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New, with Questions

cfordct
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello, all. I'm new here & the reason is my best friend & housemate has just been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (stage 3B). He will be undergoing radiation & chemo therapy at the same time (radiation 5 days a week, chemo once a week). I've been trying to do some research on how to help him keep up nutrition-wise. One friend who went thru chemo 4 yrs ago said she made herself a lot of fresh vegetable/fruit juices. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Also, he doesn't seem to be sharing any of the fears I know he must be feeling. How do I get him to open up & let some of that out? It can't be good for him to keep it all inside.

Phyl34
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2004

When the time is right for your friend he will open his heart to you. The best thing "in my opinion" at this time is to be there for him with love and understanding. Offer but don't push. As for diet, I ate every and anything I wanted, gained all my weight back and a bit to boot. So, be patient and give him time to come to terms with what is happening in his life. God Bless.

annie5379
Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi There... My husband was also diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer in December. Our whole world was turned upside down. I try to talk with him also, but he doesn't want to talk about it. He feels as though it's an automatic death sentence, since the dr told him he was terminal. I refuse to believe that. Maybe I'm living in a dream world, but I truly have faith that he can beat this. Good luck to you and your friend

Rmontgomery
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

My husband, whom is 45 was diagnosed in July of this past year. He is a carpenter.at trade and we went to E.R., thinking it was a mild heat stroke and was transferred to a bigger hospital. After 3 days of tests, I got frustrated and asked the nurses about the results. The very next day, the nurse yells down from the nurses station and tells me to pick up the phone in the hospital room (with my husand lying there), which I did. It was the doctor on the phone, telling me (on the phone), that my husband had lung, liver, and cancer in his adrenal glands. I was in shock, and in turn, had to tell my husband what it was. His face turned white, for 31/2 weeks prior to that, he lost his mom to the same thing and father 6 monyths prior to that, all from small-cell lung cancer. The nightmere began, but listen, do not, I repeat, do not, have too much trust in your oncologist. Listenh to your heart, mind, and read up on this stuff. If he would of died everytime they said he would of, he would of been gone a very long time ago. His oncologist's nurse told me, this last Dec. that my husband was tired and I said, he is my husband and I don't believe so. She then told me that "Go ahead, compare 25 years doctors experience to that of a wife. The compassion and sensitivity, here about killed my husbands dignity and almost his life. DO NOT let him wallow away in self pity and be strong, for it is not a death sentence. I strongly believe that, or they wouldn't have the word "Statistics" at aLL. i'VE BEEN THE NURSE, DOCTOR, HOMEHEALTH AID, SECRETARY, BOOK-KEEPER, RESEARCHER AND PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING, BUT IT IS WELL WORTH THE OUT-COME. wRITE ME PLEASE, ANYTIME. rMONTGOMERY

dstone
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

My dad was just diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. We are going to the Oncololgist tomarrow to hear about the results of the PET scan to see if there is cancer anywhere else in his body. I really don't know what to ask, what to do, or where to go. We were told his cancer is too large to operate on and is in the lymph nod between the lungs. That is about all we know. My dad is 77 years old and has had triple bypass surgery. If you can tell me where to go to get information on treatment, what to ask and anything else that my help me -- I would greatly appreciate your help. dstone@stonebusinessmachines.com

jameboz
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2004

my father also has stage 3b lung cancer. Seems like we all could open up a little. My dad is a little on the macho side, and has a oh well additude. I thought he was keeping it all inside also, but soon found out that he had been diagnosed, and greived, and has now moved forward. He says that theres nothing he can do now that he has it and hes not gonna spend what time he has left doting on it. He goes to chemo and radiation and after he leaves the office, he forgets it for the day. this really helps him get through. it seems my dad has the same treatment regimine as your friend. As far a nutrition, my dad lost 5 lbs. the first week, and has successfully put on weight since starting chemo and radiation. He eats alot when he can, because alot of the time he has no appetite. Seemed to work for him. i wish your friend the best

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi,
My name is Ernie. I'm a 2 1/2 year survivor of Stage IV nsclc.
I don't have the perfect answer to the nutrition problem, but I have a couple of suggestions.
First, let me say that I didn't try hard enough to maintain my intake of nutritious foods. I had some radiation damage to my esophagus, so I had a hard time swallowing. Also, nothing tasted good, - in fact some of my favorite foods were nauseating to me. I ended up being hospitalized on two occasions, - 1 week, and two weeks, respectively. I was given intravenous fluids, consisting mainly of protein to keep up my nutrition, and other liquids just to keep me hydrated.
I learned that it was "easier" to eat and drink anything I could handle, even if it meant forcing myself to eat and drink, than it was to be hospitalized.
My point is that, I think that it was basically an attitude problem with me. While I had a positive attitude, (I never doubted that I would beat the illness) it was easier to simply not eat or drink anything because it made me uncomfortable. Obviously, that doesn't work. That's called starving.
Once I learned that lesson, I began to eat and drink on my own, and I began to feel somewhat better.
Not wanting to eat is very common. My wife tried everything she could think of to come up with recipes for solid and/or liquid food that I would eat. At first, it was Carnation Instant Breakfast, (as many as I could drink all day) then she came up with fruit cups, etc. Basically, it was hit or miss. And a lot of work for her. I guess what I'm saying is keep trying different things. You will come up with some things your friend will eat/drink. Once started, he/she will probably eat better. It is slow, thiough, so hang in there.
In retrospect, I can understand my wife's frustration with me, and therefor, your frustration. You are handling one of the toughest jobs in the world, - that of caregiver for a cancer patient. Do the best you can, but try to arrange to take a break. Look into getting some help, or at least a respite from the daily tasks. Keep in touch with the CSN message boards, and ask for help. No one of us has all the answers, but together we can help a lot.
My email address is ernplym@adelphia.net, if you are comfortable with communication by e-mail.
Good luck. Keep in touch.

Ernie

TEEDY1956
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

HELLO EFORDCT,
SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR FRIEND. I HAVE CANCER IN BOTH LUNGS AND LYMPH NODES. NO CURE BUT HOPES OF REMISSION OR SLOWING IT DOWN. I AM RESPONDING TO TREATMENT SO THAT IS PROMISING. YOUR FRIEND PROBABLY CAN'T TALK RIGHT NOW BECAUSE HE IS STILL GRASPING ALL OF IT. IT IS ALWAYS SUCH A SHOCK. HE HAS TO ACCEPT IT, GRIEVE, GET ANGRY, THEN YOU WANT TO FIGHT BACK AND LIVE YOUR DAYS TO THE FULLEST. SOMETIMES GOING THROUGH TREATMENT AND FEELING SICKLEY MAKES YOU DEPRESSED AND SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE TALKING. THAT MAY BE WHEN HE NEEDS YOU MOST.
MY APPETITE CHANGES ALL THE TIME. AFTER TREATMENT EVERYTHING TASTE DIFFER, FRUITS ARE TOO SWEET, CHINESE FOOD IS OFF LIMITS, PEPSI TASTE TOO SWEET, THEN AFTER A WEEK I CAN PUT AWAY SOME FOOD. STILL TICKY AT TIMES, IT DEFINITELY CHANGES YOUR TASTE.
GOOD LUCK AND MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU,
TEEDY1956

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