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Help for Mom NSCLC Stage 3B with PE

Caterpillar72
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2014

Hi, I am new here and looking for help.  My mom is 73, a never smoker, and 4 weeks ago after 3 months of mild coughing, 20 lb weight loss, and pneumonia unresponsive to meds was given a CT and bronchoscopy.  She was then diagnosed at Mayo clinic with NSCLC Adenocarcinoma Stage 3B.  She had her first chemo treatment (Carboplatin and possibly Paclitaxel but not positive) 3 weeks ago from a University hospital more local.  

    Shortly after she has developed peripheral neuropathy in her legs that makes walking painful and unsteady and sleep difficult.  Her cataracts have worsened as well.  An EGFR mutation was found early last week and she was scheduled to see the dr today for more chemo and I was looking forward to meeting with her dr and how this might change her tx but after a CT scan yesterday and 1.5 hour ride home we were called to learn she has a pulmonary embolism and she is now in the hospital.

   I recently moved across the country to help out and despite everything else and losing her hair she has been in good spirits .  I am concerned that she has developed so many problems from the first chemo and now do not know how a pulmonary embolism will affect her treatment, how serious it is, or what I can do to help.  They are also planning 6 weeks of radiation.  

  I am hoping to hear from anyone who had neuropathy, a PE, or other serious side effects so early in chemo tx.  I know the EGFR mutation is a good thing, but then having to wait a week and a half to see the dr just seems odd to me.  At her first visit, she was started on chemo that same day and everything seemed so urgent.  Now we are all just waiting for news.  

  Hope this makes sense, my mom is an amazing person, I hate so much that she is suffering and want to help as best I can.  Thanks 

   

dennycee
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2011

The neuropathy wl likely go away with time.  At this timer though her dr should pay her on gabapentin, it helped me tremendously.  Your mom has been through a lot, the first few weeks are really gawdawful (as opposed to really awful).  The PE can be dealt with and  she can move forward with the Tarceva.  

In the mean time encourage a bit of exercise.  Especially the feet and legs To help that neuropathy. Have her draw lay on her back, feet slightly apart.  Draw circles with her toes. Reverse direction.  Also alternate extending toes and heals.  Slide one foot up so that she brings the heel in toward the buttocks.  Don't force it, hold a moment, slide back slowly.  Do eaccouple five times if she can tolerate that many.  

When she is sitting up encourage her to squeeze her shoulder blades together to open up the rib cage.  If her feet are okay enough for her to stand a few minutes, have her stand a step away from the wall and do push ups (always) from the wall.  Don't over do the exercise watch closely for signs of fatigue.  

When does she start radiation?

my stage 4 cancer was diagnosed 3.5+ years ago. 

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