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Medicine management for cancer patients by family and caregivers

Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2012

I lost my lovely wife recently to Stage 4 NSCLC. She held her faith and hope that she was going to beat it. She showed more courage and strength than I did through the entire ordeal. We got our second opinion from Duke which prompt us to transition from the local health standard treatment approach to the cutting edge technology and the "we can do it" attitude by the Duke community.

Just as our return to Duke was pending, my wife took a sudden turn with steroid psychosis. Just before the night of her emergency room visit for psychosis, I caught her taking the wrong meds. I am at lost as to why the oncologists did not counsel or involve me that my wife was going to suffering from "chemobrain" and be very forgetful. If I would have been put on alert or counseled, this could have well been preventable. But no, we were denied that opportunity to make a difference. Instead they had to wean her off the steroids to restore her mindset at the expense of letting the cancer grow again aggressively. No counseling by the doctors to alert us that this was capable of happening.

But as soon as the lung cancer metastisized to her brain, they did tell me that she was not to drive. Now why be adamant on this and not the medicine she needed help with, especially if there are steroids involved.

Has anyone out there had similiar experiences with this type of situation. I find it hard to believe that there is not a standardized approach by involving family members or caregivers in assisting cancer patients with their medicine administration at home. It seems like a lawyer would pounce on someting like this to make oncologists and doctors more alert to this ahortcoming.

Thanks, JLN

Posts: 295
Joined: Jan 2010

I lost my wife to Colon Cancer. I can't speak to your experience, but our doctors were not too forthcoming with those issues either.

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