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Thread: Dad recently diagnosed...

  1. #1
    Experienced User
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    Dad recently diagnosed...

    Hi everyone,
    I am new here and not really sure where to begin My father was diagnosed with poorly differentiated NSCLC (I think I got that right) on July 1. He is 68 years old was a smoker for about 40 years, only stopping in December 2011 after he had a heart attack. Long story short, after his bypass surgery, he started physical therapy to strengthen his heart and overall health. We noticed after a few months though that he still wasn't gaining any weight, didn't have much of an appetite and was still having chest pains. Doctors decided this probably wasn't related to the heart attack and decided to do a biopsy on that chest area. A week later, before his follow-up appt to the biopsy, we rushed him to the hospital because he was coughing a lot and had severe chest pains. We thought it was bronchitis or pneumonia because he was also running a fever. Doctors decided to keep him overnight for observation and also because he started coughing up blood. The next day, Sunday, his doctor came in to meet with us and confirmed what I think was in the back of our minds - cancer.

    My dad seemed to take it in stride...I guess that's the best way to put it. We started a treatment plan of radiation right away, but held off on the chemo for two weeks because of a blood clot in his neck. He finally started chemo yesterday and is at another session today. The radiation has been upped from 10 treatments to 16 and we will find out today how many chemo treatments they will try.

    My father is being very tight lipped about the treatment/diagnosis and for now seems to be in good spirits - at least around me. I believe that he is trying to protect me and my two younger sisters (we are grown and in our 30's). I would like to do more research about this disease and find out what our options are, but if he doesn't want to talk about it, I can't make him. Although I did steal some of the documents that the doctor left for him to read so that I could do some reading of my own LOL. I've offered to take him to his appointments, but he is insistent on driving and I love that, but I do wish he would let us be there more for him. So anyway, I stumbled on this forum today and I probably won't post much but I am learning a lot from reading the experiences and stories from everyone here. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User
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    Hi treyc, Welcome to the Forum but so very sorry that you need to be here. In order to check appropriate treatment for NSCLC you need to know what stage you Dad is at. Different stages will be treated differently. It's not unusual for a parent to want to protect their kids from bad news...even if they are all grown up. When my Dad first started getting chest pains he waited until the next day to drive an hour away to his doctors who promptly admitted him to the hospital. I spoke to him the morning he planned on driving himself to the doctors and he never said a word to my brothers or myself. He thought he might be having heart problems for the first time at 82. A chest xray revealed a huge tumor. I spoke to him while he was still in the hospital and told him that although we respected his privacy, we wanted to help him through this and asked if he would be more forthcoming and open about what was happening to him. Luckily for us he became an open book and everthing was in the open. That may not work for every family but I'm glad he allowed us to help him. I did alot of research too.... didn't change a thing. If I had it to do over I would have spent more time with him and not on the internet and listening to Dr Google. I did find alot of practical info right here on the forum...things that helped me know what to expect, things that helped make my Dad's journey a little easier and support when I was feeling scared. Please keep us posted on your Dad is doing. 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.

  3. #3
    TreyC;

    I hear you. However, do NOT get alarmed when the doctors increase the number or radiation treatments. The chemo nurse told us that sometimes the rad. doctors increase it. Do not panic, alot of times they do not tell you why and people ASSUME that means it's not working. She said that's untrue due to the cone effect of radiation. Starts out wide range and they may add treatments further along to "zero" in or narrow the rad to focus on just the cancer.

    I know everyone reacts differently, but continue to think positive. My father was State 4 with single met to brain and now in remission!

    My father is 72 and I think it's their generation about being the provider, tough man. My father still made no comment even after doctor told him remission.

    I don't think they want to lose their independence, however, my mom laid down the law to him and she never has ever done that after 52 years of marriage. She said we will do this until I feel our girls need to be involved or go and like it or not they will be there. Your 2 girls is your family. Mind you, I am 48 and younger sister is 41. We go to the biggie appointments after the scans for results. Rad appt's aren't bad, he may be able to drive to and from, however, our chemo nurse said they want someone to drive him home.

    As many on this forum have said, it's a roller coaster ride. Right now we are at the top, however, this disease is ugly and we can fall at any time. Please keep in touch, believe it or not, all that reads this forum does care.
    Daughter of dad, (71)
    Dia. NSCLC 3/26/12 - Tumor left upper lobe, (3")
    PET scan/MRI - Single small met to brain. Successful radio surgery on 4/12/12
    Started chemo/radiation 4/19/12
    Finished Taxol/carbo treatments on 6/7/12
    CT Scan - Abdomen & Chest
    NO RESIDUAL TUMORS - REMISSION

  4. #4
    Experienced User
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    Thank you

    Hi Irish and PowerPrayer - thank you for your welcome! (Although I guess it goes without saying that I wish I didn't have to be here at all, right ) I really appreciate your words of encouragement! I have read your stories and many of the other stories on this forum and even though I am still scared $&*#less, I feel better that we do have a plan. I was so depressed over the last few weeks thinking about all the things that my dad and I haven't shared yet, like him walking me down the aisle. But I have to keep in mind that he's not gone yet, and that I have to stay positive. It's the whole not knowing what's going to happen next that troubles me. However, I am going to stay positive and just be there for him.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Top User
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    Hi treyc, Don't blame you for feeling scared...been there myself. Just a little note, it's sometimes easier for us to keep track of your story if you stick to one thread. If you like, I can merge your hiccup thread into this one. 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.

  6. #6
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Sure, that would be fine, merge away! So question...when I post a question or comment, should I just come back to this thread and post it or should I create a new one? Most boards that I read, I'm usually a lurker - I don't post much - but I have a feeling that I will be using this forum a lot.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Hi treyc,
    Generally it's best to stick to one thread, just continue on with your new question by hitting the reply to thread button at the bottom of your thread. That way your whole story is in one spot and members can keep track of your details easily as things progress. Many times before I respond, I look back over the thread to refresh my memory for details. It's not an absolute must but it is better. If you wanted to post something in another area of the forum like coping and support for instance you would need to start a new thread. By the way, nice to have you here even if it is for a sad reason. I hope you find the support here that you are looking for. 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.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,728
    Hi treyc,

    I messed up merging your hiccup post into this thread and lost it...my apologies. Could you repost your question in this thread so other members can answer for you.

    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.

  9. #9
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    202
    Hi Treyc, saw your hiccup question and started to reply but lost the link. I see Irish merged it while I was typing my response. I'm wondering if Irish and I hit the buttons on the computer at the same exact time and that's how it got lost?? Either way, here is my response. My dad did suffer from hiccups, he never did Chemo though, but did do Whole Brain radiation. When I questioned the doc about the hiccups, he said it was extremely common in Lung Cancer patients. . We had no remedies that helped my dad with his hiccups, just let it run it's course. I would say he was on and off with the hiccups for about 3-4 weeks. Not sure what stopped them but they did stop on their own. Sorry, I'm not much help.
    71 year old Father diagnosed 2/2/2012 with Stage IV Lung Cancer NSCS with METS to the Brain, spine, bones, Adrenal Glands, Lymph Nodes, Liver, Pancreas, omentum.


    Heart Attack 2/19/2012
    Whole Brain Radiation and Radiation to the Spine 2/27/2012 completed 15 sessions on 3/16/2012
    Heart Attack 3/10/2012

    Passed away 3/26/2012[/B] I love you dad, you will be missed.

    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...IV-Lung-Cancer

  10. #10
    Experienced User
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    Thanks Lalle...my mom read somewhere that vinegar is supposed to help, so he's started doing shots of vinegar when they first start and it seems to help for a little while. He says it doesn't hurt, but they are very annoying. I can only imagine...I get annoyed if I have the hiccups for only a few minutes, I'm sure it is horrible to have chronic hiccups.

    Thanks, Irish for the tips on posting!

 

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