Devastation: Lung Cancer

suziequeNovember 19, 2005

Hello - - a very special person in my life has just been diagnosed with cancer. At this point all I know is that it is in his lungs, but I don't know if it's anywhere else yet.

This just happened last night; additional tests are being run today. Sorry that I don't have additional information yet.

Please tell me: does anyone ever survive lung cancer? I know all of the "that depends" ... such as how far it's progressed, etc. But in general - - is it survivable?

Thank you.

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Yes, I have a friend that has survived 3 years now. After 5 years they will give him the 'cancer free' cert. He had a rough go of it for the first two years with several operations along with chemo and radiation. He has one lung and seems to be getting along very well. But you are correct in saying it depends on what stage they have caught the cancer in. I also have family that have not survived lung cancer.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 1:05PM
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Thank you, riverrat1. This is just a bombshell. No, absolutely NO, history of cancer in his family. His grandfather lived to be 104. His parents both lived till almost 90. Only sibling (older) is perfect health.

He's in his early 50s.

Again, no word yet on what stage this is in. I'm simply numb.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 1:42PM
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Suzieque, I'm so sorry about your friend! Stay positive for him and just 'be' with him when he needs you. That is all you can do. Did he smoke?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 2:55PM
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Thank you. Right now I just can't stop crying. After the call today I was immediately numb, then went into denial (you know, the "oh .. pretty soon they'll call me and tell me it was the wrong diagnosis" thing). Now I just can't stop sobbing.

He quit smoking 21 years ago. That's when I first met him; I didn't know it, but he was a 'closet' smoker and in the process of quitting. He did, and never went back. From what I know, he hadn't been a terribly heavy smoker. But again, he hasn't smoked for 21 years.

I have been given the green light to visit him in the hospital tomorrow. I simply can't believe this. Sorry for being "a downer" on this forum ... but I am looking for any hope or reality ... whatever it may be. I want/need to be strong and positive for him, so it's probably a good thing that I can't see him until tomorrow; as I am right now it'd be a terrible thing to stand in front of him and sob.

I lost my beloved father a year ago, and this friend was such a strength to both my dad and to me during that time preceeding his death. It just seems so bizaare that now I'm frightened for HIS health!

Thank you for your responses, riverrat1.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 3:24PM
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Praying for you & your very special friend!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 8:50AM
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Suzieque, How did your visit go? I'm thinking of you today and hoping that you have gathered the strength you need.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 2:12PM
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Thank you grittymitts (great name!) and again, riverrat1. I didn't visit. He decided this morning on 'absolutely no visitors'. That of course doesn't include his lifelong friend and housemate. I am not at all offended by the decision for no visitors. They are coming to grips with this now and need time for the emotion to settle down and for the news and full story to digest.

At this point I know little more except that his pain is finally being managed with morphine (he has severe pneumonia). At least he's more comfortable, and hopefully his faith (he is a strong Christian) will comfort him as well as those of us who love him.

Hey - at this point I'm even praying that it was a misdiagnosis. Don't worry, I'm not really thinking that. But get this ... two weeks ago he went to the doctor because of the pain he was having; the doctor said he'd pulled a muscle.


It's helpful to be able to reach out and get good thoughts and support - - - from people you don't even know. So thank you for being here and responding to my emotional need. This "C"-word, Cancer, is so devastating. It's everywhere, isn't it!

We have come so far in medicine ... just think ... someday there will be a cure for cancer. The problem is that I want it now.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 6:08PM
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I'm so sorry Suzieque! How terrible for him and you. I hope he wins his battle. Thanks for sharing this, I am going to try and quit smoking again tomorrow.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 7:13PM
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I am so sorry. I know someone who had lung cancer at the age of 50. He ended up having a double lung transplant a few years ago and he's doing okay today. So yes, people do survive.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 8:30PM
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Of course they survive!!....I have 2 friends who are 2 and 5 years survivors....
But I also lost a friend 2 weeks ago.....and another a year ago.
Sending good wishes and prayers...
Early diagnosis is for sure the best chance for a cure.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 12:08AM
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"lung cancer" covers many different types of cancer. All they have in common is that they are found in the lungs.

Each type has a different potential for surviving it.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 7:49AM
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Thank you all, so much.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 10:04AM
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I think this article about Cancer pain management from may be useful for your read

Most lung cancer patients fear the pain resulting from it, rather than the cancer itself. Pain management theories were developed to help patients control or minimize their pain while undergoing cancer treatments. About 80% - 90% of cancer patients control their pain through a combination of pain medicines & other exercises. In order to successfully control pain from cancer, it is important to understand where that pain originally derives from. Cancer pain occurs when malignant tumors slide or press on internal organs such as bones, nerves and the lymph nodes. The extent of pain also depends on the location of the tumor and what organ it is pressing on. For example, a small tumor pressing on a vital organ of the body such as the lungs can cause lots of pain, while a large tumor elsewhere could cause little pain. Pain also derives from cancer treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Pain from these cancer treatments has more chance of occuring in patients whose immune system has been damaged as a result of these therapies. The 3rd source of cancer pain derives from other common illnesses such as headaches, pain in the kidneys, arthritis, muscle strains, etc.

Types of Cancer Pain

There are 3 most common types of pain resulting from Cancer. They are:

i) Acute pain: Acute pain lasts a very short amount of time, but can be very severe and comes as a surprise.

ii) Chronic pain: Chronic pain lasts over a long period of time and can be mild to severe.

iii) Breakthrough pain: Breakthrough pain occurs in patients who have chronic pain and can be controlled via cancer medicines.

Pain Control & Medicines

The type of medicine & proper dose procedure given to a cancer patient depends on the extent of the cancer and its source. Below are a few types of medicines that are given to cancer patients.

i) Mild to Moderate Pain: Nonopioids - Nonopioids are over-the-counter medicines that can be purchased without a prescription. They include drugs such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Be sure to consult your doctor before using these medicines, especially if you are already undergoing chemotherapy.

ii) Moderate to Severe Pain: Opioids - Opioids are types of drugs that can be purchased with a prescription only. They can be used in conjunction with nonopioids to lessen pain. Examples include morphine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, oxycodone, meperidine, codeine, and methadone.

iii) Breakthrough pain: Rapid-onset Opioids - These are drugs that can quickly relieve sudden pain and are available by prescription only. Examples include oral morphine. They can also be used to cure persistent pain that pops up as a surprise.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 3:11AM
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I lost my brother to lung cancer a month ago. I still cry so badly during the night thiking of all what he had to go through. I miss him s much!
he was only 25 yrs!
my advice:
PLEASE check if the chemo is working. do not wait until you finish the course of chemo to see. be very quick...very harsh in treating this bad disease
learn from other people's mistakes.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 6:20PM
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