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What should we expect?

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2016

I wanted to search the archives for the answers I need, but I am so pressed for any time right now, I'm just going to ask for myself. Sorry.

My father has stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. It's a recent diagnosis. Figured out he had lung cancer, and before any treatment was started, figured out it has spread some to his brain, hence stage 4. He's undergoing radiation treatment daily on his brain now - done 8 treatments so far out of 12 planned.

So far he's doing great. I think the last couple days he's maybe feeling more fatigued than he has been. The doctor has told us he should expect to feel more fatigued next week.

I'm trying to figure out just what that will mean. Will he still be able to get around and do stuff? Currently he cooks the meals (my step-mother has had some small strokes), goes grocery shopping, wants me to come with him to a Rotary meeting Friday morning.

I'm staying with him this week - I live 9 hours away.

We know that they will schedule chemotherapy after this radiation treatment is complete. How much energy will he have during that?

He's had a very positive outlook. I've taken on the responsibility of having a negative outlook, and trying to anticipate what will be needed in terms of care. Is there medical supplies that will be needed at the house? Will he be bed-ridden? Understanding fully that everyone is different, what possibilities should I plan for?

My stepmother is at a point where she should not be caring entirely for herself. She doesn't need medical help - she just needs someone - so far that's been my dad - who can be sure she doesn't get confused about what she's doing. She should not be cooking ever, unsupervized. With that in mind, is it possible to anticipate when my father will not be able to look after her?

I've got so many more questions. I think they all boil down to: "What's going to happen?" "What are we going to need to do?"

Any help is greatly appreciated.


Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2016

Hi Wes

My mother has similar diagnosis as your father - Stage 4 NSCLC and spread to brain. Very recent - last week. But she was admitted 1 month ago (still in the hospital) due to seizure, doctors diagnosed her with paraneoplastic limic enciphilistics which is caused by the cancer. Long story short, she's on feeding tube and requires 24/7 care/support. Her doctors proposed targeted theraphy - Tarceva for treatment.

To be honest I have so many questions and so little time. I'm trying my best to stay positive to keep my sanity.

My prayers to you and your family.

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

The fatigue can take months to dissipate.  Talk to senior social services to see what you can line up for assistance.  Some states will pay for a caregiver in their home.  Also get in touch with meals in wheels to arrange delivery of at least one meal a day.  

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