Yes, the statistics can seem grim and depressing, but they are based on history. Statistics are not good predictors of an individual's results. Most of us on this site have gotten discerning about what sites we visit, because the depressing ones don't offer hope or even much good advice. This site, however, manages to share encouragement, results, and information that makes for a great resource. As you become an informed advocate for your loved one, the doctors will consider you part of the caretaking team. As long as your dad is informed, he will and should be encouraged to make all the decisions he can handle.
"They also serve who only stand and wait" was said about members of the military, but it applies to all the caretakers who want the best for their loved ones. By educating yourself and being prepared with your list(s) of questions, you can help the doctor stay current and consider alternatives. A good doctor appreciates your input, because they may know the medicine and the "norms", but you know the patient in ways they don't.
My cc diagnosis was in May, 2007 with jaundice, ERCP, and stent in the bile duct, but my cancer was extra-hepatic. I have not had chemo and radiation simultaneously, but I have had both. Even if you start a plan and only have one treatment, it is still the patient's option to say no, I don't want to continue that. The side-effects are more than I want to deal with. What else can we try? Have you considered Gemzar/Cisplatin?
My suspician is that many of the sites you visited were not very personal and focused on the stories that had short time between diagnosis and death. One of the tings I value on this site is that we have patients who have lived 3, 5, 7, 10 years or more. And what's fascinating is that they share stories in details, what they've experienced, what they expect to try next, what changes they make and why, what now seems "normal", how faith has helped. And the people who've survived longest still have lists of options to try in the ongoing battle.
My Mom was also diagnosed but at the age of 86, she chose not to pursue radiation or active chemo. When she chose a low-dose pill to take at home every day, her oncologist didn't think she would last a year. Prayer was her best ally. She lived almost 3 years after that, passed away Aug. of this year.
When the patient makes informed decisions, they tend to do well and need all the support they can get, no second guessing. And if the doctor doesn't agree with the patient, fire the doctor and find one who supports the patient's choice.
Hope this helps. Gotta run. Need to be at the hospital in an hour, having blood transfusion (2 units) because my hemoglobine dropped to 8.3 or something like.
Post as often as you like, you will get responses.