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Update on Dad and question.


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Dad met with the oncologist on Monday. The onc thinks that dad should be OK to have surgery to remove the tumor. He meets with the surgeon next Monday the 20th to discuss it further. Also, the docs have put him on morphine..... when dad told me he was very hesitant to even mention it. It was almost like he was breaking some sort of news to me, if you can understand what I mean. Remember, that he lives in WV and me in FL. Is it normal to be put on morphine? Dad has been in quite a bit of pain for some time now. I worry about that. He is also more tired than normal and is just very fatugued. What can I expect now? I am still just so numb from this diagnosis.

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I guess there's not enough information in your posts for me to answer any questions. Pain where? etc. He must have NSCLC or else probably no surgery. Does he have evidence of cancer outside of lung? I don't know really what to say except I pray things go well for him.

Morphine can also be given to help with breathing, but I dob't know if that is your dad's case or not.

You can find out information and then put a profile at the bottom of your posts.

There is a lot of posts about surgery to remove a lung or lobes on here so you might want to do a search --at the top of the page there is search function or browse around.

love and fortitude


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J was put on morphine (15 mg every 3-4 hours). This is a low dose. He had terrible pain on the side his tumor is on, through back and down arm. It was really a life saver. Why feel pain unnecessarily?

He's now been given a different dosage, but he hasn't been taking it because he's trying to work.

Only real trouble from it--makes you "bound up". Sennakot can help this, lots of water. Doc should tell him how to deal w/it.

So glad to hear they think surgery could be an option.

We'll be thinking of you and yours.


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Hi there,

My Mom was experiencing severe pain at the time of her diagnosis and was put on hydromorphone (a derivative and extremely powerful). We were very scared given it was a narcotic. They controlled the dosage and eventually changed her to other pain medication. She's doing pretty well now. :)

If it would make you feel better, you might consider speaking to your father's physician.

My thoughts are with you and your family.


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I would like to hear from Joe (oncodoc) on this because I was told by more than one health care provider at more than one facility, when my dad was sick, that the morphine would compromise (adversely) affect his breathing. He had to have it regardless, and they said it wouldn't be a huge effect, but that it did adversely affect breathing. I know I've seen on this site several times where people have been given morphine to help breathing, so I am a bit confused about it. He had severe COPD and not lung cancer, so maybe that makes a difference. Joe? Do you have a response to this?

You asked:

What can I expect now?

I don't think any of us can answer that. We never know what's next. My favorite answer to any question that the answer could be good or bad is always this: "Expect the best, but prepare for the worst." Notice the emphasis is on the first part.

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Morphine is a really good pain medicine with a really bad connotation. For quite a while I was prescribing oxycodone and oxycontin which is basically the same thing so that patients wouldn't be afraid to treat their pain. Of course then the junkies got their hands on oxycontin and now I can't get my patients to take that either. Sigh.

Morphine like all narcotics can supress the respiratory centers in the brain. That means you may not breath as deeply or rapidly while taking it. That is important for peoples with marginal respiratory status. For example, someone with bad pneumonia who is struggling to maintain adequate oxygen exchange needs all the respiratory drive they can get. Narcotics might supress that and tip them over the edge into respiratory failure and a ventilator. Same is true of someone with a COPD exacerbation. On the other hand, a little morphine is great for taking away the terrible sense of breathlessness or suffocation that someone feels if they are really going into respiratory failure. Sometimes people feel really short of breath when theirs lungs are doing OK and morphine can help there too. Good example is someone with a pleural effusion that is making them feel short of breath but their oxygen level/gas exchange is fine.

Anyways, as to the original question, morphine is a great pain medicine and being started on it means nothing more than the doctor is trying to take the pain away.

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When Lucie had bilateral pneumonia a year ago, both lungs were full of fluid, and she was not taken off the morphine. She was put on a bipap (?), which forced oxygen into her lungs. However, she did have a healthy set of lungs.

Her onc told us that as long as the morphine was covering the pain and there was not an excessive dose, it was not addictive. So when she got to her "well" period, we reduced the dosage until we hit her pain level. Then we went up a bit, and have maintained that doese ever since. Seems to work well for her. Don

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Thank you all so much for your responses. You are such a wonderful group of people and I am so glad I found you. :0) I found out that dad is only on 15 mg of morphine, which I think is a low dose. He is also taking breathing treatments 4 x's a day and is on an antibiotic and has been now for a couple months. I will update on Monday after he sees the surgeon. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. He was supposed to have signed a HIPPA form for me to talk to the doctors, but I am not sure if he actually did it or not.

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