Lung Cancer

Mom and R got the bad news today.  R has lung cancer.  We don’t know yet how bad it is, but it doesn’t sound good.  He’s been battling bladder cancer for the past 18 months or so, it keeps coming back.  That lead to some additional tests.  He’s also had emphysema for about 10 years.  Last week they told him he had walking pneumonia, guess they took x-rays, found something in his lungs.  They did some sort of test yesterday (they were supposed to remove some fluid.  I guess they found evidence of cancer.  They talked with the oncologist today.  If the cancer is limited to one lung they’ll remove it.  If it’s in both he’ll go through chemo.  They’ll know tomorrow what they will do.

I feel so bad for Mom, she never figured on outliving her husband.  We’ve already talked about it among ourselves that they can live with us for the duration, though getting to and from dr visits will take longer as we live about 40 minutes away.  Unfortunately, and predictably, they prefer to stay where they are, so we will have to drive down to their place, and take them to the doctors from there.  Not the most convenient arrangement, but whatever works for them.

We have a dear friend, B, who has HepC, he has been going through hell for the past 10 years, finally got on the liver recipient list, only to be pulled off the list less than a year later.  There is a tumor on his liver.  Why that bumps him off the waiting list has not been made clear to me.  Two years ago he went through stem cell therapy in Thailand.  He felt wonderful for about 4 months, then everything reversed itself and .  Don’t know if the therapy didn’t work or if it may have actually made things worse.  Regardless, his next plan is experimental treatment in Mexico.  The thing is, it’s a cash operation down there, and he’d have to bring some $15,000 into Mexico.  Not a good idea for many obvious reasons.

I can’t imagine going through chemotherapy at 80.  He’s been through it three times for the bladder cancer and tolerates it well, but is it all the same?  Would it be tougher now that he’s been weakened by the cancer and emphysema and pneumonia?  80 is a good long run at life, but I suppose he could see 100, so it might be worth going through.  For me, I don’t think I’d go through it at 80, but then again, if the situation actually presented itself would I grasp at any straw to stay alive?  Like B traveling to Mexico.  There’s no way I’d travel to Mexico with more than $200 cash on me.  In fact, right now there’s no way I’d go to Mexico at all.  Would I change my mind if there was a chance I’d live five more years?

4 thoughts on “Lung Cancer

  1. I have to agree that I likely wouldn’t take chemo at 80 but who knows…It’s not me and R may have more hope and strength than others his age.

    I can understand them still wanting their independence but it does make it a bit more difficult for you. Still…it is I guess important to them.

    I hope things go well…even looking at having a lung out seems very mind boggling.

    Your friend B who has hep C has been taken off the transplant list no doubt because he has become a greater risk to survive the transplant and they don’t want to ‘waste’ a liver….It happened to my friend years ago with a lung and heart transplant. But I wouldn’t want to be going to Mexico in search of a cure either…Again though it’s not me…and each person is different…Diane

    1. I guess it’s don’t give up until you’ve exhausted all your options. Life’s a hell of a thing to give up on. I think as people with depression, we don’t feel strong enough to survive a normal day, let alone face something like cancer. We’ve pondered being dead and, for me anyway, it holds no fear.

      Yeah, I assume the liver situation is as you say. What I don’t know is why they thought the risk of “wasting” a liver was so high. In that case, did they just send him home to die? They haven’t said as much, but maybe they don’t want to accept that yet. I know of no therapy offered. I’m sure we don’t have all the details, and don’t want to ask, probably because we don’t want to hear the answer.

      1. With my friend and she was only in her 40’s once they determined she was no longer a viable risk they just took the pager that she carried in case a donor became available…..and she went into hospital when she needed it and then home when when she didn’t…She died though a few months later in the hospital…Diane

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