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Dad with stage IV non-small cell carcinoma

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2012

I don't really know what to say, so here's my story: My dad was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell carcinoma in January of 2012. He's been through a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment and is now getting radiation treatments. My dad has always been the head of the house caring for all of us women and just being strong. He has become really weak and in a lot of pain which keeps him from walking enough during the day. I'm scared that when he does beat the cancer, he'll be forced to stay in a wheel chair because of his loss of strength. He has a hard time breathing sometimes because of fluids in his lung and he has trouble keeping food down. I know he's really scared, but I don't think he wants to admit it. I try really hard to keep him pepped up but I think he may be depressed. It's a change we're all having to adjust to, I know, but seeing him stay in a chair all day kills me inside. I want my dad to be back to his upbeat self; I know he can beat this cancer, he's just got to stay strong and push himself through it. I guess what I'm trying to say, is I'm really scared, I don't know what to do. It's been 5 months but this is still all so new to me, and I just want advice please.

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Your hospital may offer fitness classes for your dad. If there is a Gilda's Club or Cancer Support Center near you, they offer fitness classes and a comprehensive program called Transitions which works on several aspects of life after treatment which includes a personalized workout program. Many YMCAs offer Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong program. From personal experience I can tell you it is possible to rebuild much of the strength but you must work for it.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2012

His MD/PCP can refer him for PT which will help abundtly.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2012

I also think my dad is depressed-I try to keep him up as well, but even when he is having a good day, he finds something to be down about. It is so strange how cancer carries this stigma with it. My dad has a heart arrythmia too and has a pacemaker. A heart attack could just as easily take him as the cancer but he doesn't worry about that-matter of fact he would brag about all his heart surgeries to anyone who would listen :).

I know your dad can beat this and my dad can too. Each day they keep waking up will have to be proof enough to them. I am only 2 months into this journey, but I will be thinking of you-when I figure out what works, I will let you know.
My best to you.

Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2012

I know how difficult it is. My mom was wheelchair bound about 9 months into her battle with NSCLC. We had to take care of her every need because of her inability to stand. This was the most depressing time for her throuout her entire time with cancer. She just wanted to walk again. She even dreamed aout walking. Its amazing how we take that simple thing as walking for granted!
Just try and stay positive for your Dad. I recommend physical therapy. Mom started to regain a little strength with physical therapy. Another thing that we didnt know until late was that mom had neuropothy where she couldnt feel her toes. If you dont have feeling in your toes, it makes it hard to stand/walk. They suggested biofreeze to try and give sensation to her toes. I'm not sure if neuropothy was a side effect from the chemo or what.
Stay positive. Its a tough road but your support and love will keep him hanging in there...

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