A Dad's State of Mind

Do you know what it's like to have a loved one suddenly not be able to remember? Things like:  Taking the dog out... Not purchasing mozzarella cheese for the chicken parm... Taking daily medications... When your doctor appointment is... Or paying your bills..? Well, let me tell you my father's story.

When it began. April 2016.
From an injury caused by lifting a heavy object my father had an MRI. Unexpectedly, it showed a dark spot on his right lung. John Goldberg, at the age of 68 was diagnosed with stage 3 Lung Cancer and lymphoma in May of 2016. No he is not a smoker. He went through radiation every day for about 30 days and  3 rounds of chemotherapy. He had a lobectomy of the right lung on November 7th, 2016, the day after his nephew's wedding which he attended in great spirit. The recovery was long and painful. But his 6 month MRI in May of 2017 was clear and he was lung cancer free.

October 2017.
My father's significant other suggested he go to the doctor because he wasn't remembering recent things they had done together. He had an MRI. And on that MRI they found the lesion.

He was diagnosed with a lesion of the left frontal cortex of his brain on Friday, October 27th, 2017, two days before his 69th birthday... The doctor described the lesion to be 3cm big, it would not be considered big if it was located anywhere else in the body, but for the brain, it was big. My father was admitted to the hospital and would be there until the day of his brain surgery, a stereotactic craniotomy, to remove the lesion. It was a lung cancer cell which metastasized to his brain from his battle last year. The cell grew into a lesion. And this lesion began affecting his memory, speech, and recognition. The doctor called it a malignant neoplasm of the brain.

His surgery was on Thursday, November 2nd at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson NJ. It was a great success with no complications. The lesion was fully removed and it did not grow into the brain at all, which was good. The surgery was four hours long and when he woke up he was doing great. Moving all his limbs, sitting up, and drinking fluids. The next day he was eating, talking on the phone, standing up and walking.  At this point he had been in the hospital for over a week. He was discharged and home on Sunday, November 5th and he couldn't of been happier. He was there for 10 days and just wanted to be home. All in all it couldn't have been any better.

Now.
Physically, my father feels great. In a couple weeks he will have 3 days of gamma knife radiation to the area of where the tumor was. (It is called"knife" due to its precision, no actual knife involved)This will kill any Cancer cells left behind.

Will his memory improve?
The problem lies in his short term memory. The doctors say this "should" improve...once the swelling goes down. The swelling in his brain is slowly decreasing, but it will take months. In 3 months he will have another MRI, and the doctor said it will most likely show fluid around the area where the lesion was, which means there is still swelling and it is still healing. There is no answer to when his memory will get better or how long it will take. And this is what worries me the most..

Why we need help.
My father owns his own business as a plumber and he can not work for at least 6 weeks, which brings us to about Christmas.  With this diagnosis and surgery all happening so fast (7 days from the date of diagnosis to surgery) there was really no time to plan financially. It caught our whole family off guard and we kept saying "I can't believe this is happening".

My father thinks his memory problems started in late August but didn't think anything of it. Finances are hard to keep track of when your memory is poor. Even in the fall, his work was beginning to suffer. Jobs were taking him longer than they should of because he couldn't remember things. Checks were being sent back because my father could not write out the right number amount correctly.

My brother, also named John, works in a similar field and is going to help out my father as much as he can regarding work. He already works 40+ hours a week so it won't be much, but it will help at least keep the business going. My father plans on getting back to work as soon as he is capable. He will be the first one to tell tell you he will never stop working. That's just the kind of guy he is.

Your donation.
My sister Julie and I are asking for your help. To get him caught up and back on his feet. Your donation will be going towards bills, taxes, food expenses, and his daily needs.

We will be spending Thanksgiving together as a family, something we were unable to do last year due to his surgery. I can't even begin to express how grateful I am to be able to do this.

Help give my father a piece of mind this holiday season and hope for a healthy New Year.

Sending Love, Positive Vibrations & Healthy Intentions to all, Universally & beyond.

Amy


Me & my Dad. 11/6/17 at my cousin Ralph's Wedding. One day before his lobectomy last year.

Dad & my sister, Julie

Me, Dad, & Julie

My brother John, Me, & Julie

Cindy & Dad


This is from his most recent surgery:
Dad's Incision site

25 staples

Catching up with family. November 3, 2017, the day after surgery.

On the road to recovery. One step at a time. November 3, 2017.
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Organizer

Amy Goldberg 
Organizer
Salem, MA
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