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stage iv nsclc - leg pains?


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My father has recently been diagnosed with stage IV non small cell lung cancer which has mets to his brain (about 16 small lesions over three different areas of the brain), stomach and liver. He started chemo (two treatments of taxol/carboplatin so far) and radiation (ten treatments) about four weeks ago and has been experiencing all the side effects including extreme fatigue, loss appetite, changes to his sense of taste, mouth sores, yeast infections, red itchy scalp, numbness in feet and legs. However, over the last two weeks he's been experiencing increasing pain in his legs - he says it feels like he's walking on rocks and his calves and thighs are severely cramped. I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this happen. We're going in for an mri of his spine on Thursday, but I'm worried sick that the cancer has continued to spread. An x-ray from one week ago of his lung shows that the lung tumor is still increasing in size. (Initially it was the size of a baseball.) Also wondering for people who have been with those affected by brain cancer - my dad seems to be getting a bit more confused and the "pressure" in his head is increasing. Is this a precusor to more bad news? Thanks for any insights.

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Welcome to the site. Sorry you need us. But, we understand and are here to help.

My first thought on the legs is possible blood clots. My husband had several and was on blood thinners to keep them from occurring.

They normally do leg ultrasounds to look for them. I would suggest he be checked right away. Blood clots are very serious. Praying for your dad's treatments to start working and for the doctors to have wisdom with his situation. Take care.

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Hey There,

So sorry that you had to find us here - but welcome. This is an awesome site where you can find a plethora of information as well as vent or have a shoulder to cry on if need be.

My Father had 3 lesions in his brain and that was taken care of by gammaknife. I'm not sure if there is a limit to the number of lesions there are to gammanife not being an option. I know that when my Father's lesions were first discovered, he was put on the steroid Decadron. It is used to reduce the swelling in the brain. Is your Father taking this? If so, I know for my Father and for numerous other members on this board, the side effect is weakness in the legs (which makes climbing stairs extremely difficult).

Cyberknife is also pretty good for liver mets. Unfortunately it hasn't worked for my Father considering his were quite large at the time of treatment.

Tarceva is also an excellent drug. It has shown to be the most effective on people who have not smoked.

Good luck,


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Just wanted to welcome you. So sorry about your dad diagnosis. I know how scared you must be.

I have no experience with leisons of the brain, but you are already getting some good infomation.

Just know that we are here for you 24/7. You do not have to go through this alone.

Keep the faith as faith doesn't get you around trouble it gets your through it.


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Hi Laverne,

I had stage IV and had Carboplatin and Taxol plus Tarveva 100mg day. Tarceva and Avastin have help a lot of people, you might ask about them.

I had no bad side effects from any of my chemo. I take a lot of supplements and drink lots of water.

If you have any questions let us know. there are lots of us here to help. Stay positive.


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Hi Laverne, welcome.

I am sorry to hear about your dad's diagnosis.

I had leg cramps at night when I had carboplatin/gemzar, but I think your dad's situation is different. Gamma knife and cyberknife are very similar in outcome and accuracy, but cyberknife does not require a head frame while gamma knife does. I have heard of up to 11 small brain lesions being treated with cyberknife, but that is probably unusual. Here is a link to a message board that is staffed by radiation oncologists who practice cyberknife. They answer within 24 hours and will answer questions about cyberknife or treatment in general.


I hope your dad gets good shrinkage on this round of treatment.

Don M

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