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Cancer: Lung Message Board

Roller Coaster ride with husband at Stage IV

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Old 06-15-2006, 09:54 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 61
gnik HB User
Roller Coaster ride with husband at Stage IV

I haven't posted in quite some time.

I thought I would share what is going on with my husband who has NSCLC Stage IV. About three weeks ago he got real weak and looked terrible. I spoke with his oncologist and she told me to take him to the emergency room. When we got up that Friday morning is when we discovered how bad he was doing. I called our daughter who came immediatly. She called an ambulance. He had lost 5 units of blood. His Red Blood count was 3. From what I was told it should be between 13 and 18. We told them that this had happened three years ago and all they could tell us was that it was a G.I. Bleed. He was in intensive care for 5 days with several IV's. They found nothing in his stomach and they did find that his colon is full of polyps. The only thing they could tell us was that it was a G.I. bleed. The doctors were making rounds one morning and our daughter and I were standing outside John's room listening to the doctors. When they came to John's room the doctor told his interns that this was a gentleman in Stage IV lung cancer. That is the first time that we heard that he was in Stage IV. I didn't tell my husband as he told me he didn't need to hear any details. We saw the oncologist and she is holding off on chemo as John not only has fungus in his right lung but now it is in his left lung. They are small amounts but chemo can make fungus grow. I doubt that he will get any more chemo. He has only had two thus far. He was a CT scan on July 21 and we will know more about the tumor size. What a roller coaster ride this has been.

Three weeks ago this Saturday our little dog that we had for six years died of pancretitis in an animinal hospital We have been devastated by this loss because he meant so much to us. I have grieved so much, I'm sure, because I know I will be losing John too. Forgive me for speaking of my dog as I know all on this board have more problems then their dog dying.

One thing I don't understand is that it has been 8 months since my husband was diagnosised with lung cancer and emphysema and he has had no pain. I thought he would have some major pain at this stage. Would appreciate any information regarding pain.

God bless us all and may God smile on us today.

linda (gnik)

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Old 06-15-2006, 04:24 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 609
Janmarie2 HB User
Re: Roller Coaster ride with husband at Stage IV


I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through.You do not have to ask forgiveness for mentioning your dogs death.Being an animal owner I know how important they are to some of us and know how sometimes it is my dogs that get me through my mom's illness so I really understand your feelings there. I also think it is my mom's two dogs that help her cope and help her hang on as she knows they need her especially her older one that has Lupus.!

As for pain,in lung cancer it usually takes a tumor pressing on a nerve or organ to cause pain or an inflammation in the pleura( sack around the lungs) to cause pain. The other big pain would be bone pain from mets to the bone. Your husbands tumor may sit at a spot where it is not compressing a nerve. My mom is also stage IV NSCLC and with the exception of when she had the pleural effussions she has had no pain and for that we are blessed. But that is probably also one of the reason's lung cancer is usually not caught until the late stages as often there is no pain, no obvious symptoms until very late in the disease. You could have a stage I tumor that presses on a nerve and have pain yet have stage IV and not. The stages really have more to do with where the cancer has spread then the actual size or amount of symptoms. With luck your husand will continue to experience no pain.

Yes it is a roller coaster ride having been on it two years now I know too well. My heart goes out to you and your husband. I will keep him in my prayers and add a special one for you that your heart gets past the grief of your beloved dog to the point that one day it opens to some little doggie that needs a loving owner as much as she needs a new loving doggie. Hang in there and Know we all understand as we are on that roller coaster with you even though we may hate roller coasters! JanMarie

Old 06-15-2006, 07:45 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 78
pjoi4 HB User
Re: Roller Coaster ride with husband at Stage IV

Hi Linda,

I don't like this rollercoaster ride either. My husband was diagnosed back in October, 2005 with NSCLC Stage IV also. He has a pleural effusion that is also diseased. The he has several tumors inside his right lung. He complains of pain all the time. Sometimes I don't know if it is from the insertion of the chest tube or just pain from the tumors. Before any of this happened to him there was no pain. As we speak, he has been complaining of having pain in his right side all day. We have a doctor's appointment next week on the 23rd. He will tell the doctor that he has been having pain all around his mid section and his right side. It seems as if the Tarceva still makes him tired. He tried to take a walk yesterday and said that is was the most punishing walk he had ever taken. I can see the exhaustion on his face. My husband is tired and is clinging and hoping. I just do all I can to help him to hold on to the hope.

Bless you and your family especially your husband as you go on this journey.


Old 06-16-2006, 07:13 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 8
Tmone75 HB User
Re: Roller Coaster ride with husband at Stage IV


the Ups and downs are not going to stop. my Mother is in stage IV with SCLC and was just diagnosed 4 months ago. I can not believe the things we have had to go through. She is in tremendous pain due to the cancer spreading into her Spine and hip. If she falls she will break several bones in her body because there is hardly any in some spots.

The day this all came down, we were all at her house for a family function, everything was as normal as can be.. Then all of the sudden my mother sneezed and went down to the ground with pain I can not describe to you. (She had fractured her Spine with a sneeze)

We called 911 and they took her to the hospital, she stayed overnight and was sent home with back pain meds. The Pain did not stop so she went to a different hospital and was admitted. she spent 1 week there as they ran several tests. This is when they found out she was in Stage IV. just 3 months ago...

She is finishing up her 2nd round of radiation today and should be able to go home Monday. We are on the "high" part of the rollercoaster today because she is actually moving around now. Before radiation she was bedridden for weeks.

So I guess the moral of the story is, Thank the Lord your loved one is not in pain, because Watching my mother go through this is torture for me.

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