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58 Year Old Dad w/Limited SCLC


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I've been reading postings on the site for a few weeks now and have finally decided to post. Just a warning: I'm probably going to ramble on. My dad (58 yrs old) was diagnosed with limited stage SCLC on March 31st. He had bronchitis, which led to pneumonia, which led to the discovery of the cancer. He made it through 3 of his 5 weeks of radiation just fine. On the third week he had round 2 of chemo as well. It was just too much to take, so last week they gave him the week off of radiation to let his body heal up a bit. The tumor was about the size of a baseball. It has shrunk, though we don't know how much. His lung was collapsed, though it re-inflated itself a couple weeks ago, indicating shrinkage. The next CT scan is the week of 05-15, during or after round 3 of chemo. My father has a prosthetic shoulder from an accident six or seven years ago, and has not worked since then, he's disabled. My parents celebrated their 37th anniversary a couple weeks into this. There are three of us kids, with me being the youngest at age 27. We're all out of the house, with 2 of us being in the same town and the third being about an hour away.

We've done what we can to help with stuff around the house, grocery shopping, etc... but I am worried about my mom. She's working full time, and carries the insurance. Her job has been excellent about her taking time off as needed. But she was set to retire in a couple months, so they could travel, enjoy their grandchild, etc... Now she is begging for them to let her keep her job. She's turning into a recluse aside from work and doctorns. She says she "cannot see her (extended) family" because she'll break down and that won't do anyone any good. Her mom was released from the hospital following open heart surgery the very day that my dad was diagnosed. It's a trying time for her, for all of us, but we need each other. She won't even visit my Grandma who is less than an hour away. It's like she's punishing herself for my dad's cancer. Or she's angry that their plans got screwed up. I'm worried about her. She's seeing her family doctor at the end of the month, and I'm sure this will be one of the topics of discussion. I'd imagine it's fairly common for primary caregivers to fall into depression? In the beginning, she and my dad were going to "beat this thing". Her attitude seems to have changed lately, probably out of exhaustion. She's always been a superwoman. I am sure my dad is no treat to deal with right now, he is excellent to us kids and to family and friends, but my mom says as soon as we hang up the phone or walk out the door he turns into a grump.

Anyway, just needed to get this off my chest. I'm sure my dad is going to win this battle, I'm just worried about my mom. I know insurance is a big concern for her right now. The insurance company has been good about coverage so far. But if she retries they're going to have to rely on Medicare/Medicaid for coverage. He already has it due to his disability, but has never really used it due to my moms insurance. Sorry to dump on you, but thanks for letting me.

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I don't have too much advice, only wanted to say that I am so sorry to hear about your dad, and how badly it is impacting your mom. I imagine that it is very, very hard to be the main financial source (health insurance) and also be the main emotional support for a loved one at the same time.

I don't know if she would be open to the idea but if there is a local cancer support group, she might want to think about joining it. Since you and another sibling live near by, perhaps one of you could attend the support group with her while the other one sits with your father so your mom doesn't have to worry about him while she is at the meetings. I think it might be good if she can talk about how she is feeling...instead of trying to run and hide from those feelings.

All the best!

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Hi Lisa:

welcome to this group. I think your dad has a pretty good chance at beating this disease from what I have seen in others who have had limited sclc. You say your dad is on medicaire for disability. Does he get an income from ssdi? That should help too. If he has both medicare and your mom's insurance, he should have double coverage. I think the rule would be that medicaire is his primary coverage and the private carrier is his secondary coverage. If your mom's insurance knew he was eligible for medicaire, I think they would insist that he go through medicaire first, and that once medicaire processes a claim, it can be sent to yur mom's insurance. Usually haiving double coverage does not help much until you start having a lot of medical expenses. Your dad might want to look in to using both coverages. I had double coverage last year. I think I paid about $500 total for very expensive surgery, chemo, doctor visits and numerous scans and xrays.

I hope your mom has a good meeting with her pcp. It might help her to go on an antidepressant such as lexapro for a while. Taking antidepresants is a common acitivity at this board for survivors and caregivers both.

Tell your dad that we are all rooting for him to stay focused, get through his treatment and to beat the cancer.

Don M

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Hi Lisa

I am sorry to hear about your dad as well as your mom right now. I am glad you posted, you will find so much love and compassion and support here, as you probably have already seen by the replies here.

I agree with the support group for your mom, if she would be willing to go. Or, have her check this site out. Perhaps her pcp can recommend something near by for her. I am glad she has that appointment, she needs to take care of herself as well as your dad.

I wish you and your family all the best. Please keep us up to date on things...


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could you possibly copy good news stories from th Forum for them to read? We have members here who have had astonishing results with ScLC. As well as NsLC results. There is also a lot of info if financial assistance needed if that would help reassure your mom about that topic This Link you canclick on and get right to it for some starter help for some reassurance. Click here;


This might help ease moms mind a little that there is help for these kinds of things. This is a Bumpy road but we are here almost 24/7 to help smooth it out for you. Sending Prayers and Best wishes for you. :)

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Welcome Lisa,

It sounds like this is taking it's toll on

your whole family.

Your father is young enough to be able to

tolerate the treatments, that's very


I think showing your parents some of the positives on this board is an excellent idea, so is the

possibility of your mother going on antidepressants.

Good luck to your family and keep up us to date on how things are going


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Guest lilsis

Guess I will jump in here now. Have been reading the posts here since the day after Easter Sunday.

Sad to say, I have a brother who was just diagnosed with Stage IV non small cell.

He is going through 19 rounds of radiation to four tumors in his brain. First analysis was two tumors, after a few days, they said four tumors.

He is just an inspiration to me with his courage.

Asking for many prayers and much hope for my bro.

Thank you. God Bless you and yours.

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Thanks everyone for the words of kindness and advice. With some encouragment, my mom actually called her EAP and may get a referral to a psychologist. I hope once she openly talks about her fears she can begin her own healing process.

I bought the survivor stories book from the Lance Armstrong Foundation for myself, and am just about finished with it and will hand it off to mom and dad next. There are tons of inspirational stories available thru the foundation, though few are lung cancer related. I hope to change that when we submit my dad's story! www.livestrong.org, under the "Take Control" tab are 162 stories of hope and courage.

I continue to keep everyone associated with this site in my thoughts, hopes and prayers.

Take Care-


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