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Thread: My wife with stage 4

  1. #1
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    My wife with stage 4

    My wife (50) was diagnosed March 14th with lung cancer (squamous).

    She sneezed and felt a pain in her chest like she tore a muscle or something. She put up with the pain for a month until she told me and we went to the emergency room. They took X-Rays and an CT scan and found a mass a little larger than a golf ball on top of her lung.

    We went to a doctor who took 10 biopsies. Unfortunately, he grabbed them from the middle of the tumor, which was dead. We went to another doctor and I informed him she was slurring her words a bit. He ordered an MRI which showed a brain tumor, approximately half the size of the lung mass as well as 2 smaller tumors.

    She has completed two weeks of whole head radiation and moves on to 4 days of chest rads and one long chemo day next week for 8-16 weeks. No surgery in in cards. The doctors say they have one shot at this.

    She has a great support system with myself, her parents and brothers and her son. We were asked if we want to know a prognosis, and we told the doc to go ahead and do what the Cancer Center does best and the prognosis with be a good one.

    I have done my best to instill in my wife the belief that everything will be fine and every thought, every word and every action is positive. For the most part, she has done that. She still cries occasionally and I tell her that's OK. She needs to cry.

    I find myself after two months sometimes getting depressed; thinking about what I'm going to do if something happens both financially and emotionally. But I have to always keep that positive attitude outwardly for her. Sometimes it's tough.

    Thanks for letting me tell my story so far. I don't know what I expect out of this, but it felt good to put in on paper, so to speak.

    If someone has a title for a good book on survivng this I'd appreciate the info. So would she.

  2. #2
    Senior User Seteva's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your wife, sounds similar to my moms story. My step dad probably feels like you. I'm glad you found your way here, there are lots of stories, lots of people with great advice, and heart touching reading. Good luck
    Mom's story: http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...th-no-symptoms. 10/30/12 first alert lung cancer. 11/13/12 barochoscope done - lymph nodes tested positive, port put in. 11/16/12 diagnosed SCLC. First Chemo 11/26 -11/28/12. Notified that she has brain Mets. First radiation 12/03/12 - last 12/14/12. On 4/1/13, tumor has shrank from 9 cm to 4.1. Brain mets are microscopic. 12 weeks off (had 6 rounds of chemo)

  3. #3
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    Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear of your wives diagnosis. Keep up the positive attitude, but also don't be afraid to share your fears with your wife and allow her to share hers with you. You need each other right now more than ever. I'll be praying for the two of you. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this difficult time in your life. I'll be praying for the two of you!! Anj.
    Caregiver to mom, 64 Ovarian Cancer Remission since 1997.
    6/19/12 Annual blood work - CA125 came back elevated.
    6/21/12 CT abdomen, RUL 2.8cm spot, LLL 5mm spot, lt. adrenal gland mass 8.3cm, rt. adrenal gland mass 4.6 cm.,
    6/28/12 Brain MRI-Clear,
    6/29/12 Lung Biopsy=Stage 4 NSCLC.
    7/11, 8/3, 8/23, 9/13/12 Chemo (Carb/Alimta).
    CT Scan 10/4/12 1 of 4 tumors decreased. 20% Kidney function. Blood transfusion
    10/9/12. Mets to liver.
    12/11 chemo (carb/taxotere) continued thru March.
    March 27, 2013. Told no more chemo, cancer now in the brain, to call out Hospice. Set up hospice March 31, 2013. Mom passed April 12, 2013. She will always be in my heart, never forgotten and always loved. May we reunite soon....after only a temporary separation!

  4. #4
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    I am sorry that you and your wife have to deal with this! It's definitely normal to feel depressed and sometimes even at a loss... It's never easy to deal with cancer, so be there for her but also try to find ways to deal with your own feelings as well. This forum is a place where you will find lots of support and love and it can help enormously but do try to make some time for yourself because it's the only way you can stay strong for her; I know it's easier said than done... And don't lose hope, modern treatments have increased survival dramatically so your wife may be with you for quite a while.

    We are here for you, whenever you need to talk!

    Mary

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the support and prayers.

    I definitely don't feel invincable anymore in my life.

    Tomorrow is another first day in the rest of Betsy's life as she starts her chemo. Once a week for 5 hours. One good thing is that we have the Regional Cancer Center here in town with the best doctors in the area. Everyone, and I mean everyone has treated us with genuine kindness and concern each and every time.

    Next week, I will be going to a caregivers seminar with her parents and her son. It should be good.

  6. #6
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    Good luck with the chemo, I honestly wish that she is comfortable with her treatment!

    The caregivers seminar sounds like a good place to get guidance and support, I am glad you can attend and I think it will help you deal with the situation.

    Good luck with everything,
    Mary

  7. #7
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    Well, she had her first round of chemo yesterday. Things went surprisingly smooth. No pain at all. She also gets her rads on the chemo day.

    She is stressing out occasionally, which is understandable. I just have to be able to remain calm and happy during the duresses. She is doing remarkeably well. Better than I could I image.

    I'm hoping any side effects on the way will be mild as she's gone through enough at this point.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    It's good to hear she is doing well considering the situation. First day of chemo usually is ok. If side effects kick in generally hits 24 to 48 hours later. If she does feel side effects, there are many meds that can combat them so make sure you stay ahead of them by getting the meds. My thoughts are with you and hope your wife continues to tolerate chemo.

  9. #9
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    Tomyo, sorry you have to be here, I do hope your wife's treatment will be effective and she will suffer few side effects. Sending prayers your way!
    Mom's xray July 2011 looks suspicious, CAT scan July 2011 SCLC ES diagnosed August 2011
    Etoposide Carboplatin begins august 24th 2011
    CAT December 2011 lung tumors gone or greatly reduced, liver tumor not detectable PCR January 2012 CAT March 2012 more shrinkage
    CAT July 2012 tumors growing July 2012 Topotecan CAT October 2012 Liver tumor has grown October 2012 Taxotere begins CT scan - no growth - brain mets, WBRT in February, CT Scan in March 2013 shows more growth, begin Gemzar.
    Mom passed away July 8, 2013.

  10. #10
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    She had zero side effects from the first chemo last week. Her second round is tomorrow. She has had remarkeable energy since this started. She gets up at 5 AM every day and goes all day. I tell her to slow down, she tries but ends up reorganizing the household. I think she's just trying to keep busy as not to think about what's going on.

    One thing that has helped her is that I've gathered hundreds of inspirational quotes, printed them and cut them into individual strips. I give her one every day. She cries a bit when she reads them, but still wants them every day. She is going to tape them on the piece of yarn and hang it in her room. I think it helps.

  11. #11
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    I'm happy to hear your wife is tolerating the chemo and has lots of energy. Your thoughtfulness is so very sweet! She is lucky to have you to inspire her. God bless you both!! Anj.
    Caregiver to mom, 64 Ovarian Cancer Remission since 1997.
    6/19/12 Annual blood work - CA125 came back elevated.
    6/21/12 CT abdomen, RUL 2.8cm spot, LLL 5mm spot, lt. adrenal gland mass 8.3cm, rt. adrenal gland mass 4.6 cm.,
    6/28/12 Brain MRI-Clear,
    6/29/12 Lung Biopsy=Stage 4 NSCLC.
    7/11, 8/3, 8/23, 9/13/12 Chemo (Carb/Alimta).
    CT Scan 10/4/12 1 of 4 tumors decreased. 20% Kidney function. Blood transfusion
    10/9/12. Mets to liver.
    12/11 chemo (carb/taxotere) continued thru March.
    March 27, 2013. Told no more chemo, cancer now in the brain, to call out Hospice. Set up hospice March 31, 2013. Mom passed April 12, 2013. She will always be in my heart, never forgotten and always loved. May we reunite soon....after only a temporary separation!

  12. #12
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    I am so glad to hear your wife is tolerating the chemo well, I love the idea of the inspirational quotes. What a thoughtful husband you are!
    Mom's xray July 2011 looks suspicious, CAT scan July 2011 SCLC ES diagnosed August 2011
    Etoposide Carboplatin begins august 24th 2011
    CAT December 2011 lung tumors gone or greatly reduced, liver tumor not detectable PCR January 2012 CAT March 2012 more shrinkage
    CAT July 2012 tumors growing July 2012 Topotecan CAT October 2012 Liver tumor has grown October 2012 Taxotere begins CT scan - no growth - brain mets, WBRT in February, CT Scan in March 2013 shows more growth, begin Gemzar.
    Mom passed away July 8, 2013.

  13. #13
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    I'm going to add to choir and say how glad I am that your wife is tolerating the chemo well. Sending best wishes that it continues. God Bless.

    Irish
    Irish,
    Caregiver to my Dad, who was diagnosed in June 2010 with Stage 1V NSCLC with single met to brain,
    He sadly lost his battle in August 2010 and we miss his smiling Irish blue eyes terribly.
    My Dad's story:
    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...th-how-he-died.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Just sending positive thoughts your way that your wife continues to tolerate chemo well.

  15. #15
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    thank you all for the good wishes. I really mean that.

    Today at her 2nd chemo, she was there for 7 1/2 hours. It was mostly due to them not being able to get a draw of blood from her port. They tried some medicine to get it going and it didn't work. So they took some X-Rays to make sure it was still where it was supposed to be. Then another drug was introduced to basically make sure there was no flap around the end of the port to block the blood flow. Then the waiting. They started the other drugs earlier in her arm.

    Hopefully, being tired will be the only problems today.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomyo10 View Post
    One thing that has helped her is that I've gathered hundreds of inspirational quotes, printed them and cut them into individual strips. I give her one every day. She cries a bit when she reads them, but still wants them every day. She is going to tape them on the piece of yarn and hang it in her room. I think it helps.
    That is such a great idea! I am sure she gets emotional but this shows that your thought is greatly appreciated by her. I hope she continues to do well with chemo!

    Mary

  17. #17
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    They've been having problems with her port. For the first 2 weeks, they had problems getting a blood flow from her port but eventually it worked.

    Last week, they couldn't do it and she had to take the chemo in the arm. Not as pleasant. We went to the hospital yesterday to get some dye injected to see if there's a blockage. No blockage there. But they did figure it out- they tried a few different diameters and length needles as well as positions.

    We're hoping the cancer center can duplicate that tomorrow.

    One more problem is disconcerting for me. She doesn't sleep more than 5 hours a day. She is so wound up during the day, our house is as organized as it can get at this point. I woke up last night at 1:30 to find her on the kitchen floor organizing the junk drawer. For the second time.

    I tell her she needs rest and she knows it. She tries but can't seem to get consistant time to rest.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Is your wife on a steriod? This may account for insomia. Also, she has so much on her mind being the one with this horrible disease that it may be hard for her to get a consistant nights sleep due to her mind waundering.... So sorry she was having problem with her port but relieved they figured it out. One suggestion, maybe ask the oncologist for a low dose sleeping pill that can help. Please keep posted to let us know how she is doing.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa1962 View Post
    Is your wife on a steriod? This may account for insomia. Also, she has so much on her mind being the one with this horrible disease that it may be hard for her to get a consistant nights sleep due to her mind waundering.... So sorry she was having problem with her port but relieved they figured it out. One suggestion, maybe ask the oncologist for a low dose sleeping pill that can help. Please keep posted to let us know how she is doing.
    She is almost done with the steroids, which has also puffed out her face and belly as well as weakening her legs.

    I do believe the not sleeping has most to do with the thinking of her problems.

  20. #20
    Top User mike.b's Avatar
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    You might want to try Ativan. It might calm her a bit.

    mike
    At the time - 46 yo male, non-smoker
    Sept 2012 - DX - One tumor NSCLC Squamous Cell Right Upper Lung
    Oct 2012 - TX - Treatment similar to Pancoast Tumor - Pre-operation radiation and chemo (5.5 weeks of IGRT and 3 cycles of Cisplatin and Etoposide)
    Dec 2012 - Surgery - Remove RUL, Surgical Pathology Report Adenocarcinoma T2N0M0
    Now - Wait, watch, & pray

 
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