Lung Cancer inoperable

jazziz Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Lung Cancer #1
My life mate recently had a tumur removed from her brain and we were just told she has lung cancer. The doctor told her that they could not operate and the best she would do is 18 months. I've been going back and forth with her to the doctors for 3 months. We are on our way to Sloan Ketting for a seoond opinion. Between the brain surgury and the latest news she has change a great deal. I am scared and depressed and have trouble sleeping, I think we both could use some help.


  • janybuck
    janybuck Member Posts: 18
    lung cancer inoperable
    The best thing you can do is get your 2nd opinion. There is a chatroom on this site that you really need to check out. It will help alot. Their are quite a few people on it. I have seen on this site that the doctors give people 3 months or so and low and behold they are still alive after 3 years so you really can't go by that. Check the chatroom out.
  • soccerfreaks
    soccerfreaks Member Posts: 2,788 Member
    Check her forehead
    Someone once explained to me that we are not like a bottle of milk: we have no expiration date stamped on our foreheads. Admittedly, doctors have generally been through this repeatedly and can make some good estimates, but those estimates rely on statistics and averages and actuarials. As Jany points out, each individual is different.

    I will admit that a prognosis of metastasis to the brain is frightening, daunting. But please cast the timetables aside. Birth, as the old joke goes, is a fatal disease. The point should be that your mate now has some recognition that most folks do not appreciate: that life does not go on forever, and that we must cherish our time here, with our loved ones, with our friends, with the wonderful creations of humanity, with the bountiful beauty that is nature. We must enjoy our lives.

    It is certainly not uncommon, upon such a pronouncement, for your mate to be depressed. It is not uncommon, either, for you to be depressed as well. I urge both of you, if you have not done so, to seek therapy.

    I waa diagnosed in June of '07 with terminal lung cancer. It seemed that a previous cancer in my tongue/neck area had metastasized to my lungs and revealed a shotgun pattern in both lungs. I was told I had 'a minimum of 10 months to live'. I am writing this, so obviously some wires got crossed somewhere.

    What happened, and I don't want to give you false hope, because your mate's case is clearly different, but I had an infection in my lungs that was mis-read. I DID end up with a small node removed by a lobectomy last January. And I am now cancer-free (at least for the moment).

    But that is not, again, meant to provide false promise. It is a way to advise you that someone else has experienced that Dead Man Walking feeling. I did. For two or three months, we lived as if I were dying. So I know the feeling. I know how many thing that you do, you will do thinking "This is the last time we are likely to do this together." I know that you will attend parties or reunions or get-togethers and they will feel like living memorials. It is not a good feeling. I know this.

    But here is what I came to realize: Cancer is going to get what it has to have. Doctors will try to minimize what it gets, but it will get what it gets. It is up to us not to let it have more than it must. I am not sure that makes any sense to anyone but me, but the point is that we cannot let it take our happiness, our joy, our love. It is not designed to do that. It may, ultimately, take our lives, but it is not designed to take those from us. Those we rob from ourselves, through our grief and depression, and, yes, our love.

    As a caregiver, in my opinion, you actually have a more difficult job than your significant other, if there is love there, as I must assume is the case. It is easier to suffer the disease than to watch a loved one suffer, at least in my experience.

    Seek therapy, learn to deal with your grief, and learn to celebrate, together, the time that you have left. Were it not for the cancer, after all, one of you could be run over by a bus tomorrow instead. You have, in a sense, a sort of warped gift, and the chance to appreciate, more than most people, the time you have remaining together...which may be longer than you have been told.

    Best wishes and take care,

  • ThaRay
    ThaRay Member Posts: 6
    When my sister told me (2008) that she had lung cancer and her doctor told her she had a year to live, I was SO ANGRY! Oh sure we all have a life expectancy, I just didn't know that the minute the "c" word was mentioned that the doctors had been ordained to pull out a big book that listed our expiration dates!!

    As a loving "caregiver" to someone who has been in my life since her birth, I offer you the same prayers that friends offered me. I had and continue to be strong and positive for her. After the shock of such dismal news wears off and fear of the "prescribed inevitable" is no longer a constant companion (oh, you'll still think about it daily but will push it back) you'll realize that you and your partner have today and the next. I'm getting better at not projecting to "the end" and enjoying life's daily nuggets of laughter and joy and just living life with her in it!

    At my recommendation because of many reasons including integrative medicine, her second opinion was with the oncologists at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America . I don't want to sound like an advertisement but this place works for her. From the moment we called the 800 number her outlook changed. CTCA doesn't give a prognosis because like Joe they don't believe that there is an expiration date stamped on the foot or forehead. They treat her whole body - mind - spirit, with all the available drugs, supplements, holistic and spiritual therapies. If you've seen the commercials on television - they are who they advertise themselves to be! At least in my sister's case.

    Last week my sister's lung cancer metastasized into brain cancer. So, we begin again ... While the anger isn't with me, profound sadness is at my door. If the lung cancer/chemo wasn't frightening enough, she now has to endure radiation. She's my only sister and even though we both have families, we've always been our "mother's girls".

    I'm not going to jump ahead of this "very moment" because my sadness will be joined by fear and depression. If today was MY last day I'd want her to remember that "we laughed today", that we've lived long enough to create wonderful cherished memories, and that I just adore her!

    While this might be an overwhelming time, I echo the suggestion that you do research and go to your second opinion with questions and "what ifs". My wish to you is the same that I for every survivor and caregiver alike - a full life!