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I'm new and have questions about post-chemo recovery.


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Hi everyone!

My future father in law was diagnosed with NSCLC back in February of this year after being treated for what his doctor thought was a sinus infection for nearly 5 months. There is one tumor in one lung, and one on his adrenal gland. I am not sure if this is Stage III or IV, as my fiance's family will not ask the doctor. They are doing the treatments, but they don't want to know anymore than they have to. I don't understand it, but to each his own. Anyway, he has been having one chemo treatment a month since March. Last month he had a CAT scan and the doc said that the tumors were shrinking and have not spread! We were so happy. However, his family has still requested that we postpone our wedding, which was to have happened this October. I won't get into the hurt this has caused. My fiance and I are in our 30's and are not dependent on them, but my fiance feels we have to respect their wishes. Given the news we received at his last CAT scan, I don't understand their reasoning. If he had received bad news, I would of course have understood. Am I missing something here? He will have finished his last chemo treatment in August and will go for another CAT scan in September to see if the chemo continued to work. The doc says surgery is not an option, and neither is radiation.

Right now the chemo treatments are causing him to be very tired and weak. The family thinks that 2 months from the time of his last chemo treatment will not be enough time for him to get his strength back up for the wedding which is why they want us to postpone (indefinitely, but they have mentioned next spring as a possible date). My fear though is that if we postpone, we are just putting ourselves at risk for him to be worse than he is now or will be in October.

Does anyone have any words of advice? Can anyone explain to me how they felt two months after their chemo ended (assuming the chemo worked at shrinking the tumors)? If I'm being totally unreasonable, I need to know. I love my fiance's family and I understand that this is a terrible time for them. I just don't want us to make a horrible mistake.

Thanks!

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Dear Starlight,

I had a nice message written to you and then something happened to my computer and I lost the post.

To make a long story short--my son got married last October right in the middle of my chemotherapy treatments. I asked the doctor if I could skip a week of treatments. He agreed and I had the most wonderful time at my son's wedding.

There really shouldn't be a reason to postpone your wedding because of the cancer. I know you're walking on egg shells because this is your fiance's family, but you and your fiance are in charge of your lives and you have every right to express your feelings of disappointment here.

Take care. I am thinking of you.

Ada

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In my dad's case he felt worse two months after treatment started and the chemo WAS working! Many people feel better after chemo initially starts and only have fatigue and weakness to deal with after - it's uncertain to predict how he will feel in two months time as everyone reacts to chemo differently. I, like you, tend to believe that having your wedding NOW is better than waiting until LATER.

Just my two cents. Perhaps you all could compromise and have a small ceremony with the justice of the peace for just the family and your FIL could be there to witness your great day! Then, at a later date have the formal reception and big "to-do" that you guys were originally planning?

Just a thought.

Good luck, we'll be praying for your family.

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Hi,

I'm a veteran at chemo having had six cycles last year and starting a whole new round just two weeks ago.

First, your future FIL would be stage IV by definition if he has cancer in the adrenal gland. Second, no one can really predict how one will feel during chemo or how long it will take to recover. In my case, the fatigue and illness got worse for one to two weeks after a dose and then got better. I never got quite back to "normal" until a few weeks after the last dose last year but was pretty functional except for the week after each dose.

My daughter plans to get married in October, if we stay on schedule, three days after my last dose of chemo. I may postpone that last dose until after the wedding but I would certainly not ask her to postpone the wedding. I'd much rather they make it sooner.

Without trying to sound negative, and certainly hoping and praying that he does well, gets well and stays well, and there is certainly a chance that he will, there is a possibility that he might be much worse next Spring than this Fall. If he finishes chemo in August, I'd say October sounds like the perfect time for your wedding.

I hope you have a beutiful wedding.

Sam

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My two cents: If you two truly love each other, you should not postpone your wedding. The future is too unpredictable, and you could find yourself postponing again and again and getting very frustrated. Your future-in-laws right now can't focus on anything but his cancer, so they cannot make clear decisions about anything else. But since you two are in your 30's, this is really up to your fiance. Don

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HI,

Thanks for posting.

Cancer is tricky business...what we all have learned is that there are no certainties about what the future holds. Of course, we all believe in...and pray for the best possible outcome...but the fact of the matter is...no one can be sure how your FIL will be in a few months or a few years. In fact...If the chemo is working, and he finishes his last rounds of chemo problem free...I would say that the BEST time would be to have the wedding two months after that time. He wont be in active treatment..and the possibilty that his disease will be stable or better is strong.

If you wait on this one...you may regret it.

My mom has stage IV NSCLC...I'm 22 years old with a new career five hours away...We speak about often about me "putting things on hold" here to be with her there. What we've decided is that this cancer isn't going to stop us from our plans. Yes..they may have to become a little more flexible...but we are putting one foot in front of the other as planned

Good luck to you...and congrats on your wedding

Laura

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I have children your age. I would not keep you from the most wonderful day of your life. During chemo I continued to work, announce home high school football games and participate in as many activities as I could. My oncologist was very helpful in keeping me going by checking my blood counts. I wish the best for you because the other option is he might not be around to be at your wedding next year.

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Go ahead with the wedding. You never know what tomorrow will bring. I have always thought this way = let's do it now because you never know, you may not be able to do it latter - i thought this way all my life, and you know what, i have ALOT of great memories because of that. GO FOR IT IN OCTOBER! you'll be glad you did!

Joanie

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Thank you everyone.

Unfortunately, I have lost this fight and we have postponed our wedding. My fiance's family is not getting much information at all from my future father in law's doctor about what he is supposed to expect from the chemo and after the chemo. They have not been encouraged to seek out information or a support group or anything. They are very stubborn and set in their ways and nothing I nor my fiance suggests is being listened to. What this boils down to is that if the doctor doesn't tell them, it isn't true, and the doctor won't tell them ANYTHING. So they think that because he is feeling worse right now (he just had his 5th out of 6 chemo treatments), and the doctor hasn't told them otherwise, that there is no way he will feel up to attending a wedding in October. My fiance and I have tried and tried to explain that the opposite is likely to be true, especially since the tumors are shrinking, but we are not doctors and so they won't listen to us.

My fiance's mother is a very difficult woman to get along with anyway and she is already angry with me for even suggesting that we have the wedding in October as planned. So I chose to go ahead and postpone rather than upset her any further. If my FFIL wasn't ill, my fiance and I wouldn't back down. But he is already feeling bad enough and he is a good person and I don't want to make him feel worse. If we don't back down, she will nag him to pieces about it and I don't want to put him through that. My fiance feels bad about this. It's not that he won't stand up to his mother, it's just that he doesn't want to put his father through her torture, not while he is sick.

Right now we are planning to wait until he gets the results of his next CAT scan in September. If the tumors have continued to shrink, we are going to set another date within the next couple of months. If they give him very bad news, we will probably wait a little while.

Anyway, thank you again. I do appreciate all of your advice and support and while I do agree with you, I just don't feel I can go through with it if his mother is going to make everyone's life hell.

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