Two months ago I discovered my dad has lung cancer. It was a shock to hear because although Dad was a smoker, he gave up 30 years ago. He didn’t expect this. Neither did I.
The Australian Cancer Research Foundation claim, “Lung cancer, which can be associated with smoking tobacco, is one of the most common causes of cancer death for men and women in Australia.”
They also state, “The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 14.1 per cent.”
That’s a low percentage.
My father has been given two months. We are hoping for longer, but doubt he’ll be here for Christmas.
The meaning of “lung cancer” differs from person to person. There’s “small cell carcinoma”, which is the kind associated with smoking and can stay confined to the place it originated. And then there is “non-small cell carcinoma”, which is more common and tends to slowly spread.
I’m not sure what my father has as he’s keeping most of the details to himself. And I don’t suppose it matters much as the timeframe has been set.
Lung cancer symptoms are a dry cough, spitting up blood, chest pain and chest infections. As far as I’m aware my father had back pain, but never coughed up blood. Since being diagnosed he has developed a cough. The cancer was discovered when Dad had x-rays to determine what was causing the back pain.
Although surgery to remove the tumor is often the best solution, it was too late for my dad. Dad has Stage IV Lung Cancer. He has been told it is inoperable. Radiotherapy did nothing to reduce the tumor. The only treatment left for him is pain management.
So, there you have it. Two months is not long. Unfortunately, we are a month into that time as I type this. I can only hope the doctors are wrong and Dad might have longer than they think.
Continue reading: The First Hour: When Reality Hits Like a Brick