Thursday, 31 July 2014

Daddy updates

Wrote this post a few weeks back actually but only choosing to post now. Same reason: feels way too personal. Don't know whether to share or not. But I do still want to leave a record of this somewhere. An update, if you will. 

Worrying. Constantly worrying. Trying to tell myself it could be worse. But it feels pretty bad now. And if I feel like this, how would dad be feeling?

I wish. If only wishes came true. I do believe sometimes they do. Not at the right time maybe. .but eventually.

Back story on dad's cancer here.

The long story goes like this:

So dad has been undergoing treatment all this time. Whenever I say that, people automatically assume chemo. Guess that's the most common treatment eh? Or surgery.

Dad did not have a surgery because believe it or not, surgery is for those whose cancer has not spread outside the prostate gland. For dad, surgery is no longer an option because it has already spread to his lymph nodes and bones. In other words, cutting off his manhood won't help. (Sorry dad).

He did not have chemotherapy too because my uncle (dad's brother) who passed away from prostate cancer had chemo and he was in a lot of pain and it didn't work. So dad is adamant. No chemo for him.

On the bright (sort of) side, there are other treatment options: hormone therapy, injections etc. These are keeping his PSA levels down (for now). Until his body (cancer) sort of adapts, or fights back, and the PSA increases, then we find other treatment options. PSA has increased recently but the more pressing problem for us now is his leg.

About sometime end of last year, dad's right foot started to swell. We didn't know what could it be and he went to different doctors to find out the cause. We didn't think it was related to the cancer at all.

What we have heard of so far from Doctors includes: water retention, bacteria infection, fungal infection, DVT, and filariasis (rare mosquito bite). Some meds work for a while but it has since come back (with a vengeance).

What this means is that we are busy going to several different doctors, taking a lot of blood tests, ultrasounds and scans.

It started from his foot, then his calves, and now his whole right leg is swollen. It is red, huge, and starting to cause him more pain. Fuck this shit really.

A few weekends back, two guys from the medical department came to take dad's blood and our whole family's blood to check if it could be filariasis. Both times negative. Apparently according to him, the last known case in Kuching was in 1996. These cases are supposedly more common in Miri though.

Kev's turn to take blood here.

Dad's leg looks much bigger now. He walks with a limp and moves much slower than he used to.

For a while, when they suspected it was DVT, we were sooo worried. Because apparently the treatment plan involves injections everyday like a diabetic patient. No travelling on air planes etc and the risk is pulmonary embolism. But after the ultrasound, it wasn't. Short relief. After the antibiotics and other meds didn't work, Doc was baffled too. He suggested we get tested for filariasis.

For a while, when we suspected it was filariasis, we got our hopes up too. Because at least there is a cure and an answer. Take some medication and it'll clear up. No problem.

Of course, now we have found out the cause of the swelling already. Turns out his cancer has progressed. After a CT scan, we saw that his cancer has spread to his lymph nodes and this is causing the swelling in his legs. It has already spread there actually just that now its a bigger portion and causing the blockage.

Also his PSA recently increased. These are signs that its time to change course of treatment. So, we decided on radiotherapy. Dad has been and is still going for radiotherapy treatment 6 times a week now. 

Prayers and kind thoughts are very much welcome now.

I hope this treatment works and the swelling goes down as his leg is really bothering him now.

Watching him gives me heartache.

If you know my father, you'll know that he is a very strong man. He does not look or act his age. He exercises regularly and even though he's overweight, he looks built and sturdy more than fat. (No more exercise for weeks now already).

So for him to complain of pain, it must really hurt.

My dad is a fast walker ok. He leaves my mom (and everyone else) trailing behind. He's the one shouting orders at people, moving at super fast speed. Now he's limping and walking slower than me, the heavily pregnant woman. I knew how much he hated it - he was very quiet and he didn't want to go out much because of the stares and/or questions about his leg.

As of today:

I think his leg swelling went down a little (dunno is it my wishful thinking or not). But its definitely less red now. *Fingers crossed very tightly here.

I'm remaining positive. Hopefully this treatment works at treating his leg and keeping his PSA levels now for as long as possible.

He wants to travel more these days while he can. I think its a great idea..but what with all these airline news these days, I'm scared too. Ahh I'll worry about one thing at a time.


Recent photo of dad and cherrie on his birthday. :)


Arldalyn John said...

Yea. The first treatment for cancer should be radiotherapy, chemo is the last option. But chemo is not totally no use for cancer.. My dad's case is different. I may say our case is super 'soi' meeting that stupid idiot irresponsible doctor! I will definitely remember him until I die! The real reason why chemo doesn't work on my dad is bcos the doctor gave him overly-strong dose which his body couldn't handle and which had make him 50% weaker than before. And when you are weak, the virus will attack you! The only explanation we got from the doc is; 'Oh.. I see your daddy's size so big, so I assume he can take the strong dose. Furthermore, its a NEW medicine, no one can predict that'. Trust me, I feel so much to punch him hard on his face! Idiot!!
Anyway, don't worry, your dad will get through this. Give him support and try cheer him up. Will go visit him soon...

Amy said...

OMG!! Which doctor is this?? Which hospital? I didn't know about this at all. For now, we don't need chemo yet touch wood, but dad still very chemo no matter what. pfft.

cne said...


May be try this from USA.

Many people said things like this is a scam. It is kind of expensive but I think it is worth a try. I gave some to my mum. So far so good. Knock on wood.