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Prepping for first onc meeting - what do we need to ask?


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My FIL will be meeting with the onc for the first time on Oct 6th. I think I am going to go to the appt with them - my BIL has already gone to a lot of appts with them, and to be honest, this type of thing is just not my dh's strong suit. We both think that I will do better at getting the information and asking the questions, so while part of me feels like my dh should go with his parents, we may get better info if I go. Plus, we have found that if they are talking to their kids, they tend to get sad and emotional, but when talking with me and their other daughter in law, they seem to be stronger and more positive. So, they may get through the appointment better with me.

Anyway...what kind of things do we need to be asking? I would like to have a list of questions to take with me. I am sure that you guys will have much good advice for us.

They are planning to do chemo/radiation - originally had talked about alternating 5 days rad then 3 days chemo for 4-6 weeks.

Thanks in advance! Our family is so appreciative of all the advice we have gotten here!

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Ask if your FIL is a candidate for surgery, or if he will be if he has shrinkage, etc. IF he may be a candidate for surgery, ask if the radiation oncologist is aware of that. There is a limit to how much radiation a patient can be given to a certain area and still remain a surgical candidate.

Ask what the other options are with chemo and why the oncologist chose the ones he did over the others.

Ask what the other options are if this is not "the" chemo and when he will be scanned, etc., to see if there is the shrinkage they are hoping for.

Ask if they have recommendations for FIL's diet to help him through the malnourishment that often accompanies lack of appetite and pain in swallowing.

Ask your FIL if he understands what is being said, and if he (or the others on the non-medical side) don't understand, have it explained until you do.

Take a notebook with your questions and the answers so you can flip back when you have questions.

Good luck to you!

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Snowflake, that you for your suggestions! My FIL did already have surgery - they took almost 50% of his lung, and some of his lymph nodes.

I do have a question about the pain from swallowing - he is already having a hard time swallowing food due to a hiatal hernia, but we are hoping that this gets a little better as he recovers from the surgery. Will it get worse again as he goes through the chemo?

Also...he has had a greatly decreased appetite since the surgery on 9-7, but is now finally starting to eat a little better again. Should we be pushing him to eat as much as he can to rebuild his strength and regain the weight he lost in anticipation of another weight loss when chemo starts?

So many questions.....

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My Radiation ONC is telling me not to eat a whole lot at one time but to space it out over the whole day. Something like six smaller meals. He also wants me to eat what I want as long as it is high in calories and such. I have only gained back 4 of the 25 pounds I lost during all this and my surgery was just over a month ago. I haven't had enough radiation treatments yet to know if I will have the problem with swallowing but I hope your FIL doesn't get those problems. Haven't started the chemo yet but I'm hoping it won't kick me to hard. Good thoughts and prayers for you and your family.


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