Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Ok, you asked...I'll tell.

My grandfather has lung cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma. The tumor is bigger than a golf ball, and it is close to his heart. He also has a thumbnail size bit in his other lung, and a "spot" on his hip.

He has six months to live, with or without treatment.

They are planning on using radiation therapy to kill off the large tumor, but it will not save his life. It will, however, help him be more comfortable and possibly more self-sufficient during the time he has left. Without the radiation, the tumor will continue to grow, causing more difficulty in his breathing, and it will put pressure on his heart causing him to grow even weaker. It will also cause great amounts of pain. The radiation treatments began today, and they should continue each weekday until fourteen treatments have been given.

If he agrees to continue to take the treatments.

He is anxious to get home, though from what I understand, simply walking to the bathroom in his hospital room is exhausting for him. The best that we can hope for, at this point, is that he continues the treatment and recovers enough to be able to mostly remain independant and self-sufficient.

Of course, ultimately, the decision is up to him, and right now, all he wants to do is get home to his dog.

I'm still having such a hard time believing that there is a golf ball-sized tumor next to his heart. I swear, his heart has to be too big for a tumor that size to fit.