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Does it ever get any easier?

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2006

It has been a little over a month now since my brother was diagnosed with stage IV nsclc, as some of you know from my previous posts, he is only 35 years old. He is currently receiving Avastin as well as Tarceva. His first CT scan is on November 10th and we will get the results on the 17th. For the most part, I waiver between thinking that this can't possibly be happenening and wanting to fight this disease like crazy. It is so hard to see how drastically his life has changed, he used to work 12 hour days and now he is at home all of the time. I try so hard to stay positive but I am just so scared and the pain is overwhelming, I just don't know how anything is ever going to be "normal" again. Your stories are inspirational and incredible, I am just struggling with believing that somehow life will make sense again some day. If anyone has any encouragement, I could really use it.
Thank you all.

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

One of the difficult lessons we learn from fighting cancer is to have patience. I know, as we all do, that that is much easier said than done. But we all learn that, rather than wondering what's going to happen in the future, we have to deal with the present, - the here and now. The doctors are treating him, - it's up to his caregivers to help him, - and themselves, - through treatment. Let him know that he's not alone. Show him all the love that you have for him. Instead of worrying about the changes in his lifestyle, - what he used to be able to do, see that his immediate needs are taken care of. He needs love, care and encouragement. He needs people to listen to his hopes and his fears. Most importantly, he needs a positive attitude toward his illness and treatments. What he used to be able to do is irrelevant. It's what everyone has to do now, to help him, that is important. Again, - be patient. Take it one day at a time. The cancer has to be arrested, stabilized and then eliminated. That can't happen overnight, but it CAN happen. In my case, I went from diagnosis of inoperable/incurable to finished with treatments and cancer free in ten months. That seemed like a long time while I was going through it, but it was a short time, compared to my total age of 72 years.

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2006

Thank you very much for your perspective, it helps to hear that! I am trying to stay in the present, I am not so good at that, but I am trying. And, as far as love, I love him like crazy and he knows it, I show it to him every time I see or talk to him, even when it is hard for me, I do it for him. Your story of now being cancer free is incredible, thank you for taking the time to respond, it is very much appreciated.

Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2002

hi, my computer goofed the other day and I don['t believe you got my message. Yes, my cancer had spread, that's why the diagnosis of stage 4. It went to some lymph nodes. It has been gone since I finished my treatment and has never returned. 8 yrs. Keep doing what you are doing and never give up!! That attitude will transfer to your brother. Good luck. Karen

Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi Jules24,

Accept that your anxiety is normal because it's grounded in your love for your brother and the fear of losing him. I'm still going through that to a lesser degree than you. But you have to counter that with positivity that your brother will beat the cancer.

From what you've noted, your brother seems to be receiving leading edge drug technology that attacks the mechanisms of how cancer cells grow (as opposed to the destroying both healthy and cancerous cells). So, take encouragement he's receiving very promising drugs.

What helped me was knowing how my mom's physical condition improved little by little. Maybe you should talk with your brother on those improvements and the both of you can be lifted by that progress.

Good luck on the CT scan!

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