Topic: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens


My name is Barb.  Ouramazingly "young at heart" Dad was recently diagnosed with CC.  Days before he went into the hospital you would have thought he was at most in his early 70's....and now his age is certainly showing.  At the moment he isn't displaying the symptoms, other than obvious weight loss.  Once the stent went in to relieve the jaundice he improved greatly.  We've just finished our first cycle of dr. appoints, regular G.P., Surgeon, Oncologist.  The plan seems to be to leave well enough alone until such time that systems appear again, and then we'll need to discuss pallative chemo.  I'm frustrated that there seems to be no "steps in between".  I can understand that the chemo would be rough on him and why "upset the apple cart" when he's feeling not too badly, but it is so painful to watch him slowly go downhill.  Does anyone have experience dealing with the dreadful disease in an elderly parent.  How do you cope?I should also mention that as well as caring for Dad, we have 3 children under 6 and both of us work full about your "sandwich generation".  My priority is and always will be family....but I'm starting to feel stretched to the max, but feel guilty for even thinking this.

Re: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens

Welcome, Barb.  There are a lot of caretakers here that are in your situation that can give you excellent advice. 

I'm a patient, so I am not the best person to advise you. 

off subject:
Say, you aren't too far from where I live.  I've been to Kelowna.  What a beautiful area.  I'm a big hockey fan (Everett Silvertips) and love Kyle Beach.

Re: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens

Hi Barb D,

Sorry to hear about your Dad.  You  would think at age 83, these disease could have just bypassed him.  I hear your stress Barb, but don't really have much in the way of advice.  There really isn't anything in between for him according to his doctors.  Have you thought of getting another opinion?  You might read above, a post from DR. Giles about a social worker with family and mother with CC who was stressing out.  It's so difficult to deal with a loved one with this disease.  Does your Dad live with your family?  I can see the dynamics if so.  If he don't, is there someone willing to spend time with him to keep him safe.  The doctors didn't mention anything about whether surgery was a possibility at his age and health? I'm so sorry Barb times like this it's hard to decide what to do next.  Hopfully his stent placement resolved his juandice problem.  If you have some specific questions, feel free to jump in. Or if you just got to let off steam we'll understand as well.  Unfortunately this relentless disease doesn't give us all that much to consider depending on each ones particular situation.  I wish I had a magic wand almost every day.  Just feel free to share Barb and just maybe we can suggest something that might help , even if it's only a little bit.  I pray God gives you the strenght to deal with this all.  I surely hope others jump in and help a well. Also don't hesitate to ask for help, it's usually closer by you than you think.
God Bless You and Your Dad, and the whole Family as it effects you all.
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

4 (edited by marions Tue, 07 Oct 2008 09:26:31)

Re: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens



Re: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens

Thanks to all 3 of you for the welcome. I hope that I don't sound like I'm complaining about being "stretched to the max".  I've always said that I'll never complain about doing stuff for my Dad, as I realize someday he won't be here....I just never thought we'd get news like this.  I envisioned doing his errands for many more years to come!  To answer your question Jeff, he doesn't live with us, but lives in an seniors resort just 5 minutes down the road.  They are wonderful and make sure that he keeps active and socializes.  I have two siblings, but both live out of town.  My husband is very supportive in trying to help out with the kids, etc.  So far, we're making it work - its alot of juggling!  Marion, you mentioned that this cancer is slow growing.  That is what the original specialist said in the hospital as well, but the Oncology Dr. and the nurse both said it was agressive.  I'm confused by the discrepancy in opinions.  We have a very well respected Cancer Clinic in our community and we're relying on their expertise....but it gets confusing sometimes.  I'm hoping to connect with some other "kids" with aging parents.

6 (edited by JeffG Tue, 07 Oct 2008 10:21:57)

Re: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens

Barb---- This cancer in general is slow growing, but depending on individual genes and body make up, it can become unpredictable and become very agressive.  To make it simple, some times cc is slow and sometime it is fast,but more often slower.  When they do a pathology report they can usually tell by the amount of keratin found.  From what I've been told yhe higher the keratin found during biopsy the slower it's grow.  Mine was show as extremmely high amounts of keratin in my biopsy.  That could be why I anm 9 1/2  going on to ten years.  This is just my personal conclusion.  I could be out there in left field.  However the more chemo treatments I have taken , it seems to me anyway the growth rate has increased.  Again thas my personal observation and conclusion.

Jeff G.
P.S.  Thanks Barb -You have got me started on a new area of research: keratins and cytokeratins and the many different types that have direct and indirect relationship with the body's chromosomes , genes, cell diffferences, growth ,no growth of different types of cancers.  I need to find out what type of keratin was significant on my pathology for starters and take it from there.  There is a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo involved, but it mentions the sKin ,hair, epithielium, some internal organs including the pancreas.  Keratin is use to help people grow hair.  I'm sorry ,Just thrilled I have a new research area to dive into.  There has already been discussion on Genes and this is closely linked to it.  If science can purposely cause cells to divide and grow externally, then what about stop growing internally.  My adventure for this month.  May be nothing but who knows. Thanks!  Knowledge is power they say.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens

Hi Barb,
Let me add my welcome to the others. I hope things calm down abit so you dont become too stressed. This cancer is unpredicatable, but most often it is slow growning. The reason people have such a problem and short life expectancy is often that it just sits in your body and you have no symptoms until it is very advanced which makes it seem very aggressive.


Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens


My grandmother is 83 and just diagnosed. She's obviously not my "mother" but she really has been a 2nd mom and a best friend to me.

She has always been a young 83. Really active and nobody ever believes her age when she tells them.

The chemo wasn't an option for her either because of how hard it would be on her. I know what you mean about watching them go downhill. It is hard. Horrible really.

We're still new to this too but anything I can do for you let me know.


Re: My Dad's story - 83 years young and this happens

Hi Barb -

My 85-year-young dad was diagnosed at age 80.  After surgery, stents and radiation, he recovered to a full life again, until December of last year, when the cancer returned with a vengeance.  Actually, he went quite a length of time with no tests or scans in between, so it was likely the cancer was brewing earlier than last December.  Just like your dad, mine has always been very active and youthful looking for his age.  It's been painful seeing this awful cancer spread and weaken him.  We have exhausted all treatment options, and now he is in hospice care.

I agree that second and third opinions are always a good idea, and keep asking questions until you get the answers you are looking for. 

You've come to the right place for support.  Everyone is very supportive and helpful.  I, too, am juggling family, work, and visits with dad and coordinating his care.  It hasn't been easy, and sometimes a good cry on a supportive shoulder is all I need.  If you can, try to enlist the help of family and friends to maybe help with the kids or chores around the house.  Also, don't be afraid to ask for help from professionals.  The social workers at the nursing facility and from hospice have been of tremendous help and support to me over the last few weeks.  It's exhausting, but with the right resources, it's a little easier.

Good luck and come here and talk when you need to.