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Worried

8965
Posts: 34
Joined: Nov 2005

My dad has was diagnosed in November 05 with stage IV lung cancer two spots on the lung one small spot on the liver. After 4 rounds of chemo which left him tired and so weak that now uses a walker to get around. The last scan showed the cancer is no longer visable in the lung and barely visible on the liver. So the doctor put him on Tarceva. He has COPD a lung disorder and Heart failure...two weeks into the Tarceva he started having the same symptoms as he did when he was on the chemo..loss of appetite, weight loss, lathargic, sleeping all day, weakness, and now stomach pain and vomitting. This man has been through so much in the past 5 months...whats going on? We have been to the emergancy room twice and they sent him home saying they couldnt find anything. Finally I called on behalf of my family and said he is in bad shape, so the doctor told us to bring him to the ER. We arrived friday night, theyve taken him off the Tarceva could that have been causing his decline? Or maybe his heart is failing. They are testing and checking things out but he is so weak all the sudden its just like he is on chemo again and Im worried. They also perscribed an antideppresant for him, and seem to think he is very depressed who wouldnt be in this condition. Is it a waiting game now? Does anyone have any similarities to my dads. He just turned 65 in march, and we thought the news on the cancer was promising but Im so worried now and I hate seeing him so sick. I want to help but I feel helpless, he spends most his day sleeping, is this normal? Any words would be appreciated...Thanks and God Bless you All!

kimmy9
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2006

I am so sorry to hear about your dad. My dad was just diagnosed in January with stage IV non small cell lung cancer. He just started chemo a few weeks ago, so I can't really offer any advice on whether Tarceva could be causing his problems. I can say, however, if you don't feel that your dad's current doctor is listening to your concerns, consider switching to someone that will listen. Good luck!

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

Hi. When I was going through treatment, I twice became very ill, due to radiation damage to my esophagus (Couldn't swallow). My experience was that, when I went to the ER, with the first episode, they took so long to get to me, five hours, that I left, untreated, and went home. The next morning, I called my oncologist at the same hospital. He told me to come right in, but to oncology, not the ER. After a two minute examination, the oncologist admitted me as an inpatient. The second time it happened (in two weeks) I didn't bother with the ER. I called the oncologist again, - same thing happened. My point here is that, I simply don't believe that some ER's are equipped, (read not knowledgable enough) to handle cancer patients. My experience has been, that if I injure myself physically, they can patch me up and send me home. If I have chest pains, I go to the ER and they have a cardiologist care for me, usually an overnight stay and a stress test. If I show up as a cancer patient, they seem to have a band-aid approach, and they refer me to my oncologist. My cancer treatment center now has a twenty four hour telephone number for patients in distress, I assume that that was brought about by experiences like mine. When/if I call that hotline,they either direct me to the cancer center (days), or they have an oncologist meet me at the ER (after hours). I also have CHF, but that never was a problem through cancer treatment and surgery. Just some thoughts for your consideration.

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