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Treatment done - How long before we see some improvement??

jlfabbri
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi guys - my father (63) was diagnosed with nsclc, stage 3B, the first of February 2011.

He underwent 6 weeks of radiation and 5 rounds of chemo (cisplatin). As of yesterday (5/24), it's been two weeks since his treatment ended.

The docs (radiologist and oncologist) were all telling us dad is a fast healer and we should start seeing improvement rather quickly.

Well, as of today (5/25), dad's still VERY fatigued (sleeping most of the day) - and he is only able to swallow small amounts of food/liquid at a time (when we can talk him into eating or drinking). He does have a feeding tube - and that's where he gets the bulk of his nutrition.

He's also very disoriented when he wakes up, and can hardly go more than 5 steps before he needs to sit down and take a 'breather.' He is also on oxygen 24/7 now.

He does have emphysema and we've been told by his respiratory therapist that his lungs have been 'agitated' by the radiation - I think that is an understatment; thus, the need for the oxygen.

Our family is so new to all of this - I was hoping someone out there had been through the same thing and could tell me whether or not it's too early to see any type of real 'improvement.' I keep telling my mother to be patient - and his oncologist told us yesterday that it would probably be 6-8 weeeks before any real signs of improvement.

Does this sound normal (as 'normal' as it can be with cancer) to you guys who've gone through this?

thanks so much!

medi_2's picture
medi_2
Posts: 510
Joined: Aug 2009

Well, it is only 2 weeks since the last treatment? He is 63 w/emphysema? Give the guy a break! ;). I am no Doctor but our bodies need time to heal; and I think it is good that he is sleeping alot because that is when the body heals. Getting enough nutrition also very important; and you seem to have that under control. Don't forget Ensure or Boost or even Carnation Instant Breakfast (can't believe I brought that up again);).
As to 'improvement', it is different for everyone. Don't put time limits on him; you obviously are watching him closely so all you can really do is wait and be patient.
Good luck to all!
Cheers
Medi

alanr300
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2011

I Have stage IV non small cell lung cancer. I am in a clinical trial at the Cancer Center in High Point NC. By the way great doctors and staff A+. I had my 3rd bout of chemo today. I take Avastin, Carboplatin and Taxol. It takes about 6 hours per sitting per bout.3 weeks after my 2nd bout I had follow up CT scan. They remeasured my largest tumors(lung, liver,chest) and they found them to be reduced by 23% and no further spreading. That is great news. I have one more bout of chemo in 3 weeks then retested again then I go on a maintenance program of Avastin.
My 1st diagnosis was not too good 8 months to possibly 1 1/2 year. Every thing depended on how I react to the chemo, so far so good.

I just want to add this. Have your God in your daily life, have as many people you can pray for you,prayer is powerful, have family around(very important)and never give up.

If I receive another good CT scan in 6 weeks I will be considered stable and prognosis will change to 3 1/2 to for 4 1/2 years.

I have never read about a person going into complete remission with my disease. I am striving to be the first and if I don't make it God has another plan for me. The reason I believe he may allow me renewed life is, Sept.12,2010 I went into a coma. My sugar level went to below 20 I had barely 2 hours to live if my wife didn't find me. She found me and I spent 6 days in hospital. The ironic thing about this is I am not a diabetic. Come to find out my CVS pharmacist filled a prescription wrong which brought on the coma. God allowed me to survive this so I don't think I wil die from the Cancer I have now. I could have easily died back in Sept. So that's why I think God has a plan for me. And yes we are suing CVS and I want to live long enough to collect.

Just remember try not to get discouraged and NEVER give up hope. Live each day to the fullest even if you don't feel well that day.
AlanR

rkristynne
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2011

nice to hear your story AlanR,it has encouraged me to be positive about my dad's condition right now.

Hootie35
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2011

Alanr300,

Thanks for your encouragement. My mom is newly diagnosed with stage 3b lung cancer. We take the small good news with the big bad news. It's not a easy road to skip along and stay positive. Your positive attitude made me smile : ) Keep up the good work healing!

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 279
Joined: Mar 2011

In the circumstances, I would say yes. I had similar treatment about a year ago, I was in pretty much awesome physical shape when diagnosed (other than the obvious!), and it took me a fat month afterwards to feel really good. Somebody with other conditions I would assume is going to take a bit longer.

Dan620
Posts: 219
Joined: Dec 2009

I went through 4 sessions of chemo (carbolatin & taxol) once every 3 weeks and 35 rounds of radiation in June - August of 2008 for NSCLC. I went through treatments very well, except for the burnt esophagus. 2 weeks after last treatment i hit the wall, extreme fatigue and extreme shortness of breath ( i really thought i was going to die soon) this lasted about 3 weeks. I gave now been in remission since Oct. 2009. I still go every 3 months for chest x-rays or Ct-Scans, next ct-scan June 3rd. Stay well and hang in there it does get better..... Dan

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

hi jlfabbri, I'm 60. had same treatment as your dad. 30 radiations and chemo (cisplatin and etopicide). It wore me out for quite a while. I had no surgery but the tumor was reduced to scar tissue. I've been in remission for 17 months now. The healing process after treatment I must say is ongoing. I have emphyzema copd too. Makes it harder to differentiate healing. I still have coughing and lose breath with hard excersize. I just stop for a while till I get it back. He will get through this. I had to get lots of extra liquids to stay hydrated. Have patience. I always swollowed a big glob of honey right before radiation. It coats the throat and protects it some. I wish him well. Alan

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

hi jlfabbri, I'm 60. had same treatment as your dad. 30 radiations and chemo (cisplatin and etopicide). It wore me out for quite a while. I had no surgery but the tumor was reduced to scar tissue. I've been in remission for 17 months now. The healing process after treatment I must say is ongoing. I have emphyzema copd too. Makes it harder to differentiate healing. I still have coughing and lose breath with hard excersize. I just stop for a while till I get it back. He will get through this. I had to get lots of extra liquids to stay hydrated. Have patience. I always swollowed a big glob of honey right before radiation. It coats the throat and protects it some. I wish him well. Alan

Donnaone
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Alan,

I noticed that the chemo you took is (cisplatin and etopicide) the chemo nurse just called and said that's what they will be giving me alone with the 6 weeks of radiation, my lung cancer came back after 4 1/2 years. I'm not looking forward to this adventure but it is what it is and there is no choice.
I'm thinking your advice about the honey before hand sounds like a good idea. Thanks for sharing.

I'd appreciate more info like what did you eat and what helped the most and what was the hardest to deal with and how are you doing now?

Thanks and I wish you well,
Donnaone

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