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  1. Hello All, My name is Kaya. I am here because I rec'd the shock of my life the other day, that my father in law is in stage 4 of a metastatic cancer most likely an adenocarcinoma, which has caused his lung to collapse and made it necessary for him to be placed on a ventilator. He was not healthy previous, but we just were NOT expecting cancer, at all. He developed a nagging cough. When he told me about the cough, he said he thought it was a cold, but this cough never went away. And although he never did have any symptoms of a 'cold' we all believed that it probably was just some kind of cold/allergies/cough, and left it at that. That cough eventually led him to being unable to take a breath one morning this past week, and he ended up in the ER with what we all thought was 'pneumonia'. He sounded terrible that morning. The ER docs told us that had to intubate him because his lung was collapsing. And right after they did the procedure, his heart began to have terrible arrhythmias and he went into cardiac arrest in the ER. During the time in the ER they were able to do a few imaging studies, Xrays, CT's and they told us they thought they saw a mass on the outside periphery of the Upper Lobe of the Rt. Lung. But they were so occupied with the Heart issues we quickly put that out of our minds, and along with the docs, concentrated on every word they said about what they would do next to try to save his life. Eventually he made it to the CCU and there eventually his heart was stabilized with a pace maker. He was however unable to be taken off the Vent. The docs said that they tried to reach the mass for biopsy and could not reach it. They believe that the mass is causing the lung to fill up with mucous (adenocarcinoma) and that it's size may be contributing to the collapse of the lung. Each time they tried to remove the Vent tube, my father in law would have problems breathing and have a serious arrhythmia and so they are pretty well telling us now he will have to be weaned in a nursing home situation (if possible). They said they can do no more for him at the Hosp. At one point I asked why they couldn't try radiation to shrink the tumor, just to shrink it so that we could try to remove the respirator, so he could die without being on this horrendous machine, but they said while they do palliative radiation, because he is so sick, they will not do it for him. Also they told me since he is on the vent, they would not be able to administer the radiation via CT scan which is how they do it, so essentially I feel like we are being told just take him to the nursing home to die. He is struggling on this machine. I feel so horrible for him. The other thing I feel is so much guilt. Because I am a Healthcare professional, I have been so involved in his care. HOW did I miss this? I am so angry that I did not follow up on that cough. I mean on the one hand he had been very ill with neurological stuff that I had to help him with and heart issues which were very complex, and he has been in a wheel chair for over 10 years so his healthcare is difficult, but still, I feel in a sense, like I have failed our family and him Thank you for listening. I just needed to get this out. I also want to know if anyone has any experience with getting palliative care even in a situation like this, where the for instance the palliative radiation may be dangerous for the patient? I just feel like what do we have to loose? If he is willing to try it...
  2. On July 16th my mom died after a 4 year battle with lung cancer. It spread to her brain, bones, skin, and internal organs. Mom literally had cancer from head to foot, with bone cancer destroying the bones of her left foot leaving nothing but tumor. Doctors said she was a miracle. By the time her cancer was discovered, she was already stage 4. On the day Mom died, I had heart attack symptoms while sitting beside her while she slept. I ended up in the ER. A blood test led the doctor to suspect I had a blood clot on a lung, so I had a CT of my lungs. The EKG made them want to keep me for further testing, but another doctor released me before any more tests were done. Meanwhile, Mom died and I wasn't there. I can't get over feeling guilty. I had not left her for more than a bathroom break in 5 days before she passed. That of course probably contributed to the ER visit. A couple hours after I went to the ER, Mom passed. I wasn't there at the end. More than 2 months later I saw the test result of the CT I was given. I was looking for something else on my insurance company's website when I stumbled upon it. My medical doctor had told me it was "perfect." Instead the report stated that I have a "solitary nodule of the lung." I called my doctor to ask why she did not tell me about it. It took her 2 days to call me back, but her assistant said it was because she did not want to worry me. Later the doctor called to tell me that non-smokers don't get cancer, so they don't follow up. I was outraged. My mother never smoked in her life. No one in my family has ever smoked. We didn't allow cigarettes in the house. I called a pulmonary specialist and got into see him right away this morning. He will follow up on the nodule with a CT in 6 months. I might be feeling paranoid, but if doctors had taken my mom seriously years ago, she might still be with us. I have a little boy who is only 8 and needs me a while longer. I hope he and my husband still need me when I'm old and gray. Are there other family members who are taking test results a little more seriously? There was a problem with a mammogram, too, so after months of my doctor doing nothing, I made an appointment with a specialist for that, too. Now I have to have a biopsy. I hope the spots are benign, but the doctor told me to get life insurance now. Is that standard advice before a biopsy? I realize life insurance is something everyone is supposed to have, but it felt ominous. My mother's former radiologist told me that sometimes family members get "sympathy tumors." She just sounded crazy to me. Has anyone else been told this? Does anyone else have this crazy combination of guilt for failing to save a loved one combined with fear of what might happen to others you love or to you? I would like to have a conversation with my doctor about how messed up I'm feeling, but I don't think she's the best person for that discussion. When I first told her my mother had cancer, she seemed angry or at least annoyed that Mom would even try to fight it. She went on about insurance prices skyrocketing. Maybe part of my current problem revolves around the fact that I haven't found a new doctor, especially considering her reluctance to follow up on anything suspicious. Or maybe I'm just paranoid like I said before.
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