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My dad has SCLC...

Guest Iiris

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Guest Iiris

I posted on the Welcome/Newbie board last week when my dad was newly diagnosed but thought I'd move over here to the appropriate board.

He's 73 y/o and a 60+ year smoker. Has only been smoke free for the 18 days he was in the hospital. He was smoking 2-3 cigs a day before then after developing and fighting a nicotine allergy for the past 10 yrs. He was initially admitted for pneumonia and found to have a pneumothorax and pleurisy. Then the dx of extensive SCLC was found

thru a CT scan and biopsy. He was moved to a larger hospital and after 3 days of tests, chemo was started. Surgery isn't an option and neither is radiation because of the poor condition of his lungs caused by emphysema. They started him on a 3 day on/3 week off chemo program using platinol and VP16. This started on this past Friday, Sat, and Sun and he came home on Monday feeling pretty good. So good, in fact, he planned on going for coffee with his buddies the next morning. However, when he woke up, he was too weak to go and has since started with nausea too. He was given a "white cell shot" before he was discharged also. He's to see his onco again in April and have x-rays then too...even tho his cancer never showed on any x-rays. I was told by the onco and his nurse that there will be no cure for him - that they're trying to buy him some time.....perhaps a year, maybe 2 if he's very lucky.

My dad has no idea - he expected them to "cut out the tumor" and he'd go home fine. We're not sure how much to tell him as we don't want to discourage him from his fight. My mom feels that if he grows more ill, he'll ask the dr himself and find out. We were told by the nurse that he shouldn't be driving for awhile nor should he be in groups of people without wearing a mask, but because the dr didn't tell him directly, he refuses to listen to us. He's very cranky and almost mean (which I can understand) but he's taking it out on my poor mother. I can't help but think his attitude may be different if he knew the whole story.

Thanks so much for being here. This helps a newbie like me alot! Iiris

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Guest Iiris

I forgot to mention the LC has spread to his liver, adrenal glands

and the dr mentioned some lymph nodes.

And, a note on the power of prayer.........lol My mom was quite upset

with my dad Monday night for his insisting on driving himself to coffee with his buddies Tuesday morning after just getting home from the hospital that afternoon. It's also his chance to buy a pack of cigarettes and smoke when he's away from her. She went to bed praying to God for some kind of sign that would keep my dad home in the morning. When they woke up yesterday, they were both sick. He feeling very weak, she with a cold. She said "that's what I get".........lol


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Hi there,

I'm so very sorry that you've had to join this board, but you've come to a great place for information and support. Here's to hoping that your Dad gets through the chemo well and that the tumours shrink or disappear!

You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.


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Welcome. I am so sorry you are going through this. I have mixed feelings about telling your Dad everything. I always held off telling my Dad news until I found out what the next line of defense was.... example... when they found the brain met... I didn't let the doctors tell him until they could reassure me they could do something to help him. I felt that if Dad was ever told "there is nothing we can do" he would have curled up in a ball and died. I know people have strong opinions either way on this subject, in summary, NO ONE knows your Dad better than you and your Mom, so you are the only ones who can make an educated decision on this.... I am praying for you all. Love, Sharon

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Guest Iiris

Thank you all. Yes, my mom feels that if we tell him all now, he'll

curl into that ball and say to heck with it all. I'll respect her feelings

for now, but can't help but feel if it was me, I'd want to know all so

I could make the best of each day. He seems to be in shock that his

body has betrayed him. He felt he was immune to such things despite

having a brother who died of LC last year.

Thank you for caring............Iiris

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So sorry to hear about your dad's diagnosis. I cannot tell you one way or another how or if you should tell him. I know as being the patient I needed to know so I could try and keep positive when I was feeling pretty crummy.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


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Hello Iiris

I can imagine how difficult all of this is. My Dad is alone (parents divorced) and so he was told about his extensive Nsclc by several doctors........alone! He has been so depressed and getting him to take medication is very difficult. I have stepped in and Im trying so hard to support him in every way. I feel he is coming around emotionally but he was given radiation and its taken a big toll on him. Right now chemo is not an opotion because he is very weak and having trouble eating.

Hopefully your Dad will tolerate the Chemo, I hear such great things on this site and its so supportive.

Take care


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regarding disclosing everything to Dad or not is a tough call. I speak of this with personal experience. Johnny's onc. did not want to tell him until he asked. He said that emotionally, he would not be able to handle it until he did ask. He never asked. They told him just 3 weeks before he died to get his affairs in order. He was too sick and too discouraged at that time to be able to move forward in being responsible in his own death.

It was very difficult for me to know that he was not going to make it. I was not able to give him encouragement/false hopes in regaining his health.

I was not fond of the dishonesty. At the time, I was listening to the doctors' education, experience, and advice. I am not so sure I would be doing that next time. I am not so sure that I wouldn't.

This is not an easy task you have in-front-of you. There are so many angles to consider.

If the tables were turned, I think that I would want to know. I don't know how I would react though. I think that I would probably be a bit vindictive and live twice as long as the predicted amount of time...just to show them!! (as if this would make a big difference in their lives...ha!)

Tough call. Lots to talk over with your Mom. Are there trusted nurses at the cancer facility where he goes?

Praying for guidance and clarity for you as you make these difficult decisons.

cindi o'h

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Sorry to hear about your father, the nurse may be correct in trying to buy him more time but my thought's about it is your Father may be alot tougher than you think. There is a man i know who has LC and does not care for the Chemo and refuses to make anymore changes in his life style such as smoking and drinking and diet change and he's still kicking and mad as hell and say's he'll go when he's darn good and ready and not a moment sooner....

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