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my dad is fading fast


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My dad had a surgery for his gastric cancer two years ago, and went through multiple chemo after that. he was suffering but doing OK, until about 2 months ago when CT scan revealed cloud all over his lungs and it was clearly very late stage lung cancer. The doctor gave us 3-4 months. He has been trying many things over the last two months, but I can clearly see that he's weakening and fading away, coughing and shortness of breath, etc. I really want to have him try Tarceva, but the problem is that he's now in China and is too weak to travel. Tarceva is not available in China. Can someone help? maybe leftover Tarceva from your relatives? I am in San Jose, CA, although we don't have a lot of money, but I am willing to do whatever I can for my dad. Any help or suggestion is highly appreciated. We are running out of time....

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Hi Sean

Very sorry to hear about your Dad - it must make it extra hard to be so far away.

Can you give us some more details about your Dad's condition? Are you certain that the tumours in the lung are not metastases from the gastric cancer? This will likely make a difference in terms of treatment.

Knowledge is very important in this fight, and it is criticial to know exactly what you are up against. Can you find out what the specific type of cancer is (if it IS lung cancer, is it SCLC or NSCLC? Each of these types also have subgroups) , and whether it has spread anywhere else?

Keep us posted.

Wishing you the best at this difficult time.


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yes i agree, we need to know more about your dad's situation.

1) is it a metastases/recurrence (sp?) of Gastric cancer? If yes, treatment method as well as the chemo type may be different from for primary lung cancer.

2) If this is a primary lung cancer, then what type of cancer cell? In broad sense, it is non-small cell lung ca, or small cell lung ca. This can be diagnosed by oncologist who did the biopsy to your dad.

3) Where is your dad now? In hospital? Is he receiving any treatments? what kind of treatment? Which exact location (city) he is now in? I live in Hong Kong of China.

The more detailed the description of your dad's current status, the more better we understand how to try to help or advise you.

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Thanks so much for your replies, it means a lot to me!

I am sorry for the lack of details. we are pretty sure it's metastases from gastric cancer that he had before, how does it make a difference?

My dad is too weak to do chemo. because his surgery (through which he lost 3/4 of stomach), he eats small meals and don't have enough nutrition I believe. he's not in a hospital yet (the thinking is that once he's admited to the hostpital, he will not be able to leave again). treatment options are very limited indeed (in my mind, nothing of really hope), the doctors I have talked to in China gave no hope, it is indeed a very desparate situation! I went back to China for 3 weeks after the diagnosis, and cannot handle it watching my dad. I must be a very weak person, but the hopelessness and helplessness saddens me everyday like lead weighs on my body.

He is in Jinhua, a mid size city 4 hours from Shanghai. Next week, we will have him try Iressa, which I managed to get from Taiwan, but I don't really believe it because of the new report of its lack of efficacy. however, this is the only thing left on the table if i cannot find a souce of Tarceva.

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Every kind of cancer is different. If his gastric cancer has spread to his lungs, it's not lung cancer, it's gastric cancer in his lungs. Gastric cancer, the tumor cells, are different than lung cancer cells, and won't respond to the same drugs. every kind of cancer has different drugs to treat them. Just like you don't treat a virus with antibiotics, and even different kinds of bacterial infections require different antibiotics.

Does your Dad live in China? Or is he American, visiting there? If so, can you get him back home? If not, can you get him to Shanghai? I bet there's at least one decent cancer treatment center there.

Long and short, everyone here would like to help you with advice, but if it's not actually lung cancer there's not a whole lot we can do.

By the way, our daughter is Chinese, adopted from Anhui Province, which sounds pretty close to where your Dad is.

Best of luck,


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Hello seandu.

I am so very sorry to hear of the helplessness that you feel. It must be horrific. I understand completely the desperation that you are going through. Please try to post a question to "Ask the Experts" click here in the black box at the top of the page. These are doctors who are familiar with all kinds of cancer. They will probably be able to give you some sounder advice than we would. Try to give them as many details medically of your father's cancer and situation. The more information they have, the more they will be able to answer your question regarding the treatment and possibility of Tarceva.

Please come here for support. We are a great group who truly care about you and your father.

Best to you, seandu.

cindi o'h

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Dear Seandu,

Cindi's advice is excellent -- we all know much more than any of us ever wanted to about lung cancer but that certainly doesn't qualify us as experts. So do click on Ask the Experts for much better advice, and come back to us for support -- we're good at that! Thinking about you and hoping for the best for your father -- let us know what's happening.


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Hello Seandu!,

So very sorry to hear about your Dad. I am sure you are feeling sad and terrified but please do not think of yourself as "weak!" You just need a little support and you will certainly find that here.

I am praying that you will soon get the help you need for your loved one.

Love, Paddy

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