ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Chief's Story

Updated on November 25, 2012

To Serve and Protect

In late 2010, my father, Aged 70, started having difficulty swallowing food and he was having painful episodes of hiccups. I was very concerned and told both my mother and my father that I thought he should get to a doctor soon rather than later. My mother was sure that the reason my father was choking, was because he was eating too fast and his bites were too large. Every meal ended in the same argument. My mother was insisting that dad had a hernia of some sort will need to change your style. I kept insisting that my dad go to a doctor to get checked out. We continued back and forth like this for several weeks. And my mother had her doctors appointment. She was put on the bone strengthening drug. I recall hearing something about that drug causing the cancer of one form or another. The next day at work I googled that drug. There was a probable link between that pharmaceutical and Esophageal cancer. At the end of the article it listed seven warning signs of esophageal cancer. Number seven on that list was painful and recurring episodes of hiccuping. My father had all seven warning signs. With every cell of my being, I knew my father had cancer. I called my father immediately and told him what I read. He asked me to print out a copy of that article and bring it to them after I got off work. I told him I thought this was very important and he should come and get the article from me immediately. I also told him it was time to call a doctor. He said he would talk to mom and for me to just bring the article home. Within a few minutes I received a phone call from my mother, she was furious. She was very upset that I would call my dad and say something like he had cancer. I told her I was definite that dad had cancer. She said we would all talk after work. I told her if she didn't call the doctor that I was going to call the doctor. That did it. Mom called the doctor the next morning. There doctor could see dad right away, but after listening to mom describe the symptoms she went ahead and scheduled at endoscopic upper GI. The appointment was two weeks out and dad symptoms were getting worse every day. Fortunately, there was a cancellation and dad was offered that appointment. Dad had his procedure late the next Friday. My worst fears were confirmed. Dad had esophageal cancer and did it spread into his stomach. The doctor told dad to make an appointment with him to come in on Monday and have a feeding tube put in. He told that this was a very difficult cancer to fight and there really wasn't much to be done at this point. We left in silence. This is what I had been fearing for several weeks, but to hear those words was shocking.

There are no words to describe that weekend. We made phone calls to the family and comforted them the best we could. Everybody had so many questions and at that point we had no answers for them. I spent most of the time on my computer looking up any information I could find on this horrible cancer. Nothing that I read gave me any hope. I learned that 17,000 Americans are diagnosed with this type of cancer every year. I learned that the vast majority will not survive the year after diagnosis. I also learned that firefighters and Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange have a higher chance of getting this cancer than the average American. My father was both a firefighter and a Vietnam veteran had been exposed to Agent Orange during Operation Ranch Hand. By the end of that weekend I knew we were all in for the fight of his life.

Early Monday morning, dad's regular physician called to say that she had looked at the report . she stated that she saw nothing in it that led her to believe it was time for a feeding tube . she said there is been several new advancements in fighting this type of cancer and she was going to get that the very best oncologist in the area.

By the end of that day dad had an appointment to see that oncologist and the radiologist he recommended my parents . We all went to that appointment.My brother couldn't be there in person but he was able to listen in on a conference call. The oncologist laid out a treatment plan that involved my dad going to Kalispell and getting a stent. After the stent was put in my dad would then begin a course of chemotherapy and radiation . After the chemo and radiation my dad would return to Kalispell and have surgery there to remove his esophagus . He then scheduled my father for a scan and more blood work . The scan showed the cancer was indeed into his stomach and that it had spread into the surrounding lymph nodes . Even though the news was grim he offered us a lot of hope .

The stent was successfully put in at Kalispell and dad handled did the procedure well . It was amazing to watch dad eat and drink without choking . I felt hopeful for the first time since the diagnosis


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you for sharing your dad's story. He's lucky to have you. Your persistence helped extend your dad's life and possibly save the lives of many others who read your hub. Could you edit your hub and add the warning signs. Wishing your father a speedy recovery.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)