| | Non-small cell lung cancer & liver metastases
I just ran across this board and felt this was a great place to share my feelings and get a few things off my chest. (Sometimes you just need someone to listen.)Also, if you ever feel that your doctor isn't being 100% honest and you feel he isn't concerned or possibly doing everything he can - please see another doctor! It could make the biggest difference.
My step dad (70 years old and very active) was diagnosed with bronchiectasis five years ago by his pulmonary doctor. He has also been diagnosed with asbestosis and silicosis. Over the past five years he has visited his pulmonary doctor frequently because of coughing up blood and generally feeling horrible. The doctor always gave him a prescription for antibiotics and anxiety medicine and told him to come back in four months! When a specialist tells you there is no need for tests what are you to do? Sometimes you just don't realize otherwise.
Last Saturday (8/23) my mom took my step-dad to the emergency room because he was feeling so sick. He had lost 16 pounds in four months. They immediately said he had pneumonia and started running all sorts of tests. THANK GOODNESS his regular pulmonary specialist was not on call and a new partner from his office was! This new doctor was extremely concerned and ordered every test imaginable.
At this point my step-dad's skin looked yellow, his normally skinny ankles and feet were extremely swollen, and he was coughing so bad and weak. They admitted him that day.
The CAT Scan of the lungs showed enlarged lymph nodes and quite a few other things I can't recall. His CEA level was elevated to 63! They were concerned about possible colon cancer because of this elevated level so they did a colonoscopy and that was clear. The CAT scan of the abdomin showed a spot on his liver. He then had an ultrasound of the liver which showed four spots. They performed a liver biopsy from two of the four because that is all they could get to. He had a bronchoscopy and they took biopsies of the lung tissue and lymph nodes.
Throughout the week the results started coming in. They found he was anemic and as I said before, his CEA level was 63. Friday (8/29) was a devastating day. My step-dad was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (differential) and adenocarcinoma of the liver. They said it started in the lungs and spread to the liver. The oncologist says this could have started as long as two years ago - but they never know. She says without chemotherapy he might live 5-6 months and with chemotherapy he may have a year to live.
Everyone tells us that if his pulmonary doctor had done the tests he should have done years ago when my step-dad was coughing up blood and having continuous bronchitis, etc this could have been found before it spread to the liver. The doctor never wanted to run any tests and always told my parents he didn't feel it was necessary.