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Lung cancer...many questions.


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We found out on July 8th that my 73 year old father has sclc stage 4. He has opted not to have any further testing or treatment. I the last four weeks he has had to be put on oxygen (10 liter flow and still difficult time breathing), has adema in both legs ( must use walker to walk), cant eat, constant nausa, coughs constantly, has had 2 seizures that I am aware of and in constant pain. Doctor encouraged us to get Hospice involved, which we have done and they are doing a wonderful job, god love each and everyone of them. How can a person go from being active and enjoying life to being so sick in such a short time? This is so painful to watch him withering away before our very eyes. Doctor tells us that we are looking at 6 to 12 months, there is no way that dad can go on that long, not like this. Has anyone been in this circumstance, if so please share advice, or thoughts with me. I am so scared, and worried about him.

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I am sorry you needed to find this site, but welcome. Extensive SCLC, especially untreated, can progress very quickly. I am very glad that you have hospice already involved. I can't tell how long he may survive, but if he is not eating and is not receiving nutrition in any other way, weeks would be my outside guess. In the morning, perhaps someone with a similar situation will be able to give you a better answer.

Take care of yourself - do talk to him as much as you can - he may be unresponsive, but he will know you are there. If he gets angry, don't take it personally. I hope there will be days of peace ahead for you, him, and your loved ones.

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Take a look through our forum called the path less traveled when you get a chance ! You might get some really good answers to a lot of your questions that I can not give you. That forum was started years ago by a member, Dean Carl, who was amazing in dealing with the same situation your going through but eh was the patient not the advocate!!

This is one of his postings about things! He truly is and was a inspiration and legend here!! I think he would be honored about now to know that his words still sound out i certain times like these do......

The Path

c Dean C. Shaffer

March 2004

Come walk with me if you would,

This lonely path I travel on.

Though many others walk with me,

Few words are ever spoken here.

And this is such a lovely path.

With roses brilliant pink and red.

Grass growing soft beneath the feet.,

A carpet there of emerald green.

Trees with wondrous branches spread,

Over those who pass this way.

And cool the shade provided here

To shield us from the summer sun,

But oh so few who walk this path,

Do so with joyful willing hearts.

Nor, truth be told, would I be here,

Had I the choice to choose my way.

For it is not the path itself,

That brings so many tears to fall,

From those to whom fate as decreed,

Must set their feet upon this ground.

No, not the path, but where it leads.

A gate of iron set in stone.

And mist that hides what lies beyond,

From eyes with questions deep within.

A gate through which we all must pass.

A journey ended, now begun.

One we never planned to take,

And no map to guide our way.

So walk with me this road I take

Though not your time to tread it yet.

And do not fear the gate you see,

For only I will pass it now.

And speak to me with voice of cheer

To take my mind from journey’s end.

And when that end has come to pass,

Then raise a glass to life well lived!


9/21: dxd Squamous Cell Carsinoma (malignant). Stage IIIa. Mets to lymph nodes in and around RT lung. Tumor blocking airway to RT lung. Partialy colapsed RT lung. Diagnosis confirmed by bronchoscopy

10/6: Bone scan. Results: Negative

10/19: Testing done. Cancer in-operable (heavy involment of mediasternal lymph nodes), incurrable (maybe :)).

Decided on no chemo or heavy radiation. I'm going to live life while there's life to be lived, one glorious day at a time!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. (George Carlin)

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It is so unfair B-girl that you and your father and all your loved ones have to go thru this. Hospice is really the only hope I know of who can keep your father more comfortable to the end. I'm trusting that they will do what they do and help both you and your father make this transition in the most peaceful manner possible. My thoughts are with you.

Judy in KW

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