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I am Heather and my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to his brain, kidneys and Spine. My mom and dad have decided that they are not going to do chemotherapy Intravenously but by pill. They have given my father 6 months to live and I am not excepting it very well.

Is there anyone here who is taking the Chemotherapy Pill?? I am doing as much research as I can before my dad's next visit on the 19th...

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Hi Heather,

It is unusual to be given an opportunity of an oral chemo as a first line of treatment. Can you find out the name of the pill? The only likely candidate is Tarceva and that is generally a second line, though if he has been tested for the EGFR mutation and has it, they could get approval for use as a first line treatment.

The other oral pill for lung cancer is still in a trial and is not available as a first line of treatment that I know about.

Giving anyone with cancer a timeline is really unfair. There are statistics - but they measure a big group of people, not your Dad. No one can tell how well he may do, or how poorly. This is one of the difficult things about this diagnosis. They also can't necessarily know which treatment is best for an individual (we need more research!) So, take heart and know that there are many exceptions to the median survival times quoted. I guess I should be long gone by now, but I think that was me in the swimming pool this afternoon, and making cookies after that. I've been on Tarceva for 10 months. We have someone here who has been on it for over 5 years and she went back to work last fall.

Your Dad's cancer appears to have spread pretty far and wide. I hope there has been a team of doctors making a treatment plan based on his current health and performance status, his diagnosis, and his wishes. Understand that it may change based on his responses and need for pain and symptom control. You might also look at the site http://cancergrace.org/ for a first class education in lung cancer treatment.

Please let us know what we can do for you - information, a shoulder to cry on, electronic hugs. If you can provide more info, we can respond more specifically to you.

Do what you can to support your Dad and Mom, and take care of yourself as well. It's a very stressful time, especially before you have a plan a place.

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Heather - I really don't know anything about a chemo pill, but did want to welcome you to the group none of us wanted to belong to, and to wish your Dad all the best with his treatment. I would not pay attention to any time limit your Dad's doctors may have given him. No one knows how any of us will respond to treatment, and many people that were not expected to have done very well. Don't lose hope, take care of yourself and let us know how your Dad is doing.

Diane

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Hi, Heather. I have little to add except my own welcome to LCSC and to say that I wholeheartedly agree with the other responses you've received. Until we start treatment, there's no telling how any of us will do.

Do you have any other details, such as the type of lung cancer? If the pill you mentioned is Tarceva, I've taken it, and it was quite helpful for many months (see my history below and in the link).

Hope to see you at GRACE (cancergrace.org). Best wishes and Aloha,

Ned

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Hi Heather,

Welcome to LCSC,sorry to hear about your dads dx,it is unfortunate that some medical professionals just love to play God,they are so full of themselves and intellectual snobbery,who dont give tuppence for the listeners of their rumblings.My GP gave me two years to live (its almost up)my oncologist offers me 15-20 years if not a complete cure-guess what, I am going along with my oncologist.

Iam afraid I cant give you any thoughts on oral chemo,I had mine done intravenously,there are buddies here who may help you with their experiences and knowledge.You may also consider referring to Dr West or Dr Wiess in the cancergrace website,They can respond to any questions you may have regarding your father.

I wish you and your family well for the difficult times you are all facing,and I will pray for you that you all have a better outcome than the one envisaged by your doctor.

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Welcome and hope we can be of some comfort. I am sorry you got doctors who feel the need to tell your Dad how long he has to live. I don't know when they will start to realize that the are now managing many survivors with advanced lung cancer. You will find a good number of them here in our LCSC. The beginning is always the worst but hang in there. There is a new kind of "normal" around the corner when your Dad get's settled into his treatment.

Judy in KW

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Hi Heather,

I'm sorry to read about your father. If it is Tarceva your father is on, there may be a lot of folks here who can help. My mom has been on Tarceva since December and has done wonderfully. She was growing weaker and sicker and the Tarceva turned her around very quickly. It doesn't work for everyone, but many folks on this board have had remarkable results with it.

Be sure to ask any questions you have. Someone on this board is likely to have dealt with the issue and can offer advice.

Susan

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Hello Heather,

Like the others, I welcome you to our world. Everyone has given you great advice already, so I won't repeat that, except to reiterate the thoughts about time lines.

They just don't know. More and more of us are surviving and moving on to full productive lives. Don't focus on the time line, just focus on Dad, and make sure he knows how much you love him. We should all do that, cancer or not, but we don't always do that.

Take care,

Judy in MI

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Wow, I am overwhelmed with all the responses that I received and the warm welcome to the club I don't want to belong too. Looks like I have found a place where I can go and vent and no one will think ill of me.

My dad is not on any form of chemotherapy as of yet, he is on his 2nd week of radiation therapy and seems to be doing well. Other than being tired, he is very zen about the whole cancer diagnosis. As for the rest of us (actually me) I am trying to deal with it the best I can. Being bipolar is not helping me any but I am taking it one day at a time and am trying to get as much information about everything I can get my hands on pertaining to Lung Cancer...

I am glad that I have found you guys and cant wait to make friends and hear more success stories and get to know you.

HUGS <3

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Heather -

What an overwhelming and stressful time you must be going through. I know - I went through it with my mom. The chemo drug, Tarceva I am assuming, can be amazing! We had never heard my mom's docs as confident as they were with her when it was time for Tarceva. Unfortunately, my mom was in the 1% of people who have a reaction to the drug and develop pancreatitis, so she had to go off of it. That is sooo rare though and I am sure your dad will flourish on it! Don't let the docs get you down - there is so much to be said for the ability to fight this big bully of lung cancer and stay positive! Just take it one day at a time!

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