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Old 03-07-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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CsCE71 HB User
My Dad is in stage 4 of his cancer

I was wondering if there was anyone out there who could help me understand what that means and how much time does someone have if they have stage 4 lung cancer...he is on oxygen at home all the time...his doc sent him home from the hospital yesterday and asked him if he would like hospice set up for him...being the proud man that my father is he said no...
could someone enlighten me when hospice come in... Thanks

 
Old 03-08-2008, 12:20 AM   #2
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Re: My Dad is in stage 4 of his cancer

My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in 9/2006. When she was diagnosed it was already spread to her brain. She had many tumors there. The doctors said that they never seen anything like it before. At first they didn't know where it was coming from, so they did a chest xray and it didn't show anything. Then they did a cat scan and that is when they saw a tiny spot on her left lung and in her lymph node. The doctors couldn't believe that it was coming from there. They said that it was avery rare case of lung cancer. She didn't have really any symptoms of lung cancer. She woke up one morning in 2/2006 with dizzy spells and she felt like she was going to pass out, my father rushed my mother to the hospital and all they did was take blood from her and told her she had vertigo. Eight months later she had woke up with the same symptoms, ecept she started seeing double vision, my father took her to the emergency room again and then they did a cat scan of her brain and that is where they saw the tumors. The doctors were more concerned about the tumors in the brain more that the little lesion in her lung. They started doing radiation to her bran, she had 15 treatments. After the treatments she had another scan and they said that everything was clear. Then she started having chemo. She had that for 6 months. After those treatments, they did another scan and they said that everything was clear. Not even being off the treatments for more than a week my mother started having severe pain and numbness in her left side of her jaw. Her oncologist tol her that it was an infection and gave her an antibiotic, but it didn't clear up, the pain was so severe that she couldn't eat, sleep. or talk. The doctor did another scan and her jaw lit up in the pet scan, but the doctor said that not everything that lights up in a pet scan is cancer. Her oncologist had sent her to an oral surgeon and he told my mother that she had osteocronosis of the jaw and there is really nothing that he could do to make it better. He told her that it was from one of her medicines she was taking for chem, so she was told to stop it. Well the pain was not getting any better. Her doctor had given my mother a pain patch and that really didn't help either. My mother started to hallucinate very badly, so they had to drop the milligrams of the pain patch. In May 2006 my mother had a severe stroke, we just made it to the hospital just in time for a shot, that could either save her life or make her bleed internally. We decided to go with the shot. We kept praying for her , she was taken to ICU where they watched her for 48 hours. The doctors said that they couldn't belive how well my mother was from the shot. She stayed in the hospital for another 5 days and then they said that she was ok to go home. She was told to get some therapy, we tried it for a few days and within a week or so my mother didn't want to eat or drink anything and then she started to loose weight, we thought that it was from not eating. Well it was from the cancer. My father faught with my mother so much about not eating or drinking. It wasn't her fault. My father was also trying to help her so she wouldn't get dehydrated. He didn't know that she was getting worse inside day by day. A few times she was taken to the hospitsl for dehydration, she was put on IV's and then sent home. Everyday the hallucinations were getting so bad, we didn't know what to do. She started developing dementia from the radiation treatments. It was so sad seeing her like that, she could barely put her words into sentences. She was so frustrated with that. My mother was a very talkative person and very outgoing to see her like that tore my heart in pieces. Day by day she started getting weaker and weaker. She really couldn't barely stand up anymore with our help. She started losing control of her bowels, she couldn't even tell if she was going anymore. We didn't kno that she was dying. The social worker had mentioned hospice to my father and my father got very angry. He didn't want to except that it was the end. We still kept praying and praying. Her oncologist had sent my mother to another oral surgeon after she got out of the hospital with the stroke, he did another xray and he saw a huge mass in my mothers jaw. My father saw the xray and he could not believe how big it was. They did fifteen treatments to her jaw of radiation, which only helped a little bit. After those treatments, my mother started to have alot of pain in her back and she kept thinking that it was from when she worked in the medical group, from lifting patients charts. She hsd another scan and it showed that her cancer had spread to her L2 and L3 and also they said that it was back in her chest again. The only thing that they could do for her was to do more radiation to her hip where the pain was. My mother almost finished her treatments and then she said that she didn't want anymore, so the doctors stopped them. My mother went into the hospital on Friday July 13th, we thought it was because she was dehydrated. They put her on an IV and she was on it for a few days and then she started having pains in her stomach, they tought that she was having a hard time going to the bathroom, so they gaver her this drink to drink, well she had drank it so fast that she started to choke on it. They had to do a swallowing evauation on her, because she was having a hard time swallowing. They did the test an they had to take her off of any kind of food. So she just was on IV's. They next day the nurse told me that my mother was having a hard time urinating, so they said that she had a urinary infection, so they put her on antibiotics and they put a catheter in her. She was on it for a few days and they tried to take it out, but she couldn't urinate. My mother started having severe pain through her whole body, they had to start giving he morphine for the pain which only lasted for about 2 hour, everytime the nurses would try and move her she would scream in pain. For about three days my mother didn't open her eyes, it was so scary. I kept asking the doctors if she was in a coma and they kept saying no. Until a few days went by and she tried to open her eyes but she couldn't and she couldn't really talk anymore. We kept trying to talk to her , but she kept mubling. She said that she wantedt to go home, but we couldn't bring her home, she started swelling up in her arms and her eyes started swelling up. It was so sad, trying to talk to her and seeing her trying to talk, but she couldn't. She tried to tell my brothers that she wasn't ready to go see her father yet. The doctor had told my sister about a week before all this happened that my mother was stable and not even 2 days later the doctor told my father that she was lucky if she had 2 weeks left. After 12 days of being in the hospital on the cancer floor, we decided to get her transferred to a hospital that only took care of cancer patients. At this point, my mother couldn't even move her arms or legs anymore. She was then put on morphine shots. Before when she was at the other hospital, she was only getting morphine by IV. When she had got to the other hospital she only lasted another 4 days. That Friday night I had noticed that she was skipping beats when she was breathing. The doctor listened to her lungs and she said that they were okay. About an hour later she came back and listened again and she shook her head. She called us in the hallway and said I think that we are going to have to put your mother on the critical list, thst is all that I needed to hear. I went home that not and couldn't sleep at all. The next morning we got the call and they said that she was having a hard time breathing. I quickly got dressed and I had somebody drive me to the hospital. I walked in and I couldn't believe the way she was breathing, she had that rattling in her chest, and that is one thing that I didn't want to see or hear it was so bad. I sat by ny mother's side and held her hand for 3 hours and kept telling her how much I loved her and that she was going to be okay. I had to go to the bathroom and I was holding it for a long time, so I stepped out of the room and went to the bathroom and had gotten something to eat, because I felt very weak from not eating. I was only gone for 15 minutes. Something kept tellling me not to leave the room because she was going to pass. I wasn't able to hold it anymore, so I had to leave. I no sooner got back to the room and my mother was already gone. It was like she wanted me to leave the room, because she didn't want to pass away in front of me. I was so upset. My mother and I saw each other everyday, before she was diagnosed with cancer. We did everything together, she was my best friend I am so lost without her. I can't sleep at all anymore, because I miss her so much. Nobody understands me at all. My mother had passed away on July28, 2007. It was the worst thing in my life. It was so hard writing this tonight, but I just had to let it all out again. I am so sorry that I had wrote such a long letter. I hope that your father is going to be okay. Did he have any treatments? Usually when it is Stage IV that means that it has spread to other parts of his body. Please write later. I really need to try and sleep, I am so exhausted. Thans for listening to me. Lori

 
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:36 AM   #3
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carol1961 HB User
Re: My Dad is in stage 4 of his cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by CsCE71 View Post
I was wondering if there was anyone out there who could help me understand what that means and how much time does someone have if they have stage 4 lung cancer...he is on oxygen at home all the time...his doc sent him home from the hospital yesterday and asked him if he would like hospice set up for him...being the proud man that my father is he said no...
could someone enlighten me when hospice come in... Thanks
I am so sorry...no one can tell you time...I know with my Mom...i kept looking for that answer....it is so individual...just enjoy any and all time you have...hospice is such a great resource and support for patients an there families...unfortunately most people don't utilize it until they are near the end...but they can come onboard really early on and help with quality of life...thinking of you and your dad...c

 
Old 03-08-2008, 01:34 PM   #4
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Re: My Dad is in stage 4 of his cancer

I am sorry about your father... stage 4 merely means that it has spread into a 2nd organ from the original site.. I believe technically he could have one tumor in both lungs (ea being an organ) and be classified as stage 4.
You really cant determine time from that alone.

Hospice now means that aggressive "curative" treatments will no longer be sought. I am sure for your father, it was a shock to hear the word hospice b/c a while ago that meant you only had a very small about of time.
I will say that hospice usually will not be brought in until it is determined that the prognosis is less than 6 months. That doesnt mean he wont make it longer. People have been known to be on hospice for more than a year.
It just means that treatments such as chemo or radiation will no longer be done and that medications will be given to relieve symptoms.

I do not know how the overall health of your father is so I cannot really say, nor can anyone about time. Just make the most of the time that you have left and try and convince him that hospice is generally there to help all the way around...the family as well as the patient. This is a difficult time for all families - and I speak from experience. My husband was dx with LC in March of last year. He was on oxygen and hospice 3 mnths later and died in July07 at age 47.

This is a horrible disease and I am sorry for the suffering your father and family are no doubt going through

my thoughts and prayers are with you

 
Old 03-09-2008, 03:43 AM   #5
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Re: My Dad is in stage 4 of his cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueeyes62 View Post
My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in 9/2006. Lori
God Bless you. I know the pain is great, but we must go on.

Last edited by moderator2; 03-09-2008 at 12:18 PM. Reason: please edit or delete the huge quotes

 
Old 03-09-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
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CsCE71 HB User
Re: My Dad is in stage 4 of his cancer

Thank you Lori for sharing your story....I've been staying with my dad for a couple of days now...My dad is a ex police officer and he is very prideful...if you can imagine...It's so hard watching him go through this...I feel like I am
starring at him watching every move he makes and every breath he takes..last night his breaths were sometimes looking shallow...He is not eating
solids and barely drinking liquids. I wish I knew what to do for him...I feel so helpless. My dad has always been the strongest man I ever knew and he is slowly breaking down....I can tell my dad wants to keep fighting this...he does not believe what the doctor told him....he thinks he has a lung infection called "BOOP" and the steroids and antibiotics will start working...He is suppose to have an appointment with his doctor on Tuesday but he is getting weaker by the day...and I don't know if he will make it to his appointment....He told his doc he did not want hospice...I feel lost and do not know what to expect or what signs to look for if things start going down hill....Can anyone help me with what signs and symptoms should I be watching for??? Thank you for your response...Knowing and talking to other people who have been through this is the only way I am going to get through this...Thank you all for your support. Chrissy

Last edited by moderator2; 03-09-2008 at 12:17 PM. Reason: please delete the quote

 
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:57 AM   #7
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Re: My Dad is in stage 4 of his cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy63 View Post
I am sorry about your father...
Thank you for your post...What I am afraid of is I won't know the signs and symptoms to look for when he is getting worse...Before he was released from the hospital his doc asked him if he wanted hospice and he said "no". He is suppose to have an appointment on Tues but he is getting weaker by the day...He is not eating any solids and drinks VERY little liquids...I know this is not a good sign. My dad is an ex police officer and is very prideful...This is
killing him knowing that he has to use a porta potty and pee in a jug....Last night his breathing was looking a little shallow and labored. I find myself starring at him and I hate it...I don't know what I'm looking for or what I am suppose to see. If you could help me with this I would greatly appreciate it..
Thank you again for your response...Chrissy

Last edited by moderator2; 03-09-2008 at 12:20 PM.

 
Old 03-09-2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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Re: My Dad is in stage 4 of his cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by carol1961 View Post
I am so sorry...no one can tell you time...I know with my Mom...i kept looking for that answer....it is so individual...just enjoy any and all time you have...hospice is such a great resource and support for patients an there families...unfortunately most people don't utilize it until they are near the end...but they can come onboard really early on and help with quality of life...thinking of you and your dad...c
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my posting....I've been staying with dad for a couple of days now...I've noticed that he's getting weaker by the day...He is no longer taking in solids and barely taking in any liquids...I found myself starring at him while he rested on the couch...his breathing looked shallow & labored...He has a doc appointment on Tues but I don't know if he'll be stronge enough to travel to go. He was having panic attacks but those have slowed down since they put him on Ativan...He said he is not in any pain right now...He is afraid to go to sleep...he feels that if he goes to sleep he won't wake up....Like I have been asking others I don't know the signs and symptoms I should be looking for...If you could enlighten me with any information I would greatly appreciate it...Thank you again for taking the time to write to me....Chrissy

 
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