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Thread: Hypercalcemia

  1. #1
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    Hypercalcemia

    Hello everyone,
    This has been the week from hell for me and my husband. In a previous post I related my husband's experiences since his right lung was removed in September of 2008. Recently he has loss such a significant amount of weight, lost the ability to swallow and was so lethargic I truly believed he was going to die if I didn't get help. Well, after one unsuccessful visit to the VA ER where they told my husband and I that his problems were "in his head" we finally got a doctor to pay attention and admit my husband. There they found that his calcium level had skyrocketed (hypercalcemia) placing him in an emergency situation, hardly psychiatric in nature.
    For those of you in the know, hypercalcemia is many times linked to cancer tumors. We found out this morning that my husband, who thought he had beaten lung cancer through surgery, has renal cell carcinoma in both kidneys. They are also looking at multiple myeloma which many times goes hand in hand with renal cell. According to the doctor my husband most probably had this cancer while he was being treated for lung cancer. I asked whether the lung cancer had metastasized to the kidney but was told that renal cell is another type of cancer from the squamous cell in his lung.
    In addition they are looking at the fact that his gallbladder had collapsed with large stones inside.
    Tell me, what could possibly caused a body to go so haywire and start producing cancer all over the place?
    After getting a "surgical cure" diagnosis on the lung cancer, I am devastated to say the least.
    Husband Danny, age 66,
    diagnosed squamous cell June 6, 2008,
    Right pneumonectomy performed with no adjuvant chemo or radiation on Sept. 2008
    Metastatic lung cancer in the ribs, scapula and right kidney raised it's ugly head May 2009.
    Renal cell carcinoma diagnosed May 2009
    One round carbo/taxol, too weak to continue
    Cancer racing like a freight train
    Held my husband's hand when he passed away September 29, 2009

  2. #2
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    One, sorry for all the pain and anguish your going through. I think it is cruel to tell any cancer patient they are cured, that is nearly never the case, many seem to return with a different name, but it is still the monster. I hope the fight is still left in the both of you.
    God Bless
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  3. #3
    Top User maryaz's Avatar
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    OMG, Charlene, I am so very sorry to read all of this. I have no idea what to say other than I will surely keep praying for both of you and hope your husband can withstand some treatments and possibly still beat this. My heart just goes out to you.

    Since you had such a time getting any doctor to agree he even had a problem, I suppose a second opinion would be out of the question? Just thought maybe some of it might not be cancer. Maybe that is wishful thinking.
    Husband (year of birth 1941) dx'd 2008 NSCLC - Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Chemo and Radiation Treatments together. Allergic reaction to Taxol & Taxotere.
    The Story 2008 to 1/2011: http://www.cancerforums.net/about9079.html

    2010/2011: Returned & spread to lower lumbar bone/marrow. Stage 4.
    Chemo & Radiation together. Allergic reaction to Erbitux. Chemo was only Navelbine.
    The Story continues 2/2011: Story continues 2/2011: http://tinyurl.com/68qpmym

  4. #4
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    Thank you Mary and Dano for your replies. The oncologists came in today and delivered the horrible news. My husband has renal cell carcinoma in both kidneys, the right with an 18 mm tumor consuming it, the left with four smaller tumors. Also numerous lymph nodes surrounding the kidneys are either enlarged or necrotic. They then told us that Danny's bone scan showed disintegrated ribs that are being eaten by cancer. Tomorrow he is having an endoscopy to look for what is causing his esophagus to close up. Needless to say, they are leaning toward tumors.
    I am horrified to think that this downward spiral happened so fast, my husband is down from 175 pounds to 125. All I have to look forward to now is the staging number and prognosis which we already can figure out. Danny told the doctor that he only wanted 2 more years to finish what he wanted to do and the doctor told us point blank, "I don't think that is going to happen".
    I remember following Koik's journey with her husband and crying while I read her posts. Never did I think I would follow in her footsteps. I find it hard to even breathe now and I can't eat because of the guilt I have that my husband can't eat and is literally starving to death(feeding tube is still being refused by my husband).
    Does anyone have coping skills that worked for them?
    Husband Danny, age 66,
    diagnosed squamous cell June 6, 2008,
    Right pneumonectomy performed with no adjuvant chemo or radiation on Sept. 2008
    Metastatic lung cancer in the ribs, scapula and right kidney raised it's ugly head May 2009.
    Renal cell carcinoma diagnosed May 2009
    One round carbo/taxol, too weak to continue
    Cancer racing like a freight train
    Held my husband's hand when he passed away September 29, 2009

  5. #5
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    One, I am very shocked. The monster can be so vicious, I can not imagine what you are going through finding his condition to be so poor. So, it seems God is calling him home, I would not wish this on my worst enemy, instead it happens to wonderful people like you two. I'll be praying for you both.
    God Bless
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  6. #6
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    My heart and my prayers go out to you and your husband, this cancer is a damn nightmare.
    Deborah
    Married since July 1976
    My husband is 76 and diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer in Dec. 2008.
    which has metastasized through out his body, into the bone and brain.
    Treatment has stopped and Hospice came in on May 20, 2009

  7. #7
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    Hi Charlene. I am so sorry about what your husband and you are experiencing. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Let me try to set your mind at ease on at least one thing....it is something my mom's hospice team told me and is even in the literature I received from them as well. It discusses the usual signs and symptoms as someone progresses.

    "Food and food decrease: The person may begin to want little or no food or fluid. This means that the body is saving energy for other functions that would be used to process these items. Do not try to foce food or drink into the person or use guilt to manipulate your loved one into eating or drinking as this may cause your loved one more discomfort. Small chips of ice, frozen Gatorade or juice may be refreshing to the mouth. Lip balm may be used to keep the mouth and lips moist. (And, Charlene, the most important thing in this section)...It can be very difficult to see your loved one not eating and drinking. Often, caregivers and other friends and family worry that the person is thirsty and starving to death. This is simply not true."

    So, please know that his refusing to eat doesn't mean he is starving himself, ok? Don't beat yourself up over it. According to the above, it is more comfortable for his body to not eat when he refuses to eat. you aren't experiencing the physical symptoms he is. And as his caregiver, and more importantly, for yourself, you need to eat to keep your strength up. Don't feel guilty for eating when he is unable to. By taking care of him, and being so active in his caretaking, you are going to lose weight yourself anyway. Don't lose your strength too and get yourself sick because you aren't eating.

    Sending you a big virtual hug. I am so very sorry you are going through this.

  8. #8
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    Hi Charlene,

    I am so sorry to hear about your husbands cancer and what you are both going through. My prayers are with you both.

    I have not been posting for a long time due to my husbands cancer progession too. In January they found mets to the brain

    Next week he will go for his CT of the chest. We are praying that there is no more progression. But his breathing has become worse so all we can do is wait and see.

    God Bless You Both,

    Bernice
    Husband was diagnosed 6-5-08 with Stage IIIA Lung Cancer- NSCLC- Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

    January 24, 2009 diagnosed Stage 4, Mets to Brain.

    Passed away June 19, 2009 surrounded by his loving family.

  9. #9
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    Thank you everyone for your kind words and helpful information. Tera, that information really helped as I had not thought of it in those terms. I guess I am just panicking.
    Bernice, oh hun, I am so sorry that your hubby's cancer has progressed. Last September when my husband had his lung removed I though you, Mary and I would be blessed with hubbys on the mend. I hate this cancer!
    Prayers sent out to all of you for peace of mind no matter what is happening to our loved ones.
    Charlene
    Husband Danny, age 66,
    diagnosed squamous cell June 6, 2008,
    Right pneumonectomy performed with no adjuvant chemo or radiation on Sept. 2008
    Metastatic lung cancer in the ribs, scapula and right kidney raised it's ugly head May 2009.
    Renal cell carcinoma diagnosed May 2009
    One round carbo/taxol, too weak to continue
    Cancer racing like a freight train
    Held my husband's hand when he passed away September 29, 2009

  10. #10
    Top User maryaz's Avatar
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    Tera, That is some really good information you posted. Thanks. I will try to remember that.

    Bernice, Sorry that you are having problems. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. Hope the upcoming CTscan will be okay.

    Charlene, again my heart just goes out to you. I feel so bad for you. Take care of yourself. God Bless you both during this time. When you need some comfort and if you are feeling alone, just stop back in here.

    Praying for you all.

    I now have a very seriously ill 47 years old niece with a very rare cancer, and just breaks my heart. Joe & I so hate this disease.

    Hugs to all of you.
    Husband (year of birth 1941) dx'd 2008 NSCLC - Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Chemo and Radiation Treatments together. Allergic reaction to Taxol & Taxotere.
    The Story 2008 to 1/2011: http://www.cancerforums.net/about9079.html

    2010/2011: Returned & spread to lower lumbar bone/marrow. Stage 4.
    Chemo & Radiation together. Allergic reaction to Erbitux. Chemo was only Navelbine.
    The Story continues 2/2011: Story continues 2/2011: http://tinyurl.com/68qpmym

 
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