My father has been diagnosed with non operable non small cell stage four lung cancer. It has damaged his ribs and parts of his chest cavity. He lives with me and all of the rest of the family is in Florida so we're doing the best we can. My husband drives truck over the road and I manage a restaurant full time, it get's kinds crazy. I am trying to get information of the average life expectancy for someone in the stage of lung cancer my father has. We have started on what will be a total of 13 radiation treatments and start his first chemo Monday. He was in a motorcycle accident seven years ago and should not have survived it. It's a little tough dealing with the question of why something that could have and should have taken him quickly with no suffering has been exchanged for what we are dealing with now. Does anyone know of a site that has stats?
Sandra, I do not know of anyplace that keeps the STAT's you are seeking. Everyone is an individual so there is no way of knowing how much time some one with Stage IV NSCLC has. My mom made it about 2.5 yrs with chemo others die weeks after learning they have it.
You mentioned the motorcycle accident that your dad should not have survived,the quick death verses the longer death of cancer with its suffering.
Some good friends of mine lost their mom to a sudden death 4 yrs ago, she went to bed and was found dead in the morning. She had not been ill so she must have had a heart attack or stroke. When my mom first learned she had stage IV NSCLC I was mad and thought why does she have to go through this and thought I would rather have her die suddenly like my friends mom. Well now that I have been through the lung cancer and death and my friends and I have had long talks I have to say a part of me is glad it happened this way verses the sudden death. Sure it is hard to see someone you love suffer with cancer and all it brings with it, but having that time gives you time for closure.Each day becomes a gift. Cancer is like a calling card saying your loved one does not have alot of time left so you learn to make the most of it and you get a chance to say goodbye. Sudden deaths you do not get that and it can cause alot of anger and leaves people frequently thinking "What was the last thing I said to them? How long has it been since I said I love you to them?" For me I know the answers . My friends had a much harder time dealing with the loss, while I was allowed to have a faster closure which has helped me deal with the loss. The last few weeks of my mom's life she did not talk unless spoken too and basically sat in her chair all day and to be honest that was not the person I knew as my mom, thus in away I feel it prepares you for the actual loss as in a way we had lost her before she died.
I am in no way happy she got cancer but rather have learned to accept that was what was meant to be and by being so I got a chance alot of people never get, I got to say good bye to my mom and even be with her at the moment of death and wish her well on her journey. I loved my mom more then I can say but I did manage to come to terms with the cancer and be at peace with it.
Lung cancer is a horrible disease but what terminal illness isn't? You have had one miracle in the fact that your dad was given 7 years after his accident, who's to say he won't have another miracle? If not learn to be thankful for this time with him to say good by and let him know how much you love him. Its not easy but as you get further in the journey you may understand what I am trying to say better. Bless you and your dad , you will both be in my prayers, JanMarie
this is a journey that destroys more than healthy cells, it destroys his identity as a strong man...
Sandra; I know exactly what you are saying. My father has NSCLC Stage II but also has stomach cancer as well. We just found out in November. The cancer itself is not killing my father but the inability to contol it; is. My father has always been a strong, supportive father and now he has no control over his life or what is around the next corner. I do not want to see my father suffer either; nobody does but we as a family have become closer and stronger because of this.
Good luck to you and your father. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
Im so sorry about your dad. I think the first thing we all do when we find out is seek desperately for answers of how long, what will happen, etc. I think our dads are the ones we feel the strongest about when it comes to their getting sick. They have always been the strong invincible ones who would never die. My mom and dad both got lung cancer last year at the same time. They died 6 days apart. I was with them both when they died. However, I think I dwell on my dads death more because I saw him become so vulnerable. He denied death, never talked about it. I think he was hopeful to the end. Mom accepted death, talked openly about it and made it easier for us. For us, we just took every day one at a time, laughed, cried, and tried to make their last days as great as they could be. I am feeling your pain and I hope your dad has a good outcome.
Hi Sandra, I agree that given a choice between a swift death and long drawn out painful death it would be hard to take sides. Both have their down sides and both have their up sides (if one can find any in the case of death). My husband who was a real "He" man always said I hope I die quickly, He was stunned when he heard the cancer dx. I feared and knew what it would be before the doctors even spoke the words. I could see the changes already taking place in my husband, and as a newlywed of only one month, when those changes came, my heart of hearts told me to be strong that the news would be worse than I thought. And, it was. My wonderful husband made it 21 months from the time of dx at his fine needle biopsy in Feb 05. But the symptoms started in Nov of 04 at Thanksgiving. We had married Oct 18th of 04. He died Nov 5th of 06. He was in treatment for 1.5 yrs and at the end of that, we found the main tumor in remission, but the cancer having mets to the ribs and backbone, and hip. Throughout all of that time, we struggled to have as normal a life as we could. I worked full time and he had to take medical retirement from the US Post Office after 25 yrs of service. There were times the treatments he was on made him gravely ill and I tried to split my time between him and work and finishing raising my son from a previous marriage. The time for him to go "home" came very sharply into focus in Dec 05, when we were sure he would only make it a couple of weeks. Well, God granted us a miracle, a gift of another 11 months. And, we took it and ran with it. Like JanMarie, I had time to come to terms with the final outcome. I made peace with the fact his time was drawing very short, and in the end, he was no longer the man I knew, but just a shell of a person waiting to vacate this world and trade it in for a better one. He had time to prepare his financial affairs, his personal relationships with his kids and his ex wives, his brothers and sister all made peace, and our relationship as husband and wife was elevated to a height I never dreamed possible. It was very spiritual in nature and very a two-shall-be-as-one kind of thing. I miss him more than I can describe and it takes the very breath out of me when my thoughts turn to him and how he is no longer in my life...
Enjoy the time with your dad. Make lots of memories. Take lots of pictures and take time to video tape birthdays, holidays, vacations...etc etc...whatever special occasions or just any ordinary day. Maybe your family can come out for a family reunion to celebrate him this spring.
Come here any time you need to and vent and look for us. We are here to help in any way we can.
Sending love, hope, prayers, and peace from So. Indiana,