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Thank you for your quick reply. My mom, my cousins, aunts and uncles are taking care of my dad. Also there is a woman who has been hired to physically assist with him. He cannot walk to the bathroom anymore so she makes sure that he is changed and clean and also sponge bathes him. She is great and handles him with lots of care and dignity. My brother who lives in North Carolina and I are very lucky to have all these wonderful people in our lives. I get daily updates from my mom and from my Aunt Eleni (Vinny’s brother’s wife) who is assisting my mom and who lives in Greece. She has moved in with my mom, they are very close like sisters. On Monday, that is tomorrow, his doctor will come by the house to assess whether or not he is strong enough to get stents and whether or not they will benefit him. Vinny is very thin and weak and this disease seems to be progressing very rapidly. I thought that the stents would help with the pain but perhaps I was wrong on this one. At this point like you said Marion it is about Vinny’s comfort. I realize that he probably won’t last very long now, weeks maybe given my Aunt Eleni’s assessment. My family has said that his skin is starting to yellow and he is very thin. He also doesn’t have any appetite. I am a Christian and I find a lot of strength in faith and prayer. I am praying for him now and know he will soon be in a better place. Thank you so much for your continuing support and prayers. The one question my family members in Greece wanted to ask is given that Vinny is in his 80s, that he’s jaundiced and very weak, how long would he have to live roughly if he did the stents? Any feedback on this question would be greatly appreciated and thanks again!
I hope my email finds all of you very well. I haven’t written for awhile because Vinny’s situation has gotten rapidly worse unfortunately over the last month. I am back in the States but my family which is caring for him now have been updating me on his daily status. The good news is he is definitely surrounded by people who love him, family friends, neighbors are all visiting and trying to keep his spirits up. I have a question regarding the placement of stents. He hasn’t placed them yet and yesterday my family noticed that his skin started to appear more yellowish. The doctor had said about 3 weeks ago that when he starts exhibiting signs of jaundice, that is when the stents should be placed. His billirubin level now measures at 6.95 MG-DL. Do the stents help with his pain management or can the pain be controlled with oral pain meds alone? Also if we assume that he is in the final stages of this will the pain be to much to be controlled with pain meds? is that why the doctor had said we should place the stents? At this point his pain is being controlled pretty well with the meds and he is also on Xanax to help control his anxiety. The one very good thing is that he is in his home surrounded by people who love him. At this point I think it is about trying as best as we can to keep his spirits up and to keep him as comfortable as possible. My fear about bringing him to hospital now to place the stents is that he is so weak and I don’t know if the whole process and procedure may be to much for him. My family fears that he may pass because of the physical strain on him. Also the hospitals in Greece unfortunately are not the most optimal and Vinny is in his 80s and has always been someone who is very comfortable and happy in his home. I wish I had a more positive email to share with all of you. Your support throughout this process has been tremendous and I thank all of you for your love and advice and prayers.
Lainy thank you for your kind words about my dad. I am very glad to be with him. I arrived in Greece yesterday. Although he is weak and thinner since I last saw him his spirits are up and he is still the same old Vinny. He was there to greet me with a roll of euros for spending money (I’m 44 years old), and his shirt is always unbuttoned no matter the weather to expose his hairy chest. Was very happy to see this.
Thank you Randi and Gavin for your feedback on the stents. I reassured him the procedure wouldn’t be painful and he was happy to hear that. Also Pam thank you for your warm welcome and positive thoughts.
Many hugs and much love to you all from Athens, Greece
P.S. Will post a recipe for chicken vegetable soup that my husband (he trained as a chef) showed me to make for my dad. I’ll post it in the Nutrition section. It is high in protein, low in fat and easy to digest.
Dear Lainy and Marion,
Thank you for your quick responses. Great to hear the procedure will make him feel better. I’m all set and ready to take off from LV tomorrow morning at 9:00 am.
Something funny that happened the other day… I do believe that the spirit lives on after we pass and even though Vinny (my dad) is in his 80s, he is a real flirt and loves beautiful women. Well last night I had a dream that my dad was in a beautiful place surrounded by beautiful women and that he was very happy. I woke up feeling a sense of peace that is hard to describe. I’m sure that my dream would be Vinny’s version of heaven.
Many hugs to both of you and sending lots of positive energy from LV!
Very glad you reminded me about the prunes Gavin. He would always request these from me even before he got diagnosed, said the ones in Greece don’t taste as good. Thank you!
Thank you Gavin and Randi, will definitely pack some Lactulose and Senna. One more question, my brother who is in Greece now gave my dad some of his sleeping pills and they seemed to help him sleep more comfortably. Are there any sleeping pills in particular that would be best?
Lainy and Suzy,
I am moved to tears by your compassion and practical advice. I will get the Sarna and Brioche and Miralax. Thank you thank you!!
Thank you all for all of your priceless advice! My dad was suffering from depression for many years before his diagnosis and definitely ate a lot of meat and fried foods. Although this may not have caused Cholangiocarcinoma, these factors may have played a part. I am going to fly out to Greece and see him this Sunday. I’m going to be very very positive and just bring him good energy from the States along with some benefiber. Are there any other items I can bring with me on my trip that may improve the quality of his life? I know benefiber will definitely help, the meds are constipating him my mom has told me.
I will continue to update all of you as to his progress. I continue to feel very blessed to have found this network of angels and heroes. Sending lots of positive energy and love from LV!!
Thank you for your quick reply, I will forward this information to my brother who is currently in Greece. Yes, he is healthy to withstand treatments. I will keep you updated as to his status. I live in Henderson, NV. which is on the opposite side of where your sister lived. The debate here still goes on about which side of the valley is best to live in but really both areas are great. It is so comforting to find this forum which as I’ve found after reading many of the stories, is filled with angels and superheroes. Will keep you posted and sending you much much positive energy from LV!