Good evening She, I am behind on all my computor time as I am out of town on a business trip. sorry for the delay. I read your posting about Dad, it make my heart scream out, I am so sorry for you guys. With the information you have given about him he does not sound in to bad of shape, I would guess he is pretty good health otherwise? Sounds like he has had a great deal of pain from his lower back, and he also had a bone marrow biopsey completed. Both of these can and will hurt like crazy, and high levels of pain will weaken your resolve more than just about anything. First of all he needs to know that the chemo is more a biologic than a chemo he would expect. They will most likely want to start him on Velcade, Dexamethasone and Revlimid. Not all three at once, but Velcade with the Dex and if the response is not what they want then they will add Revlimid or another drug. These are all either a shot or a pill, all have side effects but they are managable, They will need to do blood tests on a weekly basis for his blood count. Please explain to him that they are not that bad and he can do this and they do work. He needs to do this so his bones can start to rebuild and heal.
I have been diagnosed with cancer 2 times and have had many let downs and scares throughout all these years, soon to be 19. The first thing you feel is shock, then comes the fear,trust me it can be overwhelming. I don't know your fathers age, but I would guess that we are close in age. Tell him , this is not the treatments that we know about from our younger days, most likely he will not even loose his hair for these, just a little tired and some bowel issues. Longer term they will cause neuropathy, but this to can be managed.
The questions most cancer patients need an answer to is (Why Me),(How Bad) and (how Long do I have).
My answers for myself that helped me; Why Me- The Lord has said that he is our best friend and would never leave us, it took me a long time to understand how a friend could allow this to happen to another friend, he has because he knows that I am strong enough to carry it, while others may not be. I don't know if this is right, but I know it has helped me put this monkey back into his cage.
How Bad, My question to my doc was what stage am I in. Mind you we are friends, he was my doc for 15yrs. His answer was, why does it matter, I am going to use the same treatments for all the stages. He has since retired, we spoke about this after his retirement and he said that there were certain treatment options that were the standard proticall and he used those. The side effects are well known and because of this they are safer. Not only that but my wife would hang him if he messed me up.
How Long?, The internet gives us 2-5yrs, however this is not correct. He told me not to try to read up on anything as it was all out of date. I read, real scary stuff. After 1 yr of reading everything I could I found out that he was correct. They are still waiting for the final results of the trials and studies. Some have seen remission in excess of 10years and still going. He told me that in the near future this would be chronic like sugar. Trusted him all those years and still had to check, he earned and deserved my trust.
Your Dad is still in the Oh-Shit phase, he will not be able to put that part to rest until he gets past some of the treatments. Depression is a part of this and it can hit with a big hammer, it is hard to deal with, because there are times when it is over whelming. He needs to give this a try for you and his family, I would most likely have given up a long time ago if it was just me, boy would I have been wrong to do that.
Talk to him, ask him to try it for you, tell him to get on here, we all care and have either been there or are in middle of it.
Explain that all is not as it seems, we are surviving and living mostly normal lives. The old saying, no pain,no gain does'nt apply here, its all to gain with no pain. He needs to take control of himself, learn everything he can and look, wait, hope for the best. All things can and do happen.There is no garrantee of success, and yes things don't work for everyone. Some have worse side effects or can be alergic to the drugs, but you don't know until you try, for this reason we must try. I know that this is terminal (at the moment), but when you consider that we are terminal the day we are born its not so bad. It is a wake up call for us to realize that this life is short, so we need to kake the most of it.
I hope I have given something to help and I hope you don't mind some of my refrences. I just know that this is hard and there is no correct answer for all of us.But I know that there are always some answers that we can all use.