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Introduction - Karin B.


karinb

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Hi, I'm Karin. My dad, 72, was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma with pleural effusion at the end of January. He is taking Tarceva. Cancer is mainly in his right lung, but he does have some in the left, as well. It is nowhere else, as far as we know. He is constantly freezing, which the doctors have attributed to being on Coumadin. The plan is to wean him off that. His legs and feet are extremely swollen, in spite of having been on Lasix for at least a couple of weeks. Walking even a very short distance causes him to become very short of breath, which in turn causes him great anxiety. The result of this - he spends most of his time on the couch, and also doesn't do the exercises the PT has asked him to do. I am feeling frustrated, as he is not doing what he can to help himself - those exercises and lots of deep breathing through his nose, which was also recommended. Thanks for any helpful suggestions you might be able to provide. Thanks to all for sharing your stories - it is so helpful!

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not sure where to try and start because no experience with this situation but trying to get some advice and help for you..... did not have this experience so... Hang in there though trying to get some answers !!!

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Hi Karin,

I know you're frustrated but try to also imagine how he feels. It's difficult to do anything when you feel so poorly. Even things you know that can help you may feel extremely taxing and maybe even fruitless if you feel like you may never feel well again.

Right now his body is getting used to treatments and side effects. Hopefully doctors can get his side effects under control soon. Then start off slow- walking to the mailbox, going to the store...little things that will get him active again.

One survivor I spoke with knew she couldn't do anything at all, but the one thing she could do everyday was walk from her bed to the sofa. That lasted about 8 months for her. And she was much younger than your father.

Be patient with him. Encourage him and eventually he will come around. Also, talking and connecting with other survivors may help him too.

Here's a video that I think may help of someone who went thru difficult treatments and made it through. Perhaps it will inspire him.

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

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Hi Randy and Katie,

Thanks so much for your responses and encouragement! I really appreciate it! I watched - and bookmarked - some of the survivor videos, including Jamie Young's several weeks ago. Thank you for the reminder! I will send along her video to my dad and hope it will inspire him! I'm so grateful to have this board and people who care.

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Karin,

Please keep us posted on your dad, but remember you can post here about YOU too.

Caregiving is the hardest job. You want so much to help make the person you love well. Sometimes it feels like your hands are tied or you feel frustrated. That's normal and ok-- you must! If you want to connect with those of us who have walked this walk, keep posting. Visit the caregivers forum on this message board and we can walk this walk together.

Best hopes for your dad AND you!

Hugs,

KatieB

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also lots of inspiring stories i our Good news forum and Inspiration forum also!!!! we help and support caregivers as well....

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Hello Karin! My husband had the same stage as your dad. He too had the swollen legs and didn't do the exercises he was told to do at first. I believe it was slow in coming because he was depressed not only by the diagnosis but just felt generally weak from the treatments. Hang in there and just try to be as supportive as you can. ((hugs))

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