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Old 04-30-2008, 06:09 AM   #1
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newbie here advice please

hi everyone, my name is jo and I am a regular member on the alzheimers board (mum)
my FIL has been diagnosed with lung cancer after a biopsy. family members have told me today that it an aggressive form of cancer. FIL was having a full body scan today to see how invasive(is masticised the correct word?)
the cancer is.
my FIL, Joe, is 75, and also has scelorisis (sp) of the liver and still smokes, he has also lost a lot of weight over the last six months.
the hospital have told MIL there will be no treatment due to his deterioration and he will be sent home with a palliative care plan in place.
the usual question, anyone know of similar situation...
prognosis...days weeks months or years...I am thinking maybe months.
I know everyone is different but I would just like any kind of indication or clue.
any replies would help if you have been in a situation like this. thankyou for reading.
JO

 
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: newbie here advice please

Hi Jo,

My mother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer last October (the most aggressive form of lung cancer). At the time, she had no other health problems - other than having smoked for 60 years. At that time, the cancer had also not spread to any other parts of her body.

It is now 7 months later and she is still with us. But just barely. Since January, she has lost about 25 pounds, hardly eats, and in the last two weeks her breathing has become very bad and her pain is now in the severe stage.

Originally, her doctor gave her 2-3 months to live. She has far surpassed that, but I fully expect a call any day from her nursing home telling me she is gone - it's gotten that bad.

Your FIL will probably go on hospice - they are wonderful! They can explain to you the stages he will most likely go through and what to look for at the "end of life". Again, they have been a God send to my mother and I can't say enough good things about them. They're not about "dying" - they're about keeping your loved one comfortable as they go through this. I highly recommend them.

Everyone is different - as we have found out first-hand with my mother. We never thought she would make it this long. NOTE: She did not take any treatment whatsoever after her diagnosis, so that's probably why the doctor orginally said 2-3 months. My uncle also had SCLC a few years ago, took treatments (chemo, etc.), and survived exactly 7 month. So who knows. Again, everyone is different.

Best wishes to you and your family, and especially your FIL.

Take care,

Summer

 
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:08 PM   #3
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Re: newbie here advice please

it is really hard to tell...

my husband was dx in March 07. By that time he had lost about 25 pounds and had been having what the drs thought were sinus problems for a couple of months (coughing, hard to breathe)..they finally did a chest xray and found it. They did a bronchoscopy to confirm what they knew... he had a pleural effusion and ended up with a chest tube for at least 6 weeks...

they did a little bit of radiation but it was mainly for palliative purposes...
they told me 6 months at th etime. he lasted 4.

he was only 47 years old. pretty healthy otherwise. smoked since he was 14 though. He was very strong and had never been in the hopsital ever until March last year. We think since he was so strong it kind of kept it from affecting him too much until it was way too late..then his body gave out.


this was my experience...they are all different. I am sorry your family is going thorugh this. It will be one year in July since he died. It is truly an awful disease

 
Old 05-01-2008, 05:28 PM   #4
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Re: newbie here advice please

Thankyou both for sharing your stories with me. It certainly helps to know what to expect. I had suspected my FIL had something seriously wrong with him for months now.
Jo

 
Old 05-02-2008, 05:08 AM   #5
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Re: newbie here advice please

update, radiation being offered with a 15% chance of giving him a couple of extra months. dilemna as no medical directive in place. SIL thinks FIL not competent to make decision. will raise this with docs. have been advised radiation will compromise his ability to fight infection. did any of you choose to prolong life with this course of action?
quality of life issues come in to play, also his age and other health issues

Quote:
they did a little bit of radiation but it was mainly for palliative purposes...
can you please tell me how radiation can be palliative?
thanks again for your help
Jo

 
Old 05-03-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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Re: newbie here advice please

Hi radiation can help shrink even if it can't cure...so thus alleving some of the symptoms or pain....Wether to go forward w/ palliative treatment...is such an individual choice for the person with the disease...a couple of extra months may help with some closure....may not be ready to give up hope..others may be ok and ready just to live out the rest of whatever days they have without spending time w/ Drs and treatments...would rather be at home with friends and family...so again...so very inividual...thinking and praying for you all...C

 
Old 05-04-2008, 06:15 AM   #7
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Re: newbie here advice please

thanks carol, we have been told that radiation will compromise his immune system ...thus introducing risks. given that the oncologist says that radiation has only a 15 % chance of helping, i dont think that he should have radiation.
I am sure that no one in our family wants/needs to prolong this terminal illness for my FIL.
even if we proceed with radiation, we are delaying the inevitable. if it shrinks the tumour and lessens pain, thats good, but for how long could he tolerate radiation?
quality of life issues need to be considered, also.
all my FIL wants right now is to go home.
SIL is meeting with oncologist on tuesday to make decisions.
because FIL is so ill, he has become a little impaired mentally, so SIL is going to ask for a mental compency (sp) test . FIL does not understand the seriousness of his situation and has no living will or medical directive.
so legally, at the moment, what FIL agrees to, happens.
eg..."oncologist to FIL, you have lung cancer and so we are going to give you radiation etc etc"
FIL will agree and ask no questions.
doctors must of course, preserve life above everything else.
Jo
I am grateful for any replies, re our situation..thankyou

 
Old 05-05-2008, 04:47 PM   #8
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Re: newbie here advice please

My Mom did radiation as a palliative treatment. It didn't prolong the inevitable but it did help tremendously with easing a lot of the pain and discomfort she was having, as well as helping her to breath easier. My Mom had mets everywhere, so any little shrinkage she could get was better than the constant suffering and struggling to breath that she was having. When she had her radiation and chemo treatments anyone that went into her house was met with a mask at the door and had to wear it the whole time they were there, and if they had even the sniffles they were asked to please stay away.

My Mom first started having symptoms May 21 2006 but wasn't officially diagnosed until August. By then she had mets all over, except in her bones. She fought with SCLC for 7 months officially, 10 months unofficially.

Praying for your FIL and family.

 
Old 05-09-2008, 05:41 AM   #9
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Re: newbie here advice please

I was moved here by mods from lung cancer forum,palliative care nurse has now advised Joe has at probably 2 -3 days left. body shutting down etc etc
we are going to see him t/row.
i guess mods wil move me to a different forum shortly

Last edited by zonk; 05-09-2008 at 05:43 AM.

 
Old 05-09-2008, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: newbie here advice please

Hello Z,

I am sorry to hear the physician's prognosis.

Try to be strong for him, while you are at the hospital tomorrow.

The morpine is designed to ease his pain while he is transitioning.

I am sure that I am not alone in saying that he will continue to be in our prayers.

Respectfully,

Phoenix

Last edited by Phoenix; 05-09-2008 at 01:23 PM.

 
Old 05-10-2008, 04:24 AM   #11
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Re: newbie here advice please

thankyou so much everyone. there was I thinking that Joe would have weeks, or maybe months left.
not so..Joe is no longer in hospital, he went home on tuesday.

MIL rang this evening, palliative care speculate that Joe wont make it through the night. MY DH has gone to spend the night at his parents house.
I have told my children.
if he dies t/row, it is mothers day here in australia..and it will be 11 days from diagnosis
Although my time on this forum, has been short lived, I thankyou all for your replies, given what we all go through.
Hugs,
Jo

 
Old 05-11-2008, 08:04 AM   #12
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Re: newbie here advice please

our Joe passed away on mothers day today at 11.30 pm
Jo

 
Old 05-11-2008, 08:34 AM   #13
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Re: newbie here advice please

Hello Z,

My condolences to you and your family.

It doesn't matter how long you have been on this board; initiation begins when you enter your first post.

Take care of yourself.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Phoenix

 
Old 05-12-2008, 06:40 AM   #14
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Re: newbie here advice please

thankyou phoenix

 
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