For those of you just finding out about our courageous husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend . . . About two weeks ago, Cliff went to the doctor for a check up and x-rays since he had been losing weight and had a persistent cough. After a series of tests, the diagnosis was devastating and has brought us to where we are today. Cliff has stage 4 lung cancer which has rapidly spread into his lymph nodes in his neck, chest and abdomen. He is having an extremely difficult time keeping food and fluids down and is experiencing frequent pain in his abdomen. He is able to use oxygen to help him breathe easier right now due to fluid on the lungs.
Tuesday he had a tube put in his right side to help drain fluid build up on the right side and hopefully dry up his lungs. Wednesday morning the pain was so bad that he went to the ER where they decided that it was best to admit him over night to rehydrate him, help manage the pain and find out why he is unable to keep food down in spite of having an appetite.
He is on day three in the hospital and the oncologist is working with quite a few other doctors specializing in various parts of the body to start a plan to help attack the cancer that is quickly spreading.
Our family appreciates all the love and support that has been given during these past few weeks. We've started this blog in hopes to keep everyone updated and give our family some time with him. All of us are asked for updates throughout the day and it is often draining and difficult answering the same questions. We want to provide all those who are concerned and love Cliff with as much information as possible. With that said, we will keep updates coming as we get them and post them daily if possible. Please save the link ( https://cliffsbattle.blogspot.com ) for further updates. Once again thank you for all the positive thoughts and prayers!
I am certain I will not be able to list all the details because we consulted with several doctors today and they all had some of the same information, a bit of conflicting information and it covered Cliff's ongoing problem with eating and keeping anything down, (not nausea) and a couple new problems that showed up which include a bacterial infection in his blood and blockage of his kidney.
There was an endoscopy, I believe it's called, where they went down his esophagus to find out what was going on. The doctors say the opening to his stomach is so very small because of the pressure from the lymph nodes surrounding his stomach and esophagus. There were several options presented but so far we have decided to go with radiation to try and reduce the size of the lymph nodes so that Cliff can eat again. It has been several days since he has been able to eat anything and it is REALLY frustrating because he is VERY hungry.
The other problems include the bacterial infection and the kidney blockage. For now, the doctors will keep any on those two problems and be treating the infection with some very powerful antibiotics. Any of the surgical options are no on the table right now because he is so weak and they doubt he would be able to withstand being put under sedation, onto a breathing machine. I believe the way they framed the conversation was that they feared they would not be able to take him off the breathing machine.
I will try to update whenever there is news. I am hoping for a nice, peaceful weekend with family and friends visiting at the hospital before we begin go to the radiation consult and possibly start the treatments on Monday.
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