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Thread: My Father Just Diagnosed With Stage 4

  1. #11
    Moderator Top User jorola's Avatar
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    Best thing to do is not guess and have his dr take a look at him just to be on the safe side.
    Wife to husband with squamous lung cancer stage 3 b
    dx - April 20/14
    tx started May 20/14 - radiation and chemo
    June 23 - chemo finished
    June 24 - tumor 1/3 the original size
    July 4 - radiation finished
    July 8 - PET scan shows tumor almost gone, lymph nodes back to normal
    Married July 19/14
    Sept 9/14 - repeat can shows tumor continues to shrink more, no new spots. New coughing and pain due to chest infection or side effect of radiation.
    Sept 19/14 - not infection but pneumonitis, place on dex for 4 weeks
    Oct 22/14 - now off of dex and facing even more symptoms of withdrawal
    Dec 16/14 - pretty much nothing left but a scar
    April 7/15 - ditto scan and screw you stats
    Oct 6/15 - more scarring but still cancer still gone
    Feb 2016 -scan the same
    Aug 2016 - more of the same
    Aug 2017 - and ditto
    Aug 2018 - 4 yrs NED

  2. #12
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    Yes we went to the doctor and he actually caught a cold and they prescribed him antibiotics. I am noticing swelling in his face today but nonetheless we have an appointment coming up with the Sloan Center after thanksgiving! Ill keep you all updated and I hope u all have a great turkey day lol
    Daughter to a rockstar dad with stage 4 lung cancer

  3. #13
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    Just read your thread and wanted to say how strong you are for being there for your dad, you are so young to be going through this. I can relate to your dad feeling a high on finishing radiation. Hope chemo goes well for him now. No matter what the treatment, I have found to ask if you have a question about side effects, it's only after talking with others who had radiation that some things I was feeling were it turned out a side effect. Be brave for your dad but remember to come here to talk when you get overwhelmed.

  4. #14
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    Hello Gona’ make it;

    I am also sorry that you are here, but you will find a lot of understanding and support from the members of this forum. No one likes to hear ‘cancer’ but it touches just about everyone, one way or another.

    As your Dad, I’m stage 4 NSCLC and have been been treated with 7 different types of Chemo, and I can say that there are some side effects with them all. ‘Some fairly easy, while other can put the patient down for a while.

    You sound like you’ve got it together and are doing the best that you can for a 6 hour commute!!
    I’m assuming that his current wife is his principle caregiver, which should relieve you of some of your worries.

    Here are a few things I’ve noticed through those 7 different Chemo’s:
    First, please don’t assume that every change in appearance is related to the cancer or to the treatment.
    Everybody gets colds, infections, headaches, etc. that have nothing to do with the cancer or treatment, and steroids can cause personality changes along with the puffy face. Mood swings are normal.

    Chemo: Regardless of the type of chemo, your dad is going to be tired. He’ll like to sleep a lot. Meals often taste like left over metal mush, so his appetite will suffer. His digestive system can get hammered. (Milkshakes, with protein powder added, will go down easy and will help with the weight loss.) Some chemo’s will cause hair loss (I’m a three time loser); buy him a watch cap. I had lots of trouble with hiccups and cough drops helped. Keep his feet warm, I know that sounds strange, but it is important because some chemo can make his feet swell and warmth helps. His Doctor will give you a list of all the side effects related to the treatment protocol. Don’t panic over that list, it’s just all of the possibilities and he isn’t going to experience them all.

    Keep a factual line of communication with him and his wife, (and Dr’s if possible) in order for you all to be on the same page. Lisa recommends keeping a journal, it is a must, and keep it close in order to write your though/question down when it arrives. Also encourage your dad to start his own journal.

    You might mention that there is an old coot that been stage 4 since 2012 who wishes him well!

    Regards to you, your father and your siblings,
    zim

  5. #15
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    Update: Sorry I haven't been posting Ive been so overwhelmed...

    My dad just started his immunotherapy treatment last friday. What I am noticing is he isn't eating and barely drinking. He says that its due to the food not tasting right and now looking at food turns him off. He is getting down some ensure but he says that the taste is now way too sweet for him. I know that this may be some type of side effect from the immunotherapy. He hardly moves around and stays in bed due to being tired. I am watching him to make sure he has no shortness of breathe but I do notice a slight cough. I took him to the doctors earlier and the only things that they have seen is that he has a kidney stone.

    Im still hoping for the best! Gotta stay optimistic. I do admit that I kind of feel bad for wanting to have a night out with friends. I been home taking care of my dad since he got sick and I truly don't go anywhere. It's just hard to explain that to my friends sometimes cause we all are in our 20's. I just feel like Im being a horrible daughter for going out this saturday night. He will be staying at my younger sisters home for that night.
    Daughter to a rockstar dad with stage 4 lung cancer

  6. #16
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    I, too, had the 5 day radiation but for my lung. It didn' t happen right away but all of a sudden I got so tired all the time. I mean really tired with lots of naps! Fatigue is a big side effect of radiation. I also had a slight cough which was a side effect too. I haven't gone through immunotherapy so can't help there. Has the doctor given you any suggestions to help make it easier for your dad to eat or drink. Probably someone else here can give you some suggestions.

    I'm glad you are staying optimistic, it's better then being a downer. I am sure your dad wants you to have a little fun and it's good to keep in contact with your friends. We sort of create our own little world during our cancer journey and we have to remember there is a world outside of this. But whether our friends are in their 20's or 50's it can be hard for them to understand just how much our lives (whether the patient or caretaker's) has changed. Go out and have some fun, taking a break sometimes is necessary.

  7. #17
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    He's still having issues eating so I think Im gonna try and make some smoothies for him and add in some protein powder. fingers crossed
    Daughter to a rockstar dad with stage 4 lung cancer

  8. #18
    What Immunotherapy is he getting? I am on Nivu/Opdivo since over a year, never had problems eating. I really think it is from radiation, it did make me very very tired, no energie, didn't like to eat as i was just to tired. Si i cross my fingers that it will get better soon.
    Oct 15 diagnosed NSCLC stage IV , Mets in lymph nodes,
    Chemo 6 months, Tumour didn't grow but lymph nodes
    New Chemo 4 months, not working, new spot 4mm in Liver
    Aug 16, start Opdivo ,immune therapy
    CT Nov 16 , Tumor shrank, Lymph nodes shrank
    CT Jan 17, Tumor all the same, Lymph nodes on Neck and under arm back to normal, in Lung and Chest a bit smaller
    July 17, 2x3 cm Brain Tumor found, removed in Surgery, now radiation on spot,still on Nivu
    August 18, all still same, living life every day
    January 2019 < CT said NED!!!!
    Fingers crossed

  9. #19
    Regular User
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    Hey there,

    Mom went through an immunotherapy trial, too and the side effects you're describing are identical to hers. She was exhausted and food didn't taste good, it was really hard to get her to eat. It's difficult because you want to make sure he gets proper nutrition but you don't want to fight about it. You're best bet is finding things he can manage to get down and have him small, frequent meals. Smoothies with protein powder are a great option! You also want to get some good healthy fats in there.
    You're doing a great thing being there for him like this but don't feel bad for taking a moment for yourself. This is a heavy weight to carry and you need some time to decompress once in a while.

  10. #20
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    You said; “I been home taking care of my dad since he got sick and I truly don't go anywhere…..”

    This is NOT good.

    Although I know that you will feel some guilt for wanting to be yourself, you MUST.
    Being ‘there’ all the time is way over the top, and I’m sure that your father will agree that you need some relief from the stress of caregiving. As a father and a cancer patient, I can assure that we all feel a responsibility for those we love.

    I strongly recommend that you and other family members work out a schedule that allows every one of you the time you need to be ‘you’. Time ‘off’ is imperative for your mental health. If other family members can’t participate, talk to his doctors about support groups in your area. These groups often step in to give a break to the principle caregivers.

    Please go out Saturday night and have a great time. Then go tell your Dad all about it. Believe me, he will enjoy his daughter getting some relief. I don’t know your father, but I know that I felt better when my wife said; “You are better, so I’m going shopping.”

    Try; “You are getting better, so I’m taking a night off and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

    I’m sure he will feel better and so will you!

    Regards,
    zim

 

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