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cherylh

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I have never posted anything to a message board before, so I hope I am doing this right.

My husband has recently been diagnosed with nsclc adenocarcenoma stage IV. It was just a fluke that we found it. He started out with a cough in july that they said was due to sinus drainage. They kept giving him different antibiotics to help with the sinus infection. Nothing helped. They finally did an x-ray which revealed a spot. Compared it to x-ray from three years ago. No change. They said three years ago it was scar tissue. Cough continued so they did a CT scan and then sent us to an oncologyst! My husband has never smoked but does work in a cabnet factory where they use different woods, paint thinners, cleaners, etc. Don't know if this makes any difference. Nothing I read on the web is very encouraging about lung cancer especially stage IV. They doctors are not very encouraging. He has a tumor in his right lung and a small spot on his left hip. Before they found the spot on his hip it was all about the cure. Now all they talk about is containment, I wish someone could explain the change to me. He just had his first chemo treatment (taxol/carbo) two days ago. He is doing ok but seems very depressed. He feels like he has been handed a death sentence. Is this true? I have him on all the prayer lists, but am wondering how to get his spirits up. Part of the problem is that he had a brother die of cancer (melanoma)two years ago. The prescribed treatment is chemo once every three weeks and they will do another scan in 3 to 4 months. Is this the usual treatment for stage IV.

I would appreciate any encouraging info especially about stage IV.

Thanks

Cheryl

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Hi Cheryl,

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your husband. My mother was just diagnosed on September 12th with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC. She was offered only chemo (Every 2.5/3wks). She was denied radiation due to the location (heart/lungs plus pleural effusion). My mother too, is at times, very depressed, almost unable to be consoled. As a daughter, it is horrible to see a parent in so much emotional and physical pain. All I know is I am there for her. I just quietly sit by her and hold her while she cries and speak softly too her. All you can do is be there and support your loved one. Hope this helps. Thoughts and prayers sent to you and your husband, Sarah

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Hi Cheryl,

Sorry to hear about your husband but glad you found us. Sounds like the doctors have a good plan of treatment Best to take it one step and one day at a time. Stay positive and focused. Lots to take in at first. Learn and research as much as you can. If Stage IV was a death sentence I would not be here right now. Perhaps your husband would benefit from a support group where he can meet people who have been there, done that. There is always hope as long as there is life. Hope this helps. Prayers for the best.

Rich

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Hi and welcome Cheryl,

So sorry for your husbands DX ,and all that your family is going though.

1.) The number game means nothing. They are based on massive groups of people and are very much out of date. Information on the internet for the most part is only as good as the person who posted it. My Dad has stage IV LC. When our first Doctor started throwing numbers around, I told him " Doc, it's 50-50 for all of us everyday! Healthy, wealthy, sick or whatever! You either live today, or you die, there is no middle ground" Your husband is not a number !! The only good thing that came out of the internet for me was this community. These folks are survivors and caregivers for all stages and types of lung cancer. They will give you advice, inspiration and lend ear, or in this case, eyes, to lean on 24 hrs a day.

2.) Depression and fear are perfectly normal. I mean, lets face it - cancer has never exactly been an uplifting experience.

Ask your Doctor about anti depressants. My Dad got some and they have helped him greatly.

3.) Cancer is NOT a death sentence, not even stage IV ! There are MANY survivors on this board to support that fact! The treatment your Husband is receiving is very similar to my Dads. Once My Dad started his treatment and started showing response, all of our anxiety lessened and we all became MUCH more positive. As long as there is hope, there is EVERYTHING! Not only can chemotherapy shrink tumors, it can manage this terrible disease successfuly for MANY years ! A lot of people even get a N.E.D report (No evidence of desease!) So please let your husband know that this is by NO means the end, not even close! Chemo can have some unpleasant side effects but they are well managed by new and wonderful medications.

4.) If you are not happy with your Doctor(s) move on and get a second, third or 900th opinion if needed! You need a fighter in your corner if you are to have success.

5.)Read this article, it gave my family and My Dad great inspiration:

http://cancerguide.org/median_not_msg.html

Read the stories on this board of the MANY survivors. Read them to your husband, they will bring you great peace and inspiration and hope.

I wish the very best for you and your entire family. Try and relax and take things one day at a time.

Warmest Regards,

-Rod

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Hi Cheryl, I'm new to this too. Im stage iv also. And remeber I'm just learning. I think stage iv means it spread. Mine spread from upper to lower lung and to the chest wall. Your husbands went from lung to hip. Ive seen many here who have had it spread and now they're NED. Its certainly possible. The most improtant thing is a possitive additude. I went on anti depressents right out of the hospital and the helped immediately. No more tears. Ha, sounds like a good shampoo for kids. I'm doing radiation 5 x a week for 7 weeks and chempo once a week during that time. Then on to the 3 week regiment and then surgury if all goes well. If your doctor is not aggressive enough for you, get another one. Keep fighting hard. Give your husband some time to get use to the idea. Took me about 3 weeks before I wanted to know the details of my condition. Just talked to the Doctor this past friday to get all the details. Now Im ready to kick a**. Your husband is now on my prayer list. I pray while theyre zapping me each day. Take care and stay in touch, Liz

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Hi Cheryl,

I have also been diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC. Mine was in my liver and spine in addition to my lungs. As you can see by my profile, I am currently in remission. I went through the same chemo regimen as your husband is receiving except that I was also getting Avastin, which I am still receiving once a month now as a maintenence therapy. Avastin is a targeted therapy that prevents the cancer cells from setting up their own bloood supply = thereby starving them and preventing them from traveling to other areas. You can ask your husband's doc about maybe including this with his chemo, it was just recently FDA approved for lung cancer. Check out the link below for more info:

http://www.avastin.com/avastin/home.m?s ... c=yahooppc

There are plenty of Stage IV survivors here, have your husband read the survivors forum for some inspiration. The most important thing besides finding a good doctor is having a positive attitude! Your husband can beat this disease, he just has to believe it!

I am happy to answer any questions you may have about my experience, just pm me. Hang in there and stay strong!

Sharon

p.s. What part of the country are you in?

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Welcome, Cheryl! If the lung cancer is confined to the original site (lung), many times surgery can be performed and the patient is cured. If the lc escapes the original site into the body, like this hip, then the cancer could be anywhere in the body, and a cure is hard to come by. Chemo is normal for this situation. Radiation normally is not used unless there is severe pain in the area or the bone integrity is threatened. This is because radiation can only be done once in an area.

My wife was Stage IV. nsclc and lasted 4 years, so there is always hope. Many on here have your husband's diagnosis and are still around. Take heart, and keep us posted. Don

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Hi Cheryl,

Welcome to the board - I hope it's helpful to you.

Your husband and you have a right to be depressed, sad, ect. Cancer is an overwhelming diagnosis. But after a time, (it took me close to a month), you start figuring out what can I do instead of what can't I do. Statistic mean nothing. Many on the board were given timelines that we are way past. And the great news is that many have a good quality of life. I haven't been confined to bed yet. My chemo's have all been fairly easy on my body, so my major problem has been some metastisis that caused pain until radiated.

Do ask you doctor for an antidepressant. I was given Lexapro early on. I think it helps a good deal.

Best wishes,

Mary

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Hi Cheryl,

Welcome and sorry you have to be here. :?

My husband has IIIb/IV and started out with eight rounds of the Taxol/Carbo too. It has been 19 months since diagnosis. People can live with cancer as long as the onc. is aggressive in controlling the beast. We try to stay ahead of it, but there is a lot of ups and downs. Life will never be what it was before, but you kind of adjust to living with cancer and carry on in a different way.

Best of luck to you and your husband on this journey.

Welthy

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Cheryl,

I had stage IV with a pleural effusing. The reason the doctors may have changed their attitude is the spot on the hip. Do they know for sure that the spot on the hip is cancer? If it is then they consider that it has metastasized. That would make it stage IV or IIIb. I had spots all over my right lung plus the fluid between the lung and chest wall. The fluid changed mine from stage II to stage IV. The chemo that your husband is getting is the same type I got, Carboplatin and Taxol. They gave me Tarceva in addition to the chemo from the beginning. I had chemo once a week for three weeks then one week off, and then repeat. You might ask why some get it every week and some get it every three weeks. I don’t know the answer but it is common to see this. I would also ask about Tarceva. The standard answer I have heard is that they are saving it for a second line defense. My oncologist told me that we might as well use everything we have as long as I can take it. It is a must to get your husband spirits up and have him convinced that he can beat this. Anything I can do let me know. If he would like to talk to me we can arrange that.

Stay positive,

Ernie

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Hello Cheryl and welcome

I am sorry you have reason to find a site such as this, but glad you have posted and introduced yourself and your husband.

You have gotten a lot of good advice here already. I cannot add much to it.

Please keep us posted and let us know how we can help you.

My best to you and your husband

Chris

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Welcome to the board. I had never posted anywhere before either. My fingers were shaking when I was typing. (not anymore)

I had carbo/taxol too. I was stage 111B. I had taxotere to follow up after the radiation/chemo combo.

The doctor that told me about the Taxotere said that there was a good study done on it by SWOG that showed marked improvement in survival times. (Southwest Oncology Group)Since then, I see the study referred to every once in awhile.

If your husband has metastasis to his hip, he is definitely stage IV. There are lots of people living with stage IV disease. This is a hard blow for all of us. We each react differently to the hit. Hope he can find his way to help pull himself back up. He will fare better with his boxing gloves on rather than off.

Cindi o'h

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Cheryl- Sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis. My mom was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC in September and is completing her 2nd round of Chemo (Gemzar & Carbo on Day 1, Gemzar on Day 8, then one week off). She has good days and bad days, but we have found that there are blessings following a cancer diagnosis. I pray that you will too. Stay positive and remember your husband is not a number. A positive attitude (with the help of meds if needed) goes along way. And this website is a great place to vent and to be inspired by success stories. Take Care, Candy

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Welcome....

I'm new here too...my husband was just dx with stage 4 nsclc too....one month ago....

I'll keep you in my prayers....

We are still getting more opinions....seems as if UCLA in California has a different outlook...we'll see...

So keep the faith...and if you're not happy with your Dr...CHANGE!!!

The way I see this is...we have to be our own advocates...follow your gut....and everyone else is right...your husband is not a statistic....

He is a Human Being....living with cancer...he is not cancer!!!

Love,

Tracey Huguley

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Hi Cheryl,

I'm also a stage IV survivor of just about 18 months now. When I was diagnosed, my cancer had spread to my sacrum and hip. I've had an amazing ride that I plan to continue. I feel like I'm fighting a chronic disease. I Plan to live a long time and this lung cancer just has to be managed. I'm not expecting a cure, although that would be wonderful, but containment for me would be just as good.

Remember, this is NOT a death sentence. But you do have to work it!

Wishing you and your husband the best. I too am available if your husband has any questions at all.

Joan

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First of all, Please please know the LC even stage IV is not necessarily a death sentence. There are so many treatments out there including sugery if possible that would help him tremendously.

Have faith in his doctors but if they have negative attitudes than always seek a 2nd or 3rd opinion.

Hang in there and know that there are so many people on here who have walked in his shoes who are doing great today.

We are here for you 24/7 and know you are NOT ALONE.

Faith doesn't get you around trouble, but it gets you through it.

Keep us posted.... It it NOT a Death sentence please take that out of your mind now!! But he must fight and keep a positive attitude through this.

Maryanne :wink:

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Cheryl,

lots of great advice already posted for you. I just wanted to extend a welcome to you. You've come to the best place with many survivors who reach out in support with their experiences and advice.

Please keep us posted. Sending loads of positive thoughts to your husband, you and your family.

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