stage IV oxygen and spiriva/albuterol?

legendsdaughter Member Posts: 30
edited March 2014 in Lung Cancer #1
Hi all

Dad has been lying on the couch last couple of days (diagnosed 10/09, adenocarcinoma) & says he is too weak to get up and can't breathe. He is on oxygen. Before cancer diagnosis, a pulmonologist gave him spiriva because originallly he was diagnosed with emphysema (before PET scan). Doctor wanted him to get bloodwork on Monday, possibly needing a transfusion, but he said no b/c he was too weak. I forced him to get up yesterday & drink some carnation instant breakfast. I then pulled my car as close to the door as possible, brought extra oxygen with us & brought him to the doctor. I couldn't help but cry when bringing him into the office b/c he was sooo weak (I hated crying in front of possibly new patients or other families). dad was always so athletic & in shape, what a change! He had to see another doctor in the group & I felt like he was curious as to the course of treatment that dad has been following (1st Carbo/alimta then cisplatin/gemzar now taxotere). He has been having a lot of tingling & numbing of extremities so it looks like we'll be moving on to either navelbine or topotecan (EGFR-).It turns out that yesterday he just needed to be hydrated via IV fluids.
I am wondering... with dad having so much trouble breathing should he be using spiriva or albuterol or any other breathing treatments in addition to the oxygen? I think that most of the time he is anxious/nervous that he will die losing his breath which makes his breathing worse. I realize that LUNG cancer has an affect on breathing as is the nature of the beast. I'm sure having emphysema isn't great either. He has Ativan for anxiety although I think he likes the narcotic effect of oxycodone and oxycontin together???
He keeps asking me, although I know he has spoken to his dr about it, what is going to happen at the end. I don't know how to talk him into getting hospice.I know they will help coordinate all of his meds and lifestyle. The doctor has also spoken to himm about a DNR but he doesn't really want to talk about it.
I am also a little afraid that there could be brain mets. He asked me twice in 2 minutes where we were going when we were on the way to the doctor accused my mom of hiding his meds and has mood swings. I realize that this could also be an effect of the way he takes his meds probably incorrectly. He was due for a PET scan after the taxotere treatment but being that that is stopping maybe he should have it now. Last one was in mid-June.
Of course I can ask the doctor these many scattered questions but I know that sometimes all of you survivors and survivors' families have the best advice or ways to ask the doctors questions.


  • stayingcalm
    stayingcalm Member Posts: 650
    Something to open the airways
    I would say he should have both an albuterol inhaler and maybe Advair. Oxygen helps with other stuff, but it doesn't help much with breathing. Of course, if his oxygen levels are low, he should have it...