Tomorrow morning I get on a plane and fly to Michigan. My dad's doctor has suggested that I come home now. I can't explain how hard it is to hear that. He's been in the hospital for the last two weeks and like the doctors in Georgia, the Michigan oncologist says that there is nothing else they can to for him. The doctor says that he has not had a patient that has lived longer than a year and 7 month with this cancer, Glioblastoma. My dad has been living for 5 years with this cancer. Yet, he has also told my family in Michigan that he believes that the doctors who diagnosed him with Glioblastoma 5 years ago must have misdiagnosed him and that he may have contracted Glioblastoma later. And from what I can gather from that statement is that he believes that because he has not kept any patients alive longer than 1.7years, no one could possibly be living with this horrible cancer for 5 years.
I honestly don't believe that for 5 years, his doctors in Georgia have been wrong about what kind of cancer he has. His surgeon who removed his cancer was one of the top surgeons in the US. If I'm not mistaken, he was either #3 in the US or #3 in the region. I can't remember. But I'm sure he wouldn't have made such a mistake when coming out of surgery and telling me that my dad's tumors were almost completely removed as far as could be seen. "However," he stated, "based on the location of the tumors in the frontal lobe of his brain, this is Stage 4 Glioblastoma. I'm sorry." Without me understanding what exactly he meant by, "I'm sorry", he left the room, as my heart sank, knowing this prognosis couldn't be good. I'd already done the research. I'd already Googled brain tumors and Googled what part of the brain held what kinds of tumors. I already knew what the doctors were going to say and what the textbooks said about this being the worst of the worst as far as brain cancers go.
I'm going home and I'm so afraid of what I will find once I get there. I don't know what I expect to see. I know that he has been in the hospital for two weeks and hadn't spoken much since he had surgery. This surgery was not on his brain, but was a result of an abscess he'd gotten in his rectal area back in June, which hadn't healed. He'd been leaking from that area every since, but the doctors said it was normal. One night, my grandmother had to call the paramedics and have him rushed to the hospital because the pain had gotten unbearable and the bleeding was really bad. After a few days, they decided to do surgery to repair the stint that was placed from the previous surgery. He has been heavily medicated and unable to speak every since. About two weeks, maybe... however, it seems the days are going by quickly these days. I know he has been stable. Today, I was able to speak to him. He sounds really good. He was not terrible confused, as he sometimes is, and he was in good spirits.
As I said, I'm afraid of going home. It seems that the doctors are at the end of treatment and feel it is time to stop. It seems they want me to decide what to do next. Well, they want his kids to decide what to do next. To give them direction... the "okay" to stop treatment and send him home to live the rest of his life "comfortably".
That hurts. A lot. It hurts so much to think that I have to make such a decision for someone's life.