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What can I do for my Dad?


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Dad was diagnosed with SCLC last March. When he went to get his port, doctors discovered his tumor was getting smaller, so he had a lobectomy. Fast forward to this March/April and it’s back, but now on his trachea, but hasn’t gone to his brain. 

He’s done one week of chemo and will do another in a few weeks (at 29 days to be exact). He started radiation today and will be doing so for the next 5-7 weeks. We’re told his treatment will last until the beginning of July. 

What can I do for him? How can I make him comfortable? I know the worst is yet to come, but I want to be prepared. I bought the “best” maukuna honey for before and after each session. I’ve read about other things to help him, but not sure what has worked for others that have gone through this. 

Dad will be 66 this month. I am in a world of hurt, but I’m being strong for my parents— they can’t see my weakness in this. I have to be positive for them. This sounds very selfish, but I’ve been engaged and putting off our wedding hoping his health will change. We have a prospective date of August 20th, but I don’t know how he will feel, or even here. What should I do? No one has a crystal ball, but I can’t think of him not being there. I’ve been engaged for 2 years, and just want him there. Should I just do a quick fast wedding? I’m not one for frills, so whatever. I just wanted him to walk me down the “aisle,” whatever that looks like. 

Anyways, Dad is also experiencing rectal bleeding. He’s seeing his GP Thursday, but I’m not sure if he’s the best person to see regarding this. Has anyone experienced this?

Outside of sclc, he also has kidney failure (30% right now so no dialysis), blocked arteries (already had 3 cleared/stinted..not a doctor here), copd obviously, high blood pressure, had a heart attack in 2007, you know, crap health. 

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Oh my! Small cell on top of kidney problems, occluded arteries, CIOPD, and a history of heart disease, your father has a hard row to hoe!

First on radiation: my fractional radiation experience was a piece of cake till week 3. Then treatment irritation caused a dry, constant cough and I became extremely fatigued. By the 5th week of radiation, my energy was so affected, I could hardly get out of bed. So expect throat irritation, especially because the trachea is involved, and fatigue. Honey is said to be a good short term remedy, but I survived on Halls citrus-flavored cough drops. I'd buy them on line in large bags. He'll likely have one in his mouth every waking hour. Most importantly, expect radiation to work! It should eviscerate the trachea tumor. 

On your wedding date, I believe family celebrations are extremely important. I'd suggest a compromise solution. Get married with a service soonest, then have your wedding reception in August. Your dad ought to have enough energy to walk you down the aisle now and extending say through June and the preacher or priest surely will understand and cooperate with your request. He might feel good enough to attend the reception in August or perhaps he'll be able to make a cameo appearance but you'll have the memory of your dad giving you away and the photographs to memorialize the occasion.

I don't see anything wrong with starting with the GP about rectal bleeding. An advantage of this approach is your dad's GP will or should have an understanding of your dad's medical history and a new gastroenterologist might not.

Welcome here. I do hope your dad's treatment arrests his lung cancer.

Stay the course.



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I’m sorry to hear about the return of your Dad’s cancer. Did he do chemo when diagnosed last March or just the lobectomy? I was diagnosed in Nov 2021 with LS SCLC. I had 4 rounds of chemo ( 3 days straight with 21 days in between) and 30 radiation treatments. I lost my hair with the chemo but that was my only side effect. Halfway thru the radiation I had some trouble swallowing and was prescribed BMX ( Benadryl, Maalox, xylocaine) solution which numbed the throat for a short time. I also used cough drops. I agree with Tom on marrying now and a reception later. Stay strong and know we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Keep us updated.

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