Feel helpless: My friend has cancer in... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Feel helpless

Rattymcratface
Rattymcratface

My friend has cancer in both lungs, metastasised to thorax and brain. His left lung has collapsed due to position of tumour and he’s struggling to breathe. He’s on oramorph and the nurse has said this should help him relax more and help his breathing. His wife is with him and is trying to get him help, but not much help is coming. He was due to find out treatment plan yesterday, but it had to be delayed as the biopsy results weren’t back. Now he’s worried it will be middle of next week due to bank hol. He’s soo ill, can hardly get about and isn’t eating, I’m just wondering if there’s more we can be doing for him. Should we insist he has oxygen or something? Try and insist they sort his treatment plan? I feel so useless. Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks.

16 Replies
RoyCastleHelpline
RoyCastleHelplineAdministrator

Dear Rattymcratface

Welcome to the forum and so sorry to hear about your friend.

If your friend is that ill his GP needs to assess him, his wife could ask for a home visit. If the Macmillan or district nurses are not involved, then the GP can urgently request this.

Oxygen is a licensed prescription which the GP or specialist assess the need for. If he becomes very distressed with his breathing, it would be advisable to call for an ambulance.

They may not start a treatment plan at the moment if he is too ill, so priority would be to make sure he is comfortable, pain free and able to take some diet and fluids. With diet, it is sometimes helpful to take small, frequent snacks that he likes, high calorie if possible.

This link will take you to our booklet on 'Managing lung cancer symptoms' there is some useful information on breathlessness:

roycastle.org/app/uploads/2...

You may find this link from Macmillan support useful on eating: macmillan.org.uk/cancer-inf...

When testing for cell mutations or certain proteins from the biopsy, this can take a few weeks, however if these are present it can offer an option of treatment. Hopefully this slight delay will provide some time for him to start feeling a bit better to have the treatment if he is eligible for this.

It is a very distressing and stressful time for everyone, if you or the family would like to discuss anything in particular, you can either email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org or call our free phone nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

Thank you for chatting to me, unfortunately my friend took a turn for the worse and his oxygen sats were at 50%. They rushed him in to hospital and his wife has been told it’s large cell, and he will probably not come home as he is too ill for treatment. I’m still in shock and just can’t believe 3 weeks ago he went on a steady walk with my husband. This has developed with such speed, it’s unbelievable. I’m sat waiting for news as we are unable to see him due to Covid. So so sad. 😞

I am so, SO sorry. I am thinking of you and your friend's and sending my love and hugs and wanted to let you know that you are all in my prayers. xxxx

Thank you ♥️

RoyCastleHelpline
RoyCastleHelplineAdministrator in reply to Rattymcratface

Dear RattymcratfaceSo very sorry to hear what has happened to your friend and how quickly things have changed. It is so difficult during the Covid restrictions that very few can visit anyone in hospital, especially at this time for you all.

Thinking of you all.

Our nurse helpline services resume on Tuesday 6th April 0900-1700 and you can email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

RoyCastleHelpline
RoyCastleHelplineAdministrator in reply to Rattymcratface

Dear RattymcratfaceSo very sorry to hear what has happened to your friend and how quickly things have changed. It is so difficult during the Covid restrictions that very few can visit anyone in hospital, especially at this time for you all.

Thinking of you all.

Our nurse helpline services resume on Tuesday 6th April 0900-1700 and you can email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

RoyCastleHelpline
RoyCastleHelplineAdministrator in reply to Rattymcratface

Dear RattymcratfaceSo very sorry to hear what has happened to your friend and how quickly things have changed. It is so difficult during the Covid restrictions that very few can visit anyone in hospital, especially at this time for you all.

Thinking of you all.

Our nurse helpline services resume on Tuesday 6th April 0900-1700 and you can email us at lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

You probably need to get the on call dr out ASAP, they helped with my dads breathing with steroids and inhalers and good pain relief, my dad was far to gone for treatment after finding out by but the care at home by gps and the hospice nurses were fantastic, make sure your gp refers you to the hospice too as they are on call and really helped my dad xx love and prayers xx there’s a lot out there that can help make your friend comfortable you just have to ask them and ask for them to do it as promptly as possible xx

Thank you, paramedics came out and took him in. 🙏🏻

Ps, we bought a Ninja blender and made some delicious nutritional smoothies devised for by my best friend who works in food science , please message if you would like any advice or recipes or any help to keep his calories and nutrition up xx

Hi there my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer after being short of breath and it is a very distressing condition. I called the ambulance and he was admitted to hospital where he was stabilised on oxygen. He was then discharged home with portable oxygen. As his disease progressed , he was referred to the hospice which I would highly recommend as they are specialised in easing pain and discomfort. I hope this is of some help.

Thank you. I just want him to be pain free and peaceful. It’s an awful disease 😞 x

Hi. I am SO sorry that your friend is going through this and I'm also so sorry for his wife, you and all who know and love him. I absolutely agree with everything that has been said here and having had pneumonia, being taken to hospital where they found a tumour in my top right lobe which had to be removed , I truly understand about the not being able to breathe properly and it's so frightening for your friend and the people who are watching him struggle. I am now waiting to get results from a spinal Xray as I have 2 fractured vertebrae...long story!.....so I am on Oramorph every day along with opioid pills and a Fentanyl patch and I couldn't stand the pain if I didn't have Oramorph and the Fentanyl patches also help. Cancer has been mentioned for my spine and there is always a niggle at the back of your mind.I have had to fight our hospital for treatment and was misdiagnosed for a year and a half and had cancer but....! Unfortunately the NHS is overwhelmed and we seem to have to fight hard to be heard! if you and your friend's wife have to fight for treatment then I would suggest that his wife asks for a visit from the G.P. so that he can see how much your friend is struggling and it's good to have the G.P. supporting you.. Try not to shout at the Dr.s though! I also agree that speaking to your local Hospice is a great idea because they have Dr.s who deal with pain control and your friend should not be left to suffer. His wife must be exhausted and you. Caring for somebody who has cancer to this degree is emotionally draining for all of you and for him as well. The Ninja is a brilliant idea! Yum!

Please take care and keep in contact here. The support you will get is great and the Specialist Nurses are absolutely fantastic and have helped me in the past. You really are speaking to people who really do understand. I will be thinking of you all and will be praying that he finds relief from everything that goes with having lung cancer and now that it has spread he needs more medical support as does his wife and all of you. Sending love to you all and please, try to look after yourself as well.

Mistyglo
Mistyglo in reply to Danni54

What a lovely response x

Thank you. I am exhausted, i just don’t feel that I can be sad, git to be strong for her. 🙏🏻

Please look after yourself too and be kind to yourself. You are important too. I watched my best friend pass from cancer and it is exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally. Try to get some sleep. If you need more support then come back here where we will all send you a cyber hug. xx

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