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Newly diagnosed parent

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi everyone, my father has just been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in the 3rd stage with presence in the lungs and lymph nodes. The doc gave him a 2 year prognosis. I guess I'm reaching out to the discussion boards for some advice and perhaps to provide me with hope. I have to be strong for my mom and for my dad but it's been really difficult to visit him without feeling the need to cry. Maybe I'm asking advice on how to act around him so that we can fight this battle and give him hope. How do you remain positive? If there is anyone on these boards who have beaten the odds I would love to hear your story. Thank you.

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Kat,
So Sorry for the circumstances that bring you here. If it is any help, I was given 10-15 months 21 months ago and I am at stage 4. I do know that the docs try not to be optimistic so as not to create false hope or to get themselves sued.

What concerns me though about your dad's diagnosis is that at a stage 3, whether it is 3a or 3b they are not going for a cure. I would immediately make an appointment for a second opinion. I correspond daily with lung cancer patients across the country and this is the first time I have heard of treatment for stage 3a or b that the doc did not plan treatment without curative intent.

Also, I just reread your note. Is your dad small cell or non-small cell? The reason I ask is that small cell is usually limited (contained in the lung)or extensive (moved by metastases to other organs). Would you please find out what kind of chemo or radiation he is having? It is important to note that inoperable does not mean untreatable or incurable. Also find out if they tested for mutations. Don't worry if you can't get all the info at once.

Stay in touch!

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2012

My husband was diagnosed on May 13, 2005 with Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - Alveolar Cell Carcinoma. Our doctor did not give a prognosis; he said “what’s not available today may be available tomorrow”. We knew the odds weren’t good statistically, but we had been given hope. My husband also had mind over matter, he said tell me what to do and we will kick cancers butt. It was inoperable and radiation was not an option. His 6 months of chemo treatment was Week 1 & 2: Gemzar & Taxol and Week 2: Paraplatin was added to the mix. After completion of the intravenous chemotherapy treatment he started taking a 2nd line treatment pill Tarceva. Initially it was given every day at 150 mg. There was an adjustment period as he had major side effects. After several years of being on it his dosage was changed to 3 weeks on and 2 weeks off. He is a 7 year survivor, continues to take Tarceva and will for the rest of his life. He’s 57, continues to work a full time job and rarely is out sick. He has his struggles; however his quality of life is good. He has other health issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, thoracic aneurysm and he needs a knee replacement so it’s not as if there aren’t age related illnesses. Please keep hope, I know how hard it can be but people are surviving cancer. It’s ok to cry that’s normal and your Dad knows that. Don’t use your energy pretending it’s ok, it’s not, you have a fight on your hands, take it on as a family with friends and even us you don’t know and you will survive too.

Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2012

My father was also just diagnosed with small cell lung cancer; it was earlier today actually. We do not even know what stage it's in but there is a chance it might have already spread to the brain.

Although I found out that there was a cancerous growth in his lungs on Wednesday, the sort of cancer was determined today. He hasn't even met with any oncologists yet.

I have to be honest and say that what I've read so far hasn't been very encouraging. It appears that in many cases, the treatments do not cure the cancer.

As you can imagine, this is all very overwhelming. I am sure Kat is going through the exact thing.

Add to that the fact that my dad is actually overseas and I might have to leave my wife and daughter in the States to go attend to him has added a further complicating factor that many people do not have to worry about.

At any rate, I felt that I needed to share this with people who are either going through it or went through it in the past. I am not really planning on discussing this with most of the people I know. Confiding in complete strangers sometimes makes more sense to me.

Perhaps I will discuss this in my next therapy session. :)


Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi jets Fan. Welcome to the CSN site. I am glad you found us. Please let us know what happens. With small cell there are two types limited or extensive. For the good news, when they find the chemo that works, it destroys the cancer cells faster and further than in nonsmall cell. Also pci does prevent most brain mets while there is nothing for nsclc.

At this time there are no targeted drug therapies for sc but there is ongoing genetic research.

Please feel free to ask questions any time and please start your own thread to make it easier to find and respond to you. My best to your dad and your family.

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