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Hope is the key to better life and survival


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I am new to this message board. I belong to several others and I have a message to get out to people. I have found that Hope can do wonders and taking away hope can often kill. The man I was living with and going to marry was diagnosed with NSCLC in July 2002. His prognosis was one to two years depending on how he responded to treatment. He had chemo and after the first 6 treatments the nodules had shruk 50% and he had gained back all of the weight that he had lost plus more. At total of 30 pounds. He had the best attitude and was determined to fight the disease and was doing a very good job untila chemo nurse and his doctors started telling him that no matter how good he was doing there was no HOPE. That led to anxiety that they refused to address and then to panic attacks witch again his doctor chose to ignor. To try to help himself he turned to the Vicodin that he had had earlier. It made the anxiety worse but instead of warning him of that the doctors and nurses had the same answer each time I questioned his use of it."He has lung cancer what difference does it make if he becomes addicted?" that attitude and the uncontrolled anxiety that was never treated until it had gotten out of hand and the addiction to the Vicodin he developed sent him to the hospital seeking help. The help he got was to give him medication that he was alergic to and blame the bad blood gases on the cancer. They continued to give him more medication and then never monitored or took his vital signs for several hours. When I questioned I was told that he was just tired and that they did not want to disturb him. As a result on December 2, 2002 only five months after beging diagnosed he died. It was not the cancer that killed him. It was attitude and taking hope away from him. Is there anyone else who has had and experience similar to this one? Sense his death I have set out to try to make changes in the system that allows these things. Part of that process was to write in detail his story. It shows just how fast a situation can get out of hand and turn a possible cure of remission into a death sentence simply because of attitude and taking away HOPE. The story is very long and has much detail. I will share it with anyone interested and would love to hear other stories like mine or stories of survival and how attitude and Hope helped. Please email me with anything you have that I may be interested in and if you would like to read John's story. God bless all of you there. I know first hand what you are going through. Maybe someday with persistance and hope we can change the outcome of this terrible disease. Lilyjohn lild@peoplepc.com

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Lily....So sorry about the death of your loved one. Losing someone you love is a terrible ordeal. I do agree with you regarding the hope that we must all possess....patient and caregiver. Although my husband was told from the beginning....non-cureable.....non-operable...chemo can buy some time.....he still had the will and hope to fight the cancer. I asked the doctor in private just how long "some time" was. When he told me "maybe a year if we're lucky" I almost fell through the floor. I did, however, ask the doctor not to tell Dennis how long he thought he had unless Dennis specifically asked. He never asked...never!!! His spirits remained good until the end. Just days before his death, he would tell friends that he was going to beat this cancer and that things were going well. This came from a man that was not eating at all for weeks and barely sipping liquid. So, I believe had he known the estimated time left, he would have given up. I do know that pain killers are necessary and must be used. I also know that Dennis was doing much better when he was not taking the pain killers. When he began the Oxycontin, he basically stopped eating and became very withdrawn. His attitude changed and his eating habits declined rapidly. How can you eat when you're sleeping? I discussed this with the doctor and finally, he agreed to try radiation to his spine to help alleviate the pain. This did help and we were able to cut back on pain meds...but...he had declined so rapidly from the lack of nourishment it was too late for a comeback. Thank you for joining this board and sharing your story.

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