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Father Diagnosed last week...first encounter with cancer for our family


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Hi, I'm new to this site and to Cancer. We just lost our Mom in March at 68 years old. The Lord took her in her sleep at 68 yrs old. Most likely heart attack. We just found out Friday that my Father has lung cancer. Still waiting for biopsy results for the specifics. I guess the Drs were able to tell by looking and by the quick look at the biopsy in the lab at hospital before they sent it away. They don't feel it's small cell... And most likely has already spread to his liver and possibly spleen because they saw enlarged noids in those areas on ct scans of abdomen. He also has back pain and headaches a lot. I'm trying to not give up hope but from everything I'm reading it doesn't look good. After we get results from biopsy they said they are performing a PET scan to see where else the cancer may be then they will formulate a plan for his care. We are then considering taking him to U of Penn in Philly for a second opinion. If anyone has any advice to share please offer. I'm also worried about his "strength". Newly widowed and still mourning the loss of my Mom is not helping...Thanks

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It is so hard when parents pass or encounter complex health problems.  From what you posted, I conclude late stage diagnosed lung cancer with metastasis.  PET results should show the extent of metastasis and doctors can then formulate a treatment plan.  Jefferson University Hospital (U Penn) has a stellar reputation, but again from the information you shared, the diagnosis is hard to dispute.  I'd wait until you learn the current medical team's treatment plan and if you feel it is inadequate, then seek the second opinion on treatment.


Strap in and be patient because treatment may not be pleasant and results may not show timely improvement.  My disease took 3 years of near constant treatment to arrest and to this day, I'm not sure which was more difficult to endure, the treatment or the disease.  But treatment did yield extended life - more than 11 years for me.  Note I said extend life not cure.  The objective of treatment is to achieve a no evidence of disease (NED) state.  In my oncology consult in July, my doctor still declined to use the cure word.   


You can be a real help to your Dad by reading into the disease at this site (http://www.lungevity.org/) so you can explain all the jargon and medical terminology you'll encounter.  As an example: non small cell, squamous cell, carcinoma.   This forum is a good place to ask questions and you'll have many.


Stay the course.



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So sorry to hear about your mother. It seems like you’re going through an awful lot and my heart goes out to you. My uncle was just diagnosed with stage 3 nsclc. It’s been really hard on my mom and the rest of the family. I’ve been looking for advice on how to help her and my uncle feel better as they go through this. I came across Reimagine which might be a helpful resource for you to use. Hoping that it helps. Praying for you and your dad!

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Hi Rgagmg88, 

Welcome to the LCSC message boards. I'm sorry to read about the news of your dad. Tom is right, LUNGevity's website has a lot of good information. This link talks about the right questions to ask, and there is also a checklist that you can take with you to his next appointment. http://www.lungevity.org/support-survivorship/asking-right-questions/questions

Please keep posting and letting us know how you both are doing. 


Take care,

Cindy A.

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