Jump to content

I dont know what's happening

Recommended Posts

My Brother-in-law is in the hospital with lung cancer and I dont understand what is happening.

He is an uncontrolled diabetic with a very fragile immune system. He had testicular cancer which was surgically removed successfully about a year ago. During his stay in the hospital, he got sepsis in the bone due to a contaminated line. They removed part of the bone in his shoulder. He has been in constant pain since then and hasnt slept well in a year. Refused to take pain killer or do PT for the shoulder, so he never recovered its use. He took one course of chemo for the testicular cancer but never took the follow on. He was tested normal with no markers for cancer. He has had low energy since then. Stoppped taking anti-depressants.

A couple weeks ago, he got what seemed to be a bad cold. Went to the doctor and was diagnosed with pneumonia. One week to ten days later, he was very weak and couldnt breathe. Went to the doctor who had her office manager take him to the hospital. Did an X-ray and blood tests and determined that he had lung cancer as well. Put him on a ventilator. Medivac'd him by helicopter to a Shock and Trauma Hospital.

The doctors have hemmed and hawed about surgery for a week and a half and then decided he cant have surgery because he is too weak. He has a tumor 3 cm long right at the branch of his mid and lower bronchus. There are a couple of other smaller tumors. They are saying stage 2 right now but they havent looked at the lymph nodes yet. They have been giving him radiation and plan to keep doing so for a week. After that, we dont know. He told his wife not to do chemo but I am not sure that they are aware that chemo can enhance radiation treatments or be used as a palliative.

They really dont like moving him as he is very delicate. It is a major operation to do radiation. Today they are going to try and combine radiation and a CT scan. I dont know why they arent trying to do a PET scan. There is also some talk about trying to insert a tube to go around the tumor and clear the air passage so he can breathe better but I dont know if that is still possible as today his mid-lobe has collapsed. Still coughing up a lot of blood.

His remaining lung is full of pneumonia.

Also, he is in Medical ICU and in an isolation ward where you have to wear a cap, gown and gloves to go visit him.

There is talk about doing a bronchoscopy to get some of the fluid around the tumor.

I just dont feel that we know what is going on. I feel that the doctors have a lot of suspicions but they just arent sharing. There's a lot of heavy duty equipment that is being used that seems out of the ordinary compared to what other people on the board are going through. Also, the time lines seem longer to get the TMN numbers. We only have a T number of T2 right now.

My suspicion is that BIL is too weak to do surgery and that somehow there is a lot of hemming and hawing. The thought was to give him 7 days of radiation to shrink the tumor and then go in and take it out. But they seem to have removed the option of surgery. The doctors really dont want to move him.

My fear is that he is really at least stage 3 and possibly 4 as there was possibly an underlying cancer that was lurking below the level of the tests that never got cleared out from the testicular cancer. He was an ex-smoker so that doesnt help. I dont think he has the will for a long fight and his wife wont fight hard either. His mom, who was a nurse, doesnt think he will make it and she doesnt panic easily. I dont think he'll make it past the next two months. I just wish the doctors could give a clearer idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carol First my prayers for everyone around you and also of course your dear B-I-L. I would recommend checking out our ask the expert forum due to the complications of all tis. Dr West is our resident Lung Cancer specialist. He works out of Swedish Med center in Washington state. you can link to his site I believe thru the ask the expert forum, register and ask him using cut and paste method. He is very prompt in getting answers to questions and very understanding as he is a licensed Oncologist specializing in Lung Cancer.

Sending prayers, good luck with everything, Welcome here, This is a great group of people to have on your side in this fight. And keep us posted what you find out. You will get some more responses, but this is just my thoughts on this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.