I haven’t updated in a while because things have been hectic the last couple of weeks. My father in law was taken to the hospital 2 weeks ago with shortness of breath and had to be admitted into the ER and then the ICU for what we believe is pneumonia related to his lung cancer. The whole family’s been at his bedside and visiting him continuously since then to give him strength to recover, so I apologize to all of you for not being able to update more frequently.
Earlier last year, he was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and he has been getting chemo and radiation for the last few months. We thought he was getting better – CAT scans showed that this tumor had shrunk slightly – but his breathing has been progressively been getting worse, particularly his ability to maintain an oxygen saturation level above 92. To give you context, a healthy individual at sea level under ~20% oxygen concentration (the normal oxygen concentration in air at that altitude) should be able to maintain 98-99% oxygen saturation in his blood. My father in law has been on 90% O2 and was having trouble maintaining a blood saturation level above 92. Part of this has to do with his lung cancer, and part of it could be due to pneumonia. Initially he was on a mask, breathing on his own (or at least trying to), but we had a scare about a week and a half ago when he couldn’t breathe on his own and had to be intubated. That is, he had to be sedated and have a breathing tube stuck down his throat and have a machine breath for him. He’s doing OK, and at least he’s able to maintain a better heartbeat and a decent blood oxygen saturation level. He’s shown some sign of progress earlier this week, but he’s plateaued – but at least for now he’s stable and resting. We all hope that this will give him body the opportunity to fight off the pneumonia and whatever else is ailing him, and fight back against the cancer so he can be taken off the respirator and can be extubated. Needless to say, my wife is anxious, as is the whole family, and we’re all praying and hoping for the best.