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Lung Cancer metastisized 91 yr. old

butterfly7171
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

I just joined this group. My dad is 91 years old and was just diagnosed with Lung cancer and spread to the liver. This was from a CT scan of the lungs. He has 9 spots on the lungs and 11 on the liver. The primary doctor basically told him that chemo or radiation will not extend his life because of his age. My dad is in excellent physical condition, works 15 hours a week and only takes medication for depression and prostate. No high blood pressure, heart or anything wrong with him. He is NOT the typical 91 year old. He also has a very strong mind.
I wondered if there is anyone out there that has had experience with chemo with people in this age group and how they tolerated it. We have an appointment for a PET scan tomorrow and then will take the results of that to the Oncologist on Friday. I am a very informed type of person and like to know what choices there are before seeing dr.'s. Also, my dad and I had planned a cruise through the Panama Canal starting on October 17. It is a 15 day cruise and something he has dreamed of doing all his life. I am determined to get him on this trip and don't want negative thinking that it cannot be done.
His primary basically said either do chemo or go on the trip. I don't get that. Why can't he do both? Any help would be greatly appreciated ! Thanks !
Suzanne

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

My husband is a bit younger than your dad at 76. Before diagnosis he was very active and worked out at the gym 4 days a week, loved doing home repairs, mowed the lawn and maintained the pool. When he started chemo it totally zapped him. Six chemos followed by 8 blood transfusions. For 8 months he lived in the bedroom with extreme fatigue and nausea....all from the chemo. He took a two week break before starting a new chemo drug and was actually walking around the house without assistance or oxygen. Then he started the new drug 15 days ago and now lives in the bedroom again. Not everyone reacts the same way to chemo, but it's much much harder on the elderly. The decision is between you and your dad but if I had a choice with my husband I would rather see a shorter life if it meant "quality life". Good luck to you and your dad.

butterfly7171
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank Michelle, sounds like your dad had a very hard time with the chemo and this is my fear with my dad. It doesn't make alot of sense to do it especially if it will only add a few months. on the other hand, it will be hard for him to do just nothing. I am hoping they will be able to do radiation on the tumor in his lung to improve the breathing. How bad is radiation side effects on the elderly?

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

We were told that neither surgery nor radiation was an option. He was diagnosed as stage 3 with plueral effusion. What stage is your dad?

butterfly7171
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

We don't have a stage yet. When they did the CT scan they gave me a copy of the report which I read and found out about the cancer that way. His primary was just a stepping stone to an Oncologist. Since is has spread to the liver I suspect Stage IV. We will know Friday if it has spread anywhere else in his body, which I suspect it will show. Since we only have about 5 weeks to the cruise which is 3 weeks long I just wondered where he might expect to be physically in 5 weeks. The reason I asked about radiation to the lung is that he has a very bad cough from the tumors in the right lung. If they don't relieve that in some way then he may be too sick to go.
I hope he decides on no chemo if it only will give him an extra month. From what I have read the elderly have alot of side effects from these toxic drugs. If I were in Stage IV I would not do chemo but may do something to relieve the lung.
We had the CT last Saturday and will be seeing the Onco on Friday. I like to make things happen as fast as possible.

Greggriggs's picture
Greggriggs
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2006

Wow your DAD SOUNDS GREAT.
I am 68 a far cry from 91 an the chemo took a bad tole on me.
My dad is also 91 he has prostrate problems an like the doc told him he will out live it.
He is sharper than a tac ,he has a little trouble seeing, an has asbestos in his lungs.
He just found that out but he was in the navy for 23 years so guess you could expect the asbestos.
Ya know my Mom passed a few years back he still lives a lone .
He started drinking an smoking cigars again . He will probably out live that to.
he looks better than me so who am I to tell him to quit???
So I would tell them keep your Chemo an you an your dad out live it an enjoy the rest of his life..
bless you an your family
Greg

joycie70
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

I just joined and I went to this web site to see if I could find something to help me feel better and I read your post. Just the other day my sister in law and I were riding in the car and I told her that, if someone else in my family gets cancer and they have a something they want to do before they pass, were going to do it. ASAP. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer on Jan. 27 2009. The dr's said she was stage 4 or 5 and they felt that with the right treatment cemo and radiation she's have a good 5 years to live. She did good on the cemo and radiation didn't get sick, mostly she was tired. Then she got anomia on May 15, 2009 and was admitted to the hospital. She spent 16 days there and she was released on April 1 2009 at 8:30pm. My dad and mom came through the drive thur at McDonalds where I was working and I got to see my mom before dad took her home, at 11:30pm I got the call that something was wrong with her and she died. My mom wanted to go on one more cruise before she died and we did book that cruise but it was for this week. We canceled the cruise after she died and I feel bad because we should of booked it right away and then let her start her treatments. So now if I have to go through this again with someone I love and they want to do something I'm going to do it ASAP. I hope you go on your trip and enjoy your dad. He's 91 and that's wonderful. My mom was 65 and I wish I could of went on that cruise with her. I did everything with my parents and losing her has been so hard. I have my dad and he lives with me and my family. My parents were married 50 years. We sent them to Vegas last Sept for their 50th. And they loved it. Take your trip with your dad and treasure every moment.

butterfly7171
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2009

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I lost my mom to cancer 18 years ago and it seems that my dad may go the same way. But this time I want it to be different. Dr's don't have all the answers sometimes. If he starts chemo we will never do the trip. I know that. Tomorrow we will know more. But I do want to help him make the best choice to give him the best quality of life he can have. We will know more tomorrow after the results of the PET scan.

Drone88
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2019

Hi, my dad just turned 91 in August, and looks like he is 70. He is very active, no one belives how old he is. Today is was pretty much diagnoised with the same thing nodgules in his lungs and liver. he is getting a pet scan next week.  He doesnt want chemo. Its scary to me.. He scared too. he really doesnt understand. I dont want to scare him, but I know what this means. My husband died at age 50 from lung cancer. Take your vacation with your dad at all costs if possible. take lots of pictures of him. My name is Francine, and my dad is Sam. 

 

Drone88
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2019

Sue, I just read your post again. [Content removed by CSN Support Team] My dad is 91 also and he doesnt want it. They cant take the chemo at this age. Just enjoy your dad while you can. Thats what im going to do. I wrote you about my dad, he has the same thing, the liver and lungs..he has a pet scan next week. they say even the lung biopsy is dangerous, so I dont even know if im going to do the biopsy's. They should know something with the pet scans. 

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jorola
Posts: 237
Joined: Mar 2016

This is why you are not getting replies. These newest posts are listed first under each section. You can see when the post was made by looking in the tope right hand concern of the post box. Laughing

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