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Confused - just found out

gkbruzik
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2010

My best friend who is 36 just got diagnosed with lung cancer and kidney cancer. The only thing that is known right now is that the lung cancer is much more aggressive than the kidney. They dont want to operate on him, they just want to give him chemotherapy to shrink the lung cancer.
Is he considered to be in stage 4? and why wont they operate? is that a bad sign that it's simply too late.
He has a history of depression and we fear that he wont fight or isnt mentally strong enough for this. What can we do to help him with this?
any advice or help is great appreciate it. It helps me immensly to read everyone's posts and realize how strong the human spirit really is. I pray that he will find the strength to fight for his life.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

When I was diagnosed with a return of head/neck cancer along with metastasis of same to the lungs, my doctors told me that they would offer only chemotherapy and that my time on earth would be over in as little as 10 months.

Fortuitously enough, I began taking an antibiotic for an infection, and it had the extremely beneficial effect of clearing up the lung infection I had too: it turned out that I had but a very small amount of growth in the lower right lung lobe and they elected to remove it.

But the point is that when cancer is in both lungs and spread as well to the kidney(s), it becomes difficult if not impossible to see any advantage in surgery. After all, man cannot live without air, and, therefore, without lungs. In addition, I think they feel like if it has spread to other organs there is really no telling WHERE else it may be ... typically they cannot see it all, it starts out so small. So, surgery is a zero sum game.

That said, I know quite a few folks courtesy of this site who are surviving with stage IV lung cancer, and doing it rather successfully with a combination of chemotherapy and other drugs.

The chemo, in this case, may be his doctors' measure to prolong his life. A friend of mine used to say that if they could give her five years, in that time the scientists would come up with something that would give her five more, and so on. In some cases that is the way you have to look at it.

With respect to the depression, it is a very serious issue for many diagnosed with cancer, particularly for those previously disposed to it. My recommendation would be that your friend seek professional counseling, where he can talk about his illness and his associated fears.

It is not an easy thing to deal with, that is for sure, and the chemo, while implemented to help, typically comes with a mental and physical price as well.

I would also, and not flippantly, suggest hope and humor. It can be a good time to reflect on the things that are most important in life and to will oneself not to let the cancer have more than it is genetically disposed to have.

Best wishes to your friend and his friends and loved ones.

Take care,

Joe

gkbruzik
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2010

I really appreciate your response. I realize that I do not know all the details yet and most definitely dont know what the options for treatment are. It helps to know that with faith, logic, meds and of course his physical strength, his life may not take such a sharp turn immediately. God Bless you.

hope0310's picture
hope0310
Posts: 324
Joined: May 2010

Have they determined which is the primary cancer? I am assuming lung...once it has moved (metastised)they will not operated, only chemo or rad to stay on top of it. Once it has spread, sugery is rarely an option.

If it is lung cancer, do you know what type? small cell, non small cell or another?

The best thing you can do is research, take notes, ask questions and remain positive for your friend....make memories...

My best to you both....

hope0310's picture
hope0310
Posts: 324
Joined: May 2010

Have they determined which is the primary cancer? I am assuming lung...once it has moved (metastised)they will not operated, only chemo or rad to stay on top of it. Once it has spread, sugery is rarely an option.

If it is lung cancer, do you know what type? small cell, non small cell or another?

The best thing you can do is research, take notes, ask questions and remain positive for your friend....make memories...

My best to you both....

hope0310's picture
hope0310
Posts: 324
Joined: May 2010

double post....sorry...sorry evidenatlly triple post!! there is no delete that i know of!

ehires
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2010

my husband has lung cancer we found out only a month ago.. i have done lots an lots of research an there is hope out there... waiting an all the tests is the hardest
cling an make more memories thats what we are doing .. an research an read ...
remember it is in GODS hands an he'll get yall through
stay strong

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 654
Joined: Feb 2007

Hope0310,
You should be able still to edit, highlight & delete, or backspace & delete both extra posts (include the subject line). It's happened to me a couple of times, too ;)

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