Carboplatin & Etoposide treatment - small cell lung cancer

Hi everyone,

This is my first post. My 79-year-old husband was diagnosed with terminal, inoperable small cell lung cancer almost 2 weeks ago. The prognosis is 50/50 chance of a year, highly unlikely two. The tumour is very large and pressing on his windpipe and oesophagus, so he has had trouble eating and breathing. He was blue-lighted in to hospital early hours on Sunday morning due to the pain and breathlesness and we have been there ever since (luckily I have been able to stay with him.) He has been pretty poorly but was assessed by the oncologist to be OK to start his chemo this last Tuesday. He has Carboplatin & Etoposide. He has been told that this treatment is palliative and for symptomatic relief only, but that this type of tumour does respond well to chemo. We are due to be sent home on Monday as, apart from infected fluid on his lung which they are treating with IV antibiotics at the moment (we will go home with oral ones, I guess.)

I was just wondering if anyone else has had any experience with this type of cancer and/or the same chemotherapy? My husband has been feeling OK on it, feeling very weak at the moment but still retains his sense of humour, alongside the obvious fear of what might happen in the future. The anti-sickness treatment must be working, as he hasn't felt sick at all and his appetite seems ok. I am really looking forward to getting him home despite having to sort out downstairs living and being a bit worried about coping without the nurses! I do have a young teenage daughter who is feeling the strain a bit too, as she is having to stay with my mum while I stay in hospital.

I look forward to hearing of your experiences. My hubby is still a little in denial and is hoping to plan a holiday (maybe a cruise round the UK) in the near future, but I just have no idea whether anything like that will be possible.

Sue x

10 Replies

  • Dear Sue, I just want you to know that my heartfelt good wishes go out to you and your husband. I hope that you will live each and every day with hope and high expectations. Only God really knows the overall plan for any of us. My husband has Stage IV squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed less than a month ago. We stay strong for each other and think good thoughts each and every day. Keep the lines of communication open with friends and family and let only positive energy come in. You are not alone, my dear. Wish your husband a happy father's day and give him a kiss for me. We are all on your side. Barbara

  • Dear Barbara, thank you for your kind wishes. I'm trying to keep positive but I think it will take some time to get used to being Roger's cater as well as wife! However, he seems to be quite well today, we've had just over a day at home and he seems to be getting around and even made a cup of tea this morning. I just don't want him to rush things though. He's so independent- and I'm afraid he will tire himself out!

    Thanks again for your support. Sue xx

  • Hi sue my dad was diagnosed with the same in feb and was told the chemo would give him extra months rather than the weeks he had got and started the same treatment almost straight away. He is due to have his last chemo this tuesday and for him the treatment has been fantastic. Its really given him some quality back to his life. He is now able to eat small meals and go for a walk without getting too breathless. Things he couldn't do in feb. The consultant told him at his last visit that if he wanted to go on holiday then this would be ideal time so hopefully if things go well for your husband this is something to focus on. Good luck and take 1 day at a time

    Michelle xxx

  • Thank you Michelle, sounds like Roger is going through much the same as your dad. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Maybe one day his dream of another holiday will come true! Xxx

  • Hi Sue, I have just finished the same chemo regime at the end of March. I'm not going to say it was easy but it certainly was doable and if it gives us a chance to carry on then it becomes so worthwhile. If you click on my picture you can read some of the posts.

    Your hubby needs to take it one day at a time and just do what he can when his body lets him.

    Good luck Rab.

  • Thanks Rab, I really appreciate your reply. Hope you are feeling well after your treatment!

  • Hi Sue - my partner Colin had sclc and were told life expectancy could be anything between 6 months and 5 years - he managed to live for a further 18 months and apart from the last 6 months I would have said that if you looked at him you wouldn't have known he was that sick.........he had the chemo that your husband is having and it reduced the tumour greatly which was fabulous - side effects were losing his hair and feeling a bit tired - if I could be so bold the day and the day after he had the chemo seemed to rejuvenate him and then on the 3rd day it would hit him.....but his quality of life was good until about 2 months before he died - but he had a fish and chip supper the day before............enjoy every precious moment you have him and take each day as it comes.........xx

  • Thanks so much for your reply and letting me know your experiences. We have been discharged from hospital now, with loads of drugs and oxygen. Roger was wiped out yesterday (as was I!) and today has been busy already. I'm hoping things will settle down soon. we are, as you say, taking each day as it comes. It's just facing up to it all - we had a lady from the hospice round yesterday and Roger has to fill in an advance care plan for when he's near the end of his life. It's just not what you expect to have to do I suppose. Anyway I'll

    Stop rambling now. Thanks again for your support xx

  • Truly sorry to hear about this.. our thoughts with you ALL at this difficult time


  • It's a scary and uncertain journey but just try and keep positive - difficult I know - I hope that you and Roger have many good times together.....xx

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