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Dad diagnosed with NSCLC Stage 4

lcavelier
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

My dad was diagnosed about a month ago with non-small cell lung cancer, stage 4. He's only 59 and in otherwise good health. He stopped smoking, thank God, and is doing everything the doctor tells him to do. The doctor said if he does well on chemo, he may live several more years. I was devastated by the news. I'm getting married in less than a month and don't know how I'm going to make it down the aisle with a smile on my face. I'm trying to be strong for my dad, but it's been so hard. Every time I talk to him, I wonder how many more conversations will there be, how many more hugs? Does anyone have any words of encouragement or inspiration? I could really use it.

shawna
Posts: 29
Joined: May 2001

My grandmother was diagnosed with stage IIIb or IV lung cancer about three weeks ago. I was just wondering how your dad is doing. I am very close to my grandmother and want every possible chance for her. She does too.What type cancer does he have. My grandmothers is squamous cell carcinoma. What treatment is he having? She is having radiation and chemo, cisplatin and navelbine. Let me know and good luck

lcavelier
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

Sorry, it's been awhile since I've been on the website. My dad has adenocarcinoma and he is on (Chemo only) Paclitaxol and Carboplatin. He just finished his second treatment (every 21 days). So far his side effects haven't been too bad. Hair loss, Sore muscles, and he's tired sometimes. But he's been very active. He's in the process of painting the outside of his house! He has a cat scan this week to see if the chemo is working. I'll let you know how it's going. Take care and tell your grandmother to keep a positive attitude. That's the most important thing they can do for themselves (and to quit smoking if they currently smoke!!!!!!!!!) My dad quit smoking and drinking, so I'm very proud of him. Take care.

robertj5
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2001

Hi. I read your message. My mother in law also was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, stage 4, about a month ago. It has spread to her spine, adrenal glands, brain, and liver. She too, is in otherwise good health. Her only symptom was back pain. She was put on radiation therapy and chemo therapy. The chemo drug she is taking is Taxol. The therapy is making her very tired and shaky. Otherwise she is holding up okay. She has not obtained a prognosis, because she doesn't want one. I'd be interested in hearing how your dad is doing and what treatments he is undergoing.
I wish you and your dad all the best.
Thanks
Robert

lcavelier
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Robert. My dad is on chemo, Paclitaxol and Carboplatin. He just finished his second treatment. His hair is falling out - don't know if he's going to shave it for the wedding. He's trying to hold onto it! He's had sore muscles and been tired sometimes. But he's remained very active, which is good. He's painting the outside of his house right now. He gets another cat scan this week to see if the chemo is working. If it doesn't work, the doctor mentioned a clinical trial using Iressa. I've read a lot about it and it sounds very promising. I'll let you know how things are going. Tell your mother in law to keep a positive attitude - very important!! Good luck, Lisa

jojay
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2001

I was diagnosed with NSCLC about a week after your dad was. I am 53 yrs. old, and my daughter will be 14 tomorrow. She is the most important thing in my life, and I intend to stick around for many years to be with her. And I am positive that is how your dad feels about you. So just be there for him - make each day the best that it can be. Show him, with words and actions, how much you love him. Don't let a single oppurtunity to hug him go by unused. That's all he really wants, anyway. That's the most precious gift you can ever give him - a hug. And don't fret too much about the fact that he will die some day - it may be a long way off, hopefully. As long as he does what the doctors say, and as long as he really wants to live - as long as he has really good reasons for wanting to stay around - he can make it. There are no guarentees in life. I am fighting this cancer with every ounce of my being, but I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Live each day as though it could be your last day with him, and years from now, you two will be so close you won't believe it. Don't fret over what bad things the future may possibly hold - celebrate today. And when you walk down that aisle, give him the biggest smile you possibly can. Because that's exactly what he wants more than anything else - to know how happy you are, and how much you love him. Those are the most important things in the world to him. As a father with cancer, I know this to be true.

lcavelier
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi. Thanks for those encouraging words. It was very nice message and very helpful!! The wedding was Saturday and I was so thankful my dad was there. I will treasure every moment. The father/daughter dance had everyone in tears. But my dad talked to me the whole time and made me feel better. I read your previous message about your muscle pain. My dad too, is experiencing a lot of muscle pain. That's probably been one of his worst symptoms thus far. I'm not sure what you can do to ease your symptoms. Maybe the doctor can suggest something. Good luck in your fight and keep the positive attitude! Thanks again for the beautiful message! Take care and keep me updated on your progress. Lisa

jojay
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2001

I'm glad that your wedding turned out nicely, and it was really nice of you to write me and let me know that. Also, I found out what to do about the muscle pain. If your dad is still having that problem, have him take vitamin B6 - 50 mg. pills , twice a day. Sounds like a lot - USRDA on B6 is 2 mg. daily, but 100 mg. is often needed when you're on chemotherapy. It got rid of my muscle pain almost completely in only 2 days after I started taking it. If he isn't already taking it, have him start. I'm feeling much better now.

lcavelier
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

That's great! Did your doctor suggest the B6? My dad's 60th birthday is Saturday. I'm going to pick him up a bottle! He sees his doctor today to discuss the results of the cat scan. Keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks for the info. and take care.

jojay
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2001

Actually the nurse did tell me when I was getting the 1st chemo that I should take B-6, but there was so many things that day that I forgot about the B-6 totally. A friend who had chemo about 12 yrs. ago told me about it, then the day after that I remebered that the nurse had mentioned it - but she didn't really emphasise it to the point that it stuck in my head. I hope it helps your dad. I'll be remembering him in my prayers.
Joe

lcavelier
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

Well, we got some bad news yesterday. The chemo is not working. So, now they're going to try Gemzar and navelbine. Hope this works. We're thinking of getting a second opinion. My dad's situation is a bit odd. He has two spots on one lung, several in his lymph nodes and then a spot in his groin. That spot is a lump that you can actually see. The doctor said that lung cancer usually doesn't spread to the groin. So he was a little confused by it. My dad also had skin cancer removed from his back about 5 years ago, so there is a slim possibility that it could have originated there. It doesn't seem like there are any clear cut answers when it comes to cancer!

What stage is your cancer and what chemo are you on? I hope your situation isn't as bad. Take care, Lisa

jojay
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2001

I'm really sorry to hear about the bad news. Hopefully the new regimen will help more - maybe he just needs different chemicals. A d no, there certainly aren't any clear cut answers with cancer. They've made giant strides in the last few years, but they're still a long way from knowing all they need to. So where are you - and where is your dad going for treatment? I'm in Indiana and the local doctors weren't doing much for me or giving me much hope. They had me convinced there was little hope. Then I went to Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis. The I.U. cancer pavillion is 1 of the top 10 cancer treatment centers in the country. It's like a whole different world there - the doctors are totally different than any local doctors. when I 1st went there I knew it was the right thing . Luckily for me my cancer is only stage 2B. My chemo regimen is Taxol and Carboplatin. 1st treatment was 3 weeks ago, 2nd was yesterday - June 1st. That was the last, hopefully. The tumor has shrunk approx. 10% in 3 weeks. I go back on June 20 for another catscan and to schedule surgery which will be about 2 weeks after that, or around July 4th. According to the petscan, I have only the 1 tumor, but of course it won't spot really small tumors, say in lymph nodes, so they will be checking that when they do the surgery. Hopefully if there are any stray cancer cells hiding in lymph nodes, the chemo will get them.
Anyway, if you don't have a large major center working for you, then I would definitely say get a second opinion. Let me know where you are located. And by the way, I don't know about you, but wading thru messages and finding yours on this site is kinda messy for me (I'm sorta computer illitterate) If you don't mind, how about corresponding thru regular e-mail? My e-mail address is RED67SS327@AOL.COM - write me there anytime. Let me know how things are going. And I really am sorry about the prognosis. I wish I knew what to say or do to make it just go away for you and your family. But you definitely need a major cancer center if you don't already have one. I have to drive 3 hrs. each way for my treatments, but it's worth it to get away from these local yokels who just wanted to let me die - right after they get all my insurance money. Hope to hear from you soon.
Joe

rnadams
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2001

It sounds like the same cancer that I had. I am a five and a half year surviver so don't count him out. If he keeps his spirits up and with his family's encourgement I pray that he too can be a surviver. I will keep you both in in prayers.

lcavelier
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2001

Thanks, I am trying to stay positive. My dad isn't quite so positive though. He has been very irritable lately. I'm afraid he's going to want to give up because the chemo makes him feel bad sometimes. He won't go to any surviror meetings. He's not really into the whole mind-body thing. I keep telling him how important his state of mind is. Any suggenstions?

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