse but that had stabilized. I'll be speaking with his ENT doctor tomorrow as well as his primary care physician. Hopefully I'll have good news to report. Please send positive energy this way if you can.


Monday, October 12, 2009


Well for anyone who may be following the diagnostic drama that has been my life lately; I have good news. My ultrasound came back fine! Thank goodness. I do have cysts but they are of no consequence. Now I can focus on Dad and his health issues. I am so grateful that I am able to help him and not in need of any treatment myself.


Friday, October 9, 2009

The First of the Results

So today was a mixed up day to say the least. After getting the children off to school the plan was to go to Dad's and get him ready for his 10:20 doctors appointment to hear the results of his biopsy.

When I arrived at Dad's house he was still lying in bed and after he got up and went in to take a shower he decided he didn't feel well and couldn't do the appointment. I think the problem came from several sources. Not enough to eat, getting up and going to quickly and perhaps some agitation due to my insistence that he be showered before going to the doctors. (something he actually didn't do to my chagrin)

Turned out that I was able to reschedule the appointment for the afternoon. We went in and the Doctor examined Dad and gave us the news. He has squamous cell cancer of the larynx. He will need to go for a couple more scans before we know the stage of the cancer. These scans will be scheduled for next week. We have an appointment with a surgeon at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and will also meet with an oncology team at our local surgery in case we have to go that route. I'm worried. I don't know how much Dad wants to fight this thing and how much his body and psyche can take. It is a huge worry and while Dad will be managing the physical aftermath I'll be managing everything else....logistics, schedules, transportation etc. Watching your parent age is so difficult. In my minds eye I still see the strapping man that I remember from my childhood. In reality he is just a shell of that man.

That is not all that is on my plate. On Monday I will go for an ultrasound on my right breast to determine if I have a mass or a cyst. Please send all of your positive energy and prayer this way as I can't imagine helping my Dad through his cancer and fighting my own battle as well.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

What a Week!

Well this has been a most draining week. We got through Dad's biopsy on Thursday. It was a long day. We reported to the local hospital at 7:15 which meant being up and over to Dad's by 6:30am. As much as I didn't want to be out and about at such an early hour I was pleasantly surprised by one of the most beautiful sunrises over the ocean. I had forgotten how lovely it is to look at the sun as it comes up on the horizon. It was truly breathtaking. I wished that I had my camera. Anyway we did not get any results from the procedure. That will come next Friday. Now Dad is on a soft food diet and working to cut down his pack a day smoking habit to 10 or fewer smokes a day by next Friday. He's doing pretty good with it with the help of some medicine and will power not to mention a daughter who hides and rations the dastardly smokes!

Dad's procedure was not the end of the trials of this week. On Friday I had to go in for a repeat mammogram. Additional digital images of both breasts were taken. On a call back visit patients wait to meet with the radiologist to get the results of the additional images. So after being rather tightly squeezed by the machine I went back into the waiting room. I finally met with the radiologist who explained why there was a need for more images, overlapping breast tissue and the like. He went on to say that while the left side appeared to have been just a case of tissue needing to be thinned out by the machine that the right side showed something. He did an exam and could feel something. When he palpated the spot it did not hurt (not good from what I have read). He called it a cyst and has me coming back a week from Monday. He will have me go for an ultrasound of the area and then again I will meet with the doctor after the exam. The ultrasound will determine if the cyst is a fluid filled cyst or something else...a lump or a mass. So the waiting begins. The ironic thing is that when Dad got the news about the mass on his vocal chord one of my first thoughts was.... oh great we'll end up doing radiation together.... Please say a prayer that this is not the case. I'll keep you updated.

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