About 10 years ago, my father died of what we were told was lung cancer. He was a lifelong smoker so it wasn’t really a surprise when we were told that he had advanced lung cancer a few months before he passed. There was no use explaining to us the different lung cancer stages and what could be done because it was so advanced surgery was no longer an option. I was out of the country when he was diagnosed and I was only told about it when I came home because my mother died suddenly of a heart attack. My mother’s demise came as a shock to everybody but I was more shocked when I saw my father for the first time since his diagnosis. He was so frail I thought he wouldn’t be able to stand on his feet.
After we buried my mother, I decided to speak with the doctor that diagnosed my father. I wanted to know why surgery was no longer an option for my father. He showed me an x-ray that he had of my father’s lungs that show how extensive the cancer was already and explained to me the different lung cancer stages and how each stage is being treated. It became clear to me after speaking with the doctor that all we could do at that point was to make sure my father was comfortable as much as possible. He passed 4 months after my mother passed which was about 6 months after he was diagnosed.
I still miss my father to this day. I can only wish now that his cancer was diagnosed in the early stages. It may have been inevitable for lung cancer prevention in his case since he smoked all his life but if his cancer was detected a lot earlier, we would have all those options available to him and extend his life even for a few more years. But such is life and all we can do now is hope it does not happen to anyone we love again because losing a loved one to cancer of any kind is never easy.