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Health: Huge key in fighting cancer


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Prior to her cancer diagnosis, my wife was not a very active person. She was reasonably healthy but more sedentary than most. I can't help but think this had some bearing on her ability to recover from first line cancer treatment.  I'm sure her age (63) didn't help ether.

After her first line treatment, it was very hard to get her to eat and drink properly until many many months later.

Chemo and radiation are extremely tough on your body and having a healthy body before treatment would seem to be a huge plus. After treatment, having the ability to quickly return to better health would also seem to be a plus.

Knowing that small cell lung cancer tends to come back aggressively and also metastasize, it is very important to gain as much of your pre-cancer health back in case second line treatment is needed.

I had hoped that my wife could have received immunotherapy (Nivolumab) or perhaps Lurbinectiden when we were told about her liver metastasis. Unfortunately, my wife's health was not close to allowing additional treatment. Even Lurbinectiden with its purported lesser effects on the body is still considered to be "rough" on the body.

Looking back, I think our oncologist and his nurse practitioner should have stressed health at every opportunity.  Perhaps their thought process is not to beat the patient over the head with "health" while the patient is reeling from the cancer diagnosis, along with getting chemo and radiation. They did begin stressing this much later when it became obvious that my wife was continually in poor health.

I don't know that my wife would have changed anything, even if we were told earlier and "oftener" about eating properly and staying hydrated. The chemo and radiation was such a shock to her that I don't think she ever was able to get her mind right about getting healthier quicker.

That brings up something else ... getting your mind right about fighting cancer AFTER chemoradiation would seem to a huge plus.

My hope for others diagnosed with this horrible small cell lung cancer is that they will fight hard to get back healthy after treatment. Know that it is possible that doctors may not want to re-treat if you have not recovered health wise.


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Steve, I was healthy before my NSCLC diagnosis, and chemo and radiation were very rough on me. I almost died from side effects of the treatments. I wasn't able to eat or drink for many weeks, and when I had to have emergency surgery, I was quite deconditioned. It took months to recuperate and recover my strength. 

I agree that it's helpful to try to keep up your health/strength, but sometimes it's just not possible. And I didn't realize just how sick I was at the time, which may have been your wife's case. All I could do was try to fight against the pain, and I couldn't see how impaired my thinking was. Dehydration can really affect brain function. 

Thinking about you and your wife at this point in your journey. Take care. 

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