My Dad's Diagnosis

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April 07, 2006

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

My father received a diagnosis of mesothelioma today. I feel like sick inside -- like it's not real, but it is. The emotions are coming in waves and I can't believe I might lose him. He's always been a rock for me.

He's an otherwise healthy 64-year-old man who worked for Owen's Corning Fiberglas in the 1960's and 70's. Most of that time was before I was born. He says he remembers unloading railroad cars full of asbestos, and seeing the white dust floating in the air. After a while he decided to wear a mask, but evidentally had already been exposed.

We thought he had bronchitis. He started feeling tired and was finding it hard to breathe as recently as mid-February. He was on several rounds of antibiotics, but wasn't getting better. He kept having fevers, even after a month of antibiotic treatment, so something wasn't right. After a month, he went to a pulmonogist who immediately put him in the hospital. There was fluid in his lungs and his heartbeat was 140 beats per minute.

I know this sounds strange, but we were hoping he had pneumonia that was just being resistent to antibiotic treatment. Pneumonia is bad enough, but at least it's typically a treatable illness. All the signs seemed to fit, but in the back of our minds, we knew he had been exposed to asbestos. After a CT scan, a surgeon came and told him they would be performing a biopsy first thing the next morning (today). The surgeon biopsied the tissue, but he could tell just by looking that it was cancer.

There are so many questions going on in my mind right now, but what I'm worried most about is that he'll be in pain. He says he's not right now, but he's my dad and I'm so terribly worried about him. I also can't even begin to imagine my life without him.

We'll know in 48 hours what stage his cancer is and what his treatments options might be. I'm going to do everything I can to get a second opinion by a mesothelioma specialist. Everyone says to stay positive, but how is that possible? So much of the information about this disease is dreadful; is there hope for recovery?

Right now we'll just continue doing what we've been doing for weeks -- waiting. And I'll keep praying for a miracle.

Posted by Cmland on April 7, 2006 04:53 AM

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