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There can be no darker or more devastating tragedy than the death of man's faith in himself and in his power to direct his future.

-Saul Alinsky

It's going to be a full day tomorrow. Before we were able to get some things rescheduled, mom had jury duty, grandma had a followup with the audiologist, I finally get the results back from the kidney biopsy and dad goes to the medical oncologist. In addition all the kids, with the exception of Katie, have school and/or therapy. It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing around here and I'll admit there's more than a little dread and expectation of disaster. Dad's cancer has returned and metastisized from his liver to his lungs and adrenals. The surgeon who had removed half his liver previously says things are pretty much too extensive now for any form of ablation, even using things like radio frequencies. He won't say how long life expectancy is, but that's a pretty poor sign in and of itself. This was the same guy who was willing to push forward with the previous surgery despite the fact that 2 other doctors had disagreed and had even proclaimed that he thought 10 years plus was a possible outcome. The fact that he won't even go so far as to make a guess now means that it's probably dismal.

Shelley has tried to do some research into drug treatments and clinical trials. She had tried to get in touch with Raymond since he's a MD and ask for his input, but he was pretty worthless. All he had to contribute was the name of the standard anti-liver cancer drug that anyone could find with the most casual google search on the topic. Shelley was able to find 2-3 clinical trials that apparently show promise in both New York and Pennsylvannia, and the best part is both drugs require that you've had no previous drug treatments for cancer so as not to muddy results. The articles about the new drugs she printed out seemed to be promising, but there are God only knows how many hurdles left in the darkness to make it over before getting into those trials are even a possibility. She's going to go with Dad to the medical oncologist and I guess we'll have a better idea of what the path will be tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll also find out what the results of the kidney biopsy are. As I was telling Bill S at this past gameday, the only two options I have are bad and worse. There's no chance for anything resembling a 'good' result here. That ship has sailed who knows how many years ago and I never even knew it was gone. At this point, all that's left to find out is if I slide into kidney failure and end up going on dialysis within the near future or it's even worse and I potentially drop dead in a couple years instead of a decade. On the up side, when you know your only options are shitty and super shitty, at least you don't have to deal with the glimmer of false hope and inevitable disapointment.

I was reading a website last night about how some people with kidney failure just decide they'll refuse to go on dialysis. They figure the costs to their quality of life aren't worth the life extension. They'll try to hold on to what kidney function is left, but just slide into the darkness rather than raging against the dying of the light. It's something to think about and it's not like any decisions have to be made anytime soon. In a way it's a far luckier choice than dad may be forced into making one day soon. From everything I've read, kidney failure just seems to involve weakness and lethargy. At worst you might get a bit derranged due to to the build up of toxins, but it's unlikely to be something that brings a lot of pain or discomfort. I guess that's something at least. Small blessings.

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