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Qnrlene

Hi I'm a Newbie

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My name is Arlene.Dad has been diagnosed with stage 4 Lung Non small cell squamous carcinoma it's been about a month now. He started getting testing through the VA and was exposed to Agent Orange and has been a heavy smoker since he joined the military. Since his diagnosis I am overwhelmed with so many feelings dr gave him 6-12 months but also said every patient is different. When he was first diagnosed he said I feel fine I dont have symptoms. And keeps telling me I'm not going to die every morning I wake up with this reality. Lots of sleepiness nights uncontrollable crying, family drama, paranoia, anxiety and just terrified. 

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I have joined this forum cause I have not been able to really talk to anyone about how I've been feeling everyone is telling me how to feel what I shouldn't how I should do it. I feel at a loss, empty helplessness, researching sites ensuring he has all the right things to eat and maybe being to harsh to help prolong or save my dads life... I may be saying all the wrong things doing all the wrong things I just need help!

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Hi again Arlene,

I answered another post of yours too. A cancer diagnosis can cause chaos for the patient and family. It's normal to feel overwhelmed.  There are a lot of different ways people feel, both the patient and family. There's no right or wrong way to feel, for either you or your dad.  If you stay with these forums you'll read about people dealing with cancer in a lot of different ways. You'll also find that there is support here, and hope.  The main Lungevity Website has a lot of information. It's at Lungevity.org.  If you're intersted in being matched with another care giver for 1 to 1 support, you can look at:https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/support-services/peer-to-peer-mentoring/lungevity-lifeline

Let us know what questions you have and how we can support you. You're not alone.

Bridget O

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Hi, Q, 

I think it's great that you're willing to help your dad cope with his treatment.  Those statistical prognostications are often wrong when applied to individual patients.  They represent statistical averages, often based on people diagnosed more than five years ago.  There have been so many advances in that time.

The fact that he's not experiencing symptoms is a good thing--treatment can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, and at least he's not having to cope with discomfort from the cancer itself at the same time.  

When you're researching online for things that might help him, be careful to stick close to the credible sites, like Lungevity, the American Lung Association, the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, etc.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of websites out there of questionable credibility or that are flat-out wrong, including some that sell or promote bogus "treatments."  If you wonder about whether something is a good source of info, this is a great place to ask.  

And you and your dad will probably have a lot of mixed feelings and emotional ups and downs during this time.  Try to be patient with both of you--you (and he) feel however you feel.  Support groups like this one (and you might check whether there are any in-person groups where your dad is being treated) can be great for staying on an even keel.

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8 hours ago, BridgetO said:

Hi again Arlene,

I answered another post of yours too. A cancer diagnosis can cause chaos for the patient and family. It's normal to feel overwhelmed.  There are a lot of different ways people feel, both the patient and family. There's no right or wrong way to feel, for either you or your dad.  If you stay with these forums you'll read about people dealing with cancer in a lot of different ways. You'll also find that there is support here, and hope.  The main Lungevity Website has a lot of information. It's at Lungevity.org.  If you're intersted in being matched with another care giver for 1 to 1 support, you can look at:https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/support-services/peer-to-peer-mentoring/lungevity-lifeline

Let us know what questions you have and how we can support you. You're not alone.

Bridget O

Hi Bridget! 

Thank you so much for the information. And just being there for support...cause sometimes my mind is going all the time. I do have so many questions but I could drive someone crazy with all these thoughts going through my brain at 1 million miles an hour.  

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29 minutes ago, LexieCat said:

Hi, Q, 

I think it's great that you're willing to help your dad cope with his treatment.  Those statistical prognostications are often wrong when applied to individual patients.  They represent statistical averages, often based on people diagnosed more than five years ago.  There have been so many advances in that time.

The fact that he's not experiencing symptoms is a good thing--treatment can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, and at least he's not having to cope with discomfort from the cancer itself at the same time.  

When you're researching online for things that might help him, be careful to stick close to the credible sites, like Lungevity, the American Lung Association, the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, etc.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of websites out there of questionable credibility or that are flat-out wrong, including some that sell or promote bogus "treatments."  If you wonder about whether something is a good source of info, this is a great place to ask.  

And you and your dad will probably have a lot of mixed feelings and emotional ups and downs during this time.  Try to be patient with both of you--you (and he) feel however you feel.  Support groups like this one (and you might check whether there are any in-person groups where your dad is being treated) can be great for staying on an even keel.

Hi Lexie!

Thank you so.much for reaching out to me.  Yes I have seen lots if crazy websites out there. And I've been looking more at nutritional organic veggies and fruits and I'm really trying to have my dad eat healthier. He already has had his first round of chemo 3 weeks ago. And he just looked so tired and now he gets drained from just going for a small walk or ride cant be out more than a few hours without getting tired.  We go for round two on Tuesday for chemo I'm sure the side effects will be a little more significant. He starting to lose his hair I think that is what is getting him the most losing his hair and mustache. Oh I was going to ask someone anyone beetroots carrots and some other ingredients I saw online for a 42 hour cancer type juicing cleanse? Have you heard of it? I do want to try it but wanted to check with proper resources..

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I'm pretty skeptical of things like "juice cleanses" as an aid to cancer treatment.  They may not do any harm, but they probably don't do any significant good, either.  And I think that's especially true when the patient isn't the one wanting to try it.  Your dad already has all this stuff being done to him in the interest of fighting the cancer.  If I were in your dad's shoes, I don't think I'd be too happy about having someone urging me to "cleanse" at the same time.  I think what I WOULD want is for my family to encourage me to do what made me feel better--sometimes that might mean sleeping away part of the day, or eating whatever is easiest to stomach.  It's important to get the necessary nutrients (and there are oncological nutritionists who can help with that), but this probably isn't the time to push major changes to his eating habits.

There are lots of other ways you can help your dad--by researching the type of cancer he has and the treatments he's getting (as well as other treatments that might be available or in development), going to appointments with him to take notes and ask questions of the doctors, and just letting him know how much you love and appreciate him and believe in his ability to fight this.  

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Hi Arlene,

I've had 3 different primary cancers,  breast and lung (both stage 1) and cervical/endometrial (stage 3) . Durinprog my treatment  I consulted with a naturopath. She said that during cancer treatment was NOT a time to do any drastic diet  changes. The important thing was (as LexieCat says) getting enough to eat and getting enough protein. After treatment she suggested an anti-inflammatory diet, which I did for a while, but advised changing to it or anything else during treatment. During chemo/radiation I found it a challenge to find food I could eat that didn't cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

 I don't think a juice cleanse is a good idea right now-- your dad needs enough calories and  protein to keep his energy up and allow healing.Same for changing to a vegan diet right now. I think that a vegan diet can be healthy,  and I have friends who do well  with it but it can be hard to get enough protein, if you're not accustomeed to being on it. I suggest that you back off advocating for diet changes at least for the present, and help your dad focus on getting enough to eat. 

I know that sometimes with parents it's important to push some to get them to do what's important medically. I went through this with my mom when she broke her hip and didn't want to do her prescribed exercises. But it's important to pick your battles!

Bridget O

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Arlene,

I apologize that I am a bit late to your original post, but I wanted to say "HI". I understand your fear,.frustration, anxiety, and any other negative emotion out there. When my mom was diagnosed in 2015 (stage 3A, NSCLC adenocarcinoma). It felt like a punch in the gut.  I don't have any better way to describe it. I reached out to this forum because I was desperate. I was exhausted from crying all day, every day and I just needed someone to listen. I am so thankful I found this forum. I hope you have the same experience here.

My mom has gone thru a lobectomy, radiation, chemo, and now immunotherapy. She made it thru her first bout of treatment with flying colors. She had a recurrence a year after treatment and had chemo and immunotherapy simultaneously for 5 months. She didn't fare as well the second time. She really struggled and spent nearly 2 weeks in the hospital due to infections. It was really tough, but she made it thru. One she is just on immunotherapy and shoes okay with it.

There is hope. You can see it here everyday. I see it in my mom everyday. Although life is different,she still lives it. She still does the things she loves.  You dad can get to this point too.  Lung cancer treatment is growing rapidly. Immunotherapy wasn't even a known option for my mom in 2015. And now it is enabling her to live your life.  No one can give your dad an expiration date, there are too many variables. 

We are all here for you, take care,

Steff

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