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Husband is newly diagnosed - need advice...

anneg
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2005

My husband of 40 years has been dx with small cell cancer 3weeks ago. It's in brain, lungs
bone. He is taking radiation and is due to start cemo this week. The radiation is making him very tired and sleepy, and also has made him sick. Dr. are radiating the back and head. They told me he had 6mo. to year max. Are there any survivors out there?

SusanBColeman
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2005

Anne, I'm so sorry. You must be really struggling.

jcbeenthere
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2005

my mother had lung cancer with mets to the brain. She had radaition mainly to shrink the tumors. She was petty well either sleeping or groggy when awake. The lung radiation ws most difficult because it broke so many blood vessels.
The MDs had her I feel over medicated and this worsened her condition. I think she would have wanted to be more coherent during all the treatments.
Best of luck to you and your husband. Information is power.

Jeanne

NoDozing
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2005

Let me tell you. When my wife was diagnosed, small cell, the doctor gave her 1 year AT MOST. We went to another doctor at a hospital that participates in studies, research. etc. She has been with me for 19 months. Came back clean from a scan last week. She'll be with me longer!!! Stastically, she has a short time. I try to bring her joy in her time left. The one thing I have gotten from this is to appreciate the one you love and show it. My GOD, the confersations we have had. Enjoy your life with your husband. I know how heartbreaking it is. There is another side to all this. When he rallies, take him to a special place. Enjoy your remaining time, whether it's a day or many more years. I wish I saw that sooner.

callinanangel
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2005

dear anneg,
so sorry to hear about your husband..my prayers and thought are with you. important to remember you are not alone..that is what this network is for.. i lost my dad 2 months ago to prostate cancer, it went metestatic to the bone and lung.. this is a very trying time, anxiety levels are running high and the FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN will drive you crazy. but it is more important to be strong for your husband. it is a stressful time i won't lie. but pray, if you are catholic go to church, and pray...and the most important is please remeber it is the quality of life that he has left that is much more important that the quantity. radiation as well as chemo will make him sick, tired, make him nausious, make him vomit, i remember days that he could not even get out of bed and he developed severe stomach problems. you have to ask yourself, is this going to change the outcome of 6 mos. to a year. to 3, 4, 5, years. probably not..it was important to my mother and me that the 6 months that my dad had left we were going to focus on the quality of his life. and keep him pain free. (he was on morphene pump. towards the end.. then eventually a morphene drip. he was very relaxed, and it takes away the anxiety on there part.. what does your husband want to do? whatever, it is difficult and trying. hopefully you have a great family that will support you whatever your decision may be...god bless you and your family. you are in my thoughts and prayers......

callinanangel
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2005

dear anneg,
so sorry to hear about your husband..my prayers and thought are with you. important to remember you are not alone..that is what this network is for.. i lost my dad 2 months ago to prostate cancer, it went metestatic to the bone and lung.. this is a very trying time, anxiety levels are running high and the FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN will drive you crazy. but it is more important to be strong for your husband. it is a stressful time i won't lie. but pray, if you are catholic go to church, and pray...and the most important is please remeber it is the quality of life that he has left that is much more important that the quantity. radiation as well as chemo will make him sick, tired, make him nausious, make him vomit, i remember days that he could not even get out of bed and he developed severe stomach problems. you have to ask yourself, is this going to change the outcome of 6 mos. to a year. to 3, 4, 5, years. probably not..it was important to my mother and me that the 6 months that my dad had left we were going to focus on the quality of his life. and keep him pain free. (he was on morphene pump. towards the end.. then eventually a morphene drip. he was very relaxed, and it takes away the anxiety on there part.. what does your husband want to do? whatever, it is difficult and trying. hopefully you have a great family that will support you whatever your decision may be...god bless you and your family. you are in my thoughts and prayers......

mike59
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2004

Anneg

My prayers are with you and your husband for the best possible outcome for both of you. I am a surviving child (46), my Mom smoked for over 65 years and was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in 2001. She passed away in September of 2004.

I think the advice someone else gave regarding the importance of knowledge and information is critical to you both right now.

In my Mom’s case, we worked very hard to allow her to remain in control of her own treatment. Unless you have a close relationship with, or are lucky to get a very special doctor the health care system can easily rob you both of your independence. Do not allow your husband to become a “case” or a diesease to them. Challenge the health care providers to adequately explain what they plan to do and what they hope the result will be.

In my Mom’s situation, I had to fight with Hopsice who was telling me I needed to force her to do something she didn’t want to do. When I challenged the social worker, she admitted my Mom was still very lucid, alert and oriented. But the social worker felt my Mom was deciding the wrong thing (a lifestyle issue). My position was as long as my Mom was able, she had the right to make decisions that controlled her own destiny. Even if we felt they were wrong, it was her choice. For some reason in our society, once we get sick the system instantly assumes we are unable to make decisions for ourselves no matter how long we have lived.

Try and become as knowledgeable as possible about your loved one's specific status and the disease progression. This could become very overwhelming to you (I did not have a medical background but learned REAL FAST) and depending on the doctors, you may or may not receive satisfactory explanations what is happening, what they plan to do, and IMPORTANTLY what the likelihood is of a desired outcome from a particular course of treatment.

Ultimately, the doctor’s couldn’t or wouldn’t candidly tell my Mom what was wrong with her. They danced around it, and never came out and told her she had lung cancer. I had to tell her. Her progression went from one lung to the other, it never spread anywhere else. At the end the doctors still wanted to do exploratory “scopes” down her throat and up her GI. Why? They wanted to see if the disease was progressing. There is a point where enough is enough. For each of us it is personal, but I was determined to help her as she wanted to be helped with as much quality and comfort as possible. When she passed she was as comfortable as modern medicine could make her while my wife and I were beside her.

Personally, I say ignore the numbers and the statistics. You will hear them ad-nauseum and they will scare you. Averages are averages. Nothing more. Cherish each day and make it count. Some are going to be better then others, but find the positive in each day regardless. Be strong and learn what you need to know to make the best decisions for both of you.

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