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Father- in-law diagnosed on 7/5/06

Guest fight4dan

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Guest fight4dan

My father in law was diagnosed with small cell stage 4 lung cancer on 7/5/06. His name in Daniel Palmer and he is only 62 years old. He started having pain in his hip/back about 1 year ago. The doctors stated that it was his siatiac (sp)nerve in his leg and that he had buldged disks in his back. They gave him pain medicine and did x-rays at this time. Long story short this method of treatment continued until about 3 months ago. He would go to the dr, chriropracters, neurolgists, acupunctuists (sp) and so on. He finially underwent surgery to shave the bones in his back, where the disks were buldged to alleviate the pain in his groin. The surgery went well, but the pain in his hip got tremendously worse after the surgery, to the point that he could hardly walk. My mother in law could not stand watching him in pain anymore and she demanded that he be admitted to the hospital to see what was wrong. The pain should have been alleviated by the surgery, not gotten worse. After many calls to the doctor and his worseing condition,he was admitted and an MRI found nothing wrong. The the doctors then completed a bone scan. The bone scan revealed 3 tumors, one on his lung, one on his adreanal glands and on in his pelvic bone. It should be notes that the doctors looked back to the x-rays from 1 year ago and saw the tumor in the hip. they stated, "we thought it was just part of him". At this time, the doctors told us "that to hope for lung cancer, because it would be the most treatable cancer". So, the doctors went in and completed a bone biopsy. The bone biopsy revealed that he had stage 4 lung cancer. They first told us that he has 6-12 months to live, then 6-12 months has turned to 6-8 and some doctors say 4-6 months. He has undergone 8 treatments of radiation on his pelvis to "shrink the tumor and allegedly alleviate the pain". The tumor was 7-8cm. and no one has told us if the radiation is doing anything. To tell you the truth, they don't tell us much of anything!!!! The pain my father in law is going through was unbearable in the hip/pelvis area. He walked into the hospital 3 weeks ago and is now bed ridden. Any move he makes creates more pain for him. On 7/10/06 the doctors placed a pump in his side that releases morphine (3mg) throughout the day. He now has pain in his leg from a formed blood clot. They are giving him medications to disolve the clot and thin the blood. The clot became apparent on 7/7/06 and is still in the leg, noted by swelling.

The family is obviously in great turmoil. Any suggestions for coping or words or encourgagement are welcome. As of today, my father in law in still in the hospital in pain, has a blood clot and he just wants to go home.

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Welcome. Sorry about your FIL. You did not say whether the lung cancer is small cell or non-small cell -- the chemo treatments are different. Anyways, my wife is 69 and has lived almost 4 years with Stage IV nonsmall cell LC. Therefore, there should be some treatment that could help both shrink the cancer and reduce the pain. You may want to get a second opinion, if you feel the doctors he now has aren't doing all they can.

Some doctors, unfortunately, look at lung cancer and go immediately to palliative care, when there are treatments available. If you can find out what type he has, the group here can suggest possible things for it, out of their own experience, realizing that each person is different.

The radiation should have decreased the hip pain and the tumor. How well it shrinks the tumor is hard to tell because the cavity left in the bone, and the new bone growth light up in scans. The pain intensity is how we have tracked my wife's response to radiation. And it has always alleviated the pain in the area radiated for her.

There is a lot of support here with info and encouragement, so take advantage. Tell us as much as you can about your FIL's case. Best to you. Don

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I'm sorry to hear of the diagnosis and the delay in treatment. I also had pain that they wanted first to rest, then to physical therapy. After two weeks of each I said no - I wanted a more difinitive diagnosis. And it was lung cancer - with a 8CM tumor in the lung and one on the spine and one on the clavicle.

I can tell you after 10 treatments of radiation the pain went away. It did get a little worse for a few days, but then was good as normal. I'm now just finishing up a second round of radiation for a new spine met.

I was also told 6 months - maybe a year since I'm young and healthy. It's been 15 months and except for the mets that have needed to be taken care of - I have felt fine and pretty much had a normal life with a few extra hours of sleep.

Don't take statistics to plan a life. And ask the doctor what he is doing by way of chemo to shrink the tumor. If you are not at a cancer center, see if one is available.

Good luck.


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Hello and welcome

I am so very sorry to hear about all this pain that your father in law is having to endure. It sounds like an absolute nightmare.

It seems to me that a 2nd opinion is very much in order, if for nothing else than to get him on some kind of treatment plan that will attack the pain and allow him to gain some strength back in order to begin this new fight.

This board is a wonderful place to get information, answers and maybe most importantly, support. There are many very knowledgeable folks here that will be along and offer up some wonderful advice.

Please keep us posted and know that we are all pulling for you and your father in law

Sending prayers,


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I am very sorry about your FIL. I am also very outraged! for medical professionals to have "missed" key issues in your FIL is so so unacceptable. I think your family needs to speak with the patient advocate at the hospital he is at and express your anger at the treatment your FIL has and is getting.

Also please, please have your MIL get a copy of his medical records of all your FIL has been through since the beginning of all of this. This upsets me greatly because my dad was mistreated for his cancer and he suffered greatly, it wasn't until I got my dad to another hosp. and to an onc. that we found out the extent of his cancer, but it was too late for him. At least they helped with his pain, and tried so many things for him, but like I said it was too late. Please if you can try to get him to another onc.

Also if your dad has insurance, try to get a case manager thru his insurance to come aboard to help your MIL out, they can help you with any questions or issues you all have.

But the main point now is to get your FIL as comfortable as possible. I can tell you that my husband has "stage 4" sclc and his treatment and care has been absolute fantastic, as I keep telling my mom it is the way my dad should of been treated.

Once again, I am very sorry, I know the feeling of being overwhelmed, please keep on fighting for you FIL.


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Your FIL has to see an oncologist and there has to be the question of chemotherapy. Small cell responds very well to chemo. Your father in law would probably benefit from chemo. Please talk to his doctors, if possible have him admitted to Sloan Kettering (even though it's kind of far from him). I would also consider suing the doctors that misdiagnosed him.

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I find most encourging your on-site moniker "Fight4Dan"!!!

I think you mean it!

To fight means to gain as much information as possible. Included is starting to learn as much as you can from ALL reports of Dan's diagnostic tests, and doctor's comments. Then you will start to learn more about his illness and what they know and what they don't. Communication between the docs and the patient/family is vital. If you are not feeling like you are in the loop or Dan is being cared for properly, a 2nd and/or 3rd opinion is vital.

Try not to look at stats and prognosis. While some of us do fall within the stats, some of us are beating lc everyday...who is to know?

I hate that Dan has been downed by so much pain! Not fair! Who can function under that? So glad that you have the upmph to step up for him... Go! Go! Go!

We will help you. Learn as much as you can. We have a wealth of experiences that we can help you along, hopefully.


Cindi 'h

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I have your father in law in my prayers..I wanted to cry for him as I read what he went through for a year and they didn't diagnose him correctly. It makes me hate insurance companies even more than I already do. The reason people are not diagnosed with anything early is because the most simple tests are the most expensive. Anyhow, there are many people living with stage 4 lung cancer, I will pray for a good outcome for you.



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