Pamela Posted May 7, 2004 Share Posted May 7, 2004 I recently found this message board and have been reading the postings. All of you seem so kind, caring and knowledgeable about this horrible disease that I would like to get to know you and become a part of your group, if you'll let me. My Dad (77) was diagnosed January 6, 2004 with Stage IV NSCLC with brain and spine mets. One tumor on his cerebellum was 3cm. After radiation, we were told that it had grown. When we got a 2nd opinion, we found it had actually shrunk to 2.5cm. However, he was taking very high doses of Decadron for about 3 months and developed a severe case of steroid myopathy. He got to the point where he couldn't walk, use his arms or even shift his position in bed -- none of which was tumor-related (confirmed by 2 different hospitals now). The worst part was the effect of all the medications. In addition to Decadron, he was given Zoloft, Ativan, Haldol, Ambien, and about 8 other medications. When he developed a lung infection on top of that, the combination of factors threw him into delirium with myoclonus (continuous muscle spasms). All 4 of his children live quite a distance away, and our stepmother is intellectually-challenged. By the time my brother got there, Dad was totally out of his mind, severely dehydrated and had to be hospitalized. Because of his age and the cancer, doctors told us we should let him go. We quickly did research and convinced the doctors that the delirium could be reversed, and they reluctantly agreed to try. Then Dad went into respiratory failure and had to be put on a ventilator. After a week, the lung infection cleared but the doctors told us that due to the steroid myopathy, they didn't think he would be able to breathe on his own, and they wanted us to remove the ventilator and let him die. We couldn't do it. Good thing. Once the meds were all removed, Dad regained his lucidity and was able to breathe fine on his own. Dad's lung, spine and brain tumors have all been confirmed to be stable for the moment. He is in a rehab facility and has regained the use of his arms, can move his legs, and is progressing quite well. If he gets strong enough, chemotherapy might be an option, but we aren't counting on it right now. It has been an emotional roller coaster, and I wish we had known about this group when we started. I have learned so much through trial and error, and reading about your experiences has been very enlightening. Thanks for allowing me this opportunity. I hope to get to know you as we struggle together. Pam Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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