Hi Redchez......I don't have any answers to your question, but wanted to ask you a couple of questions. I don't know if you remember me, but my Mom was in the process of a diagnosis around the same time as your Dad. She was finally diagnosed and had the lower right lobe of her right lung removed 7 days ago. Thank GOD the cancer hadn't spread. She is still in the hospital, doing well, but she still has her chest tube in due to a persistant air leak. The Doctor says it is looking better, but because she is so thin it is just taking a bit longer. My questions are, how long, or is your Dad still having any pain now? I also thought you mentioned the cancer had spead to one lymph node? Will they also do radiation and what is his prognosis? (If you don't mind sharing) This has been such a long, long, yet short road. My Mom is going crazy in the hospital and I can tell she is still in a lot of pain, although she won't complain. We will be sadly celebrating Christmas in the hospital, but......we will be celebrating!!! Thanks for your help.
I know exactly what you are going through, especially the long hard road bit.
I will probably end up writing a bit of a novel here, but I hope it helps.
My Dad was in hospital about 7 days, and at one point he also got an air leak, though he was in a considerable amount of pain due to his body rejecting the tubes. Once the tubes were taken out (which were taken out at various stages the pain subsided). However when he got home he was making a steady recovery and then he was hit again by horrendous pain and the painkillers were not helping at all. We called the hospital and they asked him to come in so that they could check the wound. He had started to panic, thinking something wasn't right inside and that he would have to undergo more surgery. However it turned out that the wound was healing perfectly and that the pain was caused by a trapped nerve. We were told that this only happens in certain cases. Apparantly the nerve goes into shock after the operation and it starts to heal after about 2 weeks, if the ribs are pressing on the nerve it causes imense pain. He was then given different painkillers and I have to say he was like a new man from this point forwad!
It has now been 6 weeks since surgery and he has painted the walls in our dining room and laid wood floor (though my mam and I weren't convinced he should be doing this), he had to take it easy, but he said he felt he was ready to do some light tasks and that he didn't feel any ill effects.
With regards to the the prognosis every nurse, doctor, specialist that he has seen has said how lucky he was to be able to undergo surgery as only 10% of people with lung cancer get that far. The reason he has been advised to have the chemotherapy is that because cancer cells showed up in 1 lymph node they want to ensure that no cells have broken away, and also reduce the risk for any cancer returning. My dad is a very a negative person and needs constant reassure, he fixates on the percentages that the doctors use and what things mean, though he is constantly being told that he is in a very good position. It can be quite hard work keeping his spirits up, but at the end of the day we don't know how it feels to be in his position.
They have not mentioned radiation. This would not be a suitable method because as far as they know, they have removed the cancer so there is nothing to hit. The chemotherapy is the best option as this will kill off any cells (if there are any)!
It is a very draining and stressful time for everyone. Like you say it is not very good spending Christmas in hospital, but think long term, you are, like us in a better position than most. I am sure you will have a lovely Christmas.
My dad has been told to enjoy himself over Christmas, enjoy a drink and enjoy lots of food so that he is built up for when his Chemotherapy starts on 11th January. (even saying that sounds surreal). I think we just have to get throught each day as it comes.
I hope that helped. If you require any further advise or need to chat, please feel to ask. It really does help to share experiences.
Hell again Redchez200....thanks for sharing. I'm happy to hear that your Dad is now doing well. I hope my Mom doesn't have any problems with the nerve pain. It is so hard to watch someone you love go through so much. Did your Dad feel as though some medical staff treated him differently because he caused the cancer by smoking?? (If in fact he did)? I know my Mom feels kind of strange sometimes. She made a comment on how differently people treat lung cancer patients opposed to other types of cancer. For the most part, the nurses and Doctors have been very nice and not judgmental, but one nurse did make a not so nice comment about smoking. I know not all lung cancer is from smoking, but my Mom did smoke for many, many, many years. I know she will never smoke again, but it breaks my heart to think that something had such a hold over her. It is so addictive. I just pray with all my heart that she will recover from this without any more set backs. It took us such a long time for a diagnosis that it feels as though we have been battling this for a long time already. Please keep in touch, our stories our so similar, if nothing else, cancer had given me many things.....stronger Faith, an appreciation for everyday life, a deeper compassion for the sick, and a new friend (you).
Have a Blessed Christmas!!!
Hi Redchez, I took two different chemo drugs, 12 total and I can say I had no big problems from them. Chemo is very hard on your veins and causes fatigue and hair loss, shortness of breath, etc. Nothing that was very hard for me to deal with. I received an anti-nausea medicine in the I.V. first and not one time was sick. The shot after the chemo that is to keep the blood cell levels up was my biggest complaint. I was so sore from shoulder to shoulder for a couple days then it went away quickly. My SCLC shrunk very quickly and was stopped in July. I will be scanned again next month and am full of hope it will not be back and if so, still treatable. I was more frightened before I started treatment than when I was actually gong through it. You and your Dad and family will be in my prayers daily, as are all the others I have 'met' here. God Bless and I hope you all have the best holidays ever. Darlene, please tell your Mom to ignore comments about smoking. Every single one of my doctors said to me that when I would have started smoking, there were no big warnings about the harmful effects, etc. I have also read that most lung cancer patients have never smoked so I think you can find statitics to suit each need. The main goal should be to focus on treatment, with hope and determination and prayers. That is what I know has gotten me this far. In Christian love, Pat
I just want to add some encouragement here as working in the health care field the past 24 yrs I have met a fair number of lung cancer survivors. They tend to be elderly women thou I have met a few such men that had early stage lung cancer 25-35 years ago, had surgery to remove it some had chemo and some did not and then went on to live cancer free lives. There is hope and I offer it to you and your families this christmas season.
I also recommend three books well worth reading.
1) Beating Cancer with Nutrition--Patrick Quillin
2) Nature's Cancer Fighting Foods--Verne Varona
3) Spontaneous Healing---Andrew Weil MD
While smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer there is a nutritional link too as people with higher comsumption of animal fats ( meat and dairy) tend to have higher rates of certain cancers and lung cancer is one of them.
The statsics say 1 out of 10 non smoking males will develope lung cancer and sadly for women it is 2 out of 10 non smoking females that do. Lung cancer is turning out to be quite a different beast for the different sexes. Thus the above books are useful for all to read not just some one trying to beat cancer as the advice they give could save you or another loved one from hearing the words " you have cancer" .We live in an ever increasing toxic world and the only way to survive it is by building up a strong immune system which can then keep cancer cells in check so that they never become a problem.
While nutrition plays a huge role Patrick Quillin also points out that more often then not it is not what we eat that is causing the illness but rather what is eating us that causes illness . Learn to relax and to forgive others . If you are in a toxic relationship or situation get out of it now!There is very little in life that is worth the cost of anger.
My best wishes to you all this holiday season and may 2006 bring better Health for you and all of your loved ones. JanMarie
Hello, my mom had stage 4 non small cell adenocarcinoma. She was diagnosed back in sept 2004 with only 6 months to live its now dec 31, 2005 and she is still alive. Anyone with family members with lung cancer you MUST research dr's and treatments, and chemos online. We have ad we found 1 of the top oncologists in the united states here in New York on the Island. His name is Dr howard Bruckner. I ahve read in some posts about chemo's and how long treatment. My mom started 4 chemos every 2 weeks intraveniously since October 2004 and is still receiving chemo yesterday. Most oncologists will pump a patient full of chemo, overloading them which then only will result patient getting chemo for 4-6 months long and stop, Dr Bruckner treats cancer by controlling it then ridding it from the body. Please everyone look into every aspect. Dr Bruckner is a scientist/oncologist and has written and has published works online for all types of cancer and he develops chemos and gets them fda approved. He takes on primarily stage 4 patients and has the highest sucess rate in the country. Please im asking family members to please help out and do research.
Thank you everyone for your responses. It's been a few weeks since I last posted (it's been a busy christmas, and start back to work).
I hope everyone is o.k? Darlene how is your Mam?
My Dad starts chemotherapy tomorrow and he is extremely nervous ( or as he put it, he is absolutely terrified), he hasn't been sleeping well and is having trouble staying positive.
I don't think any of us really know what to expect, in some ways this feels worse than when he went into surgery as we knew that was going to help him, but with the chemotherapy ,it seems that he has just made a recovery and looks fit and healthy then all of a sudden he is going to be made ill again (in the short term at least). I know it is for the best but I am really worried about how he is going to cope that also includes my Mam, who is with him all day - at least my husband and I can escape to work where there is some normality.
I just saw the questions in your last message (23/12/05). Yes my Dad did smoke - he wasn't a heavy smoker but he smoked consistantly for over 40 years. He gave up smoking in December 2004 when he found out he had Angina (start of a bad year for us).
I think sometimes my Dad blocks out the impact smoking has had, though he did also work in the chemical industry for many years, which he thinks may have also contributed. I don't really understand the addiction as I have never smoked, but my Dad said he always wanted to quit but found it difficult. Once he was shocked with the Angina he never touched a cigarette again. The shock made all the difference.
Without getting into why us, we thought his punishment for smoking was the Triple heart bypass in May 05, but it wasn't to be.
With regards to the medical staff, we have not experineced anything but amazing care and support from the hosptial. My dad has nothing but praise for them.
Hi Cheryl....and all, I haven't posted in a while as well, although I do visit everyday for the silent support I get from everyone here. It's funny how strangers can give the comfort that sometimes those closest to us can not. An update on my Mom.....she was finally released from the hospital after a long and trying 13 days. We went for her post-op last Wednesday and were finally told it was Stage 1b. She is still in pain, which according to the Doctors, (which I again spoke to today) say is very normal. Although it feels like an eternity for us, her healing time is very early in the process and the Doctors say it is one of the most painful surgeries one can have. I wish it was easier to try different pain medications, but the Doctors seem stuck on Vicodin. I have read so many stories on here about people having pain many months after the surgery. I can not stand to see my Mom suffer so much. Does anyone have any ideas on easing the pain? I keep trying to remind myself and my Mom on just how blessed we are. Her pain will subside and her prognosis is excellent. I thank God each and everyday. I have never prayed as much as I have in the last 3 months and now it is time to give praise!!! We're not sure on her follow up treatments as of yet. The surgeon said as far as he was concerned she didn't need any, but her primary will have her follow up with an oncologist (sp?). I don't think at this point, so soon after surgery she could handle anything else given to her. Thank you Cheryl for answering my "100" questions. You and your family has been one step ahead of me and mine so your words have helped and guided me. I will continue to pray for my Mom, your Dad, and everyone else suffering from any illness. I will especially be thinking about your Dad tomorrow Please keep in touch!
Hi Darlene, I am so happy your mom came thru the surgery so well and is on the road to recovery. Stage 1b is excellent, if having cancer can ever have the word excellent associated with it. We all have walked at one time or another this path and it seems that we pave the way for others and truly...I hate it because that means lung cancer is still alive and well. If I could declare war on anything, cancer would be it. I STILL SAY....we can put the Hubble telescope to the outer edges of the universe, and we cannot find a cure for cancer. GRRRRR.....
I keep praying and hoping for each person here and for all of those that come here if only to read and find encouragement. Like myself for a while, until I could not keep silent any longer...and my fingers fly away on this keyboard, hoping that someone will find some goodness out of the sad ramblings I type out and gain strength from them...maybe see themselves in me. I am only a caregiver, but I feel his pain, see his agony, his confusion, his displeasure, his love for those he loves and knows he one day will have to leave behind. I had been doing so good for a couple of weeks. A few tears here and there....but last night...after his antisocial self finally fell into a deep slumber, I stayed up and thought and thought and then started to cry and the river flowed. Do you ever think that you have cried yourself dry? Well, I have thought that and I seem to have a fresh supply when I least expect it.
So dear friends, here is a fresh supply of hope love and prayers coming our your way, everywhere you live.
My mums just had two C/V chemo treatments and shes doing OK. Worst side effect so far is constipation and sore arms. But its better than i thought. SHe has Stage 3b NSCLC. Shes 60 years old, smoked heavy and only weighs seven stone. But three weeks on she's smiled and laughed today. Take life one day at a time. Enjoy the good ones.