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Dad’s birthday is coming up.  January 18th.  I can’t believe it going to be his second birthday gone.  Time is passing so quickly.  

Mark drove Dad’s pick up around a few days and it seemed weird to see it parked in our driveway.  I caught myself glancing up at it and remembering Dad sitting out there, cigarette in hand, waiting for the boys to come out, waiting for us to see him and come outside and visit with him, all the while smoking one of his “little friends“.   

In reality when I think of Dad, I think of cigarettes.  The two go hand in hand.  The smell, the sight, I can’t think of him without those damn cancer sticks.

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I felt sad today. I kept wanting to call Dad up and tell him something I’d heard or something I saw or I wanted to ask him a question about something. I went up to the cemetery this evening and stared around at the grave. We haven’t picked a headstone out although we’ve talked about it. There is a service “pin” thing there and our flowers from the funeral are still laying across the grave but I really am ready to have a headstone up. I want to be able to tend it.

Larry D. Paisley
Jan. 18, 1935 – June 14, 2007

CAMBRIDGE — Larry D. Paisley, 72, died Thursday (June 14, 2007) at Cambridge Memorial Hospital.

He was born in Cambridge on Jan. 18, 1935, to H. Dean and Clara E. (Moore) Paisley. He grew up in Cambridge and graduated from Cambridge High School in 1953.

He served in the U.S. Army from September 1954 to 1956, later finishing his enlistment with the U.S. Army reserve being discharged in September 1962. During his enlistment he was stationed in Germany.

He was united in marriage to Karen Stagemeyer on May 5, 1957. He was employed in the family business of Paisley grocery store one of the main businesses on main street in Cambridge. He worked in the store for 40 years. After retirement, he took up the job as a groundskeeper at the Cambridge golf course.

He was a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Cambridge. He was baptized and confirmed as an adult in May of 1964.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; one daughter, Sheryl and husband, Mark McCurdy; one brother, Terry and wife, Marge Paisley all of Cambridge; and three grandchildren.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cambridge, with the Rev. David Feddern officiating. Interment will be in the Fairview Cemetery of Cambridge.

Memorials may be left at the Lockenour-Jones Mortuary in his name to either the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church or the Tri Valley Health Systems.

Lockenour-Jones Mortuary of Cambridge is in charge of arrangements.

Dad had a left lung thorecentesis yesterday. For him, it was extremely painful…the worst one yet. He said, “I’m not doing it again”, and I think I believe him. Maybe there will be no need for it. They drained off 800cc of fluid this time. He took 2 Percocet for the pain and I think those meds helped him.
He is to get Zometa on March 9th or so.
I guess he is not choosing to do the parathyroid surgery.
He is depressed.
The last time he went to the Dr. (and I couldn’t go to this appointment) the Oncologist said things that were depressing Mom said….like…”If I were a betting man I’d bet this cancer will come back”, and “If you are going to be around for 4 or 5 years more I would suggest the surgery”…and I guess the way he said things he was looking down at his hands and just…depressing.
Dad’s weight is 140’s. He isn’t eating. Doesn’t want to.
But his scans are good. State…No sign of cancer.
Although his Calcium remains on the high side. 11 this time.
shit, I don’t know.
Bastard Dr anyway.
Bastard Cancer anyway.
Fucking cigarettes anyway.

We went to the Endocrinologist in Lincoln today. The Dr was funny and direct. He explained that he needed to have proof of hyperparathyroidism and wrote orders for bloodwork, 24 hour urine test and bone density tests. He also explained that the only places to have “mini surgery” ie laproscopic removal of any nodes, was in Tampa Florida or Wisconsin. Then, he explained that the surgery was still only a 1 day affair and tried to be positive about it. We will arrange to have all these labs done and then we are to call the Dr in 2 weeks, if we haven’t already heard from him by then. This Dr. felt that Zymeta every month was a bit extreme. I hope he reccomends we taper that off.
Dad weighed in at 147 pounds.

Do you find it odd that the word “cancer” and “cancel” seem so alike?

We had an appointment to see an endocrinologist today, in Lincoln.
Dad canceled the appointment.
Tomorrow is his birthday. I don’t know if that is the main reason he wanted to cancel but I’m thinking it is.
It’s hard to believe that 14 months ago we were just begining this journey.
We’ve been through 33 radiation treatments, 4 “cycles” of Taxol/Carboplatinum, at least 5 “cycles” of Taxotere and we continue with monthly Zymeta infusions(for hypercalcemia).
Dad has random occasional mid left “rib” pain for which he takes Darvocet with relief. Maybe 0-2 times a day. He continues to fight lower leg edema and is on 80 mg of Lasix and 50mg Aldactone (which he occasionally halves the dose of both depending on how he feels. He no longer uses any O2 at all. Very rarely (maybe 1 time a month) uses a TJN (twin jet nebulizer) treatment. He gets little to no activity for reasons mom and I don’t understand. He has no appetite. He has pain in the ends of his big toes. He doensn’t really seem short of breath at all. He has  occasional constipation. The skin of his lower legs is dry and flaky from the edema that comes and goes.
He is smoking again.
We don’t know what is next for sure. We will go to Lincoln next Wednesday for the appointment with the endocrinologist. Dad is scheduled for a CT scan this month to check the lung tumor area.
Right now the oncologist calls Dad cancer free. We are just dealing with all the other problems that go along with the diagnosis of cancer.
I think there should be a 12 step program for being diagnosed with cancer. You walk into a room…you say, Hi I’m _____ and I have lung cancer. When I was 12 I had my first cigarette. It was love at first cough. blah blah blah

Once labeled a cancer person always a cancer person. People put their eyes on you and wonder…how long before the disintegration…
People ask constantly…”How is so and so??” and stating “Well so and so, you look so good!”, hanging on the edge of their seat, waiting to nod in pity while turning to their friends and saying, “Doesn’t so and so look terrible?”.

Went to Kearney to the oncologist yesterday. Doc thought maybe Dad’s calcium is staying high because of parathyroid involvement…perhaps a node there or something. If he could get that out, then he could quit the monthly Zymeda (which is now making Dad feel achy and crappy) so he wants Dad to see an endocrinologist. They are trying to set that up now. Of course there is no such animal as an endocrinologist nearby or anything. Omaha or LIncoln.

Both holidays have now come and gone.
Dad continues to fight “fluid” issues but hasn’t been needing O2 at all. I suppose he needs his lung “drained” again. After the last thorecentesis, done here not in Kearney, Dad says he would rather drive up and have it done there instead of locally. He had much pain afterwards. Did not really get along as well. He has an appointment on Wednesday with the Oncologist in Kearney. I think, a scan too. Not sure about that. The fluid showed no cancer cells in it. Yayyyyy!
Dad is having some random pain for which he is taking Darvocet with relief. His weight conts to remain on the lower side (150’s to low 160’s) and he is requesting suspenders! I will have to be on the lookout for some neon ones. ha ha ha

Dad had his left lung “drained” Monday, 1 week ago, here at our local hospital. The Dr. got out almost 2 litres of beer looking fluid and said that he could have gotten out more but the pain was too much for Dad to take. We got a script for Darvocet for pain (actually one pill) and they went home.
Two days later Dad’s weight was at an all time low at the oncologists office in Kearney. 155 lbs. I can imagine the left lung, filled to capacity, pressing down on the diaphragm maybe being the culprit. Mom got a gleam in her eye and was imagining all the shakes, supplements, vitamins, calories, juices etc she could mix to fatten up Dad. The usual Dr. has taken on a new partner and we like him. He is able to take time to explain the disease, side effects, labs, etc and also to offer up hope instead of only gloom and doom. This oncologist says that dad’s fluid buildup may very well be heart related. (which is the lesser of two evils I guess) He ordered an echo and after looking at the overread (which only took a mere 1 FREAKING MONTH to get results from!!!!) stated that he would send a recomendation for more aggressive treatment of the heart to Dad’s primary physician. He says often time a primary physician sees the cancer diagnosis and doesn’t want to try to treat the whole patient. He so very right. At least 95 percent of them…in my experience. Always, though, it seems we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Dad has been having intermittant pain, on his left side and scattered various spots. He had the pain over a week ago but chose not to tell the Dr or nurses or us. He has been taking 2 or 3 Darvocet a day with relief. I am wondering if the pain is related to the Zymeta he gets monthly, the cancer, or something else. His labs are all very good, except for the calcium which is just a tiny bit high…10.4 or so. He has been taking a mineral supplement with over 200mg of calcium in it so decided to get off that. After researching Zymeta I saw that gi upset, pain in the chest can occur also intermittant pain. Mom has Pepcid and Dad is going to try that, he’s going to cut down on the coffee a bit, drink more water, and I’m sure, drink shake, smoothie, supplement after supplement until he is fat and sassy again.
I’ve got a call into the clinic for cytology report from Monday, thyroid blood results and hopefully they will get faxed to us tomorrow.