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My dad was recently diagnosed with lung cancer.

mom_of_2
Posts: 30
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi everyone, my name is Chrissy. I have been reading the discussion boards for a couple days, and decided to join because I think I am finally accepting my dad's diagnoses. On 10-08-10, he was told he has lung cancer after a trip to the ER for shortness of breath. He was in the hospital for 8 days, then sent home with oxygen. He has a 10cm X 11cm tumor on his upper left lobe. After several more tests, we've found out it's stage IV, large cell, with lymph node involvement, and attached to the rib cage and large vessels, and he has pleural effusion. It is inoperable, and they can't do radiation due to the pleural effusion, so the only option is chemo for relief of symptoms. The chemo was started 11-02-10. The doctors told him 3-6 months without any treatment, and maybe add another 10 months with treatment, if it works, which they said he has a 50-60% chance that it will shrink the tumor some. This is so overwhelming to me, I'm so scared, and I haven't allowed myself time to think about it alot. I've been trying to stay strong for him and my mom and my girls, so when I found this site, I read through some posts and it seems everyone here is very caring. Just hoping someone may have some encouraging words for me. Thank You for reading my story.

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

HI Chrissy,
So sorry to hear about your dad. Cancer sucks!!!
I lost my husband in March & he wasn't sick very long. Had a rare side effect to one of the chemos. It's not easy dealing with this, but all you can do is be there for him & your mom. Give them alot of support and just try to think positive & enjoy every day you have with him. And make sure you tell him how much he means to you.
This is a great site. Everyone has gone through either having cancer or being a caregiver so we all understand what you're going through. Miracles do happen sometimes!!!
"Carole"

leoriven
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Chrissy, I am so sorry your Dad is sick. My dad was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer on new years eve we of course were shocked since my dad never smoked, he was 58 and in great health, what brought him to the doctors was a pain in his neck, so we certainley did not understand. The spot on his lung was to small to show up on xray but was discovered with a pet scan. It had not spread and no involvement in the vessels. He was rushed in the hospital from passing out a few days later and the er sent him home. He was scheduled for another scan after his lung biopsy and while going to the hospital to see a chemo and radiation doc he had a sezure, they did an mri but no brain involvement. He fought back and recovered from that but they couldn't figure out what was going on. they did a spinal tap and had found that the cancer had gone in to his central nervous system and started radiation right away, he only had 6 treaments and passed away. From diagnosis to death was a very short 30 days. They said it is very rare. this was on 02/04/2010 and it is very hard. The only advise I can give you is be very diligant in his care, be his advocate... Ask for test do not delay. I wonder to often that if they had done that in the first place would they been able to treat it with chemo and give him more time or at least a fighting chance. What your dad is going to go through is not going to be easy and it is just as hard for you to watch but be there with him and encourage him no matter what.. I know of others that have had lung cancer that went to there brain and they are still here today againts all odds and it was over 5 years ago... DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!!! Keep fighting and never lose hope.... I pray for your dad and you that he will have a good outcome and be here for many more years...... Thinkink of you, Jen

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

Chrissy, I know how scary all of this information is but please don't give up hope. There is always hope that the chemo will shrink his tumor. Have the doctors said anything about draining his lung, many others on here have had pleural effusion and have had success with having it drained.

Also, don't go by what the doctors say about how much time he has, they are quoting numbers from statistics that are outdated. There are many new treatments available that may help your father, just keep pushing his doctors to give him every treatment option available for his type of cancer.

Everyone reacts differently to treatment and your father could very well be one of those who bounce back and survive for many more years. If you read through more of the posts you will find many who are still here after being given a poor prognosis. You have to stay strong and keep a positive attitude and help your family to do the same. If he is depressed and looks at this diagnosis as a death sentence it will only put him into a depression that is not healthy for him.

When I was diagnosed in May '09 with two different types of cancer (lung and larynx) I also thought it was a death sentence and the surgical doctor made it sound that way also. I went through chemo and radiation and am one year post treatment, in remission from both cancers and enjoying life.

Unfortunately some people lose their battle with cancer but many, many more survive!!! Please don't give up the fight before it has even started and don't let your family either!!

Also, stay away from researching on the internet as it will scare you even more. What you will be reading is purely statistics that are very outdated. My doctors even warned me not to go on the internet. Here at CSN you will be talking with people who have been there and done that and can offer advice, encouragement and a shoulder when you need to vent.

Stay in touch so we will know how you, your father and your family are doing.

Stay strong and don't give up hope!!
Glenna

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Sorry to read this. Hope this new early testing can save many lives.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8299
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Chrissy,

Stay positive and surround yourself and father with positive people and stories.... Faith, Family and Friends are huge, as well as staying positive and strong.

As Glenna mentioned, everyone is different and react differently. One of my inspirations throughout my ordeal was Lance Armstrong. His thoughts, as long as he has even 1% of survival, he'll fight for it. He has endured a lot, the human body and technology these days are wonderfully complex, but can bring results that nobody would ever suspect.

Stay positive and don't let anyone give you or your family negative stories...now is not the time for that in you or your families life....only the positive.

Continue to believe, prayer and draw upon the positive.

Best to you and your family,
John

mom_of_2
Posts: 30
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for all the encouraging words. My dad isn't doing so well, he doesn't have much energy and is sleeping ALOT. I don't know if it's a side effect from the chemo, or the cancer, or a combination, but it hurts so bad seeing him like this.

Best wishes for everyone here,
Chrissy

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

Chrissy,

What your dad is feeling now is the side effects of chemo. It is natural to sleep a lot after receiving chemo and he may experience a lot of nausea. If he is experiencing nausea or is vomitting please contact his doctor as they have several types of drugs that will stop this. His doctors should have given him medication for this already but if they are not working they can switch his meds to something else that will work.

One thing that is very important now is hydration, make sure your father is drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, more if he can. It is very important for cancer patients to stay hydrated but more important after chemo as he needs to flush it out of his system.

Another important thing is to keep sick people away from your father. His immune system will be very weak during treatment so it is important that anyone who is sick or feels like they may be coming down with a cold/flu,etc. stays away from him.

I know how scary it is to see your dad like this but please know that he will slowly start to feel better from the effects of the chemo.

Please stay in touch and let us know how he is doing and ask any questions you may have.

My best to you, your dad and your family.

Stay strong and don't give up Hope!!
Glenna

hope21's picture
hope21
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi Chrissy,
I was just reading your story and my dad was diagnosed with stage 3 non small cell lung cancer on oct 12 2010,
On my moms birthday day, ( happy birthday huh!) I just felt awful for the both of them. Also like your dad my dad
Found out about his cancer after a trip to the er because of a constant cough. However I just wanted to say it's nice to
Read other peoples stories because it makes you feel less alone. Thanks for reading this, Mori

mmt366
Posts: 41
Joined: Apr 2010

Chrissy, your Dads diagnosis is very close to my wife's. She is a non-smoker and was diagnosed in September of 09 w/ nsclc stageIV. She too is not a surgery or radiation candidate, but she was for chemo. Chemo has kept it at bay for the most part, but prior to her beginning chemo, her first Oncologist suggested she have a biopsy to determine if she would be a clinical trial candidate for a targeted drug should conventional chemo become less effective. Well, she was tested and accepted for the Crizotinib trial, pre-staging begins next week and we are hoping to begin by the middle of the month.

What I'm trying to tell you is that each person reacts differently to treatment, however your dad is experiencing much of the same side effects my wife did when her treatment began and she was able to adjust to it as she moved forward. Hey, we even snuck in a trip to Aruba this past May. I'm also suggesting there may be other options should you decide, such as the targeted treatment my wife will soon undergo.
Don't get me wrong, life hasn't been all sunsets and umbrula drinks. She has had her ups and downs, but she bounces back and Im convinced it is due to her positive outlook and commitment to fight this awful disease.

Will be thinking good thoughts for you all.

mmt

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