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lovinghim
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2008

hello, im new to this. and i just wanted to know some things about lung canser from someone who has had it. i just found out my step dad has lung cancer. thats all i know, my step dad didnt tell me my mom did. he doesnt want me to know because he knows i would have a melt down, and he doesnt want to see that. so i just cry in my room so he doesnt know. i understand he wants to live life like he didnt have it, he doesnt want it to be akward. but i cant help but feel so bad when i see him. everytime hes around i wanna just cry to him, but i know that wont make things better. i just feel like i am watching him die and i cant do anything to help him. hes very strong and has gone through a lot of stuff, i know hes strong and he wont go down with out a fight. he does smoke and has been for over 30 yrs, hes 50. hes a great guy and i love him as my real dad. i would be crushed if i lose him, my sister is 13 and she cant lose her dad. i have alsways told him hes gona see my sister graduate, give us both away at our wedding, and drive our kids crazy when we have them. i was just wondering what are the chances of a lung cancer person to lie? will he have to go through a lot to lie longer? my mom told me its i dont know how to put it, umm... the cancer is just starting. she also said sometime in january 09 he will start treatments, and he wont lose his hair. does anyone know what that is? is there any thing i could do for him? other then live the days to the fullest. my step dads dad died in his 30s from ccancer and his my died at 53 from cancer as well. i think both were lung cancer and it spread. does that mean he has no chance?

daniela.

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2008

hi. Sorry to hear about your step dad. I had a very early stage lung cancer. the drs performed surgery and now I need to be watched closely for a few years. I can do everything that I did before the surgery. There are alot of survivors of lung cancer on this web site. You sound very young. Talk to your mom about what is going on with your step dad. and stay in touch.

lovinghim
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2008

thank you. i am 20 and i still live at home. but its only my 13yr old sister,me, and my step dad. my mom divorced my step dad 3yrs ago. and i stayed here with him because i wanted to finish school, my boy friend was here, and i felt bad for my step dad. soo since its just starting they can catch it?? will it go away forever or will it come back? and i read on a website that most people die in 5yrs once thay have cancer. is that only if they dont catch it in time?? when you said you have to be watched, is that to see if it comes back or growning?? does that mean you have to stay in a hospital or some other place?? sorry im so clueless on this.

thank you for replying.

daniela

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Folks know far more about cancer these days. They know tons more now than they did ten years ago and more this year than they did last year, so anything we "know" from reading a science book (even a fairly new one) is already way behind what is possible today. That gives me hope, because I remember decades ago when getting lung cancer was pretty much a death sentence and the doctors couldn't do much at all. It is better now because of stuff scientists have learned and put into action to help patients. I wish I could tell you that cancer wasn't any worse than a bad cold and your step-dad would be back to "normal" in a week or two,but we both know it is still a serious disease and that not everyone gets better. Some do. Some don't. Doctors do all they can. They still need a lot more research on better ways to diagnose cancer and treat it, but they are making progress.

All cancer is genetic. I don't mean that you inherit it. I mean that's because the genes in the cell nucleus are messed up. The body doesn't realize the cell nucleus(where the genetic stuff is in the center of the cell) is messed up in a cancer cell and somehow it lives to grow and divide. It doesn't have a system to make it stop growing like regular cells do. And it invades nearby tissues (organized groups of cells) which messes them up. In the lungs, cancer can start interfering with breathing. It takes years for cancer to grow from one messed up cell to something big enough to show up on an xray or CAT scan. By the time doctors find it, it may have developed the ability to break off and travel to a different spot where it will set up camp and start growing and dividing elsewhere in the body. Lung cancer tends to spread to bones, the brain, and the liver. Sometimes the doctors find it and remove the tumor BEFORE it starts traveling. Sometimes they don't. Since they can't be sure, the doctors give some patients powerful medicine called "chemotherapy" to destroy any cells they missed when they operated. Radiation is also sometimes used to kill bad cells in a certain area. Some treatments make you lose hair because they kill all fast growing cells, good or bad. Other treatments work a different way and don't make you lose your hair. There are many different kinds of lung cancer. The doctors pick out the treatment(s) they think will work best based on the kind of lung cancer you have and based on how big the tumor is when they discover it. Sometimes surgery alone is curative with early stage cancer. Sometimes it isn't.

Because doctors know that sometimes cells are missed, they usually see new patients every three months or so right after surgery even when they think things are fine. They check over the xrays or CAT scans they order very carefully. The frequent visits are so they catch things very early if bad things start to happen. Then they can either do more surgery or change medical treatments to slow down, stop, or better yet, eliminate the cancer cells from the body. They do not have fool-proof cures for everyone's cancer, but they do know a few things that help. So don't give up hoping that your Dad's treatment is working.

Most people live at home and work when they are well enough in spite of having cancer. Sometimes the cancer or the cancer treatments stop them from working. When I first had surgery, I was very weak and needed lots of naps. Within a month I was back to work at a desk job. I didn't make it back to the gym though for almost three months. Now, over two years later, I rarely notice any problems from my surgery. I still go to my doctor's though for checkups. If the cancer comes back, I want to find it early and hit it hard with the best treatment out there.

You can help your step-Dad in lots of ways. Exercise (like gentle walking, not marathons!), eating right, and keeping stress down all help. It would be great if he wanted to talk to you about things, but if not, you might want to talk to someone from the American Lung Association or the American Cancer Society about your worries and fears. Cancer causes as many emotional problems for the families it hits as it does physical problems. Folks worry! That takes a lot of pleasure away from life. Life is too short to be miserable all the time. So find someone to talk to. Make memories now with the ones you love. Take good care of yourself, both emotionally and medically speaking. Don't smoke. Quit if you do. And post any questions you want here on the discussion board. There are lots of survivors who would be glad to help. Good luck!

C. Abbott

karenlee3sons
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2002

Please do not give up!! I have just celebrated 10 years cancer free. I was diagnosed with lung cancer 10 years ago. I had surgery to remove a lobe and then had chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Since then I have not had a recurrence. Lung cancer is no longer an automatic death sentence. Always stay positive, it is very important for the people around him to keep him thinking only good thoughts. Good luck!!Karen

maisiemay
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2008

I am sorry daniela to here your news. My father passed away this past June from Lung Cancer, he was a surviver of lung cancer for 7 years they did say he was a walking miricle the doctors said, Is your step dad a smokers? My dad was since he was 13 and he passed away at 67 years old. Because most the time it is caused from smoking? MOST NOT ALWAYS!! Just love him like no tomorrow don't let one day pass that you don't say DAD I LOVE YOU, I cherish and always will the talks I had with me dad during it all. My mother also passed away from cancer 3 years ago, you do FEEL CHEATED FROM YOUR PARENTS LOOSING THEM THAT YOUNG! But the biggest thing is they DON'T loose there dignity EVER! It's hard because depending on what treatment he is having it WIPES THEM OUT, THAT IS THE HARDEST TO WATCH YET BE STRONG! I took care of my mom tell the day she died and also my dad!!!!!!!!! AND I AM THANKFUL I DID AND COULD! But just keep your head up high it is a roller coaster ride all the way, there will be days when you can't bare to look at them if he loose his hair they say it is worse on females to loose it. It was on my mom! I shaved it the minute she started to. But this is the time of the year it is so very hard so hang in there.

God Bless,
Michele

lovinghim
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2008

thank you. my stepp dad is a heavy smoker and has also been smoking since he was 13. and i am very sorry about your parents. my step dad went through the same thing with both of his parents. he still hasnt said anything to me about it, hes telling me he doesnt have it, but then my mom is saying hes lieing he doesnt want me to worry. my little sister doesnt know about this at all, and i dont think she should yet. well thank you so much, i will cherish everything, and i am here for him. this just all sucks. thank you again.

daniela

maisiemay
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2008

Daniela,

Your very welcome if there is anything else you ever need to ask me please feel free to! It sounds like you and your sister are pretty young and I can't imagine dealing with it being so young? I am 41 and have a 21 year old thats married a 19 year old and a daughter that is 18 and I am so greatful my mother and father got to know my children, I tell them you three have such special angels watching over you all the time! It is a scary thing that is just so hard to take all in at times I know, and death is just something that is scary to people because for one we DON'T WANT TO SAY GOOD BYE TO OUR LOVED ONES! And another thing is to watch them get so very sick. But as long as he has you all that is all that counts. And he knows you love him very much. I am sure he is more scared then he wants you all to know? He is going to try and stay STRONG for and your sister and mom. But I use to tell me dad it was alright to be scared and worry. Because we would be too. I hope you have a WONDERFUL christmas honey just cherish EVERY SINGLE MOMENT WITH HIM!!!

God Bless,
Michele

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