Thursday, November 06, 2008

Dad's Not Good

Well, today we got some bad news from Dr. Devanand.

Took half-day off work in the afternoon to be with Dad for the result of his CT scan done about 2 weeks ago.

My younger brother took half-day off too to fetch Dad and Mom to the hospital. I met Wifey and them at SGH Block 3 Respiratory Specialist Clinic A.

"I have to tell you bad news today." Dr. Devanand told me in English while Dad looked-on with those droopy eyes, not really understanding much English... and most probably hard of hearing too.

The CT scan showed that Dad has 2 tumors in his left lung. The small one showed on the X-ray which triggered the investigation from the family doctor to Singapore General Hospital, and another larger one, 3 times more behind his heart... was devastating for me when shown on the monitor.

As expected, Dad will have to go for a bronchoscopy. They need a tissue sample to determine the next course of treatment.

Dr. Devanand informed that if this tumor is cancerous, Dad will need chemotherapy and a combination of other treatments depending on the biopsy result.

The doctor scheduled Dad for bronchoscopy procedure tomorrow morning. Dad had to go through ECG examination first to ensure that he is fit for the procedure.

Dad went for a 20 minutes ECG check and now ready for the invasive procedure tomorrow.

Dad will have to fast from midnight tonight until the procedure is over at noon tomorrow.

We have to at SGH Block 6 Level 2 Endoscopy Centre by 10:30AM for Dad's procedure at 10:55AM. The procedure will take about 40 minutes.

By 4:00PM, I started to receive SMSs from my siblings asking for updates.

I just had to tell everyone what exactly is going to happen next while telling both Dad and Mom something much simpler and less worrying for them... "just a small camera" to check what was wrong and "then we'll know the treatment they want to give."

Dad has kept his weight at 59 kg since the last visit 3 weeks ago, even though he has been having a very good appetite when the nasty cough subsided.

Though a slight persistent cough does not worry my parents that much anymore, it scares the hell out of me of what that really indicates.

Dr. Devanand prescribed two bottles of cough medication that cost me only S$1.40 after subsidy. The whole consultation and ECG was about $39.90.

Since deprived of lunch today, I treated all 5 of us to a Halal Chinese seafood dinner at House Of Tang located at Simpang Bedok.

Yep! Dad really does have a good appetite as Mom has been saying.

He was the last one to finish his meal... well most probably with less teeth, but he finished the leftovers of his favourite Sea-bass in Sweet-Sour Sauce when everyone else was already stuffed and "surrendered."

"Okay. Go Ahead." Was the SMS reply I got from my boss after seeking her approval upon getting the appointment for tomorrow's bronchoscopy at SGH.

So another day of leave off work.

Another day of tests and procedures. Another day of anxiety in my heart but a cool and composed me on the outside... expecting the worst, but praying for the best, the best possible outcome in this trying times... for my old folks.

Appreciate all the kind thoughts and prayers from everyone...


  1. I've been in the same situation. My dad's first inkling of trouble was a chronic cough, which led to the doctor's finding of lung cancer. I'm praying for your father and your whole family right now, and will continue to do so each time all of you come to mind.

  2. Much blessings for your dad and you and family. My mother went through this procedure, and many others. It was difficult for her, I won't sugarcoat it. She was so brave, doing anything they asked her to, many, many tests. I am here for you if you want to ask me anything. Everyone is different, so that is the only similarity, a spot was found on her lung when she was going to have gallbladder removed, putting that on the back burner to find out about the lung. Are you certain it is best not to let your parents know the reality? Perhaps you don't give them credit and they may know more than you realize. My heartfelt wishes are with you, hoping for the very highest and best outcome so that your dad doesn't go through what my mother did. I am sorry to be that frank.

  3. Hello Both,

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

    I'm sorry that you both had to go through what we am going through right now. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers for my Dad.

    When my Dad was diagnosed with third stage colorectal cancer 3 years ago, my siblings and in-laws agreed to keep the cancer word out from our parents.

    Our parents do not keep secrets from each other. We know our Dad is tough, but our Mom tends to over-react and worry too much. This in-turn makes Dad worry and dampen his spirits when he needs it most.

    The surgical removal of the cancer from his large intestine was successful and Dad was free of cancer for the past 3 years.

    Then, knowing that there was a growth that needed removal. Dad (and Mom) only needed to focus on their spirits to be high at all times to getting better was a good decision. They were spared to worry unnecessarily.

    At the same time, it is also true. There is only so much we can hide from them and I always feel awful that it is kept secret.

    The "C" word is an awful and most frightening word to them... from the stories they heard and told us about.

    Our old folks have old mentality about sickness and diseases. They choose to believe stories from relatives more than explanations from doctors.

    Telling them the truth will be devastating and they will think of the worst all the time, instead of focusing to get better.

    We are hoping that we are making the right decision by telling them half-truths instead. Till now, I still don't know if it is wise.

    Thank you for being frank; sharing and offering your experiences with me. I am truly grateful.

  4. Offering my simple prayers for your father and family and sending good vibes your way.

  5. Here by way of Donna....

    My Mom and Dad both had lung cancer that spread throughout their bodies. My Dad refused treatment and lived a long time, only bedfast for the last 3 days of his life.

    My Mom died of another ailment before the cancer really took hold.

    My sympathies and my prayers go out to your and your family. I've been in the place where you are now, standing beside your parents as they endure the tests and procedures.

    God bless you and especially your Dad.



  6. Thanks for keeping us informed and in check. Reading this made me snap out of my grump mood that was settling in. Prayers your way.

  7. My heartfelt wishes are with you Imran. I figure you know your family well enough to have made the decision you did to not mention the "c" work to your Mother and Father.

    I hope things turn out well as possible. Please keep us posted.

    Your a very loving, caring and responsible son to your parents. They are so blessed.

    Many Blessings for your Father, your family and your courage. Hang in there you'll get through this. I know what it's like to look like everything is "fine" on the "outside" when inside you are holding it all in..that's very hard. So keep coming on to your blog and talk it out to your friends here.


  8. Yes, perhaps you are all right in keeping your folks in better spirits. The word alone strikes so much fear in people and they can be happier with hopes for something better. I just know it is hard for you. My mother tended to not tell ME all the truth, making it difficult when I had to face it later, but all people and all families are different. You are wise and know what's best, even if it makes it harder for you in ways, it is better to see them in higher spirits. I am sorry to have even mentioned that. Forgive me. You keep being the good son and person I know you to be by your writings.
    Blessings on your month ahead.

  9. I had to come back and tell you, my friend, that your mother is no different than most. My mom was the same, and I find myself becoming more like her.

    Use your own wisdom and instincts in dealing with your parents. Trust yourself.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear your bad news. My prayers are with you and your family, especially dad. I will continue to pray!

  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad Imran. Am going to read the rest of your blog and hopefully get up to date with how things are going.


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Muhd Imran
PAL Blogger