The "C" word

  • Jonno11

    Posts: 181

    Nov 17, 2012 9:51 PM GMT
    So my Dad, who Im very close to, who's been supportive of me my whole life, who's taught me everything from how to change a tire to carpentry and tile setting is facing Cancer. He went in this week for a physical, and came out with an order to go to the hospital for blood work. Now he has a biopsy and an MRI scheduled next week, and surgery scheduled the following week. I haven't seen him cry in years, but he broke down when he was telling us. I have lost several family members to cancer, but this is in my own home, you know? He is the strong silent type, he didn't say anything about being in pain, he just assumed it was normal and left it. And now it might be too late. He's the type who won't accept help from anyone, and its almost like he's resigned himself that hes going to die, so being healthy is pointless. I'm asking for help from any survivors of cancer. What are some things I can do for him, or information I can give him. How can I help?
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    Nov 17, 2012 10:45 PM GMT
    I've never had anyone extremely close to me, friend or family, be diagnosed with cancer so my advice isn't probably the best. I think if someone in my family did have cancer I'd make sure to be with them as much as I could and just listen to them.

    Let your dad know how much you love him and just be there as he is going through treatment. Lend an ear, I can only imagine the emotions he's going through. And make sure you have someone to talk to as well as you go through this difficult time!
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    Nov 17, 2012 10:48 PM GMT
    There are a lot of things you can do for him. There are support groups for every family member. I would call the hospital and ask to speak to social services and they will give you all the information and packages you can use.

    Good luck with everything!!! Im sorry your family is going through this
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    Nov 17, 2012 10:49 PM GMT
    First of all, I am really sorry to hear such a horrifying, grieving news. I hope all the results come out as positive as they can be.

    While I can't offer you any technical knowledge regarding cancer that can help your father, I think it would be great for you to spend as much time with your father as possible. During times of great hardship, it is absolutely important for one to be reminded of the causes he or she is fighting for. If you constantly remind him how much you love him and need him to be okay, he's going to realize that he still has so much to fight for, and will be more motivated to fight against his cancer to the best of his ability. Whenever I read about a cancer survivor and how he/she survived, there's always a strong emphasis put on one's will to live. They say half the battle is won already if a cancer patient has the unbeatable determination to triumph over his illness.

    I wish you, your father, and your family nothing more than the best. Be strong for him, and be there for him.

    Steven
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Nov 17, 2012 10:53 PM GMT
    I`m sorry to hear of your news. I lost my sister to pancreatic cancer last August. Your father sounds like her, strong, quiet, private, never complaining.

    But it`s hard to give definite advice as every case and individual are unique.

    Support him as much as you can and be there for him, let him know how much you love him and what he means to you, even if it`s in a gentle style. Spend as much time with him as you can. Maybe do some things together you both love.

    Put his needs ahead of your wants.

    Whatever happens, you`ll both gain from all this love.

    Best wishes,
    John.
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    Nov 18, 2012 1:14 AM GMT
    I encourage you to hang in there and support your father however you can. My mother was just diagnosed with lung cancer about a month ago. That's why I've been fairly absent on here lately.

    The process has been incredibly fast since the doctor first detected a mass in her lungs through an X-ray (she went to the doctor for a cough that wouldn't go away). Fast forward 4 weeks, she's already at home recovering from a lobectomy. They removed a 5cm tumor along with some surrounding tissue. All in all, they took out about a third of her lung. However, it's only been 8 days since the surgery, and she's already up and moving around! She's still store and stiff, but I really think she'll be back to most of her usual activities by Christmas.

    Anyway, the good news is that my mom found her cancer just in time. Although she had a hell of a tumor, all the scans and biopsies of local lymph nodes came back negative of cancer. The cancer was isolated to that tumor in the lower lobe of her left lung. For now it seems that surgery was the only treatment she needed! She's very lucky considering lung cancer typically has a poor prognosis because most people discover it much too late. I really owe it to her medical team that didn't waste any time in getting all her tests and surgery rolling. Everyone from the personal physician, oncologist, thoracic surgeon, nurses, to the receptionists have done wonders to help my mom and my family. I haven't thought of how I want to thank all those people for everything they've done.

    It actually just hit her today everything that happened recently. The whole process went by so fast that she and no one else really had to time to think about it. It still hasn't really hit me because I've been quite busy taking care of her.

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    Nov 18, 2012 1:27 AM GMT
    my dad is a survivor of prostate cancer. He found out about it early. I really hope your dad found out early as well as that is what determines how recovery will occur and affect him and your family. If he ends up doing radiation therapy, make sure your there for him. He will become a different person throughout this experience. Mines became very angry at himself and somewhat stubborn. It was like he was giving up. If your dad starts behaving this way, remind him of his family, remind him of his children. Make sure he knows that he is loved etc. In terms of possible surgery, if he does have one, the recovery will be just as painful, even more painful than radiation. Patience will be needed on both your family and his part. Just make sure he is comfortable. It is necessary to make sure that he knows that its ok for him to accept help. Being a man sometimes makes us believe that we should be able to do things for ourselves. But this is not the case when it comes to recovering from cancer. Your help will highly influence his recovery time as i saw with my dad. Just make sure you and your family is there for him.
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    Nov 18, 2012 1:32 AM GMT
    I'm so sorry to hear of your dad's cancer and although people handle things differently, I have an idea what you're going through as my dad was diagnosed with cancer several years ago.

    In a nutshell, I think the most important advice is just to be there for your dad. Ultimately, he'll have to make his own decisions regarding treatment and how he goes forward, but just being there will be helpful.

    I remember when my dad was undergoing chemo, I would go and sit with him when I could. I was there during his last round and he told me how glad he was that I was there with him and that it meant a lot to him. My dad never said things such as that, so it was meaningful for me as well.

    Don't worry about doing the right thing or saying the right thing. Just be there.

    I wish you and your family all the luck in the world.
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    Nov 18, 2012 3:43 AM GMT
    Man, really sorry to hear what you and your father are facing and will face in the coming weeks, months etc.

    Being a survivor of Cancer, I can tell you... the BEST support you can give your Dad, is to just be there physically & emotionally, for him... Honestly, you don't have to actually DO anything.. Your presence, during this time, is exactly what we seek.. Whatever you do, don't avoid him, don't avoid asking questions, if you have any.. Most likely he won't offer up any information, for fear of upsetting you, or, thinking you may not want to know... For those of us who have gone through it, the worst thing is when people avoid us; I've come to understand that it's mostly out of fear or misunderstanding.. But, it cuts deeply.. Be there, for him, as much as you possibly can, even if neither of you have words to exchange, your taking time just to be with him, shows your care, concern and love.. btw., you're the same age as my own son...and we communicated much about this.... (last year)...
    Well, that's how I felt and what I experienced and appreciated the most.. If you'd like to talk more,the processes, stages or what have you.. please feel free to email me..
    Rocco
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    Nov 18, 2012 3:43 AM GMT
    This might sound weird but I work at a major health chain, and I have a customer that insists that Beta Carotene is a cure for cancer. I asked him why and he told me about a study in the 70's. Don't want to get into too much detail but the point he made was that the friend of his that got terminal cancer got a juicer and carrots and drank a lot of it everyday for months and somehow he said his friend got better and it completely went away. Now I know everybody is different but he was very adamant about it and he still takes beta carotene himself every day and comes in to buy it every 2 months.
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    Nov 18, 2012 3:54 AM GMT
    Along with my mother's cancer "journey", I learned that one of the best things you can do is to learn as much as you can about your father's cancer, treatments, care, and recovery. Never hesitate to ask questions from any of the doctors because that's what they're there for. I honestly feel that the more you know about what you're up against, the better and more confident you feel about your choices. Or at least I felt that being informed of my mom's cancer relieved me some of my anxiety.

    Personally, I would avoid looking up too much information online because that tends to fuel excessive and unnecessary worry. There's so much information out there. Statistics change all the time, and you never really know how old some of those data are. Even a few years can make a big difference because advancements could've been made in a short time. All in all, each cancer case is unique because each person is unique. Prognosis depends on numerous factors (e.g. general health, age, diet, activity, etc), so a lot of information you might find wouldn't apply to your father. It's better to get information from the physician, oncologist, or surgeon directly.

    I have also heard numerous suggestions of joining a support group. Those are easy to find either online or through your doctor(s). There are support groups not only for cancer patients but also for caregivers. Caregivers experience as much as the cancer patient, so it's worth addressing the caregivers' needs and concerns as well. Unfortunately I've not had a chance to check into one of those for myself yet, but I hope to soon enough.
  • Jonno11

    Posts: 181

    Nov 18, 2012 4:31 AM GMT
    Thanks for the responses guys. We wont know much more until early next week. The part that is frustrating myself and my Dad's wife is that he seems reluctant to take any steps that may help him down the road. He says that he hopes the treatments are over with soon and that everything goes well, yet refuses to stop smoking, stop or at least reduce his alcohol intake, or generally maintain his health. He seems to have already given up even though no one has given him a death sentence. I understand hes going through shock and is perhaps grappling with his own mortality, but shouldn't the survival instinct have kicked in? Shouldnt he be all over getting all the information and making choices that can only prolong his life? Myself and his wife have both re-iterated how much we love him and need him around, and he just makes morbid jokes about dying.
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    Nov 18, 2012 4:42 AM GMT
    Well, I hope he doesn't delay the things he needs to do. Cancer is time sensitive. A situation can quickly worsen within a span of a few weeks to a few months.

    I'm sure in time your father will come around and try to come to grips with it. Everyone handles this differently. It's pretty hard to put on a game face right away when you receive that kind of news. You, his doctors, and his wife should be encouraging at a time like this and not bully him over habits he hasn't quit just yet.

    My mom also made jokes about her mortality, but she realizes that not everyone is fortunate to live 80+ years. For me it's been a reality check that my parents will not always be around. I think through all of this, we've come to learn that the quality of life matters a lot more than the quantity. What good is living to be 90 or 100 years old if many of those years sucked or were nothing special? Even though my mom is only 57 now, I'd like to see her live the rest of her life as well as she can whether she survives to 58 or beyond. It's been a good lesson at how to live one day at a time.
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    Nov 18, 2012 4:50 AM GMT
    Jonno11 saidSo my Dad, who Im very close to, who's been supportive of me my whole life, who's taught me everything from how to change a tire to carpentry and tile setting is facing Cancer. He went in this week for a physical, and came out with an order to go to the hospital for blood work. Now he has a biopsy and an MRI scheduled next week, and surgery scheduled the following week. I haven't seen him cry in years, but he broke down when he was telling us. I have lost several family members to cancer, but this is in my own home, you know? He is the strong silent type, he didn't say anything about being in pain, he just assumed it was normal and left it. And now it might be too late. He's the type who won't accept help from anyone, and its almost like he's resigned himself that hes going to die, so being healthy is pointless. I'm asking for help from any survivors of cancer. What are some things I can do for him, or information I can give him. How can I help?

    I'm a survivor of advanced stage prostate cancer. Less than 30% chance of survival.

    Your dad needs to find a support group...for his kind of cancer, preferably...or some cancer support group. The support group is not to hold your dad's hand and say "there, there, all will be fine." It's so he can talk to people who have experience as patients. They will tell your dad what to expect and what he can do. His drs wont tell him everything....they'll be afraid of the power of suggestion. FTS. It's better, in my opinion, to know so you can handle it when it comes, rather than wonder WTF is happening and be surprised.

    What kind of cancer does your dad have? How advanced?

    I blogged my cancer experience here on RJ. It is just one guy's story as I went thru it. Check out the diet in Jan 2007. HA!

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/150050


    Eating well is always good when your sick....but not to take the place of his cancer treatment.


    Broccoli and Cancer Prevention

    The unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-detoxification components in broccoli make it a unique food in terms of cancer prevention. Connections between cancer development and oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and inadequate detoxification are so well-documented in the research that any food improving all three of these metabolic problems would be highly likely to lower our risk of cancer. In the case of broccoli, the research is strongest in showing decreased risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, and ovarian cancer. We expect that risk of other cancer types will also eventually be shown to undergo reduction from regular consumption of broccoli.

    http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9



    Look to Whole Foods, Not Supplements, for Cancer Protection

    According to experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), the research indicates whole foods, and not dietary supplements, lower cancer risk. Citing a huge and comprehensive AICR report—Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective—the panel of experts cautioned: "Dietary supplements are not recommended for cancer prevention."

    The AICR panel examined over 7,000 studies on all aspects of diet, physical activity, weight and cancer risk. The accumulated evidence from almost 50 different supplement trials, cohort studies and case-control studies showed that, under certain conditions, some high-dose supplements might be protective at specific doses, some did nothing, and some actually increased the risk of cancer. The results were too inconsistent to justify using supplements to protect against cancer.

    In contrast, when the AICR experts examined over 440 studies on cancer risk and foods that contain specific vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, the research was much more consistent.

    The panel judged several categories of foods as protective against a variety of cancers, including:

    Folate-containing foods, protective against pancreatic cancer
    Carotenoid-containing foods, protective against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and lung. (Convincing evidence indicates, however, that beta-carotene supplements promote lung cancer in current smokers.)
    Beta-carotene containing foods, protective against esophageal cancer.
    Lycopene-containing foods, protective against prostate cancer.
    Vitamin C-containing foods, protective against esophageal cancer.
    Selenium-containing foods, protective against prostate cancer. (Selenium supplements may also be helpful, but the research outcomes have been mixed, and the potential for unfavorable side effects is real.)
    Non-starchy vegetables, allium vegetables (onions, leeks, garlic, etc.) and fruits, protective against 7 different kinds of cancer.

    http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=btnews&dbid=20
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    Nov 18, 2012 5:11 AM GMT
    Chuckles777 saidThis might sound weird but I work at a major health chain, and I have a customer that insists that Beta Carotene is a cure for cancer. I asked him why and he told me about a study in the 70's. Don't want to get into too much detail but the point he made was that the friend of his that got terminal cancer got a juicer and carrots and drank a lot of it everyday for months and somehow he said his friend got better and it completely went away. Now I know everybody is different but he was very adamant about it and he still takes beta carotene himself every day and comes in to buy it every 2 months.

    Carrots are good against colon cancer. But it's the polyacetylenes that prevent the colon cancer growth.

    "...recent research has turned the health spotlight onto another category of phytonutrients in carrots called polyacetylenes. In carrots, the most important polyacetylenes include falcarinol and falcarindiol. Several recent studies have identified these carrot polyacetylenes as phytonutrients that can help inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells, especially when these polyacetylenes are found in their reduced (versus oxidized) form. "

    http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=21
  • TadPohl

    Posts: 259

    Nov 18, 2012 12:47 PM GMT
    I've actually done some research when my younger cousin was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
    I wish that I could have found this clinic sooner.
    http://gerson.org
    There re a lot of quacks, but I like his results. I encourage you to personally research their facilities to determine if they're a good fit for your dad.


    I'm gonna freak you out for a sec..... because it's better to know.

    To prepare yourself:
    Before my cousin passed away....
    My cousin got really scared.
    Then he shut everyone out.... including his girlfriend.
    Then he somehow found acceptance of the disease, his possible demise and began an intensive study in Buddhism.
    He wasn't as frightened at the end.
    I was glad that he wasn't scared or alone in the end.


    To tell you the truth..... I'm still furious that he didn't try EVERY possible avenue for a cure!
    I hope that your dad tries a combination of everything.
    A life is incredibly special... and when it's gone....
    I don't want that for him nor for your family.
    A life with you, with his friends and family... with this world is worth fighting for.


    My prayers go out to you.
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    Nov 18, 2012 10:57 PM GMT
    Jonno11 saidThanks for the responses guys.He seems to have already given up even though no one has given him a death sentence. I understand hes going through shock and is perhaps grappling with his own mortality, but shouldn't the survival instinct have kicked in? Shouldnt he be all over getting all the information and making choices that can only prolong his life? Myself and his wife have both re-iterated how much we love him and need him around, and he just makes morbid jokes about dying.


    Man, I understand that's a lot to take in... understand, that's your Dads way of coping, which is the first stage - denial.. when I was going through this, I too, made offensive and morbid jokes.. also, having lost most every single relative (who was deceased) to cxr., it's a horrific process to watch, muchless to actually experience and have to face for ones self.. give him time to accept (if he does and is actually diagnoses, it can be an awfully frightening time for all of you)... I hope that his Oncologists and Hematologists are as good and take the time to fully explain the entire process and what to expect to him and all of you.. here if you have any questions man...seriously, I know how difficult this is for all of you... Roc
  • Jonno11

    Posts: 181

    Nov 19, 2012 12:32 AM GMT
    They found a lump in his testicle, and they think its spread to his prostate and possibly colon, but they are going in on tuesday for an MRI and then a biopsy on Wednesday, so we will know more this week. He seems to be ignoring it for the most part, out of sight out of mind I guess. I think he sees visions of his dad lying in his hospital bed, suffering from cancer, and it scares him. TBH I'm not sure what would happen if he got a terminal diagnosis, and that scares me, because the doctors are very concerned at how long he left it.
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    Nov 19, 2012 12:59 AM GMT
    Canadian Cancer Society

    "Welcome to the website for the Alberta/NWT Division of the Canadian Cancer Society. Founded in 1938, the Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.

    We achieve this mission by funding research on all types of cancer, providing the public with comprehensive information about cancer and risk reduction, advocating for healthy public policy, as well as offering supportive care services to cancer patients, family members and friends. Volunteers and staff support these efforts with funds raised in communities across Canada. ..."

    Read more: http://www.cancer.ca/Alberta-NWT/About us.aspx?sc_lang=en

    Tell him to start drinking his carrot juice and eating his broccoli (or any other cruciferous veggie).
  • Jonno11

    Posts: 181

    Nov 19, 2012 7:34 AM GMT
    Caslon22000 saidCanadian Cancer Society

    "Welcome to the website for the Alberta/NWT Division of the Canadian Cancer Society. Founded in 1938, the Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.

    We achieve this mission by funding research on all types of cancer, providing the public with comprehensive information about cancer and risk reduction, advocating for healthy public policy, as well as offering supportive care services to cancer patients, family members and friends. Volunteers and staff support these efforts with funds raised in communities across Canada. ..."

    Read more: http://www.cancer.ca/Alberta-NWT/About us.aspx?sc_lang=en

    Tell him to start drinking his carrot juice and eating his broccoli (or any other cruciferous veggie).


    I will get his wife to make sure she puts that in the juicer for him. I imagine she could sneak some into his OJ and he'd never know.
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    Nov 19, 2012 8:23 AM GMT
    I lost my mom and my best friend to cancer in the course of two and a half years, and the best advice I can give you is take care of yourself. You can't control many things, but you can try to be at your strongest during this crucible.