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(2 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

it's one of those days when everything around me reminds me about my dad. i guess no one starts this journey thinking that no matter what you do, there's nothing that can help. i remember thinking of ways to give my dad hope, when he'd feel down. Then I'd remember the way i talked to him the day before he went into the hospital because he didn't want me to go out to the local clubs. I'd feel so guilty- so sorry.  Then I'd shake my head and try to forget those things because here I was taking care of my dad, along with my sister, mom, and two younger brothers. It seemed like every effort we gave we were pushed down with negativity- and my poor daddy, having to bear it all and still be strong for the boys.

My dad was 45 years old, a very healthy and active guy. Every sunday he had a soccer game and everyday he'd go to the gym for two hours.. they say exercise always helps. So what went wrong? I remember the night we got a call from his girlfriend telling us that he was in the hospital. I was so scared- I'd never known my dad to even suffer from a cold and now he was in the hospital! He was at our local hospital for two weeks- in Laredo,TX, before doctors concluded it was CC. We'd been begging the doctors to release him so we could take him to MD Anderson a mere 4.5hrs away. but they'd just laugh in our face and say- you need to worry about your dad's will, not treatment. My dad would want to be alone for a good while- i guess to let everything around him sink in. But before you knew it my little brothers (8 and 11 years old) would come barging in the room to cheer him up. I can see his eyes sparkling when they walked into the room. When we finally got a release- we felt we were reaching that light at the end of the tunnel. That same day, we flew my dad to houston and admitted him to MD anderson asap. we were all motivated and ready to put up any fight that was needed. The next day, doctors walked in to tell us that there was nothing we could do, but keep him comfortable. my dad never gave up- it had been weeks since he'd had a solid meal, because it was too painful for him and drs didn't recommend it. although he was weak, he managed to keep his charm strong- flirting with my mom and apologizing for everything he'd done. for a week we lived in that hospital, my mom stayed by my dads side night and day, while my sister and i took my brothers to my uncle's house to sleep. AFter three days, my dad went into a coma. He'd wake up for a few seconds, but it was so hard for him to keep his eyes open. no matter what...He always found the strength to say i love you when we would leave and give us a big hug. Then on November  26 at 6.50am my sister called me hysterical to wake my brothers and go to the hospital. We arrived at 7.45 and as we parked my sister called to tell me my daddy had passed. i couldn't believe it- and i guess i still cant.

For, those who are taking this battle head on- I wish you the best of luck and don't ever ever give up. And for those who have lost the battle- i praise those of you who are here for having the courage to keep living... may God be with everyone who is somehow touched by this horrible condition. and let us never ever forget those who have fought to the end.

-Vivian

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(10 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Losing a loved one is a difficult process in itself, but such a rapid loss feels like your heart has been torn out and stomped on from one day to next. My dad was in the hospital for two weeks before being diagnosed with cc, one week after being diagnosed he passed away. He was only 45 and very fit. I know how hard it is to see someone so important in your life just slip away so fast. Although the pain will never go away, God will find ways to help you heal. It has been 5months since my daddy passed and there are moments when i can almost hear him laughing along at our jokes. Just remember the good times... my heart fills with sadness to know that so many people have to go through something horrible like this. My condolences and prayers for you and your family.
-Vivian

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(16 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

i am so sorry to hear about your sister. i really don't know what i would to without my big sister- she is my best friend! This disease is claiming the best people around us and it seems like it goes by so so fast. My dad just passed away in november, and he was 45 as well. He'd only been showing signs for about 2 months and had only been diagnosed with cc a week before he passed away. i cant express how much my heart goes out to you and your family. *much love
-Vivian

It's always difficult to stay strong in a situation like this... and even then, you ask yourself if you should be strong or show them how much it hurts you because you love them. I watched my grandpa die of thyroid cancer in july, and i felt helpless. then four months later, the three most intense weeks of my life ended with my dad's death to cc. it is so hard to understand why these things happen, but God will provide you and your family with comfort. I think this message board is a great opportunity to vent... and you should definitely take advantage of it. My prayers are with you and your family and I wish you the best of luck. *much love
-Vivian

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(8 replies, posted in General Discussion)

i have truly found relief in this site, to be finally be able to share my story and have other people to relate to.  Alan reminds me of my dad... *heh, he was always going to gym and constantly playing soccer games, trying to keep his "studly" shape. And when people would tell him he was losing weight, he'd be completely offended and flat out deny it or return an insult like- well, you look a little heavier. Such a jokester...

although it was fast, i really felt like i had sooo much time with him. My parents had only been divorced for about 2 yrs and we didn't spend much time with him. However, the week we were all in houston were some of the best memories that i have of my dad. and it might have been painful, and i'd wished he'd never had to endure something so horrible- i'm glad we had the ending that we did. What's wierd is that a month after my dad passed away, i got married and now, i'm pregnant. Turns out my due date is on the date my dad passed away. God is always with us, giving us hope, giving us life, and giving us the miracles he sees necessary to keep on living.

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(8 replies, posted in General Discussion)

I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I myself had a similar experience.. my dad was diagnosed with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma on 11/16/2006- after having been in the hospital for two weeks. Two days after he was diagnosed we transfered him from our local hospital to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,TX. Which we'd heard was the best cancer treatment center in the world. Although, the staff was awesome and definitely gave my dad hope- the cancer was an inevitable and a horrible experience. On 11/25/2006 at 8:00am my dad passed away- he did not undergo any treatment, other than a shunt to relieve abdominal buildup. The cancer was too advanced for anything to be done- the day before Thanksgiving my dad fell into a coma and would sparingly come back to us. My dad went from being a young 45 year old, athletic, and extremely fit guy to a weak and fragile person within the course of 2 and a half weeks. It was completely unexpected. Doctors continuously asked us how we couldn't have noticed his pain or anything previously because his cancer was so advanced, it should have taken years to develop! The fact was that we'd noticed the jaundice, but never thought anything of it. He'd complained about a back pain and went to see over 10 doctors and had several blood tests done- everyone told him the same thing, your bilirubin levels are a little high, but it's nothing to worry about. So that's what we did- not worry. From what i have read, it is suppossed to be a really slow growing cancer, but EXTREMELY aggressive. Also, depending on where the cancer started the symptoms will often take longer to arise. For example with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, there is the symptom of jaundiceness, but no pain until it has metastasized into the liver. Where intrahepatic is the opposite. After my dad passed, I went crazy trying to figure out ways that I may have known that something was wrong with him. I read so many articles on the subject and still feel like i know absolutely nothing. I am sorry for the loss you have suffered and I hope that everything works out for you and your family. *much love
- Vivian