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Chemo in stage IV lung cancer

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2010

My father was recently diagnosed with stage iv lung cancer. He has non small cell cancer with a large tumor in his lung and a small tumor on his brain. The docotor told him he might make it to this Christmas but would not live to see next Christmas. He is receiving radiation treatment along with the drug Decadron. He is having side effects that are really starting to depress him. The doctors are talking about starting chemo. We talk to he oncologist tomorrow. My concern is that my father wants to enjoy the time he has left, not be sick for his last days. Has anyone been through something similar? or know of someone that went through this? can you give me a little insight on the decision that was made? was it worth it for you? thank you and God bless.

Posts: 17
Joined: May 2010

Dear Jol ,
My mom was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer on december 24 2009 . We bought her to the hospital thinking it was a stroke due to the fact she could not move her left side of her body . Turned out she had a tumor on the brain and one in each lung .december 27 they removed the tumor in her brain and her diagnosis was 3months to a year max . The decadron can cause the side effects your dad is having plus the bad news. THERE IS NO EXPIRATION DATE STAMPED ON US ANYWHERE ! My mom went through full brain radiation and has been on chemo since march ( first gemzar and carboplatin now only gemzar). This has really tired her out and changed the way she lives but her tumors ARE SHRINKING .Results of pet scan yesterday was one tumor is either gone or frozen and the other has shrunk from 7cm to 2.43cm . They cant figure out how but shes tough and its working. She unfortunately has never been able to wean herself off the decadron and has mood swings . She is glad she made the decisions to fight . We discussed her decision for treatment and she made the decision to try it to see how she handled it if it had been to much she would have stopped probably . I'm glad she tried but would have excepted her decision either way . She actually made all her arrangements and everything . Prepare for the worst hope and strive for the best. I wish you and your dad luck. HOPE and PRAYER MIRACLES DO HAPPEN

DEVIN1016's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Jol,

Im sorry to hear about your fathers diagnosis but did want to let you know you are not alone in how you are feeling. My Mother was diagnosed in May with stage IV lung cancer and was also told she had a tumor on her brain. They operated and removed the tumor and followed up with 2 weeks of radiation 5 days a week. She had a week off and then started chemo for her lung. She has completed 2 full rounds of chemo and broke the news to our family yesterday that she has decided to discontinue treatment. She wants to enjoy the time she has left and not keep getting "beat up" by the chemo treatments. It was certainly hard news to swallow as I have watched her go from a seemingly healthy 140 pounds in May to a shocking 87 pounds (as of yesterday) Although the most recent CT scan which was done last week showed the tumor in her lung has gotten smaller (3.0 to 2.6) it also showed that the cancer had spread to her adrenal glands and lymph nodes. A neighbor of my Mothers who is also a great family friend and an oncology nurse joined us for our family meeting last night and explained that the treatments are too much for her body to handle right now and that although the chemo is showing to have worked on the lung the cancer is still spreading and that it was time for Mom to decide if she wanted quality or quantity. Mom made her decision to the best of her ability, she has fought hard for as long as she could. I hope things go well with your Father and I hope you enjoy all the time you possibly can with him, whether it be 6 months or 6 years! Hopefully it will be even longer!

Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

So sorry to hear about your mom. Cancer sucks doesn't it? I guess you have to respect her wishes to stop chemo if that's what she wants. I've known people who have done that cause they feel if the chemo isn't going to help, they'll feel a little better when they stop. The side effects can make them feel so lousy.
My husband died in March and had only been sick 2 months. Even though he only had radiation for his brain lesions & spine which helped. But had 2 chemo sessions and really had a "rare" side effect. It's hard to watch someone you love with this disease.
Spend as much time as you can with your mom & cherish every day. "Carole"

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2010

Thank you for sharing your stories. God Bless you all and good luck with your struggles. We are going to try chemo, if it becomes too much he is going to stop. He wants to live as long as he can, but with quality.

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