My brother in law was having back pain and had a tumor removed from his spine that was a secondary cancer. They just found out the primary source is in his lungs. He is only 39 but smoked. What do you think the survival rate is? He is going to undergo CHemo. Thank you
Thank you for your email. We are really shocked with everything. My brother in law, Brian, his mother just 2 years ago from lung cancer..my mother in law (his wifes mother) was diagnosed last year with breast cancer - so far they think it is all gone. My sister in law and Brian have only been married a year. THe entire thing is heartbreaking. They are completely in love and my sister in law was totally devestated when they told her all of this. I have been on the internet reading up on everything and it looks like the prognosis is not good. What i wanted to know was about the stages. I read somewhere that someone in a later stage has a bad chance of survival however, someone who is in its first stage has a greater chance of survival. He smoked for a long time and they say that there are tiny spots all over his lungs. Would you say from your experience because of the fact that it was also on his spine that this is a later stage or no? I wish we knew how much time he had. I do not know what stage it is in. . but I am going to find out. That will help us a little with determining how much time he might have.
I hate to say either way, because I am not a doctor. But, from our experience alone. Once the tumor has moved to another location (any other bone tissue..called metastisis), it may be considered extensive. With lung cancer, thee are 2 different types. There is Non Small Cell Lung Cancer, and there is Small Cell Lung Cancer. From what I understand, NON small cell does not spread as quickly, but it is fatal, and it does not respond as well (if at all) to chemotherpay. Small cell moves very quickly, but is also fatal, BUT DOES respond well to chemotherapy. If it is in his spine, I would not think that it is considered limited, I would think it is considered extensive. But that is not a death sentence, 1st need to knwo what type of cancer this is.
Have there done CT scans to check his his chest, abdomen and Pelvis. And since they know it is in his spine, I assume they did a bone scan?
If it is NOT small cell, or if it was caught early enough, I would think he has a good chance of survival. They can do so many things with modern medicne, and surgery. They can even do radiation on his spine, if it is limited to that area, and chemp therapy would take care of the lung. Tell them BOTH his "Mental" approach to this is the key. He has got to stay positive and BELIVE he can beat this demon.. The power of the brain is AMAZING! It is also important that he has good/proper nutrition, and keep his immune system up, especially during chemo.
If you would, please tell your sister I understand how she feels. It is very very difficult to feel that you will lose the one you love. For me, I know I am going to lose Scott. By the time they caught his, it was already to late. It is devastating. I am 32, he is 44, we have been married 4 years. But tell her, if she ever wants to talk, I am not the only one on here who understands exactly how she feels. And I, or anyone on here, will reply back to her anytime she needs it, or if she just wants to vent, she can do that here as well.
Thanks for your emails. The internet is a wonderful place to meet people like you guys who have gone through similar experiences with loss. Right now we are unsure of everything. A week ago Brian was experiencing back pain and they did everything from Bone Scans, MRI, Cat scans, CT scans, even bone marrow.. everything seemed fine. Believe it or not.. the first hospital he was at actually told him his lungs looked good. This is another reason they were so totally shocked .. all of us were. My sister-in-law was overcome with sadness and pretty much collapsed from heartache. It was completely heart wrenching. Today I left the hospital to get my sister-in-law and my husband something to eat and was so upset at the takeout line at the restaurant I went to..because here a guy in front of me is complaining because the poor waiter gave him BBQ sauce instead of Spaghetti sauce and a few blocks away my poor brother-in-law in so full of cancer. Does the sauce really matter anymore?
When the doctors told him of his cancer. I think my family was so devastated that they didn't ask any questions. I was actually trying to locate someone today to ask them. The doctors did say that he would eventualy die from it. But it is completely shocking after the first hospitals assessment. This hospital that he is currently staying in, is the best hospital in our city of Toronto Canada. The other one was a pretty crappy hospital. The other thing I was thinking about was something about a friend of ours... Last year my husbands family friend who is in her 60s was diagnosed with a pancreatic cancer and was given approximately 6-9 months. When they looked inside they took what they could out and said that it wasn't as bad as they thought. Today, she is cancer-free. It is completely unbelieveable what is said and what actually happens.
Brian is trying so hard to stay positive. I am real joker so I make jokes and he laughs but he is extremely emotional and cries constantly. My husband and I usually stay at the hospital for the entire day, 9 - 11 hours. There is a nice sitting area almost like a mall food court and we read and talk and just hang out. Although Brian might not feel like company. My sister in law will always know we are there and once in a while she comes down stairs when she needs a break and talks with us and I think that is important. For me, i was hate to be alone. I can not even imagine what she is going through.
Financially... she is struggling and I know my in laws will help but unfortunately we can only help a bit as we are not financially stable 100% either. We will be at the hospital all weekend and I will see if I can find out more to let you know. Thanks for everything and thank you for offering for an ear to listen to. I think that is really nice of you and I will keep that in mine. At this point, I am not going to push her to do anything...it is all so fresh. to be honest, I think she is almost scared to ask any questions because she doesn't really want to know. I, on the other hand, what to know what we are dealing with, so I might descretly speak to the doctor...it all might be too much to take for them. Thank you again and please keep writing as I will do the same. It is comforting to know that others have experienced all of this too.
Glad to hear from you. I am glad that you realize, just knowing you are downstairs will comfort her, and it will VERY much, you are right. At first, it is very difficult to talk about, because it is easier to think "if I do not acknowledge this, it will go away". There will come a time when both of them will need/want to talk about it. My guess is, that time will come soooner for her, than it will him. They are blessed to have you and your husband. Financially, God will provide. He is always last minute, but never late.
Today was a hard day. My sister in law is remarried to Brian and has children from a previous marriage. He is very close to the children who are only 12 & 14. They were only told today of the news because they had been with their biological father. It was hard for them and they were sobbing and it was also hard for Brian. Brian's father also was here and had to fly back to his home which is across the country. He said he would be coming back and forth often. He is still so emotional and we are trying hard to stay strong for him. I hope the doctors come and speak with him soon. We still do not much yet .. but it is the weekend and maybe more will happy during the week. Thanks again...how is your scott doing?