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Giving Up???

tfrost
Posts: 20
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi guys... I haven't posted in awhile, yet I read the board everyday looking for advice and encouragement. I was wodering if anyone can give me advice. My Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer several months ago. He is currently on his second round of chemo (Gemzar and Carbo) His last CT Scan showed his tumors had shrank. This was fantastic news but it seems to me that my dad has now given up. He is only 62 and he was a maniac before this cancer was diagnosed. He has lost all desire to do anything. All he does is sit and watch TV. He doesn't even have an interest in returning to work. (It is not that I am expecting him to, I just want him to want to) Is this normal? I know Chemo takes alot out of you, but the doctors have the nausea/side effects under control. The cancer is smaller now, so it seems like he should be better, not worse. When anyone asks him to get up and do something, he yells and tells us to go look up the side effects of Stage IV Lung Cancer, because he can't move. I am trying to figure out if this is normal? It almost sounds like depression, but he is on a pill for that too. He jsut doesn't seem to have the desire to beat this and I am scared because I know determination is 1/2 the battle. I would appreciate everyones' insight.
Thank you!

karenlee3sons
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi, Please tell your dad to read this. I am a 63 yr. old woman, I had stage IV lung cancer and I this month I celebrated 8 years cancer free!!!! I had surgery(lobectomy) chemo (taxol and carboplatin) and 33 days of radiation. During my chemo and radiation I worked and kept busy. Yes, it makes you tired but I found being busy was the best medicine!!! Your Dad does sound depressed and you are right, a positive attitude is the very best medicine. Tell him he can call me and I will tell him that just because he is going through treatment doesn't mean he should just sit and watch TV. Maybe he needs to speak to a psychologist. I really am sincere. If you think it would help I would be happy to tell him there is life after lung cancer. Good luck. Karen

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

I'm a 72 year old, 5 year survivor of nsclc, 3a. I was beaten up pretty badly by the treatments, - 3 rounds of Cisplatin/Etoposide and 55 radiation treatments., after which I had surgery to remove the upper lobe of my right lung.
I spent many sessions with a psychologist, to help me with my depression.
While I had a positive attitude about beating the cancer, I was totally insulted that I did have it, and how debilitating it was. Irealized that it was up to me to get well, so, with the help of the psychologist, I "pulled myself up by my bootstraps" and got with the program.
I believe that your Dad is depressed, and that he needs professional help. The key is to get him to agree. "Please, Dad, do it for us" may work, - but try to do whatever it takes to get him to a psychologist.
My best wishes and prayers to you, your Dad, and your family. Please keep us posted.

ernrol's picture
ernrol
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2006

Your dad may have been given a prognosis that he has not shared with you, that was not good from one of his doctors. He may have been told that there is no cure or the treatment will only last a few months. I was told that there was no cure and the chemo would slow or maybe shrink the tumor and if I did not get chemo to go to Hospice. I chose not to believe them and I am now cancer free. Maybe if you shared my story with your dad he would see that the doctors are not the last word.

My story is posted here just put ernrol in the search widow at the top then click on ernrol at the right. If I can answer any questions let me know.

Stay positive,

Ernie

kaitek
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi tfrost,

Good to see you post again, although under trying circumstances.

It is discouraging your dad doesn't see the glass as half-full with tangible shrinkage in the tumors. When it is considered that the odds of chemo working (as routinely given by oncologists) as 1 in 4, your dad should be encouraged - as his oncologist should be, as well (my mother's is).

Cancer and yes, also chemo, are grueling and take a toll emotionally and physically. Does your dad get frequent social visits (either in person or by phone) to keep his spirits up? Oftentimes, visiting doesn't have to involve anything more than just being there physically to comfort him and keep him from feeling lonely.

I know when my mom was at her worst, any urging for her to get up and walk around (for any exercise) felt to her as nagging. I understood the cancer made her fatigued, but I had a feeling exercise would help in her recovery. It took a while. Maybe your dad needs more time.

I think in the meantime, surround him with love and support. See if that may help him boost his morale and will. Get him involved in social activities. They could be simply playing cards, checkers, chess or whatever. Or even talking.

Good luck to you and your dad.

ranniem's picture
ranniem
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2005

It's really sad to hear your Dad gave up. I had lung cancer and underwent chemo, radiation and surgery on my left lung. I was diagnosed 2 years ago and today, I am cancer free. Through it all I knew the cancer was not going to get me. I am 67 years old and plan on living a lot longer. I think you should validate his feelings because is it true that you get down on yourself. I cannot do the things I did before because I don't have the same energy I previously had, also I may have lost some of my motivation but I have friends and family to encourage me and do simple things, like asking me to go shopping, play cards or just go out for some ice cream. This is all new for your father and with your support and encouragement he will improve. Just keep on being there for him and keep him in your prayers.

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