Free to Breathe

My Dad Has Stage 4 Small Cell Lung Cancer

Hello

My name is Tammy and my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in April. It has now metastasized to his brain, liver, abdomen and renal glands. He has chose to go on hospice. 😢

My main question, is there any way he can gain strength ?

Other than depression, he is okay right now. He hasn’t had any pain and still has a good appetite. Does anyone have any advice for me ?

Thanks in advance

Tammy

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Bless you all with this difficult decision. I, too, have stage IV nsclc and will say the treatments can be brutal in the beginnning especially, so I applaud this very difficult decision of his to embrace the quality of life he now has. As for gaining strength, I would say simply to try to get him out for a daily walk in some fresh-even cold-air. It seems counter-intuitive, but if he can get himself off the couch to walk a bit, it will help with the fatigue (and depression) that will set in if it hasn’t already. Extreme cold does make breathing more difficult for those with lung conditions, but hopefully Mother Nature can comply. If he doesn’t already take one, an anti-anxiety or depression medication is a very good idea, too. It really helps to balance out my intense emotions. Prayers for you all.

Jennifer

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Live life to the best of your ability. Do what you enjoy and live in the moment. Good nutrition and exercise will all help keep quality of life the best possible.

Your dad is truly blessed to have you in his life during this difficult time, but you must take care of yourself. God bless you.

Jean

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Enjoy every moment you can. He needs to do some OT so that he can assist in his own care as long as he wants. Please know that activities like bathing or showering cause extreme fatigue. Let him go a couple days with sponge baths.

He should rest when he gets tired. Buy or rent a wheelchair. He may be able to walk 5 minutes but he’ll need rest, a wheelchair will make it possible to participate without wearing him out too quickly. He can go further, longer.

Feed him lots of small meals. Digestion is hard work, too, and small meals are easier on him. At this point if he wants cookies and ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, let him have them.

Allow him to express his thoughts or fears now, too. A burden shared is a burden lessened and it will help his frame of mind which may, in turn, be reflected in his energy level.

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Great advice as always, Denzie. If ever there is a time to "spoil" someone this is it.

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You have received great responses to your question. If I might add, emotional and spiritual strength are just as important as physical strength when walking this path. Does he have someone he can talk to or work with in this regard? It’s been my experience that incorporating all the aspects of ourselves can translate into added vitality. If you can, try and meet him where he is at right now. It can be very difficult as a family member to see his suffering but this is your reality at the moment too, don’t forget about yourself. And take those walks in nature with him😊.

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If he has times when he doesn't feel like eating, maybe some Boost or Ensure for the added nutrition. I used Boost to replace/supplement meals a few years ago when I was healing from an emergency surgery.

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What does he like to eat? Give it to him. Take him for rides if you are close to country side. Does he like animals? If yes, is there a place that brings dogs/cats into hospice facility? Ask hospice social worker this question? They are there to help. God bless you for being there. It is so hard on caregiver but know we as the ill one love you and cherish the time you give us!

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Thank You All for the response ! You all are great !! The support means the world to me.

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Tammy, sorry you are facing these issues. Please don't look at Hospice as a death sentence. I am a hospice nurse and can't emphasize enough how much help they will be. They are there to offer any help you could possibly need and are able to make this coming time much better for all involved. The social worker has so many answers , the nurses will be able to provide and assess your Dad and keep up with any pain management necessary...without having to wait for you to call the Dr and have him call back . He won't have to go out to the Dr. . Any problems or questions you may have can be addressed easily and quickly. There is a team involved and each member is very easy to access and respond. Your Dad's wishes will be addressed at all times and more involved as an individual. Any equipment necessary, (a bed, wheelchair, oxygen, medications or respite care for you and volunteers and pet therapy ) are provided. calling in Hospice early on is an advantage in that a rapport can be built up with your family and your team. The hospice physician is updated frequently and the nurses have immediate access to Him/her.

My opinion is to try to have faith in them and you will not be in this alone. The objective is to live your life as comfortable as you can and at the highest quality .

It will take a lot of pressure off of you can allow you some freedom .

It will free you up to spend your time with your dad as a daughter.

There is a lot to digest. Take each day enjoy your time together.

I'll get down off my soapbox now.

There is a lot of information available to you which may help.

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Thank You So Much !! Your words have helped me so much !!

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