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My DAD has stage 3b-4 lung cancer

Gabias
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi every one. My dad has been recently (08/07/09) diagnosed with stage 3b-4 lung cancer. He was told it is inoperable but he was offered to do Chemo, if he wants. He is also suggested to manage a hospice so he does not have to rush to the hospital when he needs assistance. Is that a bad thing?? It really scares me as if they have shut the doors on us. Based on the doctor's saying, patients in this stage will have five to six months of life. The hospital has drained water, three times since this whole thing began as of first week of July 2009. At first he was told they found some small cancer cells in the fluid they drained from his lungs. Then last week, after doing a whole bunch of blood tests and CT Scan and PET Scan he was told that he has lung cancer. The only good news is that dad says except the fluid that builds up in his lungs, he is just fine and says he feels just like before. He still continues to go to work two to three times a week. My dad is affraid of doing any Chemo because he thinks it will make things worse. He can no longer sleep in his bed and has to sleep upward, on the reclienr. This week, we are going to see another doctor for a second opinion. I pray to GOD that we get some good news. I am in stage of panic, suffering and fear if any thing will happen to my dad. My whole body is numb, I can't eat, can't sleep and can't concentrate on any thing. I have lost 12 pounds in 2 weeeks. Can any one please tell me if you know some one, who has survived stage 4 lung cancer? My DAD is every thing I have got. Please help, suggest any thing you can.
May GOD bless you all. Thank you. Jerry

tbnurse's picture
tbnurse
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009

Dear Jerry,

I was diagnosed with stage 4 nslc April 2008. I went to MD Anderson in Houston for treatment and received 10 days of radiation to my right lung and left hip June 2008. I started chemotherapy at St. Francis in Cape Girardeau (MD Anderson management center) August 2008. My first line was Carbo and Gemzar. I was unable to take Avastin due to coughing up blood prior to diagnosis. After 4 rounds, I started on Alimta as maintenance treatment every 3 weeks. I had no progression until March when the cancer progressed to my adrenal glands. My doctor missed the progression for 6 weeks. I then started Tarceva, but after 2 months, it did not work. The cancer in the adrenal glands increased in size and I started coughing up blood again. On July 14th I started Carboplatin and Taxol. Avastin was added on August 3rd. With the Avstin there is a risk of bleeding, but it is a risk I have to take. During this time I have been working 2 jobs. I was working 3, but quit one in January. It is important that your father fight the cancer and it sounds like you need to go somewhere else for medical care. I would suggest MD Anderson or a Cancer Institute facility. Do you know if your dad has nslc or small cell lung cancer? God bless you and your father during this difficult time.

Donna

Gabias
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

Dearest Donna,
I am VERY sorry to hear about your condition. Please hang in there as you have been and please don't give up. I will pray for you along with other patients of this kind and ask GOD to take your pain away and give you good health.
Thank you VERY MUCH for your care and response. What hurts me the most is that my dad and my aunt DON'T like to talk about it because it keeps reminding them and I honestly don't have any one else to talk about it. This is why I joined this site. I can use your feed back and try to assist my dad.
May GOD be with you and help you through this tough time. I am sure he is looking out for you. Be strong PLEASE. GOD bless you. Jerry

Gabias
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

Dear Donna,
I forgot to tell you that my dad has small cell lung cancer. I still don't know what it means in terms of severity. When I see the new doctor for the second opinion, I will ask him question I didn't ask before. Thank you again and may GOD help you and be with you. Jerry

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

Jerry,

Your Dad is experiencing the same diagnosis as my husband. The doctors also suggested hospice before we ever even had a change to start treatment. We refused and began chemo of Gemzar/Carbo. Radiation was not an option since he had malignant pleural effusion which sounds like your dad as well. My husband also slept in a recliner and would lean forward often and this was because of the fluid build up in his lungs. After the lungs were drained and chemo started he began to begin sleeping slightly backwards. The chemo actually reduces the chest fluid and makes him more comfortable. I highly recommend that he at least try chemo. My husband also was told 4-6 months without treatment and 1-2 years with it. I don't believe in statistics and everyone here will tell you the same. As far as my husband's progress when I think about it, he has improved. He is using less oxygen, doesn't use the nebulizer (breathing treatment) as often, barely needs cough syrup anymore, is using his cane to walk around the house instead of the walker and is sleeping through the night. If we had not done any treatment and called hospice considering the condition he was in at the time I don't believe I would have been able to look into his beautiful blue eyes like I did this morning at breakfast. Don't listen to these doctors and give in so easily. I know that some people have side effects of chemo but there are many medications that can help with that. Good luck to you and please return here often. You will find mountains of information and more emotional support that you can ever imagine. We are all "family here" and that's a wonderful thing!

Gabias
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

Dear Michelle,

Thank you a WHOLE world for giving me hope and showing me a direction. I am sorry for your husband, but at the same time I am glad that he is fighting back and he is getting better. For me, it hurts when I feel so helpless at times. But now I am going to read your response to my dad and I pray to "Almighty GOD" that he will listen to me. I will keep you posted. Please let me know if any thing else comes in your mind. May God bless you, your husband and your whole family. Thank you again. Jerry

Gabias
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Michelle,

I am sorry to keep bothering you. I was very happy yesterday after you give me so much hope about the chemo treatment and survival chances. I went home last night and talked to my dad. He does not want to hear about the chemo. He says he witnessed so many people dying right after chemo. It is so difficult for me to deal with this situation and the fact that despite my trying hard and worry my dad does not seem to give in. My dad's argument is that he says he feels totally fine, has no coughing and no pain (Thank GOD). Except for the water in his lungs, which he has to drain every two weeks. My dad says he will defeat this monster by praying, eating healthy and staying VERY positive. I do believe in miracles and do believe in GOD more than any thing. I just hope cancer does not spread any where else. My dad has a great attitude towards this whole thing and he seems to be very sure that he can defeat this thing. He also told me that he is not going to rely on hospice and will not call them. He will try to win this battle with praying and keeping positive attitude and eating healthy. As I said, I do believe in miracles and I have a great faith in GOD. What worries me is, do you think just eating healthy and keeping positive attitude be enough without doing any other treatment? I am so worried and I keep praying and asking GOD for a miracle to save my dad's life. Please keep my dad in your prayers, if you can. Thank you and may GOD be with you, your husband and family.
Jerry

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I am not a believer (I am an unknower, just to lay my cards on the table) but there is a story that has gone around forever about a man was walking on a desert island, and kept praying to God for some help. He turned down a raft, insisting that God would help him. He turned down a boat that cruised past, insisting that God would help him, and finally turned down a helicopter that dropped a ladder to pick him up, insisting that God would help him. When God's help did not come as expected, he lamented loudly, asking God how he could forsake a true believer. From the skies came the voice of God: I've tried to help you three times now; how many times do you want?

Or something to that effect.

The point is that even most Christians would agree, I think, that God helps those who help themselves. Chemotherapy is a form of help.

Here is another little tale, this one a bit closer to home for me: shortly after my Oncologist advised that I had about 10 months to live (he was wrong), my neighbor came over, having heard the news, to tell me that she too had lung cancer. She offered me some green tea, insisting that it would cure my tumors, and that she was relying on it to cure her.

It seems her brother had suffered pancreatic cancer, and she had watched him die as the chemo seemed to weaken him (not allowing for the possibility that the cancer had something to do with his weakening condition and that perhaps, just maybe, the chemo had actually lengthened his stay on this earth). She would NOT be getting chemotherapy, she insisted to me adamantly.

As it turns out, I had but one node in the lowest lobe of my right lung. Still enough to kill if untreated, but not the death sentence previously offered me.

I had surgery. I did chemotherapy. (And for a previous cancer diagnosis, head/neck, I did a 15 hour surgery, four days in an induced coma, AND chemo AND 33 radiation sessions).

I am still here. She is no longer with us, my neighbor.

This is not to say that treatment will save your dad's life, but to suggest that dismissing suggested treatment, regardless of attitude and eating habits, is apt to be a death sentence.

Even in a worst-case scenario, treatment can extend life, can extend a QUALITY LIFE. It is up to your dad, of course, to determine how much he wants to deal with. No one but him can decide that.

I wish him, his family, the very best, frankly hoping that he reconsiders, at least explores the possibilities, for his own sake and for the sake of his family and friends.

Take care,

Joe

Gabias
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

Dear Joe,
Thank you very much for taking your time and responding to my note.
I feel so helpless, every time I look into my dad's eyes, thinking what will happen. I love my dad to the point that I am willing to give him all my lungs if the doctors would be willing to take mine. My dad has been my best friend, my inspiration and my hero. He is the only one that makes me happy every time I look at him and talk to him and stay around him. It hurts me so much to think that my dad does not want chemo because it affected his aunts and some people he knew, who passed away. I wish he would considere at least one session of treatment but he insist in saying no. However he does not mind readiation therapy. I work during the day and dad stays home except some days he goes to work too, if he feels better enough. Yesterday, he went to the hospital to drain fluid off his lungs. He said he felt dizzy and the nurses had to stop the procedure after draining 1/2 L. fluid off his lungs and they did not allow him to drive home.
Some times during my sleep, I wake up with a flow of blood rushing into my head and with a fear, Saying "God PLEAES help my dad, PLEASE help us" and then I have a very hard time sleeping. Every morning I leave home with tears in my eyes, thinking what is going to happen. IT is very difficult for me to deal with this. Dad keeps telling me he is fine and the reason I am panicing is because I had never seen any thing like this before. I believe my dad is in a better shape than most other cancer patients but I am affraid that if some thing goes wrong if he does not do any thing and just relies on good attitude. Tomorrow we will be going for a second opinion. I am not expecting any thing different but I do hope a miracle happens and saves my dad. I know my life will be shattered if any thing happens to my dad. I can't concentrate, can't eat and can't sleep. I try to be strong but I am too weak for this and it is too much for me to deal with. I will show your email to my dad when he is in a better mood and hope that he at least reconsiders. I am in so much pain and I am not good in hiding it to my dad or any one else around.
Joe, can you please tell me if Radiation is different from Chemo? IF so, then my dad is not opposed to Radiation. Thank you for being so kind and helping me out. Jerry

cobra1122's picture
cobra1122
Posts: 245
Joined: Jul 2009

Jerry, sometimes a person is set in there ways and can't be changed. Your father sounds old school and very set in his ways. while God can work miracle sometimes it is his will for what ever reason things work out different than we want.
I am 48yrs old married with 5 grandchildren, and I am fighting on because I know that a day will come when my battle will be over, but until then I fight on.. I have met so many people who have hadd chemo and others who haven't. Some who had lived longer but without the quality of live they wanted, others live on with a better quality, some it made no difference. Right now its all chance and your father has to make his choice for himself, but he needs the positive support of his family no matter what his decision is.. I have
terminal Lung Cancer that has mets to other parts of my body, I have early stage Altzheimers and Parkinson, I have only less than 45% of my heart working, I have suffered numerous strokes, and through it all my family has left the decisions of treatment up to me.. and I have went through 8 chemo treatments, yet now I am Hospice and still going. I have out lived their greatest expectations and I have live rather well all things considered,
As hard as it may seem, support your father at his decisioon, and help him enjoy live that is now.. the future will always be there and you can't change it. God has those pages written already, but the life you and your dad have now is to be written, enjoy, embrace and love every moment. Help Him see live even now as a beautiful gift and maybe he will look into other treatments, but that my friend is his choice and you must support him no matter what, family support and positive outlook mean alot..

Our prayers are with Your father and Your family and You..

Dan and Margi Harmon

Gabias
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

Dear Dan,

GOD BLESS YOU!!! You are a true inspiration. Thank you very much for taking your time and writing back. It really helps when others share their thoughts and feed back. I am truly sorry that you have gone through so much. I pray to GOD to give you strength and help you in this fight. "Fight", "Faith", and "Positive attitude" are the three things that my dad has his mind set on. He is an old school and yet he is all my strength.
I pray to GOD that you, my dad and those in the same condition live for many many years to come. Please keep hope alive and know that others care for you as well. I do.
May GOD bless you, your wife and your family.
Jerry

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

All I can say is that if your dad refuses chemo, you'll need to accept that. Spend as much quality time as you can with him and hold those memories in your heart.

Come back often and keep us updated ok? You have friends here who truly care!

Artin2010's picture
Artin2010
Posts: 17
Joined: Aug 2009

Hello, Just want to respond to your article and say you have my thoughts and prayers.
I am caregiver to my dad who is 75 yrs. old and has just completed 8 weeks of daily radiation and weekly chemo treatments. He's still here, but he's not a real happy camper. He has alot of side effects from the treatments mainly fatigue and hiccups, dehydration, but over all he is hanging in there pretty good. It is the hardest thing to try and accept that a loved ones life has changed forever and that reality is the cancer may go away or it may not. They will not do surgery and the prognosis is he may survive 6 months maybe years. But the quality of life issue will never be what it once was. Simply put this is the hardest thing him and I will ever deal with and or go through in this mortal life.
I am a believer in God, so that is helping my immensely. I have more confidence and see mortal life in a different aspect than my dear old dad. But I believe he is seeing the christian stability in me and wondering if he can have the same view I have.
I believe that nothing in this life is so bad that we should drawback from our convictions and beliefs. I'm a firm believer in two things; 1. What does not kill me will make me stronger and wiser. 2. God or I bring me to it, God will help see me through it.
I want to offer encouragement and optimism but the reality is Lung cancer continues to remove people from this world even with the miraculous marvels of modern medicine.
I use prayer daily to get me through and when I am really disturbed about situations I stay busy by reading, walking, excersizing and this, writing. God be with your dad and you as you go on a journey you or he didn't plan and that is just what it is, a journey.
Hope this helps you to feel better knowing that you are one of many who will know what cancer can do to a person as well as a family and friends! Be strong for him and be strong for yourself! Jesus is Lord

Pitapocket
Posts: 16
Joined: May 2009

Hi,
My name is Kellie. I, too, went through it with my dad. He and I were very close and I was all he had. I know you are traveling down a very rough road right now and it is hard to see the positive. I can honestly tell you this: I am a true believer in God. I think he always answers our prayers, but its up to us to see it. We may not get the answers we want. My dad, like yours, refused the chemo. I didn't push it. The doctors said 6 months without chemo, and a year or longer with chemo. He lived for 8 months, and I was with him every step of the way. Had he chose chemo, maybe he wouldn't have felt like spending much time with me. The last 8 months of his life, we were able to talk about a lot of things and grow even closer. The side effects of the chemo can make some people suffer so much. Its important to your dad that he has the quality of life. I mean think about this: If you were given a year to live, but because you did the chemo, every single day of that year sucked and you couldn't enjoy the little things because you were so sick, would you still do it? Or, would you shorten your life span but have beautiful moments along the way to share with the loved ones you will leave behind? God is with you. Even when you feel alone, he is right there with you. So are his angels. You may not get what you want out of this. But there will be better times. You will look back on this one day, and have beautiful memories. It is hard to see them now. My dad has been gone now for 2 years. I miss him every single day. But there are no regrets. I am closer to God now too. He really is with you, regardless of the outcome. He knows the plan. Trust in him, because he will ultimately decide everything. I will be praying for you and your dad, as this is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Take care.

patricia55
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2009

If your dad won"t have chemo check into herbal remedies I have seen one man cure cancer years ago he was a herboligist check at your local health food store. I am using a combination of essiac ( to build the immune system} and chemo and radiation

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