It was time for Dad to start another round of radiation treatment in Philly. This treatment was supposed to relieve some pain in Dad’s side by hopefully shrinking the cancer. He would have 14 treatments, basically most of February minus weekends. There was going to be a lot of traveling back and forth to get treatment since Dad prefers to be at home and not at my place in the city, or the Hope Lodge that is nearby. My mom was able to get a leave of absence from work to drive him back and forth each day because, unfortunately, Dad can no longer drive himself to treatment anymore.
Dad got through the first week of treatment before the nurses at UPenn noticed that something wasn’t right. Each day, while he waited for treatment, one nurse would take his vitals and check in with him. On the fourth day of treatment his vitals were taken and his blood pressure was 80/30. He was immediately admitted to UPenn Hospital and tests upon tests were done.
Dad was found to be in renal failure and was in critical condition. There were a few reasons that his kidneys could have failed: severe dehydration, his blood was too thin, or the cancer was growing and causing a blockage. After countless tests it was determined that it was a combination of his blood being too thin and dehydration. This was a relief that cancer wasn’t causing any blockage. They had also conducted a scan of his brain to be sure that cancer did not spread there. They were concerned about this because he was very disoriented and confused about what was going on.
Dad stayed in the hospital and continued treatment while he was there. At first they were unsure what would happen, would his kidneys come back? Would he come out of the state of confusion he was in? There was a lot of uncertainty and it was scary to not know what would happen.
Despite the uncertainty of his hospital stay, we were glad that he was there receiving the best treatment that he could get. All of his Mesothelioma doctors were close by and would stop in each day, and he was able to be transported over to the neighboring building to receive treatment. My mom was also able to stay in the hospital room with him to keep him company and to feed him since he would not eat on his own.
He gave us a pretty good scare, but once again Dad bounced back. He was released from the hospital 11 days later with fully recovered kidneys and only three days left of radiation.
Dad continues to amaze me with his will to fight against this nasty cancer.
Know more about Mesothelioma and how you can deal with it.