Survival Rate

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Survival Rate

by DonsWife on Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:00 AM

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My husband was recently (6/2) diagnosed with NSCLC adenocarcinoma with metastases to the bones.  He has three tumors on his bones through out his body along with a mass in his right lung.

He was treated and survived Burkitt's Lymphoma in 2003, had lung surgery 12/23/08 to remove a mass.  A biopsy was done and the removed mass was benign.  From December through 6/2 we went from no signs of cancer to stage IV NSCLC with mets to the bones.

My husband will be 52 this year.

He is scheduled for radiation 5 days a week for the next three weeks and 2 days of chemo and one day of Avastin (a target treatment) every three weeks.

He is scheduled for a brain MRI on the 11th. 

I just want someone to be honest and say worst case this is what will happen.  No one will do that.  Other than praying for a miracle, are there any chances for long term survival?  If not, do we have a month, 6 months, 1 year....

Even though we have been through this once before with a "cureable" cancer; I am being told that NSCLC with mets to the bone is not cureable.

To me the hardest part of having someone you love go through treatment for cancer is watching them suffer, being helpless and not knowing the outcome...

RE: Survival Rate

by annb64 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:00 AM

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I don't know the answer for you on survival rate or time.  I am 44 and was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC.  At the time of my diagnosis I was interviewing for a new job.  I talked with my oncologist asking him to give me an estimate of what the timing looked like.  His best response was, "you have years to live, but I can't say how many,"  The stats on the web are not encouraging, but they are not with current data (medical stats always lag behind a few years).  the rate there is listed that less than 2% of people live five years.  Since you asked for an honest answer, that's the only information that I have seen.  I have an eleven year old daughter and therefore, many years to live (in my opinion).  I am looking forward in a positive manner.  I am not in any pain, taking tarceva once a day and living life to it's fullest, each and every day. 

The news of inoperable and incurable cancer has been the hardest on my spouse.  He struggles with the concept of being left alone and having to raise our daughter without me.  I understand this is very normal, for caregivers to be afraid of losing their spouse prematurely.  He had always thought that I would outlive him as he is seven years older than me and I have a family tree where my grandparents lived into their late 90's.  My parents are shocked that their daughter may die before they do.  It's hard on the whole family. 

Honestly, as the patient, I told the doctors to stop asking me if I had a living will every time I had an appt.  I am living life with a positive outlook.  I understand the medical science of what I have, am taking my meds, eating right, exercising and working full time in a fulfilling job.  I have great friends and family.  My goal is to keep in touch with the people I care about, to reach out to those that I have lost contact with, and to love, love, love each day I am on this earth. 

I wish your and your husband the very best with many years together.  The thing is, we are not guaranteed that golden anniversary.  You just have to learn to appreciate every day  There is a book called Love, Miracles and Medicine by Dr. Bernie Seigel about postiive thinking for cancer patients.  I highly recommend it.

Stay Strong and live large,


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