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Emma H.

On July 27th, 2018 my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer at the age of 66. He had no real signs or symptoms of cancer and the tumor was found on accident so it took my entire family by surprise.

The following week my Dad began six weeks of radiation and 4 months of chemotherapy. Just before Thanksgiving we found out the cancer had spread to his bones. It was now considered stage 4 and terminal. He began a series of immunotherapy treatments which ended up causing a lot of inflammation in his lungs and right after Christmas he required an oxygen concentrator to help him breathe. His oncologist wanted to reduce his lung inflammation and oxygen intake before starting another round of chemotherapy but my Dad’s body couldn’t handle it. The oncologist gave him the option of hospice or pushing forward with chemotherapy with the chance of it worsening the condition of his lungs.

He told me he couldn’t just sit back and wait to die, so he opted to give chemotherapy one more try with the hope that it would give him an extra six months to a year. After starting the chemo, he was able to reduce his oxygen intake enough to get a portable concentrator and was able to enjoy some freedom outside of his home. Unfortunately, just after Memorial Day and a bout of pneumonia, we found out the cancer had continued to spread and hospice was the only choice at this point.

My Dad passed just five days after entering into hospice care on June 4th, 2019. I am so thankful to the entire oncology staff at University of Chicago for doing everything they could for my Dad and providing the very best care during his 10 month fight with lung cancer. I miss him every day.

First published: October 8, 2019

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