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Coping

treecarr
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

Help, My Dad just found out in December that he has Stage IV lung cancer that has metastisized to the liver. the tumor is large in the left lung and also has it in the right lung. The tumor is pressing against his main pulmonary artery which cuts off oxygena and blood supply then he passes out. He elected to not take chemo or radiation.
He has been on oxycotin and lortab, they just put him on morphene a couple weeks ago and then just last week they increased the dose. Now he just sleeps, don't eat. It just seems like he has rapidly changed in two weeks. They gave him six to a year and it has only been 2 ths and he is going down fast. Is this normal for not taking the treatmen?

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I would suppose that the pain meds are the principal reason for the heavy-duty sleeping, although the shortage of oxygen probably factors in, too.

A primary reason for the treatment your dad refused is to extend the quality of life through the reduction of pain caused by cancer by reducing the impact of the cancer (which also extends life). When dad chose to pass on the treatment, he also chose to shorten his biological fuse which had the additional negative effect of allowing the cancer to increase his pain through its growth.

Predictions should be taken with a grain of salt but the story you describe does not surprise me. My neighbot and I were diagnosed with cancer at about the same time in 2007. She chose 'natural' treatment while I listened to my doctors. Six months later she was gone and I am still here and NED (No Evidence of Disease).

Best wishes to your father and his family.

Take care,

Joe

cobra1122's picture
cobra1122
Posts: 244
Joined: Jul 2009

As soccerfreaks said it is likely the Morphine is causing the heavy sleeping, as I am on heavy doses of Morphine and a nerve pain pill Neurontin. It has made me more sleepy and decreased my appetite, so thiis may have a lot to do with some of his changes. There isnt much anyone can do except try and get him motivated, he has to try and think posistve and get his attitude to realize he is still alive.
If you read my bio, you will see that I know some of what he is going through, though everyone is different and act, experience, and react differently to this disease. You can only be there in a supportive role, try and get him to at least supplement his diet with Boost or something along that line, it is a drink that helps to stay healthy, active and energetic. It is like a small shake and you can mix it with ice cream to make a thicker shake. It contains quite a lot of vitaims and other things to help meet his nutritonal needs he is not getting by not eating. There are alot of other supplements out there, just be careful, ask you Pharmscist.
Not taking treatment is his choice, and no matter if you agree or not you need to be supportive. Although, it sounds as though he has given up and that does lead to depression that can effect him physically, decreasing the time he has.
I was diagnosised with stage 4 lung cancer ( SCLC in the left lung, and NSCLCin the right lung and lymphs) in 08, if you read my bio you will see that I have other health issuses to fight also. I am on Hospice now since Jan/Feb 09, but still going strong. I went through chemo (Carboplatin,Taxol, and Avastin) and had the very rare side effects, it caused atrophy of my brain (though I rarly use it) and damaged my already damaged heart. BUT it did give me more time with my family, that they didnt expect.
I just wish that your Dad would at least give it a try, but again that is his decision. I can only say that I have survived 2+yrs and am still going strong, and I plan on continuing even tho my cancer has mets to bone and brain I havent given up hope.
The only thiing you can do is be supportive and try without offending him, to let him know that there is still hope and that there are treatments that will try and give him more time to spend with his family, some people on this site are survivors of 8yrs soem more, he just has to agree to fight.

Our Prayers and Best Wishes to You, Your Dad, and Your Family,
Dan (cobra1122) and Margi Harmon

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