Jump to content



Recommended Posts

Hi, my name is Sharae and my uncle is 74 years old and has lung cancer and bladder cancer. 20 years ago, he had lung cancer and received treatment. 12 years ago, he suffered from prostate cancer. He had a brain tumor a year ago and it was benign. He recently started chemo and next week will be his second dose. He is a strong man and a fighter. He complains about pain in his legs and arms. I am tr4ying to stay strong but I lost my father a year ago due to a heart attack. His hair is falling out. I have so many questions. The doctors are trying to push the top of the line medication but he cannot afford it. In my opinion, I have researched side effects of each medication they discuss. At times, I feel so helpless. I am trying to make his life as happy as possible. He loves hanging with my 2 younger sons. What more can I do? I feel as though every time we turn around they are recommending another drug...this one is for prevention of the white blood count: Neupogen, Granix or Neulasta. Thank you for all your help and support. Prayers are with you all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome here Sharae.

Your uncle certainly has had his share of cancer!  Did his doctors tell you what stage and type of lung cancer he has? Would you know what chemo drugs your uncle is on?

The medications you mention are all for dealing with common side effects from chemotherapy.  They are all bone marrow stimulants to help replace white blood cells affected by his chemotherapy. Has he already had a injection of one of these drugs?  A common side effect of this injection (with Neupogen, Granix or Neulasta) is bone pain in the legs and arms. 

What more can you do? Your uncle will need someone to accompany him to doctor consultations.  These are important and if other family members cannot go, you might attend. Here are some common questions folks ask doctors about lung cancer.  And if you or another family member attends these consultations, this might help you understand the words and terms the medical team uses.

I'd encourage your uncle to join our forum and read about our treatment experience. It is comforting to know that many of us have been exactly where your uncle is with lung cancer and if we can live, so can he.

Stay the course.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's lucky to have you as part of his care team. You seem to be an amazing advocate. I wish more patients had someone like you in their corner.

The manufacturers of the medications your uncle has been offered may have programs that help with payment.

When I was treated my chemo had to be postponed 2x because of my blood count. I waited an extra week and then wound up needing transfusions before we go go forward with treatment. That necessitated a couple extra visits to the hospital for blood tests and long days in the short stay unit while two units of blood were prepped and thawed.

Time spent researching payment assistance would be well worth the effort. Talk to the oncology social worker at your hospital. They should be willing to help with this.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sharae,

When I had  chemo for a non-lung cancer, my neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that fights infection) crashed. I had a fever but no other symptoms and was sent to the emergency room My neutophils tested at zero! I was given antibiotics. After my next round of chemo, I had Neupogen. This was a series of injections I gave myself- it was easy, small needle, right in the belly, where I had plenty of fat. I had no further white blood cell problems. As Tom says, bone pain is a common side effect, but I didn't have it, nor any other side effects.

Neulasta is the same drug in a long lasting form, so that you just get one shot and don't have to give them to yourself.

As a result of my experience, two things I would suggest for your uncle,

1: Check out payment assistance aa Denzie suggests. If your uncle has white blood cell depletion after cancer, medications can be a life-saver.

2. If he has fever during chemo, call your doctor or clinic at once! If you can't get hold of him or her, go to the ER. Typically fever is the only sympton of an infecton when you have neutropenia (low neutrophils). This can become life threatening in a matter of hours if not treated. Don't "wait until morning". 

Best wishes to you and your uncle. He's lucky ha has you for support.

Bridget O

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.