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my husband can't stay awake

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

My husband was diagnosed with stage IV nsc lung cancer in Jan 2003. The cancer has mets to brain, bone,liver,adrenal glands. He has had radiation to the brain & lung (surgery was not an option) along with chemo. The Drs. have said that the treatment isn't to cure but to give him alittle more time. He has had such a good attitude & says he wants to stay in treatment as long as the Drs think it's helping. The problem is that he has so much pain due to the bone ca that he has to take 60mg of oxycontin twice a day plus oyxcontin drops when the pain gets too bad. This causes him to fall asleep all the time but at the same time he won't lay down & go to sleep. As I'm typing this he has fallen asleep at the dinning room table. He has fallen several times because he is so groggy he can't keep his balance. He has continued to smoke so I'm afraid he's going to burn the house down. I'm so stressed feeling like I need to watch him all the time. He says he wants to keep his independence as long as possible & resents that I'm always hovering around him. I haven't really been able to talk to his Dr about it because he always plays it down when I bring it up. If any one has any insight into this please let me know I'm at my wits end.

Posts: 29
Joined: Mar 2003

I have e-mailed you a message. MA

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2003

I have a similar situation with my mother. She has cancer in lungs, adrenals and now the brain. She also sleeps a lot. Which in a way is a blessing, but I crave more time to make memories and try to discuss things. I found that once my mother (a smoker of 50+ years) was put on oxygen for three days straight, she no longer craved cigarettes. I think it cleansed her blood. We also stayed away from coffee and other things that were associated habits. I think if you tell your husband that you are losing sleep over worry that he is causing himself more pain and worsening his condition which worries YOU, he may consider something else. I think the patient doesn't want to inconvenience the caregiver any more than possible. The thought of burning the house down doesn't seem feasible or reasonabe. He feels he is in control. Try alternatives. It takes 21 days to change a habit. Give him chocolate. It provides positive response in the brain and so what if he gains some weight. I am checking into Hospice. Don't be bashful about it. All insurances participate and they have people that can come to the house and help you. As far as the pain situation...they can increase meds and are much more apt to than regular doctor. When my brother was in the hospital, I kept a timer and gave medication when it rang so he didn't hit the slump. There are timers that can be set up to 23 hrs and 59 minutes on down. I even use it as an alarm clock. Well try to keep your strength and your chin up. God Bless you both.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2003

My mother was diagnosed in April with lung cancer and a tumor in her throat. She was scheduled to have chemo and radiation. She couldn’t handle both so she only did radiation. When she was done with the 15 treatments of radiation they found the cancer spread to her brain. She is now undergoing radiation to her brain. She is scheduled for 10 treatments and she has had 8 treatments. She doesn’t eat, all she does is sleep. Its so hard to see her like this. She can not walk without assistance. I asked her Dr. about feeding her with an IV, and he said he would look into a pec tube being inserted into her stomach. I hope that is an option that will give her some type of nutrients, since she lost so much weight. Is anyone in this type of situation, any suggestions?

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