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What can I do to help my father


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My dad is still in pain and they have him on a lot of drugs. Docs saw "activity" in one of his PET scans and are worried it may have spread into the spine. He was supposed to have an MRI Saturday but he couldn't lie on the table for the 40 minutes the test would take. He said he was shaking and crying, he was in so much pain. The radiology doc also wants him to get a brain scan. He confirmed it was stage 4 and all they can do now is keep him comfortable.

His first appt with an oncologist is Wed and I am going to be there. His radiology doc wants to start him on treatments asap but they are waiting to hear what the oncol wants to do.

My great uncle (dad's uncle) was diagnosed at this advanced stage and was gone within a month. I am very scared the docs aren't moving fast enough.

I feel helpless down here. I am heading up north on Wednesday to be there for the appts. but what can I do to be proactive in this?

Thank you.

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Amie, all I can say is what I would do, and that would be to get his pain under control as the top priority. If the reason the radiology doc (radiation oncologist?) wants to start treatments ASAP is to help relieve the pain, which I would guess is the case, then I would push for that to happen. The medical oncologist you're seeing Wednesday is concerned with treating the overall cancer, probably with chemo as the main tool, and while that's important, in my opinion it's not as immediately, urgently critical as getting a handle on the pain. If an MRI is truly essential at this point and his current medications are not enough to keep him lying quietly, perhaps a pain specialist or anesthesiologist can assist with the MRI. I don't know if that's possible, but I would certainly ask. Please understand that I have no solid medical basis for suggesting any of this, but when I had a somewhat similar situation (not cancer) with my dad, all I could think of was getting him comfortable, and my reactions came from emotion and desperation, much as now. My Aloha,


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I don't have lc, but I know

about pain, there should be a

pain clinic around or the

radiologist (doctor) should

work to get the pain under control

an after they will be able to make

the needed tests.

Good luck and don't forget to tell

you father you love him.


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Amie -

I had an MRI several months ago where they did my spine and my rt hip. Between the two, I was in the tube for two hours - with my feet tied together in an inward fashion. Altho I didn't freak out - when it was time to come out I almost jumped off the table. The technicians told me that many times for MRIs they need to give patients a mild tranquilizer to help them out. Please talk to the doctor to see if they can give him anything to relax him for the test.

I will be thinking of you and saying prayers for your dad. Let us know what we can do to help you.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Hi Amieb,

I agree with the others - the top priority at this point is to get the pain under control - whether by radiation or pain meds - or a combination of both. I remember my Dad saying if he could just get rid of the pain - he could deal with "this other stuff" - is what he sometimes calls the cancer. The early days of endless tests are maddening and it does seem that nothing is moving fast enough. You will be a tremendous help by being at those appointments- so good to just have another set of ears there.

I'll be praying for a safe trip for you and for the doctors to get a treatment plan in place quickly.

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Thanks for all the replies. Dad goes in for his first radiation this afternoon. He is having a bad day with the pain and I am worried he is going to talk him out of it. I can tell today is a cheerleader day. Just have to keep him moving forward. I know he can do this.

He is doing 10 15-minute treatments on consecutive busines days. I can only hope that help comes soon.

Thank you for all the support.

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I pray that your father responds quickly to radiation. In the meantime, he should definitely pursue a different pain medication. There are so many out there. I had significant hip pain from bone mets and finally oxycontin did the trick for me.

People are living longer and longer with Stage IV lung cancer. Please don't let your dad give up hope.

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I sure am praying for your dad. My husband had the same problem with the pain, it just wasn't controlled. I regret not being more proactive to get him relief, do everything you can to find the person who will help him. With caring and best wishes,


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Amie - I am praying that the radiation will work to relieve your dad's pain as quickly as possible. I was in a lot of pain from spine mets also. The doctor's immediately put me on steroids and pain meds which helped alot. Since radiation I have been pain free (a year now!) Also I have a terrible fear of the MRI - it is hard enough when you feel well - but in pain it is unbearable. I had the doctors give me tranquilizers beforehand and they were a huge help. My prayers are with you.

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