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My father Jeff, 62 years old, was diagnosed December 22, 2003. His nightmare began like so many others, with vague symptoms. Always an incredibly healthy man, he was diagnosed with pneumonia in 11/03. Following a routine course of anitibiotics, my father wasn't bouncing back. His fatigue was getting worse, and he was running a fever every day, despite chest x-rays showing no evidence of further pneumonia. My mother, our family's angel, finally convinced the doctor something was very wrong. He was told after a ct scan he had a liver abscess and was sheduled for drainage a few days later. Ofcourse there was no abscess and within 72 hours we received the devistating news: Stage IV-B with metastasis to liver and lung. Impossible to believe even now. He started on Gemzar within one week, and had good success for several months. Though no shrinkage occurred, the disease was stabilized. He was able to live a life, though changed, with much quality and normalcy. One month ago he developed ascites, lymph edema, and darkening urine. It was ofcourse confirmed the cancer had taken a very aggressive turn and the Gemzar was no longer effective. Always the fighter, he started Gemzar with oxiloplatin this past monday 6/28. My father has spent a lifetime of service both professionally and to his family. A teacher, coach, and active in local politics, his compassion and love of people have made him the kind of teacher and coach people remember for a lifetime. Having him as a father, I have been extraordinarily blessed. He has been an unfailing source of love and support in my life. Even now, he teaches me. I have learned the true meaning of dignity and selfless love by the example he sets. While I cannot yet find any peace with what is happening to him or our family, the lessons of love my father has given me will stay with me always. I have found such strength, spirit, and amazing fortitude by others posting in the chat room. I pray for those that are sick with this terrible disease, and the loved ones that cry for them. Someday science will triumph over this monster, and my father will be smiling.

Posted 07/02/2004 12:50 pm by Sarah (daughter)
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