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I am a caregiver posting for first time

Drema M

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Last October my husband, age 67, was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC. He had no symptoms and had not smoked in 42 years so this hit us both like a ton of bricks. He was having arthroscopic surgery on his knee and went for a routine pre op chest x ray. When they found the spots on his lung he went for CT scan and MRI. They found lesions that "lit up" in his left lung, ribs, 2 lymph nodes, and sacrum.

After having a biopsy they found that he tested positive for the EGFR mutation. This was good news because it meant he could take Tarceva, a drug indicated for those with this marker.

After weeks of waiting for appointments, test results, and drug delivery he finally took his first dose of Tarceva on December 5. After about 5 or 6 days he broke out with a severe rash on his face, chest, back, neck and scalp. Although the rash is still there, it is controlled with antibiotic daily.

As his wife and caregiver, I am going on this journey with him. It took weeks to adjust to the reality of the nightmare. We try to live each day to the fullest. Each one is a gift. I look forward to the support and suggestions that I will receive from my fellow caregivers on this website.

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Hi Drema M,

Welcome to the LCSC boards. There are a lot of friends here who have taken Tarceva. I'm sure once they read your message they will give you some great advice. You have come to the right place.

With LUNGevity, you do not have to go through this alone. Here are a few ways the Foundation can help you in addition to these message boards.

Caregiver Resource Center



http://events.lungevity.org/site/PageNa ... eLine.html

If you have any questions about these please feel free to email me at Support@lungevity.org

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Hello Drema! I'm sorry about your husband's diagnosis. I too was a caretaker for my husband who also had IV NSCLC. He also took Tarceva and had the rash you've spoken of. It's a very common side effect to this type of chemotherapy. I tried the antibiotic creams as well but my husband had the most relief from coco butter creams.

I'm sure others will follow me with what helped them as well.

Please come back anytime and ask questions or just vent if need be. There are many members here with a wealth of information and support.


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Thanks to Michelle and Cindy for your suggestions and support. My husband's rash is stable now and we apply lotion daily for the dryness. His latest complaint is pain going down from lower back to back of his thighs similar to sciatica. When sitting the pain goes away. But he is not able to stand for a long time or walk distances. The cancer in his sacrum may be affecting nerves in the area and going down back of his legs. He sleeps with a pillow between his knees to relieve pain. I am grateful that pain is intermittent but feel so bad for him.

I wonder if anyone out there has experienced this type of pain.

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Hi Drema! I'm sorry your husband is in pain. My husband didn't experience anything like that. I'm sure your doctor might have more information and perhaps medication to help relieve this.

Please keep us updated! ((hugs))

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