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Subject:  Untitled Date:  3/2/2005  2:20 PM
Author:  inparadise Number:  222256 of 838422

Even when you see it coming, the death of a parent must always be a shock. I can't say so for sure, since in reality I haven't experienced that yet, but today I learned the time frame in which it supposedly will happen. The death of my dad has been penciled in for sometime in the next 18 months.

Dad has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, a result of Barrett's Esophagus from years of the ravages of GERD. From what he's been told, it is the second most aggressive form of cancer, IMO most likely in part because early detection is rare. He met with the surgeon yesterday, and though it is probably operable, it is not a pleasant alternative. Your stomach is essentially removed to make a tube to replace the cancerous area in the esophaus, leaving you with no stomach. After a while, you can eat very small portions of food, though I have no idea where that would be digested. It is a massively invasive surgury lasting 7-8 hours, and I would question whether he, at 80, would even survive such a proceedure. It's a moot point, as he has decided not to have it. He wasn't impressed with the 40% 5 year survival rate, which after some research on-line sounds rather optomistic.

Having seen my brother go through Chemo for Burkitt's Lymphoma, (what is it with my family and rarer, very aggressive cancers?), he