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My Dad and LC


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Hi - Just found the website and its been comforting in a way reading the posting as well as heartbreaking.

My dad has Stage lV lung cancer and everything starting unfolding about 4 - 5 weeks ago. It took us over a week to get my dad to a doctor - we were all thinking pnomonia, but then they saw a mass and several tests later we found out it was lung cancer and spread to the lymph knodes, bones (spine & few Ribs), liver. He start radiation for the spine 4 days ago and so far is taking it well, however he isn't feeling any less pain. The tumor is pressing on the spinal cord. They tell me he has about a year. They need to relieve the spine before chemo.

Its been so heart breaking as I'm a daddy's girl and to see my dad in pain as well as staying with me. My dad has a house about 90 minutes from me and he's going to the doctors near me and my sister. It hard to see him in so much pain and my inability to escape this. My sister and my aunt can escape it and talk to him daily, but he's living with me and my husband, whose been an absolute gem.

With my dad in so much pain and bad with handling stress its hard, I was talking with him before and it made me wonder if he's really going try fighting this to live longer. I could definitely tell he's depressed.

I'm just trying to figure out how to survive this, I have an amazing husband (who my dad thinks of as his son) and a few friends I'm leaning on. Any tips on getting through this besides one day at a time?

From anyone's experience with their family members - will my father keep going in and out of phases of being depressed?

Thanks for listening

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Glad you found us. First, the onc needs to get your dad's pain under control. Is he taking any pain medication? As long as the pain is so bad, he can't think of anything else, and, of course, will be depressed. And, yes, it is normal to go in and out of depression with LC. My wife does this frequently, even when on an antidepressant. But your dad needs positive support and hope, and there is plenty around here. My wife was given 9 months, and she is 2 1/2 years from diagnosis. The prognosis in LC is all statistical, and each patient is an individual. Best to you all. Glad you have good support from your hubby and family. Let us know how to support you. Don

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Hi Tammy,

Don Wood gave you some very sound advice.

So sorry your Dad is going through this. I will say though, that he is very fortunate to be surrounded by love from his little girl and SIL. You will be a huge support for him.

This is all so new to you. You will have so many questions as you go through this with your Dad. There are many people who have been through exactly what you are...both from an adult child caretaker role, a patient advocate role, and also the survivor who may remember what it feels like to hear the words lung cancer spoken in their ears...(ouch!)

Chronic pain and depression go hand in hand. And your Dad is dealing with so many thoughts and emotions that have never come across his plate before this. There is a period of adjustment. Just try to stay hopeful. Like Don said, his Lucie is proving her survival rates wrong. Many of us do.

Best to you..(and we are all great listeners)

Cindi o'h

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Hi Tammy,

So sorry you had to find us, but you have found the most caring, supportive and knowledgeable group of people. Welcome to our group.

First of all, do not listen to the time frame the doctor told you. Don't even think that for a minute. I say pooey on statistics. People everyday beat the odds. You can read so many of those stories on this site.

Of course your dad is depressed. He is scared he will not be around for you. And the pain is making it worse. Make sure he is on pain medication and if need be an anti depressant. Keep loving him and keep a positive attitude, as that is what he needs.

You are a wonderful, caring daughter and very lucky to have a supportive husband who loves your dad. Your dad has so much love around him that he can get better. He has to have faith and belief that he can lick this.

Prayers going out to your dad.


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Hi Tammy. I am sorry your dad is in pain. I think the radiation should shortly give your dad some relief. Unfortunately, depression is a common hallmark for caretakers and lung cancer survivors too. I take lexapro myself. I think it helps me. Your dad is alive, so he is a lung cancer survivor. Once the pain is managed, the docs should be able to send him on the chemo teatment. I hpe the best for you and your dad.

Don M

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Hi Tammy , glad you found us. Welcome. All of us know how stressful it is to be told you have lung cancer and how hard it is on the family. To be in pain also really adds to this. Hope your Dad's pain level soon is "0". That will be a big help. Please keep us posted on how things are going. Donna G

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Thank you all for your kind words!!

My husband, sister and I spent the evening/this am in the ER, as my dad was dehydrated. I found out this am they want to run more test, Xray, blood, MRI and something else that escapes me at the moment. Their concerned about the lungs and I'm concerned about his hips. He's been having some pain and I'm worried its now in his hip bones, but then earlier in the week they said it could be from the radiation for the spine.

He is on pain medicine - Percoet, as a base and then another one for the spikes, and a liquid if its too bad. Found out from the nurses station, their increasing his pain meds - with the meds before he was saying it was a 5. I was glad to hear that to make him more comfortable, however he's also on a steriod, that they believed aided in dehydrating him.

I was updating me aunt this am and she disturbed me - I think I let my sister and husband provide her updates. She's not helping me remain positive.

You and your families are in my prayers.

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When my dad was first diagnosed, we thought he had a bad case of pneumonia as well (from playing in a golf tournament in the rain!). His tumor was pressing on his chest wall and he was in enormous pain. Once we finally got the doses right for the pain meds, my dad was much more comfortable, much less anxious, and more positive. After he started the radiation, his tumor shrunk very quickly, relieving the pain. He was able to gradually come off his high dosage, and was taking only very small amounts of pain medication as needed.

I also felt very worried that my dad was depressed. In fact, I was so concerned that he was not fighting hard enough because he seemed so down. I was a bit pushy with him - as was my mom - and I think it helped to have us continue to be positive when he was having doubts. The doctors never gave us a time table, but even if they had, we wouldn't have paid it much heed. Every person is different, every fight is its own, and numbers and statistics should not dampen your hope.

Sending prayers and hope to you, your dad, and your family.


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First off, Welcome to our site.... You will find so much valuable information here, and so many wonderful people who will help you along your journey. As one Daddy's girl to another... I know how hard it is to see the big strong man who use to be inconquerable, be in pain.... It killed me also, but somehow, you get through it. There will be good days, and bad days... Days when you think you can't take one more minute and days when you say "you know what? this is gonna be okay..." I found praying helped and I had lots of long talks with my Dad about life and general and what he meant to me, I cherished every moment with him. I just lost my Dad in December so it is still very raw... but, I am here if you need me... Keep Dad positive.... and don't believe the STATS you read or hear... everyone is different. God Bless... Love, Sharon

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Hi there,

I know how devastating this is. My mom was diagnosed with Stage IIIB NSCLC in November after a cough from a cold that would not go away. My poor mom--she went on dialysis in Feb of last year after being near death and we really thought this is what she needed to get well. It took them forever to figure out that this was primary LC and not mets from her '99 breast cancer. Oh--and did I mention she is also pretty much wheelchair-bound from polio?

My dad died in '99 of lung cancer. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer seven weeks later. She has lived with us for a year and a half now, and I can admit that it is a lot harder when it is "in your face" all the time. I am constantly over-analyzing her expressions and I know I hover (and Mom, I know you're reading this!! :wink: ) but being that she is with us all the time it is hard not to worry! My husband is also a fantastic guy (my dad felt like my hubby was his son also) and it's nice to have him be my rock when I need him.

My mom is going to Cancer Treatment Center of America. Actually we just came home from there today, my mom was hospitalized for three days because she started chemo on Monday. CTCA has a whole pain management clinic that helps you control pain. Their goal is for your pain to be at a "0." She is on Morphine (pills and liquid) and has it adjusted accordingly. But I can tell you, I saw a REAL difference in my mom before her doc appointment last week when she had her scan that showed some tumor growth. I could tell she was afraid, and she became depressed. She was in more pain, her morphine wasn't helping anymore so she was sure it had grown. It's hard to keep positive all the time when all the stats are grim about LC. But one thing that is a comfort to me, is that I know for a fact that there are a lot more options out there NOW for LC patients than there were even six years ago when my dad was diagnosed. I was watching Larry King last week when Peter Jennings was diagnosed, and the doctor he had on said that they have come a long way in ten years for LC treatment. My mom was lucky to have been able to try IRESSA and Tarceva, but unfortunately they did not work. She is now on Taxol/Carboplatin, and ironically this is what my dad was on six years ago. But we are armed with new knowledge of these drugs, plus she has the help of naturopathic medicine at CTCA, along with a nutritionist and a psychotherapist, whom we see together when we go to CTCA. All of these things are integral to her care, and I think she will have a much better chance, and outlook, than my dad did.

It is downright TIRING to be the caregiver/child of someone with this disease. You need to have an outlet yourself, remember. Someone on this board said that you can't think about what MIGHT happen and let that consume your time, but rather live for the moment. Take care of the important legal things that need to be done, get them out of the way, and then ENJOY life with your dad. This is something I am REALLY trying to work on with the help of my mom's therapist. There will be good times and bad times, but they will all be new memories in the making.

Glad you found this board--I wish you and your dad lots of love and luck in fighting this horrible thing.



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Chronic pain can be terribly depressing; you cannot rest well, eat well, be comfortable in any position... sure it is depressing.

Get the pain under control, there's no reason to remain in pain. Get something for anxiety if needed, and depression -- be it meds or counseling. You could use the break counseling provides, as could your husband, as having to deal with cancer at home will effect you as a couple. When people offer to help, let them.

Glad you found us. We've got broad shoulders..


Prayers, always,


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