Thursday, February 19, 2009

2/19 - 11pm

I can not speak for dawn, but this has been undoubtedly been the most stressful day of my life.

We started the day early at 8:30 meeting with Rich Jones and Dr Cone. They showed Casey and I the scans they had done of the tumor and the problems with it. They explained why they could not operate on it and gave us their opinions on why they felt like radiation might not be a viable option for dad.

After meeting with them we felt that we needed to be considering hospice or other options, to make dad comfortable and to prepare ourselves for dad to maybe not be with us in a few months. It was a low of lows... But considering that dad had told us that he did not want to do chemo again, we felt like that probably included the idea of radiation. The reason he did not want to do chemo, was because of how terrible it made him feel. We could only deduce that he would not want to do radiation if it was going to cause the same side effects.

While trying to make plans with hospice and make plans about what kind of care we were going to be able provide for dad, Dr Ferrero showed up to talk to us. We had decided to DO hospice. We were ready to go. The nice lady from hospice was ready to call a transport to get dad over to hospice. But like I said... Dr. Ferrero entered the picture.

Dr. Ferrero is from Columba. That is not a bad thing. Where it became a problem was first of all the cultural differnces and second, the language barrier. Instead of coming to us and letting us know that he had an option that we might want to consider for dad, he came to us telling us he was NOT going to sign any odrers that would allow dad to go into Hospice care. He was abrasive, arrogant and hostile. This did not set well with any of us and caused quite the stir and quite the scene in the waiting area of the 6th floor at BSA.

So, now the situation is this. Dr Ferrero is forcing us to listen to him in broken english talk about something that he can not find the appropriate english words for and telling us that he will not sign papers releasing dad into the car of hospice. He tells us that he has scheduled an appointment for dad to have a consultation with the radiological oncologist on next Tuesday. One of the big problems with that is that dad is now being discharged from the hospital and is in need of constant care - which hospice was going to provide for 5 days while we got things settled. But now if we chose to go with the option of meeting with oncology, hospice will not take us because we are seeking treatment. But we can not get into hospice because Dr. Ferrero will not sign the $%#$ papers. Rock, meet hard place.... Hard place, meet Mr Rock.

My loving wife. Lord, I love her. She asks Dr. Ferrero why we have to wait till Tuesday for a consult with the radiological oncologist... Well... turns out, the is out of town. But my loving bride suggests that Dr Ferrero use a new device called a "telephone" to find a different radiological oncologist here in Amarilo to meet with us so we don't have to wait till Tuesday. Between this and Casey crawling his case and me chosing my words and expletives not very wisely, Dr. Ferrero found us a new radiological oncologist.

New radiological oncologist=Dr McCormick at Harrington Cancer Center.

Dr. McCormick has a fancy radiation machine with a really long name that I do not remember. It makes a very precise beam hit the tumor and has no ill side effects (like conventional radiation).

There is more to it, but the quick verson is this: Dawn and I think that because it does not have the crappy side effects like chemo does, we want to try it to give dad a chance. There are some different tests that we are going to do to see if there are more tumors in other places in the body and brain, but with the information we have today, we believe this is the best option for dad and would honor his wishes.

Please please please keep praying for wisdom and strength.

Isa 43:2 - When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.


  1. There are few things in the world more draining than sitting in the hospital waiting room for hours on end. I am so sorry you had to have a frustrating experience with a doctor that did not understand you or Dad's wishes but I am so thankful for all of you--Andrea especially--for making him find a new radiologist. These are difficult decisions you are having to make and I know from personal experience that it is SO HARD to make them for your parent. My prayers, my thoughts and my heart is with you!!

  2. Just want you all to know how much we are lifting you up in prayer daily. Love you!

  3. Y'all are doing a great job! Roger will be proud of you. We had to make difficult decisions for my mother-in-law when she had pancreatic cancer. God is with you! Therefore, you ARE MAKING the right decisions! You know God has His PERFECT PLAN and you are just along for the ride!!!! We will keep praying! Always! Roger is a very good friend of mine and a good friend to many, many others! We are all praying!
    God Bless!
    Debby Murphy

  4. Hey guys,
    I'm sorry that yesterday morning was such a mess for all involved. Oddly enough, we're back to where we were originally going Thursday a.m.- radiation therapy consultation. Don't know Dr.McCormick, but I've heard good things.
    I'm available any time if you have other questions, concerns, etc.
    Hang in there...this is never easy.

  5. Rich - You have been an absolute Godsend in all of this. Thanks for you and Dr. Cones help. I know it sounds like we were ready to do deleterious things to Dr. Ferrero, but we were just frustrated at 1. incredibly poor timing and 2. his even worse bedside manner.

    The information he had was probably really worth listening to - it was just hard to listen to given the approach he took delivering it.

  6. To Todd and Dawn - This is a great tool for keeping tabs on your Dad. You are doing a wonderful job of keeping everyone informed in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty. Please know that we are with you in heart, in spirit and in prayer and we are so willing to do whatever we can to be of help. We love you guys so much!
    To Roger Dale - hey buddy! We just want you to know how much we cherish your friendship. Don't ever forget that you have an army of prayer warriors sending petitions to the throne of God on your behalf. Remember Jeremiah 32:17 "Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR YOU!"
    Scott and Gloria Herrick