Our Jorney of "cancer" began sept.6,03 as a stubborn 'pneuminia' after treated twice, they found the tumor in the upper lung and one lymph node, finally in Nov, after a biopsy he (my fiance) age 53 was dx with stage IIIB nsc lung cancer. He began 3 months of chemo to shrink the tumor then surgery to follow IF it was responsive.
It shrunk, he managed to keep weight on by drinking boost and taking antinausea pills. Although he had no energy, we had a million questions, who,how,when,where to go... always feeling we never got a straight answer, with an impending "panic" to find the "right" dr... the right treatment....
March 1st he entered surgery, three hours later the dr's came out and said the lymph node is negative, we will proceed to take out his upper right lung. (which they where not gonna do if they couldnt remove all desease, and it had to be inactive). Two more hours passed, the Dr. returned, he said the tumor was against his spine, and near the aorta, they wanted a neuro surgeon in with them. 5 more hours passed... after a total of 10 hours they said he was in recovery, and they would let me know when I could see him, and...they couldnt get it 'all'?? They would tell me more when the labs came back. He stayed in ICU that night,due to uncontrollable pain, and ?? bleeding.with a 11' wound and 2 drainage tubes. The next afternoon he was transfered to the main floor. The dr came in and said, he had a RESIDUAL tumor &(the center of the tumor and lymph node was viable, thierfore had a good blood supply source, and fairly sure metastisised. He is still stage IIIB........
After home 3 days he ran 104.6 temp,back to the hospital he had staph,pnemonia,strep in his blood. His hemoglobin 8.1 (was 16.4 at the beginning of all this) After 2 strong antibiotics, and a 4 day stay he came home.
The Dr. has sent in a hospics nurse to help keep him pain free...by adjusting his meds. The Dr. is unable to say how long he has,and suggests he start radiation. He stated 'palliative care'... he is on Oxycotten 10 mg/2 xs a day. Percocett 10mg up to 8 times a day, stool softeners,nausea meds,and iron.
he dosent know if he wants radiation, he is in allot of pain, and has nausea,he forgets so much, is afraid to shower,(he even asked to get a cane) and that he may fall.He is unsure if radiation will only take time of feeling semi good away, he cant travel since he just had his surgery, but we have a new grandbaby to travel to see yet.
We dont know what is really going on inside of him, he hurts, he has always been so healthy, a real 'wyoming cowboy'....We havent gotten back the lateset PET scan reports. He has returned to smoking. He said they said they wouldnt do all this for nothing and it still ended up the same..
I work out of town 4 days a week, so he sleeps allot,just to get through the time Im gone. (and Im sure the cancer / meds/ low hemoglobin also make him sleep). My daughter visits daily.
Can anyone give us advice, I have asked him to stop smoking,to buy more time, and at this point he feels what is the use... Is this the best it will be?? will the radiation help to only keep the tumor at bay, yet take his good days in return?
on one hand the Drs are saying we will live a day at a time, yet should I know what some symptons mean....are we running outta time? ?? Should we do what weve wanted to do before he has no strength to?? I dont want to push if all this will get better after he heals from the surgery. Will he remain in this 'fog' and extreme tiredness??
They want to increase his oxycotten..
I get angry, scared, this hit like a frieght train... we have yet to finish planning our wedding....
Thank you, for any imput, suggestions. God bless. Mattie
Wow, going through so much so fast. I'll pray for you both and your family. My brother has stage IIIb non-small cell and was diagnosed after repeated bouts of bronchitus and pnemonia. He was diagnosed this January. He just finished three months of radiation and chemo treatments. He lost 60 lbs but no hair and all his muscle tone. He couldn't eat much because his throat was so raw from the radiation. In May he goes back for testing. They had told him his cancer was inoperable because it was in the bronchial area. A week after testing he will see the doctors. There are so many variables in this type of cancer that no one's treatments are the same. And, sadly, yes, my brother too is still smoking even though he has been on oxygen since he started treatments. What an evil habit. I quit smoking about 15 years ago and all my other brothers and sisters smoke (except 1 brother).
Your cowboy needs some time to heal before radiation but hopefully doctors do know best and a delay in treatment might not be an option. Stay vigilant and ask questions, don't think your 'bothering' the doctor by all your questions. No question is stupid and you need answers. One thing that helped my brother through was family support. Just calling him and visiting and listening. God bless.
Wow..both of your stories are so familiar my Mother also has inoperable cancer because of airway constriction. The Radiation took so much out of her, it did however make the cancer "dormant" for now. She is in a rehab trying to get her strength back, but she has good and bad days. They need to stop smoking, she did and I believe this has helped her a bit. lady J 1 keep your faith strong and know that the radiation will make him extremely tired but after 4 wks. my Moms strength is coming back a little at a time. It's a long haul, and is very hard for us, the caretakers. If you need any other info I can share any that I have with you. You and your B/F are in my prayers
Thank you's for the encouragement, we have read so many things. Bottom line.. I now feel is if it feels right, investagate, and when in doubt leave it out. We have been reading all we can on nutrition, and adding good things to 'beef' up his immune system, while at the same time starving the cancer of fuel (sugar) as much as possible.. (he loves cocacola) Tuesday, the Radiologyst showed us the pathology report stating they removed the tumor and 8 lymph, thier was some viable ca cells in the center of the trumor and one lymph, and that the reports we had been given before where not totally true (that they couldnt get it all) *deep sigh*..we left so encouraged, now he will begin radiation, and then chemo again, to kill off any "remaining seeds"... In the mean time we learn all we can on "what we can contol" to help heal... like fresh air,fresh food,restful sleep,nutrients,clean water and less time fretting over what we cant control. I have learned to be more assertive with the Dr's, asking questions, being persistant. He is now walking with a cane due to the surgery, and unbalance at times from the med's and weakness, he also has a shower chair, so I dont have to worry he will fall when trying to bath while Im gone at work. He has also started a new nausea med.."kytril" $50.00 a pill/ one a day. Which is helping after losing 7 pounds in one week from nausea. Hospice comes once a week, to check on things while Im gone. He still smokes..... Although nicotine patches,gum, are avalible at his reach. He has to choose it.......
At times I get angry that he wont stop when he has been warned he is suseptable to the same cancer returning if he continues to smoke...It is such an awful addiction. I also purchased a few books people have mentioned in here..(final gifts,beating ca with nutrition) I find them soothing...informative...
somedays we purposly have to stop (this runnaway train)and give it all over to God.. taking it a minute at a time as it comes. ...We both try to be aware of the time we unknowingly allow cancer to steal our precious moments...and instead focus on what we can do and the spirit in which we do it in....So next week starts radiation, we are prepared with soothing juices,and high calorie soft' things to eat. And we also purchased Robert Shimmel (comedine) VHS tapes.. (he also had cancer). I would also like to investagate the benefits of imagary....? I am thankful to have found this site, with such understanding and carring people. A real solace in the mist of a storm. God bless. LadyJ