Topic: Intro

Hello, my name is David. I, and most of my family, reside in Florida. My father, 63, was diagnosed w/ chalangiocarcinoma just last month. His onset of jaundice was the only indication that something was wrong. After ideas were tossed around w/ the local doctors (hepatitis, etc), we were put in touch w/ the wonderful doctors at Mayo in Jacksonville, FL. After a few trips to Jax, Dr. Wynne (sp, pronounced Winn) decided that since the tumor was seemingly localized in the bile duct that a resection was the best option, followed by a RNY procedure. As many of you may know, that is removal of a portion of his liver (his left side), removal of gallbladder, surrounding lymph nodes, and rerouting the the duct(s) to his gut. Well the procedure was completed last Tuesday (4-4-06), exactly one week ago, and he is still recovering in the hospital. He endured severe pain the first couple of days and the confusion that comes along w/ the pain meds. Around the 3 and 4th days he had gas build-up in his stomach and chest (due to the anaesthesia we were told). That seemed to pass followed by an impaction in his intestine (basically constipation). Well he has since begun to use the bathroom again and is feeling a bit better. The doctor told my mother today that it had spread, somewhat, to his lymph nodes and they plan to follow w/ chemo. They had him walking and doing breathing exercises the day after surgery. The biggest issue now is to get him to eat! He has no appetite and really needs nutrition. Eating used to be his favorite pastime! hehe. Well,  despite the circumstances, and the above description, he really is fighting hard and I am so proud of him. 
He is a father of 5 and we have always been real close. We would talk on the phone each night. He has always been my fiance and my best friend. This has certainly hit our family hard. You just always think your parents will live forever. Our faith has been the glue that holds us together and I am at peace with it.  "If He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it."  We are to be married next Dec. and he is supposed to be my best man. He will, one way or another.  I trust in the Lord and know that it is not our will, but His. Thanks, and God bless you all.
-David in Gainesville, FL

Re: Intro

david,

your dad's appetite will come back in time, my dad(61) had a resection 5 months ago, it took him a while to get his appetite back, he is now doing fine, enjoying food and is putting on weight.  It takes time.  Also my Dad took a while to get his mobility back, initially post op he could only walk down the hall, to the nurses office and back to his room, now he is able to enjoy a walk on the South Downs (he lives in sussex in the uk) - he still has some post op discomfort but is a whole lot better then before the op.  good luck, jules

Re: Intro

David-

My appetite was really low after my surgery last fall and has taken some time to recover.  I hardly ate any solid food in the hospital.  Food commercials made me nauseous.  In fact, in one rather humorous moment, my hospital roommate's family was trying to cheer her up and telling her in great detail everything on her dinner tray.  "Oh, look here's a nice salad with some lettuce and carrot and ranch dressing,  Here's a roll with some butter, and look, beef tips over noodles."   I thought I was gonna die!

-Caroline Stoufer, Ouray, CO

Re: Intro

David - I hope by now your father is feeling better and his appetiite has improved.  I'm sure this is something that may take a little time but will work itself out.  Your comments on how your dad's illness has affected your family really hit home with me.  We have 3 grown daughters and 6 grandchildren and are an extremely close family.  My husband's illness has really affected our girls and our family life.  They love  him so much and can't do enough for him--bringing him his favorite foods, driving him to dr. appointments and dropping by to visit almost every day.  We just took a 5 day vacation with the entire family in Lake Arrowhead (California) and had such a wonderful time.   I'm sure you know this, but take advantage of every moment you can to spend with your dad.  Make lots of memories and tell him how much you love him.   Most of all, take one day at a time and make the most of each day.  You're right, God will get you all through this.  He's allowed our family to laugh, smile and enjoy each other even through this devastating illness.  Cancer can't take away your faith, hope, or your love for each other.  We have a saying in our home that we read often--"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength."  We can't waste our precious days worrying about what may happen.  All we can do is love each other and enjoy every day we are given.

Our best to you and your family,

Juanita

Re: Intro

I really appreciate the responses. The past week has had some slight complications. My dad is still in the hospital and last week they found that the RNY connection they made had been leaking bile. My dad was blouted and complaining of slight pain in his stomach area. At this time he had just started to eat (wouldn't you know). They took him off of food and water and put in the feeding tube and were pumping antibiotics in him as well. During this time I actually felt like I had my dad back. He was speaking clearly, watching TV and even doing a little bit of reading. Best of all was the breathes of fresh air I would get when he would actually call me from the hospital. Well today (Tuesday) they checked the area of the leak again w/ X-ray and found that it was no longer leaking ! The doctors said he could resume eating again and needed to be up and around, etc. Now we will see if he wants to eat. The past few  days when he couldn't eat he would talk about how much he wanted to, now we will see if he was just pulling our chain, heh.
We have a bumpy road ahead, but I know God is using all of this to do work in us. My dad's appreciation for life is already changing and that makes me feel good. Thanks again for responses and support. This web site is inspiring in the respect that I know that we aren't alone in dealing w/ these types of set-backs. God bless all of you.

-David