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Kimslos 08-23-2006 05:46 PM

Question on Chest Pain
As most of you know my husband has SCLC and is 14 months plus into his battle. Out of the blue last night he got dull, but very painful pains on his left side but not toward the center of the chest, but more toward the side closer to your underarm, but not under the arm. Anyway, he has never had chest pain with his lung cancer. His lung cancer is actually concentrated on his right lung (we know it could have spread to the left since scans were done in May) around the bronchial tube. He said it felt like his heart, but I have read many posts that state they went to ER thinking they were having a heart attack. He happened to have an appt with his onc. this morning and the onc. thought maybe it was muscle pain. Stan told him it is not muscle, but it was left at that....gggrrr. He thought Stan lifted something....Stan cannot do much at all much less lift something! He has had it on and off today but more mild and then a while ago it got stronger again. I hate to think going thru another night of him in terrible pain. He only takes vicadin...he won't take morphine since he had a bad experience the 2nd time he took it. I just don't know what to think, but if it gets severe enough I will take him in.
He gets his scans on Sept. 12th and the results on the 14th! We are trying to stay positive but he sure has not been feeling the best lately. (I hope it was the chemo bringing him down and not the cancer!)
Anyway, off to cook dinner. Thanks for any input.

rockie 08-23-2006 08:45 PM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
Hi Kim, I know EXACTLY what you two are going through. Bud is going through the same thing. It started just left of his heart...almost to the side. The cancer is not the problem the onc said-scan shows stable and some more minor shrinkage. Nothing new, nothing notable (thank the Lord!) So, they are treating him for pleurosy....steroid and non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs. Nothing seems to be helping him. It came on out of the blue. His pain peaks and then dulls for a while, then peaks again. Sometimes spiking to a 10 on the proverbial scale. Bud has to call again to let the doc know how this last round has affected him. Nothing is helping. He won't hardly take any of his meds for pain because they make him so sleepy and fatigued. So, I just stand by wringing my hands...and silently wanting to wring his neck for not taking the pain meds if he needs them. SIGH!! We have been going through this for a month now and I can barely stand to go through another night and another day of this. He moans and groans in his sleep so I know he is hurting like crazy. And, there is nothing I can do.

I hope your doctor can figure out what is going on with Stan. Maybe I can take some notes from you guys to pass on to our doc. God love you Kim! My hugs and prayers and love are on their way to you.


Kimslos 08-23-2006 09:36 PM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
Thanks Jan!
I appreciate you sharing what Bud has been going thru and now I remember you mentioning that! ((I get so overwhelmed it is so hard to remember everything!) Stan does not get fatigued when he takes Vicadin, but he says that the vicadin does not really help the pain at all and yes it is a 10 for Stan too! He could not even sleep last night and was up most of the night pacing and moaning and groaning...these poor men going thru this and how many others going thru this terrible pain! If your doctor comes up with something else as fas as what he thinks it is let me know since it sounds like they have the problem. Stan just came to tell me that he is in severe pain again! And as we know it for some reason cancer pain loves to visit at night!
Jan I saw another posting where you mentioned Bud is 10 years older than you and realized we even have more in common...Stan is 9 years older than I am. He is 52 and I am 43.
Thanks Jan for taking the time to reply...I feel so helpless and helps so much coming to this posting board. You take care of yourself and try to get some rest. Many hugs and prayers being sent your are a blessing to me...Kim

Janmarie2 08-24-2006 11:28 AM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
Kim and Jan,

I saw an earlier post where it was mentioned wouldn't that be great if we could all meet in person. I agree as I feel I really know you both and I feel your pain like it is my own..gee thanks! But this message board does not allow that so we remain connected only in cyberspace. I have been following Stan and Bud's stories and it hurts me to see they are both having so much pain. I have been in sort of a blue mood the past week and your posts just make me cry.( also your poor little one Kim!...sobbed my eyes out for him).

I wish I could get out of this funk but think it is part hormones so will just have to wait it out. The joys of being a female..huh? This is my mom's week off so I have stayed home and tried to catch up on things but have spent more time just lost in this funk. I come hear and read all the stories and then sob for awhile as I absorb all the pain here.

My best friend up in the bay area has parents that are in their 80's too and suddenly they both are having alot of trouble and have been in and out of the hospital, which breaks my heart as I love her parents like they were my own. She called me yesterday to cry and said "I never really understood how difficult this must all be for you until now that I have had a taste of it". I think that is true as I know my other friends and co workers try to understand but they don't and can't until they have walked a mile in these shoes. At work our department is hosting a walk for CF and they keep asking me to help and don't seem to understand I can't. It is an amazing fact that I make it to work and function but I just can't pick up anything else. Grocery shopping is a major effort at times and they just do not get it, yes my mom is the one with the cancer but the cancer invades the whole family as it finds a way of creeping into the very fibers of our lives and then consumes us.We sort of glide on auto pilot through a land of fatigue and others just don't understand that.:mad: ERRRRR!

From e-mails I get I guess my mom is not bouncing back this week as the fatigue is hanging on which is making her discouraged. She hates not being able to be out there doing everything, thou I think she still does alot. It worries me as this is sort of the point where her sister decided to stop her battle with ovarian cancer,as she just got tired of the no energy and decided that it was time to give the win to the cancer.Of course it is hard not being there so not knowing how bad this" no energy" really is.Being that my mom has always been a non stop person, no energy to her could be she only gets half of it done or it could mean she is just sitting watching TV. I shall see next week.

Dash get his staples out on Sat. I have taken his cone off as he drives ME nuts with it on and he has left the staples alone.We should all sail through surgery and recovery like animals seem too! I should get busy as that helps beat back the blues. Just know you both are in my thoughts everyday and I am crying lots of tears with you both.

((((((Big cyberhug to both of you and if it is ok one to Stan and Bud too)))))From somewhere in the blue funk zone, JanMarie

rockie 08-24-2006 05:38 PM

Re: Question on Chest Pain I sit crying my eyes out because as we speak my hubby is near ...mmmm....comatose. The onc called today and said he wanted him in for another CT of chest w/contrast. Last thing I thought of today...what if they misread his CT last time....
shuckydern....(however something like that is spelled)
We will find out tomorrow.
God love you all. I am here physically and keyboard is my shoulder....but, I still hurt, and cry. Take care all. This is what Lung cancer is about. We share all we have. Good. Bad. We welcome all to this place that we find as a horour, a refuge, and (God help me) a hell.......

Bandit tried so hard tonite JM to find his "ball" and bring it to me to fetch. He is a MESS. But, he is so darn cute I cannot send him away, so am ready to spend another cool 200 to get him fixed and with a rabies shot. WHICH, he needs. The one thng I am really looking forward to, JM is getting more input on Borders from you. This little guy is a MESS. OMG. I do not know where to begin, but like Bugs, he senses a problem here, and is trying in his puppy way to make a bridge.

hugs love healing...

Kimslos 08-24-2006 08:03 PM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
Jan what led them to think something is up with Bud? Why are you saying he is near comatose? What happened? I thought he has been hanging in there except for the pain...I am confused! Please keep us posted and I am so sorry for all the tears...I have shed so many this week and not sure why this week has been so hard. Stan had another bad day and makes me so worried. But please keep us posted and try to stay positive and get some rest as I know you need it! Now I am concerned since Stan is still having that pain but was not as bad last night, but had it so makes me wonder what it could be since now they called Bud back in! Just know you are in my thoughts and so when you are feeling down and sad just know I am here in CA sending hugs to you and that goes for you too JanMarie. It is odd how sometimes I can be so strong and other days I fall apart and think this entire week as been so emotional.
JanMarie, thanks for your long posting and so sorry you are also so blue...what's up with that with all of us?! I think it is wearing on us and yes until someone else has walked a mile in your shoes they do not know what you are going is so true. I don't hold it against my friends and would never want them to go thru this so I just come to the posting board for support and never meant to make you cry JanMarie! Yes, amazing how animals bounce back so quickly and I miss having a cat, but Stan dislikes them. It is so relaxing for me to pet an animal and talk to them. (not like they will answer me...but helps) We have a bunny so I go out and talk to him and he just loves to be petted and talked to. Sorry to hear your mom is more fatigued and see the same in Stan.
Thanks for the cyberhugs for us and even Stan! We need all the hugs and prayers we can get!
You two hang in there... time for me to make a run to Golden Spoon(frozen yogurt) to get out of the house and take a drive and maybe do some crying or screaming or whatever helps tonight.

rockie 08-26-2006 09:34 AM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
Hi Kim and JanMarie,
maybe comatose was a strong word...but the pain is so debilitating that sometimes he just lays down and is so still and unable to communicate with me that it really scares me. CT went well, his onc is totally confused. He cannot fathom what is going on with him, but thankfully the cancer is still at bay, shrank minimally since the one 3 weeks ago and showing absolutely no sign of spreading anywhere else. So, back to square one. We discussed different scenarios and ultimately narrowed it down to a neurological issue. Bud is scheduled for 2 MRI's on Monday, one of the thoraxic area, and one of the lumbar. He had back surgery about 20 yrs ago and also old Viet Nam wounds to his spine. He still has shrapnel in his body, that tends to migrate. His oncologist wants to see if there is nerve issue present and if so, then we will have a better idea of how to work with this. If not, then not sure where we go after that. His doctor wants to continue his treatments to stay on top of the LC, and his worry is that if it starts to flare up again, it could take off like (as I heard someone else describe it) wildfire. So, we play the waiting game. They upped his pain meds to Dilaudid (?spelling?) but he is still hurting this morning.

I sure did not mean to make you cry JanMarie. THat's the last of what I wish to accomplish here, I want to lift you up not pull you down. I am sorry that my words did otherwise. We all come here to pour our hearts out. Sometimes what comes out is light and positivie. Sometimes dark and despaired. Even in good times, I think we all share the sentiment that we are in limbo, waiting for the "other shoe to drop". So, to say that confusion and frustration reign supreme at times is pretty accurate, especially in my home. I look at Bud, and based on what his tests show, he should be feeling pretty darn good, but instead he is in constant pain and for seemingly no reason. He gets headaches a lot, and that too could be caused by a pinched nerve. Hopefully the MRI's will shed some light on it all.

I send all of my love and hugs to you both and keep you close to my heart. I saw a show last night on the Travel channel about Savannah GA - it was about reputedly haunted establishments since the city is so old. I thought of Ron and Bec and in my mind's eye, could see them strolling through those historical streets, hand in hand. I think about them often and hope that Becky is having a good summer and praying that Ron remains strong and hopeful.

I guess I better get my lazy self back upstairs and to work. You talk about hormones JM, I turned 47 about 2 months ago and honestly, I am beginning to feel a little different. I take a lot of calcium and work with weights to keep my bones strong, but I see my body changing and in a not so flattering way. My lands, growing old is no fun at all, and I think the hardest part of it is watching people we love age, get sick, leave us. Someone once asked me if I would like to return to my 20's again and although the thought is alluring, I cannot even consider learning all of the life lessons all over again. I do not want to experience the sense of loss all over. I lost my grandma when I was 3, my greatgrandpa who raised me at 10, my greatgrandma who raised me at 13, my mom at 17, my dad at 26, and my brother hasn't spoken to me in 12 yrs because his wife hates me. My daughter lives in OK, and my son is pretty much out of the picture. I am all alone except for Bud. The thought of him leaving me distresses me to no end. I think that is why God in his infinite compassion, has decided to let him be here with me a tad longer, until I am strong enough emotionally to confront another departure.

I wish I could hire one of those landscapers that are shown on HGTV's Landscper's Challenge (love those shows) and help me conquer my back yard. They have been spraying for mosquitoes as our area came out highly positive for West Nile virus. I need to cut down all of my bushes and prune back my flowering trees. Not sure what to do about my fish pond so I put those "donuts" in it that discourage mosquito larvas. The pool has sufficient chlorine to keep it at bay. Any suggestions out there?

Talk to you all later, I hope to have a good weekend.

Love, healing, prayers, hugs...


Dawnster 08-28-2006 10:39 AM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
I have not posted for quite a while. I was going to post and ask a question today regarding chest pain and then I saw Kims post and all the replies. I was in the emergency room last night with my mother because of chest pain. It actually started last Friday and the oncologist thought it might be a reaction from Neulasta and the pain would subside. She had her first Neulasta shot last Wednesday. Well the pain did not subside but got worse throughout the weekend. Her pain was on her right side going in towards the breast area. Her tumor is 7.9 cm on her right side. Very large tumor. She says that it feels like the pain is right under her rib cage. For most of the weekend if she did not move much then it would not hurt but then it got to be even when she would take a breath it would hurt. Her pain would go from a 5 to a 10. The er did a ct scan (they were worried about a blood clot). There were no blood clots and not really an explanation for the pain. They thought that maybe the tumor may have grown and be pushing on a rib and that could be causing the pain. I don't think they can do much if that is the problem. They prescribed her Vicadin, take 2 every 4 hours. This does seem to help. As long as she does not cough or take a deep breath. Her biggest fear was to have pain. I don't know why we thought we could go through this process without pain. It is so hard to see someone you love have pain and there is nothing you can do about it. Is this pain going to be something that we will have to deal with throughout? I pray that it is not. Could it be possible that it is from the Neulasta shot?
You ladies are so right. Everyone seems to try to understand and be so helpful but they just don't understand. I feel like nobody understands what I am going through. Have you ever seemed very alone? I have many aunts, uncles, cousins, a husband, 4 kids, a sister and a brother and I still feel alone.
I don't feel like I can really talk to them. I know part of that is because I try to protect everyone else. Be the strong one. Some days I just do not feel so strong. Those days I usually go somewhere by myself and cry. I do try to talk to my younger sister but it always ends up me consoling her in the end. So I no longer talk to her about any issues and she knows why. My sister does not handle any kind of stress well at all. I think my brother lives in fantasy land half of the time. I let him stay there in make believe.
Oh my gosh, I just read the post that I was writing and boy does it sound like I am feeling sorry for myself. I apologize but it did feel good to let some of that out.
Kim and Jan - I pray that they find out the cause for your husbands pain. It is a heart wrenching thing to watch.
JanMarie - I hope your mom bounces back. My mom was in the hospital a few weeks ago coughing up blood and being very weak. She received 2 blood transfusion and platelets. She was still very weak when she came home 3 days later. Then last week she had probably the best week since she was diagnosed a year ago. Last week was an awesome week. We were all giddy. It was a really good feeling. I am thinking the steroids might have had something to do with that. Hopefully your mom has some more weeks like that. It seems so weird but when I think that the really tough road is ahead then my mom bounces back. Never give up. I will pray for her.
This disease seems like such a rollercoaster.
Sorry for such a long post. I am actually writing this at work and better get back to working.
Prayers for all of you!

Smallcell 08-28-2006 05:55 PM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
Hi guys; I read this thread and I have to tell you that as sad as it is to hear you all and what you are going through, I thank God that it's not just me that feels this way. I might be crazy true :jester: but if it were not for you sharing your feelings I would feel terribly alone. My father is getting worse, not able to breath well and the fatigue is really doing him in. He recently turned 60, his sister is soon to be 70 and then it's just me. I'm it. Only child, mother left me when I was a baby blah blah blah. So, about to turn 40 next month and suffering with the strongest man I have ever known, I find myself at any strange, given time, breaking in to tears. I mean sobbing!:dizzy: And then, pulling myself back together. Is this normal? I also wonder constantly about time. Dad was so Extensive when diagnosed January 6th. When I read everyone here, I wonder were you or your loved ones as extive with sclc as my dad? He was given 6-12 and like textbook, he is about to hit 9 months and going down fast. We got the news two weeks ago, it's growing again and doc said it grows back quickly. Everything I have researched says the same thing. This is so surreal I just can't believe it's happening. Thanks for being here. no spell check.

Kimslos 08-28-2006 08:44 PM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
Hi All,
Wow, I had no idea how this posting would cause so many tears, but at the same time help us vent. I don't know about you, but when I read a posting I don't look at it as someone is whining or complaining, but feel deep compassion for what one is going thru. I think this comes with dealing with such a terrible illness as cancer which has brought us to this posting board.
I do hope you get some answers as to Bud's pain and hope he was able to get all the tests done today. Please let us know as soon as you get the results and hopefully he can find some relief in his pain. I do hope in the meantime that the new pain meds have helped Bud. Have they? I know you will find this odd, but Stan's pain in his chest has subsided and tapered off to just once a while, but mild if it does appear. But.....he noticed today that he has shortness of breath(which he has never had) and says that he feels like it is tight in his throat but lower...sorta where you touch yourself on your chest and neck area if that makes any sense. I do hope this is not a sign of a new problem. He is doctor free until September 12th for the scans and the 14th for the results. I will keep a close eye on him and check him during the night...always make me so nervous!
So glad to see your posting, but sad to see your mom is in such pain! I never knew before my dad and husband were diagnosed with cancer that the pain could be so severe. I honestly do not think people understand cancer can be so painful. I do hear people having morphine patches, but until you live with someone and watch them scream, shed tears and beg for you to take them out of your pain do you truly know the agony they are going thru. I do know that when Stan has received his Neulasta shots they have sent him thru the roof and one night he had to take so much morphine he got very ill and has never taken morphine again! He dreads getting shots for his white count since they always make him in so much pain...but his pain was in his legs and back and he would cry, scream and just beg me to end his pain. I did pull up on the Internet side effects and it did state that you could have upper stomach pain...wonder if that is what your mom did have? I think they don't know how each person's body reacts so you never know. I pray that your mom's pain is gone now...keep us posted when you have time.
I can relate to how you feel about feeling so alone and don't feel that anyone understands. I do have awesome friends, but sometimes I don't think they realize what they are saying to me at times! My mom can even set me off these dad died in Feb. and if I am having a bad day my mom tells me I need to understand and that she lost her husband...but then there is selfish me and my mouth (but don't say a word to her) ....yes mom you did lose dad and I miss him too...but darn it...I am only 43 and you are had 23 more years with your husband than I will ever have! I am not that bad of daughter to snap at her, but boy when she gets cold hearted to me it hurts. She knows I have so much on my plate, but she has never been one to be open with me and share her feelings very much even though we talk about 3 or 4 times a day. (shallow conversations!) Please Dawn come to this posting board at your lowest moment and let it all out...I sure have! I think we are an awesome support group and I thank everyone for being there for me!
Small Cell,
I am so glad you visited the posting board and shared your feelings. I felt for you when I read that you have no mom around and no siblings and your dad is dying...heart wrenching. Yes, it is normal (I hope it is since I do the same thing) to fall apart and then pull yourself back together again. At first I use to let the time issue consume me and I just could not live like that so ignored all the doctors have said know my husband has outlived what the doctors had said! My husband was diagnosed very extensive SCLC....let's see...lungs, liver, adrenal, bones, brain(yep, brain at least 7 mets to the brain in June 05 and even more now and no radiation!) and lymph I think my husband is like your dad being very extensive. My husband has been such a fighter and we have two kids that are still in school so my husband has that drive to keep him going. I pray your dad can have some good days and more time with you. You stay strong and if you have to cry, then cry....I think a good cry is good...maybe some would disagree but it sure has helped me...has not solved our problems, but has helped.
Thanks to all and for all the prayers we share among us....

Janmarie2 08-30-2006 12:46 AM

Re: Question on Chest Pain
Before I turn into bed (mom has chemo at 8 AM--ugh!) I just wanted to say that no crying does not change things or solve our problems but it does provide an outlet for our grief and pain.Has anyone out there not felt just a tad better after a good cry?

As for feeling alone I can relate to that. I do have a brother, two sisters, brothers and sisters in laws, neice and nephews and cousins, an uncle and my dad and friends but I think grief is a very personal thing that causes us all to feel alone. We all deal with it differently so we sort of wall ourselves off to deal with it our way.

Despite the fact I make the drive almost everyweek.The fact I live 120 miles from any of my family also sort of sets me out there alone and adds to the feeling.My friends and coworkers try to understand and be helpful but they do not really understand what having lung cancer in the family is really like. They do not know how it invades everyfiber of your soul.

Most of my family wants to hear the good news not the bad and the fact that I figured out my mom might have lung cancer when I first learned she had a pleural effussion and shared my thoughts with my siblings left them all angry with me for even thinking such a thing..Screw the fact I have seen it present this way in many elderly women during my career for the past 25 yrs and just wanted to give them a heads up so that it would not be a total shock..they were angry and that caused a huge feeling of isolation for me . I was already living the nightmare before any of them.I am also the one the doctor first told so I had to tell my mom and dad as we were in the hospital room when I spoke to the doctor on the phone, next I had to tell my siblings so I think they tend to view me as the the one that delivers bad news. I have just had such a different role in all of this then any of them so Yea I do feel alone! That is why I like this board so much as I do not feel alone here and when someone shares their pain here, yes I can feel it too. Well it is almost 1Am so I had better get to bed. God bless us all! JanMarie

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