Topic: Newly diagnosed Father

Hi everyone

We are reeling from the shock that my father (71) has cholangiocarcinoma.  I just can't stop crying, how do i survive the next couple of months, having to teach full-time and be normal whilst looking after my two boys and seeing my father die? 

I feel as if I have lost him already.

Michelle

"My dad, Tony, passed away on 4 October 2010, after a 19 month battle with CC"   - I carry you in my heart, Dad, forever.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Hi Michelle, it is not an easy journey & I'm right there with you.... my Dad was diagnosed with cc in Nov. This board has been an incredible support system to us since Dad's diagnosis and I hope that you find it to be the same- so many wonderful people that really understand what you and your Dad are going through.  Normality does not exist these days, in my world either, without a  handful of tissues. I know what you mean, the pain & sense of loss are very real & intense.....

You're in our thoughts & prayers Michelle.

Tess

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Hi Michelle,
I, too. remember that feeling July of 07, when it was determined that my father(71) had CC.  I was online immediately(not this site) and found many disheartening stats.  However, stats are not always accurate, and every person reacts different with this cancer and treatment.  There are people on this site, that have had success with treatment and or surgury, and I am sure they are going to chime in very soon and introduce themselves to you.   I am in no way an expert on this cancer, but I am learning everyday from the wise people on this site.  I am deeply sorry for your news, please let us help, whether if you need a place to vent(it can help), if you need info, prayers, we are here.
Peace
Barbara

The  Lord is my shephard

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

thank you

"My dad, Tony, passed away on 4 October 2010, after a 19 month battle with CC"   - I carry you in my heart, Dad, forever.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Hi Michelle,

I learned many years ago that NORMAL IS ONLY A SETTING ON A DRYER!!!

You are in very good company here and we are all here for you.  My Mom (77) has CC and I'm going through the same things you are.  Sometimes it's just enough to know you aren't the only person dealing with something.

I highly recommend the 5 minute rule.  Do 5 minutes then do the next 5 minutes.

If you need help or support we are ALL ONLY A KEYSTROKE AWAY!!!

Take care you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs,
Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Thank you, everyone.  We are in Cape Town, South Africa - It's reassuring to have your support.  Dad is due to see a specialist soon.  Michelle

"My dad, Tony, passed away on 4 October 2010, after a 19 month battle with CC"   - I carry you in my heart, Dad, forever.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

hi michelle
we are all to familiar with the feelings you are going through and its horrible, but you must keep pushing forward for your dads sake and yours..normal is something in the past ....dad hasnt gone anywhere so make everyday special as hard as it is and keep fighting, always keep fighting ......never quit and never take no for an amswer......ron

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Hello Michelle and welcome to the best little club in the world that no one wishes to join. Here, you are NOT alone. You will find that after the initial onset of feeling totally helpless and the shock that this is happening, you will become  angry and that brings strength, the strength to fight. You will need to become a strong advocate for your dad by taking notes and seeing that he gets the best care even if it requires second and third opinions. You have come to the right place to cry, vent ask or to help others by telling of your own journey.  We try to be optomistically realistic! Good luck, and all our thoughts are with you.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Michelle....I would like to follow all these wonderful people in welcoming you to this site.  If I may ask...where is your Dad being treated presently, and who is the specialist you will be seeing, soon? 
Sending tons of good wishes your way,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Michelle - welcome, so sorry you found us under the circumstances, but you are in the right place for support.  My dad was diagnosed when he was 71 also and I am a teacher too!  (small world huh?)   Please know that you will find a wealth of knowledge of this site along with friendship that will get you through the days ahead. 
Hoping to hear from you soon!

Smiles through tears,
Patsy

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Hi Michelle,

I too want to welcome you and say that although I am sorry you had to come here, you have found the right place to be when dealing with this monsterous cancer.  You will find everyone on this site more than willing to help, support or just listen to you when you need to vent.  I will be hoping for the best for your Dad, you and the rest of your family.

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Michelle,

My father was also diagnosed, 6 months ago, in September,  just a few days before his 70th birthday.  I too, am a teacher!  We seem to be kindred spirits, so I felt I just had to write, even though I haven't visited this site in a while!  The best advice I can offer is what was told to me when my dad was diagnosed - to take things slowly and in pieces, and let your mind "wrap around" things bit by bit.  I always thought if something were to happen to a member of my family and one of them were diagnosed with cancer, I would go on the Internet and research, research, research.  (I am a science teacher, after all.)  Instead, I found that I couldn't bring myself to do that.  What little research I did do, I limited to VERY reputable cancer institutes, and I tried only to look for stories of hope.  I just couldn't face anything more at that time.

So, here is a story of hope for you!  For my dad, the initial prognosis sounded so grim.  His GI doctor didn't paint a very rosy picture, nor did he offer much hope.  My dad got a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and as it turned out, he was a candidate for removal of the tumor.  His surgery was performed on October 2nd, and went better than anyone ever expected.  His tumor, which was very small, and contained in the common bile duct, was removed.  All lymph nodes were clean and clear.  There was no evidence of metastatic disease.  He went home to recover, and returned for a follow-up 6 weeks after surgery.  All reports were perfect.  He is currently CANCER FREE!  He returns for a 2nd follow-up MRI one week from today, and of course there is fear of a recurrence, but he looks and feels terrific, and I believe we will return from this visit with a clean bill of health as well! (If you'd like to read the journal of his story, I invite you to visit his Caring Bridge site, www.caringbridge.org/visit/gordonvaagen)

My prayers for you and your father as you take this journey.  Do not feel as though you have lost him.  Every day is a gift, and none of us knows how many more we will be given.  Take each one and celebrate.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Michelle,

Just wanted to say welcome, we certainly are becoming a very international club.

I understand your anxiety about work, focusing was very difficult for me and I was lucky to have a very understanding employer. I am a librarian and summer is typically slow so it was not such a big deal for me to take some time off when my mother worsened and other days I would work but not be very functional but I used to be a teacher and I know how intense it can be and how you can't really decide to just get through the day since nothing in the room happens unless you make it happen, it requires a lot of energy.

Do you have other family members who can share in caring for your father?

Patty

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Thank you for all the words of encouragement.  My dad will be seen by Prof Krige at UCT Med School in Cape Town, South Africa.  I have a sister who is a nurse who is sharing the journey with me and my mom.  I have 2 brothers one who lives in Johannesburg which is a 2 hour plane ride away and another one is a recovering addict ( we are watching him like a hawk and trying to give him as much support as well.  I am not used to forum discussions and this is my first time i have turned to a forum for support.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Michelle

"My dad, Tony, passed away on 4 October 2010, after a 19 month battle with CC"   - I carry you in my heart, Dad, forever.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Marion

Do you have any info on Prof Krige.  I have gleaned some stuff from the internet?  But information is limited.

Our appt is on the 24th of March at 10.30.

Michelle

"My dad, Tony, passed away on 4 October 2010, after a 19 month battle with CC"   - I carry you in my heart, Dad, forever.

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

michelle,
Welcome to the site. CC is a devasting disease, but there is sometimes hope. I wish your father the best of luck with the specialists and I am sure  they will find a treatment plan that is best for your father.

And you will feel overwhelmed, but we are all here for you.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Michelle....I am sorry to say that I do not know of Prof. Krige.  In fact, I believe that you are the very first member located in South Africa.  Do you know which Hospital Dr. Krige is affiliated with?  If so, it might help to inquire about his reputation in treating Cholangiocarcinoma/bile duct patients.  Also, do you have something like the "medical society?" This would be a good place to inquire about other physicians familiar with this disease which, compared to other cancers, is considered to be rare.  You would definitely want more then one opinion in re: to diagnoses and subsequent treatment.  Good luck and please, stay in touch. 
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Newly diagnosed Father

Michelle, I have cc and my daughter is a teacher, too, with two little boys.  Your work will keep you going.  Cry a lot for awhile and then you will cry less and enjoy your days with him.  It took us a month or so to stop crying and enjoy making memories.