Friday, 10 February 2012

Things I Know

Things I know this week - where do I start ???


In December 2010 my Dad was diagnosed with a very aggressive melanoma on his forehead - a little nothing that could hardly been seen.  He had it cut out but they didn't get enough from around it so he landed up having to have a full skin graft on his forehead when they went back in and cut out more aggressively.
In late January 2011, he found a small lump on the side of his face in front of his ear.  He went to the specialist and after lots of appointments with, it seemed like, a gazillion medical professionals, he had a radical neck dissection on 5 May 2011 where they removed the lump together with all the lymph nodes on the left hand side of his face and neck.  After 6 weeks of radiation treatment and more scans etc the professor said it looked like they had got everything and he was good to go.  About 5 or 6 weeks ago he had a PET scan and they gave him the all clear.

Since having the PET scan he has been back to the ENT for a check-up only for her to find a lump at the base of his neck just above his clavicle.  He was advised to go for an ultrasound.  He did.  They couldn't find anything.  He took the ultrasound to the professor who said it was a waste of money, palpated the lump and said it was a nothing.  He had to go for a follow up appointment with the ENT last week.  This was cancelled as there was some medical emergency.  As my parents are supposed to be leaving for a holiday in South Africa on Monday this coming week, they called to ask if he could see the ENT before he left.  They got an appointment on Wednesday this week.  There is a new ENT there now as the rotations have changed.  She was not happy with the lump and wanted to do a needle biopsy there and then but the pathology lab was closed and there was nobody available to take the sample.  So he had to go back yesterday.  They did the needle biopsy and the technician took the sample away to the lab only to come back a short while later and tell the ENT that it does not look good.  This message was obviously conveyed to my folks. 

This afternoon I took them to hospital to get the results and it is not good.  The cancer is back.  Dad has to go for a CT scan next week.  The results of the scan will determine the course of treatment that we should follow.  If the scan shows that the cancer has not travelled to any other organs - they will have to do another radical neck dissection to remove the levels 4 & 5 lymph glands (they removed levels 1-3 of his lymph glands during the last operation).   If the cancer has spread to any organs, they will remove the melanoma from his neck and send him on his holiday and tell him to enjoy what is left of his life - they will manage the pain when it comes, they will assist if he battles to eat or drink, they will supply oxygen if he needs it - think you get the picture.  Whatever they do will not be enough because there is no cure and the cancer will kill him - very probably, slowly.
I know that, at some point, we are all going to die - my Dad included - I am just not ready for him to die just yet. 

This is a locket that I keep on my key ring with photos of
my Dad and Mom taken on our wedding day.



  1. what tumultuous goings on. i can't imagine how this must make you feel. prayers for your dad and thinking of you. xo.

    1. Thank you so much Veronica - all prayers gratefully accepted and appreciated.

  2. Oh honey. I am so sorry. There are no words that can make this better, take away the fear and the pain of what a diagnosis like this means. I lost my dad 18 months ago, aged 61, to a sudden heart attack in the middle of the night. I know there is no good way to lose someone, especially a parent. But your dad has a chance to fight it, and he sounds like a fighter. I wish him all the strength in the world to fight this battle and I hope this time it stays gone for good. No matter what happens, know there are people here for you, whatever you need. Much love to you and your mum and dad.

  3. Honey I am so sorry, this is a hell of a lot for you and your family to go through. I will include your Dad in my prayers and hope for the best. Bec xx

  4. Sorry everyone - my threaded comments seems to have stopped working.

    Thank you so much Aroha. I am sorry to hear about the sudden passing of your Dad - that must have been an awful time for you. You are right - Dad is definitely a fighter. I think that if they find that the cancer has spread - he will take my Mom and they will do all the things they said they would do 'one day' and certainly live it up to day he can't do that anymore. Thank you so much for your support - I can't tell you how much it is appreciated.

    Thank you too Bec - your prayers are certainly accepted and appreciated. I know we will get through this because we have no other option but it is so good to know that we have the support of friends whom we have never even met !!

    Wishing you a great weekend !
    Love, hugs and positive energy.

  5. Very sorry to hear about your dad. Sending thoughts your way.

  6. I agree with you...cancer is sux, bigtime sux!!!

    My thoughts along with hugs are coming your way xx

  7. Thanks Badger - really appreciate your thoughts - all gratefully accepted.
    Have a great weekend and I hope that it isn't too cold there and that your heaters are still working !

  8. Thanks Jen - you hit the nail on the head - it does suck big time !
    Have a great weekend !

  9. Linda, I am SO sorry about what your dad and the rest of your family are dealing with right now. I can tell you that I do know what it's like to have parents that dealt with cancer. I lost my mom to it when I was 14 and my dad exactly 9 years ago to an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer that few have ever heard of. The upside for your dad is that he has a doctor that is taking this seriously and often times with older people, cancer doesn't grow or spread as quickly. I'll be saying lots of prayers for all of you. And yes... I know what you mean about not wanting to let go of your dad. My dad wad 83 when he died but no matter how old a parent is, it's always too young for them to get sick or pass away. Only positive thoughts for you right now. Email me if you need to "talk."

  10. Cancer so does @#$*)#($@* suck. Thoughts are with you for your Dad ... keep the locket close to your dad. Please let me know if you need anything xxx

  11. Thanks to you Diane and Sammy. Dad is a fighter and has said that he will fight this again because he wants to go on holiday and see their family and friends still in South Africa - and I believe he will do it. I do worry about my Mom who is taking this very hard given that he had only recently got the all clear but between us we will help each other get through this.

    To everyone - thank you so much for all your support and offers to help - you are amazing people who have truly touched me. I have people whom I know - in the flesh - who are not as supportive as those of you whom I have never even met and I am absolutely grateful for your support and love.

    Love, hugs and HEAPS OF POSITIVE ENERGY !

  12. Oh huni I am so so sorry. I don't know of anything I can say to make this better, so I'll just say this.... Your mum and dad have the most wonderful smiles and they just look so damn happy on your wedding day, so I can see how much they lve you and are obviously very proud of you. BIG HUGS xxx


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