My 45 y.o. husband has adenocarcinoma of the lung

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My 45 y.o. husband has adenocarcinoma of the lung

by Joseph_M on Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:00 AM

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My 45-year-old husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer with brain metastasis the end of March. He has never smoked; neither has he ever been around secondary smoke. His primary lesion is mediastinal and inoperable. He has satellite lesions in both lungs and has 6 lesions in his brain. He received 3 weeks of whole brain radiation and is currently receiving chemotherapy with carboplatinum and taxol. The most recent brain MRI and body CT have shown no change at all in his cancer. None of the doctors really talks of a "time frame"--just that everything we are doing is of a palliative nature. All the literature I have read scares me to death because it says that life expectancy is 5-7 months and we are well on the way to that already. Recently he went through a 2-week spell of sleeping 20-22 hours a day. He started getting dehydrated and weak simply because he wasn't staying awake long enough to have adequate intake. Just as suddenly as he started sleeping, now, he is awake for most of the day and is hungry again. Is this normal? I was so concerned during those 2 weeks that I didn't know if it was a normal phase or whether it was the beginning of the end. Other than the sleeping and weakness, he exhibits no other symptoms, i.e. no shortness of breath, no nausea, no pain (thank God)!My husband is so young and has been so strong and healthy. I am finding it hard to believe that I am going to lose him so soon. We have only been married for 1 1/2 years. I feel scared and cheated. I am interested in hearing from other patients and families who are dealing with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Ann M.

RE: My 45 y.o. husband has adenocarcinoma of the lung

by Deborah_H_5 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 12:00 AM

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I was diagnosed with non-small cell advanced lung cancer. The cancer was about a year old when it was discovered. I had one primary tumor in my left lobe, one tumor wrapped around my aorta, and one tumor wrapped around my peri-bronchial tube. Two weeks later they accidentally discovered it had also metastasized to the brain - two tumors - one on the left and one on the right of the skull. A matching pair. On top of that I was diagnosed with COPD. I was 50 years old. I was told to get my affairs in order. They told me there was no cure and that I needed to get a "will" done quickly. In the meantime I went to M. D. Anderson in Houston for a 2nd opinion. They gave me a 40% chance and that sent me on my way to laughing my way through this! It was a great lesson - one I will never forget. In the long run statistics don't affect whether you will recover or not. Before I started the radiation treatments, my lung collapsed. Talk about pain!! They said I that I would die from the tumor squeezing my peri-broncial tube closed or would die from the tumor squeezing my aorta closed. Surgery was not possible because of the location. Of course, then there were the tumors in the brain that could grow and shut down any number of functions. That was the future they painted for me. Either way, one of those tumors would get me - guaranteed. I had never been sick with a major illness, so I didn't know what to do or how to feel. I also didn't believe I was going to die. I didn't FEEL like I was going to die, but I DID feel like I was going to live. So based upon that scientific evidence, I decided to throw caution to the wind! I began treating my cancer like it was the common flu virus - just a nuisance - not a threat. My radiation treatments (lung and brain at the same time) were a cake walk - until the last couple of times. Then I got sick as a dog! I lost 20 pounds and my hair fell out! I laid in bed for two weeks -- just sleeping. When I was able to crawl out of bed, I was up for 15 minutes and then back to bed for another marathon round of sleep - but not before I threw up! The only thing I could keep down was jello and later on mashed potatoes. I returned to work after about a month. When I would come home from work, I would go directly to bed and sleep until the next morning. This went on for a month. Slowly, I graduated to a bedtime of 6:30PM, then 7PM . . . now I can stay up until about 9PM! But I still love to sleep! They say it's your body's way of healing itself and it is true. All this happened a year and a half ago. The only treatment I had was radiation - I have never had chemo. There were 14 treatments each (lung and brain concurrently). I am now referred to as the "miracle child" because the lung and brain tumors have continued to shrink over all these months. They are so so tiny and so transparent on the CT scans now that you almost can't see them. The doctors are dumbfounded and the word "miracle" crosses their lips everytime I see them. The doctors have all told me that 90% of beating cancer is ATTITUDE. Of course, they didn't tell me THAT until AFTER the tumors shrank! Of course, you have to have guts to have a positive attitude - it doesn't take any guts to feel sorry for yourself. I drug around for two weeks after I was diagnosed scared to die and scared to even hope to live. My attitude was the pits and I knew it. So I changed my attitude. I made fun of my cancer constantly, I made fun of myself even more, and I laughed a little louder than everyone else. I also prayed to Jehovah our creator. I am a Jehovah's Witness and I drew a lot of strength and comfort from the scriptures and from the congregation. I got over being afraid to die - but I still didn't want to die. Anyway, in the end, you choose how you are going to go through this process. You can go through it with a light heart or you can passively lay down and give up. Kicking and screaming through it is not required! Worrying is fruitless. Am I afraid it will come back? No - I will not be afraid. Deb

RE: RE: My 45 y.o. husband has adenocarcinoma of the lung

by Joseph_M on Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:00 AM

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Dear Deborah, Thank you for replying to my e-mail. Your letter gives me encouragement in a land where there is very little. It seems to me that once you have a diagnosis of lung cancer, you kind of just get "written off" as dead. There are very few support groups for lung cancer. My husband does have a positive attitude and he does voice it--he is just so tired, he cannot physically show it. We pray every day for miracles and small mercies. God bless you in your battle with the beast.

RE: RE: My 45 y.o. husband has adenocarcinoma of the lung

by Joe_S_4 on Mon Jun 30, 2003 12:00 AM

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My husband has the stage IV lung cancer with metastasis in the brain as you Deb. We just got back from MD Anderson and they told him the same thing without even looking at his chart or films. It was a waste!!! It was disheartening, yet we go to CTCA on July 15th. MD Anderson doctors should be ASHAMED of themselves. That was the worse treatment I think I have EVER received. God Bless you and good luck!!! Kel

RE: RE: My 45 y.o. husband has adenocarcinoma of the lung

by Cheryl_F on Sat Jul 26, 2003 12:00 AM

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Deb, Thank you for your story. I have been struggling with my diagnosis and the grim statistics the doctors gave me (8% chance of survival.) Your story has helped! Cheryl

RE: My 45 y.o. husband has adenocarcinoma of the lung

by August_Z on Tue Jul 01, 2003 12:00 AM

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Dear Ann, Please tell your husband to never give up hope. My Husband was diagnosed with stage 3b small cell Lung Cancer 2 days after he retired at the age of 62 in Dec. 2000. He also never smoked. However, he worked for a printing company for 45 years. They are not able to remove the tumor because it spread to the lymph nodes. They gave him 3 to 4 mos. Now more than 2 yrs. later the Dr's said the tumor is stable. Didn't grow or shrink. We just celebrated out 40th wedding anniversary. I never thought we would. If you need to talk to sometime, please send me a message. Take care, I will keep you both in my prayers. Anna

RE: My 45 y.o. husband has adenocarcinoma of the lung

by Julie_C_1 on Sun Aug 03, 2003 12:00 AM

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Ann, My 65 year old dad was diagnosed with non small cell adenocarcinoma of the lung. It has spread to his adrenal glands and hips. I am a nurse in Minnesota and have dealt with cancer quite a bit, not this close to home though. My suggestion to you would be a supplement powder called glucosolve. It can be mixed with any kind of juice or milk product. It has no taste. It works wonders for nutrition and energy as well as leg pain. I am amazed at this. You can ask for it at any drug store. Another drink that helps my dad is carnation instant breakfast, he hates boost. Good luck and feel free to email me if I can help. God bless you and your family. Julie

How Are You Doing???

by Kslulu on Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:00 AM

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Just read your message, how are you doing today. My dad was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer with 4 small tumors in the brain. He has a great attitude. We just started whole head radiation with chemo to follow. Your update is appreciated. Amy R.

Doctors Say It's a "miracle"

by Deborah_H_5 on Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:00 AM

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Thank you for asking about my health! And I do mean "health". With just the radiation treatments to my brain and lungs (no chemo),the brain tumors "disappeared" after two years. Another "miracle" the doctors said. The primary and 2 tumors in my lungs have shrunk so much they are almost transparent on the CT scan and MRI - another "miracle". I am not in remission yet, however. I am only left with some shortness of breath as a result of the COPD. And they said I was going to die! Since I didn't die, now they are telling me it could come back and it would surely be worse - what's worse?!?!?! Doctors have a natural death wish! Sure it could come back, and I could get hit by a bus! Tell your dad that all you need to do is laugh yourself silly and pray to Jehovah for a miracle. I'll be happy to correspond with you and your dad if you would like. Deb

Getting by

by Kslulu on Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:00 AM

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Deb: Thank you for your response. I have tried to start chatting with several people who have posted their stories on line and I have not ever gotten a response until you. I can only guess those people did not have the same positive attitude that you do and they are no longer with us. I would like it very much if you would communicate with me directly. I have several questions if you don't mind. I am very scared. Amy R.
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