1

(7 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Dad:

Today you would be 79 years old; this is the first time in my life that 9/25 rolled around and I didn't start my day off by calling you and wishing you a happy birthday. Mom is visiting your grave today for the first time; I had to work, so I wasn't able to go with her; Mrs. Young and Margaret were going to go with her, and then take her out to lunch afterwards. She got you some really pretty orange mums, the color of her bridesmaid's dresses at you guys' wedding. I suspect she is going to have a tough go at it.

I took Cora and Brynn by to see Mom yesterday, they sure do miss their grandpa. You sure did touch their heart for them to be so young and for you to be a consistent person in their mind. I will do all I can to make sure they never forget you.

I would always gripe when we would all get together for someone's birthday, and pretty much do the same thing for us all: the honoree would pick the restaurant, dinner, then back to your house to open presents, blow out candles, conversation, and then depart. You would always choose Powdrell's BBQ because it reminded you of when you were stationed in Memphis and how good the BBQ was there. I wish I was having BBQ with you tonight.

I have to say that your passing has been tough on all of us. Your cancer was so swift, it was hard to get my mental arms around it. Now that you are gone, I reflect on the suffering you went through and it makes me super sad. I'm sorry that you had to experience that; I am awed by your courage and strength.

Remember when I would tie you for your birthday a dozen elk hair caddis, your favorite fishing fly that you always caught fish on? I am sure there are some left over in your flybox, but I don't want to open it.

I trust that you are in a better place, Dad. That Jesus opened his arms wide to you, and that you are in no more pain. As you know, I think about you always.

Happy Birthday, Dad.
Your son,
Stan

2

(14 replies, posted in General Discussion)

All:
Thank you for the condolences and well wishes; it will all work out, I am sure. I am happy my Dad is no longer suffering. All the family have gone back home, and I know what they mean now about the silence after all the activity dies down. I have found myself missing my pops and reflecting on his journey through this illness; when it is going on, it is hard to reflect in the present.

Thanks to all again; I will work to provide comfort to others that are going through this.

God bless,
Stan

3

(14 replies, posted in General Discussion)

My Dad, Joe (Jose) Vidal Quintana, passed away tonight at 12:58 a.m. Thank you for all of your prayers. May God has mercy on his soul.

All:

My Dad, Joe V. Quintana, aged 78, is in the midst of his final fight with this awful cancer. i just left my parents home a half hour ago, fully expecting my Dad to expire this evening, early morning. He is done. I have been thinking of the absolute suffering that he has undergone since being diagnosed with this awful cancer in 2/09. It makes me so sad, but I don't have time for that. I find myself going back and forth from grieving son to managing family members, trying to ensure that my siblings, their interactions with my brothers/sister and/or Mom don't make for unnecessary drama.

All this while finalizing a divorce. God has put plenty on my plate, but no more than He feels I can handle.

I just chilled out since spending 12 hours at my parent's home, listening to my Dad struggle to breath, staring at his emaciated, yellow body, and now, all of these emotions just fill me. How many times do you need to say good-bye? How many times do you need to ensure that he knows you care? My Dad hadn't been sick for more than four days in a row in his life until last November. Now, my whole family has had to adapt and overcome. It is scary, it is humbling, it is cruel, it is without description.

I will always pray for the loved ones that must go through someone they love suffer through a disease like this, or similiar to this. I never knew how hard it is to go through a terrible disease like cholangiocarcinoma. The pain suffered by the patient is unimaginable to the family, and the pain suffered by the family is unimaginable to the patient.

God bless, and Jesus mercy.
Stan Q.
Albuquerque, NM

God bless you and your family, roma35. Your Dad is now in the loving embrace of Jesus, and will feel no more pain.

Hello:

My Dad has been brought home for outpatient hospice. My Mom is the primary caregiver, my brother stays from 9:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m., and I take the shift from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. I feel my Dad has only a few more weeks left.

Because of job responsibilities, this situation is not tenable for the term. We have talked to my 75 year old mother about having a caregiver here round the clock. My Mom is totally freaked out and scared about having a stranger in her house.

Am I wrong, or a bad son, for exploring this? My Dad's oncologist suggested it to give my Mom a break, but she is the type of personality that would still insist on being here even if there was a caregiver in the house.

Does anyone have any insight or suggestions for this situation?

Thanks in advance,
Stan

You all are great. Thank you. The world is full of caring people, and it makes my rejoice in God that you are all out there. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I haven't had anyone to talk this frankly with, and it is very good.

Wow. I typed this up during my "shift" watching my Dad a couple of hours ago, and already two responses. I am humbled that there are people in the world that take time to care. Thank you Louise, thank you Jan. This SUCKS!!! I feel so bad for my brothers, for my sister, and especially for my Mom. I have always felt for my Dad...to have been ripped apart like he has breaks my heart.

Hello all:

I write this in my Dad's bedroom, as I watch him dosed up on liquid Morphine, having accepted the inevitable last Wednesday, that hospice is the only option for him ("everything humanly possible has been done for him," was what his oncologist said). On 11/11/2008, his urine turned amber in color. Up to this point in his life, he had been healthy and strong. Over the month of November, he became jaundiced, and the PCP communicated that it was because his gall bladder was going kaput (he is 78), and would have to be removed. They couldn't get him in for surgery until mid-December. I firmly believe, though, that the first symptoms for this cancer started two years ago, when my Dad, who had never had heartburn in his life, had to be prescribed prilosec because of consistent heartburn that started when he was 76.

Because my sister was coming into town for the holidays and my Dad didn't want to be laid up while she was here, he said he would like to have the surgery after Christmas. He had a couple of EVRP (?) stent procedures, where they put a long tube down his throat, through his GI tract, to his biliary tree, to place stents, to try to get his bile to drain. These were awful procedures that my Dad absolutely hated.

On 12/23/08, my Dad had uncontrollable shakes and a spiked fever due to an infection with a recent stent put in. We had to call the paramedics to have him transported to the hospital. After they stablized him at the hospital and gave him CAT and MR scans, it was determined that he had a high probability of cancer, and a probability for cholangiocarcinoma. We were told that the best care would be in Houston at MD Anderson. We were all so overwhelmed, and had the mentality that we should do what the doctor suggests without question, we started the process of trying to get him to Houston for treatment. Because of his health plan, MD Anderson would be considered outside of network, and we would have to pay out of pocket. My Dad and Mom, bless their hearts, were willing to do just that, which would have been $100,000 in treatment. We battled the insurance company for a month, until finally my Dad decided that he would like to be treated at our local cancer center.

On 2/03/09, my Dad had a major resection, eight hours on the operating table, that took out his gall bladder, a major portion of his large intestine, and part of his liver. It was verifed that he had cholangiocarcinoma, a klatskin tumor, and the cancer had grown around the hepatic vein of his liver.

It took him eight weeks to physically recover from the resection, although he was nowhere near where he was prior to the surgery. After recovering, the goal was to get his billirubin down to an acceptable enough level to begin a clinical trial for two chemo drugs that were approved by the FDA for pancreatic cancer but not cholangio. His billirubin did not decrease, but increased. To alleveate this, two stents were placed in the major biliary treens (these were done by my Dad being "speared" by something that could be described as a fencers lance, from the outside in), once on his left side, once on his right.

The cancer has travelled up his biliary tree; if you can imagine a watershed in the mountains. There is one major river (the main biliary duct) fed by two minor rivers (the two main parts of the biliary tree), and above the two minor rivers, many, many "creeks." The cancer is up in the "creeks," forming pools of bile to form, with nowhere to go.

It was told to me by the oncologist that more than likely the inability to dispel bile from the body will result in a toxicity in the liver, causing liver failure, coma, and death. He gave my Dad three weeks to two months to live, as of last Wednesday.

I write this for a few reasons. #1: Therapeutic. I didn't know this chat board was on this webpage until today, unfortunately. It feels good to share my experience with people that know. #2 To provide info on one case for those out there looking into the great unknown. God is with all of us, and we all will have unique experiences. But fear of the uncertain is tough. #3. For anyone out there that can provide any insight as to what is next, compared to your experiences.

God bless all of you, all of your families, and all of your friends, who have had to experience this agressive, ugly disease.