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severe unrelenting chest pain w/nsclc stage IV

Posts: 30
Joined: Dec 2009

Dad diagnosed w/stage IV NSCLC, 12/12/09, going for 2nd opinion at Sloane on 1/13. He has mets to other lung &adrenal gland.Waiting on results from brain MRI.He has pain under one armpit & severe-unrelenting pain in his chest. Although not a dr, it sounds to me like it is now in the lymph nodes and possibly in the chest wall or something(?). Should we start chemo sooner or wait to have the 2nd opinion & then start chemo? I hate seeing him in so much pain and being so depressed. Although he told the dr to be honest w/him,she told him he has 1 1/2 yrs, more or less. I think she should have said it is too soon to tell or something else. How is anyone feel any hope with such a prognosis? We all got together for NYEve & he stayed in bed w/pain not wanting to see anyone.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

Dad's response (staying in bed at this particular point) is not unusual in the least. I imagine he IS tired and depressed, and I imagine he feels like a moving target in terms of unwanted attention. That is just a guess. If is on the money, I would bet that he gets beyond that when everything starts to settle in, when he realizes that he has but so much time left (as do we all, although most of us don't have it slapping us in the face).

If he does not come around, please consider avenues for helping him to come around, including therapy and, at the very least, medications that alleviate depression and anxiety. Dad has earned the right to be depressed and anxious, but this is not the way to spend one's life, long OR short, and often assists the cancer in shortening life, in my opinion: a happy person WANTS to hang around, to put it simply.

With respect to the doc's estimate (and that's all it is, really, a fairly qualified, a fairly educated, estimate), you should not blame someone for answering when a persistent question is offered. I know that first hand, by the way, as I urged OncoMan to give me an idea about the very same thing when he diagnosed me with rampant cancer in the lungs and head/neck. He said I had as little as 10 months to live ... in June of 2006.

Blew me away, but I asked for it. (Somewhere in my blog on this site is the best description of that day I am ever likely to give.)

Turns out the diagnosis was wrong, and therefore the estimate, as I am now NED (no evidence of disease) but that is another story for another time.

The point is that the doctor's stock answer is probably along the lines you would like for dad to have heard, but when dad insisted, he left the doc little choice, in my opinion, again speaking from a similar place.

With respect to timing of chemotherapy and other treatment, this is the most asked question, I think, by caregivers and survivors on this site. And the answer is pretty much the same: (a) the waiting is the hardest part; (b) the cancer isn't going anywhere.


A second opinion, I think, is a good idea when the original diagnosis is so dire. However, bear in mind that, as you yourself acknowledge, such a second opinion may very well delay treatment. Tough call.

Best wishes to dad and his family.

Take care,


Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

I had alot of chest pain and my Dr, said it was pnemonia. Come to find out the PetScan said otherwise. The cancer is in my lungs and my bones. I was also told I do not have long to live. I believe that God is in Control of my life. He is my creator. Some Drs. have no sensitivity when it comes to patients. I know how your father feels I'm 34 and I have 2 young children. Speak Life and Life it will be. It's an emotional roller coaster but he will get through. With a good support system family and friends all believing and trusting. My prayers are with you and your Father. Tell him that I said " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."..

God bless...

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