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New and in need of Advice.


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Hi Rod,

We just met in chat. Again, WELCOME to this wonderful group of friends. There is truly amazing support, knowledge and even laughter here.

I always think it's a good idea to get a 2nd opinion, but I don't necessarily agree that your doctor is treating your dad with palliative care. It sounds to me like the treatment is pretty standard, other than it didn't sound like he talked about radiation to the tumors at all, so that's why I would get a second opinion. Surgery to the lung isn't usually an option since the cancer has spread. He might have reasons for not doing radiation to the lung tumors and for not doing some type of aggressive treatment to the liver tumors, but I would sure ask. If he gives some kind of song and dance about your dad's age, smoking, statistics or prognosis, fire his butt as fast as you can!

Also, if they still have good tissue, you can get a second opinion on the biopsy report.

As far as a PET scan is concerend, PET scans aren't usually done at diagnosis. The reason is because they already know the cancer has spread because it is outside the lung. PET scans are very expensive and generally done when there is pain somewhere, or when they are trying to see if the chemotherapy treatments have wiped out the cancer. Many insurance companies won't pay for a PET scan without a valid medical reason to do the PET. You see, the treatment for spread to the bones, etc. would still just be chemotherapy in most cases - unless there's pain.

Now, a brain scan (usually MRI) is a little different. There has been a lot of discussion here about that, too. Most doctors also won't order a brain scan unless there are symptoms to the brain. My husband got one right off because severe headaches is how he was diagnosed and he did have brain tumors - eight of them. Since most chemotherapy won't cross the blood brain barrier to the brain, I had a problem with the reasoning provided in regard to not doing at least 6 month brain scans with a cancer diagnosis. It seems to me, if the brain mets are caught early, they are very small and easy to wipe out. That is probably also an insurance issue. Again, my husband didn't have trouble getting the brain scans because he had symptoms, but others have experienced that their doctors/insurance companies won't do them.

I'm glad you're getting a second opinion. I do have a feeling you can find a more aggressive doctor if that's what your dad wants.

Hang in there, Rod. This is a new journey for you and your family. You've crossed that line into what we call the new normal. It's a tough road to go down, but it is do-able, and it is survivable (is that a word?) LOL!



P.S. I didn't check to see if you had follow up posts about your dad, so all of this might be moot at this point. If so, just ignore it all. LOL!

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Welcome to this very supportive place Rod. I see that you have been given some very good information. I wanted to be sure and join in to welcome you aboard. :D

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I am glad that you have gotten the info. on your dad. I know it also is a big help to have a friend who is a dr. ( i know my bro. is a dr. and sometimes his knowledge has helped us out). I don't know about those chemo. drugs your dad is going to take. Just to let you know everyone is different in how they react to chemo. and radiation. Expect your dad will be very tired because of all of this.

If there is one thing that I can tell you that my husband has and is going thru has to do w/ the diabetes. My husband was borderline and now is considered diabetic, this was due to the steroids that are given to him at chemo., they will raise your dads' blood sugar. So it is important that he monitors it frequently, does he has a glucose meter? because that will help. His onc. may want his primary care dr. to oversee that.

I know that with my husbands' case, his dr. upped his medication, he doesn't take insulin shots, but may have to in the future. So I think that it is very important for your dad to have a plan set in place for his diabetes.

Also supplements such as Ensure are very good. I know there are many people here who have given some very good advice for nutrition, please search this site.

Once again, please keep us up to date and I wish the best for your dad.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Quick update on my Dad.

After two chemotherapy treatments we were told there was shrinkage!

We were NOT expecting that at all! We figured a couple of months down the road... but, by the good Grace of God - we finally got a bit of good news for the first time in months.

I hope you are all well.

Best regards,


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Welcome Rod,

I vote for a second opinion too. The information they have given you seems so conflicting. My husband was happy with his oncologist at first too, but after a while he realized, as I had done in the beginning, that this man was not giving him any hope. You need to have hope to survive this disease.

The very best to you and your Dad and family,


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Welcome to the board....I am new too, but not to cancer. Unfortunately lung cancer patients who have smoked seem to get 2nd Class treatment, my father did, my mom didn't...most of our folks who did had no idea what would happen to them.

I can tell you first off green is not a good color for your father to bring up, please check with another doctor, green usually means an infection that needs to be treated with meds. As soon as my mother's changes color they have her on antibiotics. They won't give her chemo if there is even a chance of an infection.

Get that second opinion both for his sake and yours. Keep your spirits strong and encourage his fighting spirit.

I will say prayers for you and your family.


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I just wanted to welcome you here Rod. I know how scarey this is. I hope he gets a better 2nd opinion, but I am glad for his shrinkage. That certainly gives you hope.

We are always here for you for any questions you may have or just support when you need it.

Hang in there and keep that positive attitude going.

Maryanne :wink:

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