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Thread: Life expectancy of Stage IV NSCLC

  1. #1
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    Life expectancy of Stage IV NSCLC

    My dad (62 years old) passed away one month after being diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC. I keep seeing people asking about this stage and not getting concrete answers from doctors.

    If you've had a loved one pass away after being diagnosed with this stage would you please reply with the length of their palliative care. I think this might be helpful to others not getting answers from doctors.

  2. #2
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    My wife lived one year after onset of symptoms (pain in fibula) and 10 months after the official diagnosis. She died as a result of treatment complications.

    If I knew then what I know now, things would have been better and at the very least, she would have been more comfortable.

  3. #3

    Mom still living after three years.

    My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3B/4 NSCLC (depending on the opinion of the doctor) and we also did not get a straight answer about life expectancy at that time. The best we could get was a remark indicating 6 mos survival not responding to chemo and possibly one year should she respond. That was January 2003. My mom responded to various types of chemo, underwent general radiation, cyber knife and gamma knife treatments for tumors in her brain and spine area. She is beating the odds. However, currently her body is starting to reject blood transfusions and she requires her lung to be drained every other week or so (pleural effusion). It's a sad thing for her to undergo and her mental spirits are beginning to wane. Anyway, she has lived for almost three years since the diagnosis.

  4. #4
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    My Dad is going nuts,
    (We all are) But Im scared he is going to die of a heart attack, he already has WAY too high blood pressure, after his doctor goave him some harsh news this week.
    The lymph node test came back negative (He has already been diagnosed) but they saw some definate spots on the bonescan on his ribs, and all they told him is the doctor is going out of town on vacation for 2 weeks, and he can see him and discuss this after he gets back.
    I already refered them to another Dr. but we have no Idea of life expectancy if it continues, his PSA has doubled in the last two weeks from 10 to 19.
    I am just wanting to give good advice, and I can't.
    REALISTICALLY, and honestly, I need to know if my time is very limited with him, and I want to go e with him.
    Can anyone give ma an honest opinion?
    Yrs, months, etc? to expect?
    Any news would be helpful, as we have no outlet, even the websites are a little "padded around the edges" and give no hard facts.
    THank you very much!
    Courtnay

  5. #5
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    By the way it is prostate cancer, he is 64. Healthy man, with constant bone pain for years.

  6. #6
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    hi,

    my mum was diagnosed in May with stage 4 lung cancer. i thought we had more time but she lasted until the 9th of September, it was much more aggressive than we first thought.

    good luck to you all

  7. #7
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    Courtney,
    I'm so sorry, if I were you I would find the most capable nurse on the oncology staff and ask who they would recommend as the best oncologist. I would press for a time frame...

  8. #8
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    STAGE 4 TIME FRAME

    My Mum was diagnosed with stage 3 non small cell cancer in August 2005. Mums chest cavity kept filling with fluid, which pushed on her lung and made it collapse. She had it drained but the fluid returned a few days later. She had it redone and this time they inserted talcum powder to make the lining of the lung stick to chest cavity... unsuccessful.. more fluid ... so they decided to operate... do the same procedure as above only via a microscope's guidance.

    Outcome.. unsuccessful.. she died 3 days later .

    All in all from the day the doctor got her xrayed and diagnosed lung cancer to the day she died... 3 weeks and 6 days.

  9. #9
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    My Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC July 04. The doctor just told us at the last visit that my Dad is doing a lot better than he expected. My son's Bar Mitzvah is 4/1/06, and this was our biggest question. In the beginning he wouldn't give a solid answer, but now says he'll be here for his grandson's special day.

  10. #10
    My mother-in-law was diagnosed on August 15, 2005 with stage 3B or stage 4 NSCLC (never really got a clear answer from the doctor). She died October 27, 2005. From time of diagnosis to death only 9 weeks and 3 days.
    It was much more aggressive than they led us to believe.

  11. #11
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    My husband was diagnosed July 1, 2005 with Stage IIIB / IV Lung Cancer. Because of the location we can only have Chemo. He has ungone 3 differnt types of Chemo to date along with all the side effects that go with it. He sits up to sleep because he can't breathe lying down. He has had one blood transfusion since being diagnosed. He can't do very little. He hardly can make it the probably 10 feet from the bed in the morning to the couch in the TV Room but he is fighting it hard. Today we go and have a port inserted since the veins have given out for Chemo. He takes 12 hour release Morphene 60's every 8 hours for the pain and also Loritab's 2 every four to six hours. He says he is never without pain. The Morphene and Loritab help but the pain is always there. Recently he spends a lot of time in half sleep and talks to himself or answers questions that he must be hearing in his half sleep. He has lost 40 lbs since the on-set. He has trouble eating most anything because his throat and even on down into the stomach hurst with each bite. He takes sometime called Miracle Mouthwash that numbs the throat temporarly while he tries to eat. He can no longer stand long enought to use the toilet and I have purchased him a urinal. He is a real fighter thru all of this. We own a small business and he comes to the store everyday and sits on a couch there with me for at least 2 or 3 hours. This, I believe, as helped him because everyone that comes in sits and talks with him for a little while. AND what does he tell them with they ask? He always says "I'm great, I'm feeling fine. I'm going to bet this." He is never without his oxygen. We have a portable he carrys to the doctor with him, a large one at the store, a large one by the kitchen table and one by the bed. He can't walk more than a few feet without losing his breath. We have a wheelchair in the car so I can wheel him into doctors office and to chemo. I am very worried about the port surgery today because he has to go to sleep for the surgery and he can't breath and I am worried about his waking up after with his breathing problems. The doctor says not to worry that they will breath for him while he gets the port inserted and it will be fine. It has been now 4 months since we were diagnosed and he has never had a report from the doctor about any of the 3 CT scans they have done telling us anything but he is holding his own. I might mention that when they found the cancer there was 3 liter of fluid drained from his right lung but the chemo has to be doing sometime because we have not had to have the lung drained again. It is a long, hard battle and I truly believe life expentance is probably controlled alot by the persons will to live so keep your loved one up and happy and praise every little sign of process that you see. Everytime they can eat and not lose it, Everytime they can go longer without oxygen, everytime they can do anything that is above the normal for them be sure to tell them. Keep them busy if only to answer questions for you. Keep the mind busy working on what you plan for next summer, where you are going to plant next year, When you are going to go visit someone next. My husband still gets all the bills ready to go go for me. He doesn't even write the checks but he tells me what is due on the due date and gives the bill to me to pay. His couch is his work table and I have every letter or bill we get in a little basket where he can sort them and keep track of them. Be sure to not take over even when he is hurting but let him tell you when he wants and needs help. Keep the mind busy all the time you can thinking about anything except cancer. My husband and I are in our sixty's but we are raising 3 grandchildren that are 16 and 18. They still go to Grandpa for everything. They ask him if they can go out and for how long, how to fix things, etc. Things they use to come to me about I send them to him so he can make the decisions and in turn he can talk with them. I will let you know how the port surgery comes out today.
    Just keep your loved one busy as possible if not physically then keep the mind busy.
    Living and Loving One Day at a Time!!

  12. #12
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    Hope the surgery went well. Your husband is a fighter like my Dad...my Dad still goes to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and when I ask him to go to 3 days he refuses. Good luck!

  13. #13
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    Please read new post. The surgery went great. It was all over in just 20 minutes. He had chemo today in the post right after surgery. The newer information we received today has me really confused. I don't know what to do to help him on this one. Stage IIIB NSCLC Fluid build up in lungs
    Living and Loving One Day at a Time!!

  14. #14

    3 year battle with non-small cell lung cancer-stage 4

    Wanted to share that my mom passed away after a tough 3 year battle with stage 4 non small cell lung cancer this past Saturday 11/5 at exactly 7am...the exact same time on the nose, that her hospice roommate passed away, whom she shared a room with these last couple days. Her roommate, who had the exact same lung cancer and kidney failure was actually sittting in a chair and talking the day before.... I can't believe they both held out throughout the night and they were both ready to go at exactly 7am on Saturday. They must have been kindred spirits.

    We were there in Albany, NY (6 hour drive from my hometown in Jamestown, NY), since she had felt most comfortable at the St. Peter's (Oncology/Hemotology) albany hospital, after the great care they had given her there through the "G-vax" lung cancer study she had been in for a couple years.The study she had been in, took a biopsy of her tumor and then made a vaccine out of it, to be reinjected in her to fight off the cancer. It had shrunk more than 1/3 of her tumor initially, which was in both lungs and then eventually contained her lung cancer for 3 years, which was such a miracle for stage 4 lung cancer. After initially being diagnosed, she went on the Iressa chemo pill, which contained her cancer, but the side effects of itching, burning, rashes, and acne, and diaherra were unbearable, and since it was effecting her quality of life (even though it worked), she had to get off of it, and we then tried the Albany G-vax study for her lung cancer, I just mentioned.

    We arrived at the Albany hospice this past friday morning at 10am until late that night. Her husband, Walt said she had surprisingly just had a big bowl of oatmeal and coffee for breakfast that morning before we arrrived..He said she sat up, was talking and ate just before we got there and upon our arrival, she was unfortunately already semi-unconcious, but her eyes were open and she was breathing on her own.They say most terminal patients have a "surge of energy" hours or days before they pass. Unfortunately, we missed that by 1/2 hour. She had labored breathing from the fluid on her lungs, that they did the "scarring and powdering" on over the past several months, yet the fluid kept coming back and it was trickled down and spread throughout her stomack.
    Hospice gave her morphine and that not only completely took away the pain, but decreased her labored breathing from the lung cancer fluid in her lungs.

    We had heard from the hospice social worker there, that some patients don't want to take their last breath with family in the room, and will often wait until family steps out or leaves for the night before they do. Once we all got there and spent 10 + hours putting lotion on her arms, hands and feet, reading scripture to her, talking to her, and combing her hair, we told her since all of her children were there, it was okay to "let go" if she wanted,so we couldn't believe how long she held on breathing on her own (no machines) by a thread during the night. We feel for the first few hours we were there and her eyes were open, that she could hear us reading to her, and talking to her. However, once her eyes slowly shut throughout the day and she was unconscious for the last 4 or 5 hours, we feel she had already probably left her body, and it was just a shell there breathing until her body shut down. All of her other organs were in good condition, since she hadn't been really suffering more than 1 1/2 weeks.
    We went to our hotel late friday night, and had told hospice staff to call
    us with any changes. They called saturday morning, shortly after 7am, when she passed. We ended up heading there to spend time with her body in the hospice room to have some closure after we received the news.
    At least she did not suffer long-term and is in a better place now. She was
    just down in Florida a few weeks ago, still went to "Curves" women's excerise club and was hanging in there, up until the
    fluid on her lungs spread through her chest cavity and into her stomach
    cavity. It spread like wild fire from there.... Even though they weren't clear as to how long she had when she was diagnosed back in January 2003, she fought for 3 years at stage 4 and we feel that it was due to the Iressa and the g-vax study. We don't think she would have made it that long, if it wasn't for these two treatments.
    I will keep all lung cancer patients and their families in my prayers.

  15. #15
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    justpat, glad to hear the surgery went will. Will keep praying for him to be alright!

    anderskr22, so sorry for your loss, you have my deepest sympathy. Prayers being sent your way.

  16. #16

    My Dad - Stage IV Diagnosed in May 2005

    My father was diagnosed with Thorasic Cancer and then just a week later diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC. He has done tests, Radiation & Chemo. His last PET Scan showed that 90% of the spots are gone in his lungs. There was only one left in a node. So we are very excited. My father was given 1 to 2 years life expectancy at the beginning. We are looking forward to more since the Chemo has worked so well. Although, he did not do another round of Chemo due to his health after the last round, the doctors are very happy with the results at this time. My father is 70 with other health concerns as well. He is also a survivor of Prostate Cancer.

    I noticed on the site that many have been taken quickly, I just wanted to give some hope out there. And, myself am still trying to get a better understanding of his life expectancy.

  17. #17
    My Dad was diagnosed with stage 3B cancer on November 29, 2005 and he passed away on January 5, 2006. He had 10 days of radiation and never made it to chemo. The doctors never told us it was so advanced and he had so little time left.

  18. #18
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    kept in the dark

    Dear Camper,

    Sorry to hear about the sudden passing of your dad. You were obviously kept in the dark, seems thats what the doctors are best at doing when it comes to lung cancer. Its a pity that they put your Dad thru radiation, do you think hed have opted not to have it done if hed known how long he had?

    Now your left asking lots of questions I suppose.

    Im still asking lots of questions, I think im still in disbelief that my mum passed so suddenly from lung cancer .

  19. #19
    Dear Jacqi6,

    If we had known, I'm sure Dad would not have gone through radiation. It burned his esophagus and was so painful he wouldn't eat in the end. I know he is at peace now.

    I still have lots of questions....why didn't they know, and if they did know, why didn't they tell us?

    Sorry to hear about your mum passing.

  20. #20

    Mom passed

    My mom fought for three years against lung cancer (stage IV) which spread to her brain and hip. She responded well to chemo, gamma knife and cyber knife. But, mercifully, she died on January 05, 2006. She was sufferring so much at the end it was good for her to pass at that point. It is hard to let go, but was the best thing. God Bless you all in your battle and in supporting your loved ones.

 
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