A Skippers Tale XXX

Longshot

And it is indeed.  Mum and I attended a meeting with Dad at the Cancer centre today with his Radiation Oncologists Stephanie and Suki.  We are still trying to processes the information they have given us and work out how much is wishful thinking/bolstering out spirits and how much is not.

The easiest way for me to explain is to show you.

scan1

This scan was taken on the 9th of February this year when the attack first happened.  Now, you need to understand that you are looking at Dad’s brain as if you are looking up from his feet and that the left is the right and the right is the left.  So, in this cross section you can see the three tumours (I’ve shaded them in red).  The one closest to the edge is the one they biopsied to confirm the prognosis of GBM (Glioblastoma Multiforme)  You can see why they couldn’t go after the other two.  Even then, the one that is sitting right at the centre of the hemispheres is ever so slightly encroaching on the right side of the brain.

Now compare it to the one taken last week.

Scan2

Suki Gill, Dad’s lead Radiation Oncologist was saying that SOME of this “Growth” may be a ‘false reading’ as often areas of the brain that have been treated from the radiation can mimic growth on the scans, the real deciding factor is how the patient is doing.

And this is where we have the conundrum.  We want so badly for this to be true and that this image is only showing scorched cells from the treatment, but the truth of the matter is… Dad isn’t getting better.  Every day I’m seeing more of him slip away.  He has this persistent cough that isn’t on his chest, but is irritating to him and the act of coughing continuously is causing his head to hurt.

Dad, unlike me, is very resistant to the idea of painkillers… you basically had to hit him over the head with a 2×4 repeatedly to get him to even take a Panadol…  (Me, well… let’s just say I’m like my friend Kate here… we should buy shares in the company that makes Neurophan and Mersyndol :D)  But more recently Dad has been admitting to having increased headaches.  The Dr’s are going to put him on a cough suppressant and antibiotics to see if they can clear up the cough.

Mum is having it rough… even setting aside the stress of the trips into see Dad, she is just getting really tired.  We are trying to work it so that Mum has the afternoons free to have a sleep if she needs it, but it’s just all a bit overwhelming.

She’s made the decision that she’s not going to be able to make it in to see Dad at Charlies every day… it’s just too much, which of course is playing on her mind over the fact that she’s not going in every day… Mum knows that her health has to be taken care of, and lots of you have reassured her of that fact, but as she says… it doesn’t make it any easier.

I think she would feel better if she knew someone was visiting Dad on the days we can’t make it… even though the likelihood is that Dad probably wouldn’t remember it after a while…

The sooner we can get Dad out of Hospital and into some sort of care arrangement the better.  To that end Monday is the big ring around day.  The first question we have to ask is do they have any funded bed available, because if they don’t we already know that the placements are going to be about the same as I had previously ranted over.

One final thing before I sign off… I asked the doctors a question today, one that I felt like a complete heartless cow for, but I wanted to know for Mum and Dad’s sake as much as my own.  I asked the question about the end… What could we expect.

I’ve mentioned this to a couple of you already, and the answer is pretty much what I suspected.  As this disease progresses, Dad is going to want to sleep more and more… let’s face it, sleep is our body’s way of trying to heal…  Any discomfort associated with this is likely to come from swelling around the tumour sites which is when they would manage Dad’s pain levels with appropriate medication.  Suki alluded to the fact that in most cases, death comes simply and relatively peacefully.  The analogy he used is that the brain might fail to send out the message to the heart to keep beating, or the lungs to keep breathing.  This oddly comforts me…. it really doesn’t…. but it does at the same time.

Anyway… I’m off to bed again… There is a pile of paperwork that i have to wade through tomorrow and bills I have to work out if have been paid or not yet.

All my best to everyone reading this

Yoli

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6 thoughts on “A Skippers Tale XXX

  1. Oh Yoli, your updating account is just SO heart burning and it is impossible to put into words how deeply we feel for you. That said, it sounds as if you have your fathers tremendous strength so I am sure that will help carry you through all of this if that is any consolation (which it isn’t of course!).
    Just know that you are all (Fred, mum and yourself) VERY much in our thoughts and prayers.

    Much love and prayers Paul and Janet xxxx

  2. We are both so sorry for all of you. Fred is someone I am proud to know as a man and ex shipmate. I wish we had found each other earlier and had more time to drink and reminish about the 60’s. We will be in touch over the weekend.

  3. Oh Yoli, our thoughts and prayers are constantly with you ALL, you seem to have that amazing inner strength to keep everyone going, and thank you for taking the time posting the constant updates. Love to you, Mum and Dad.

  4. Hi Yoli, thanks for the update about Fred. We are so sorry that he/you, Mum have to go through this. It is so unfair. Good luck with the ring around. We will keep our fingers crossed for you. Much love Lyn and Tony xxx

  5. Hi Fred. Sorry to hear your news. Our hopes and best wishes for the treatments to be effective are with you. Everyone at the reunion missed you and Barbara and send their best wishes to you both. Thank goodness that you have Yoli who is holding things together for you better than anyone else in the world could. You’re a wonderful daughter Yoli. I know you’ll continue to look after each other and we all wish there was something more we could do than just wishing, hoping and praying. Take those headache pills Fred you stubborn old bugger !!.
    Best wishes to you all.

    Tony and Glennis

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