Dad was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. He is back at home and resting. He has been in quite a bit of pain and has tried not to take as many of the pain pills because one of the nurses at the hospital told him he was taking too many. Plus, one of the pain medications can cause the fluid build up in the sac around the lungs.
The procedure that Dad had done yesterday to remove the fluid is called thoracentesis. This process removed about a quart and a half of fluid. The pulmonologist who performed the procedure was also the doctor who did the bronchoscopy back in December. He told us that the fluid build up would probably happen again. If it does, then they will put some kind of talc into the pleural sac so that fluid will not build up again.
I know I mentioned the oncologist trying to get Dad into a clinical trial at NIH before. We found out that Dad has to wait for three months after the radiation treatments before he can get into a study. So, that means that won't happen until March or April at the earliest.
This has been such a scary time for my family. First, with the doctors being so sure that this was lung cancer and then finding out it's melanoma (the pulmonologist still thinks its lung cancer, btw). Secondly, to see my dad in so much pain and not being able to help him leaves us feeling totally helpless. Finally, I want to thank everyone for all their good thoughts and prayers...it really helps to know that everyone cares and wants to do so much for us. Just being there to listen and pray right now is the best that anyone can do.
P.S. Mom found out that the insurance company only approved one round of the chemo pills. (That would be the round Dad finished last week.) The pharmacist is working to change that so that when the 23 days between rounds is up, Dad can start round 2 on time. This makes my blood boil! If the first round is approved why wouldn't the second round and third and so on be approved? So, yet again my parents have to worry about my dad being approved for chemo pills. This is not what they need during this time. Our country's health care system needs to change and change quickly. Who knew that a decision Mr. Nixon made almost 38 years ago would have a profound impact upon my family?