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Dad has 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 doctors. 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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First off...if I haven't done so already, I want to welcome you to the boards. I have found so much solace here, and it is amazing to hear all the stories...those of success, those needing prayers, and those so similar to our own.

I am so sorry to hear of your family's difficult and trying time...it is amazing to hear how many people this happens to...it seems like everything happens at once. :evil:

My dad has a gap insurance to go with medicare and so far it has been FABULOUS. I mean for the month of diagnosis at Mayo, and all the testing, starting chemo, multiple doc visits with onc and lung speciliasts, and the list goes on and on, they had about $100 out of pocket...I think that is pretty amazing.

As far as the caregiver goes...we have noticed my mom having some of these same things. It is a difficult road, and I for one am not against anxiety or depression meds...think about it...this is her soul mate...what a terrible feeling...I have suggested this to my mom as well...she is checking in to it...she tells me! You can see some of the postings on here of people who are the caregivers, and what is happening to them...this disease is like a wave that takes everyone close to it, and washes them to an unknown place.

I will pray for your family and hope so much they can find peace. God bless.


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