MoesBaby's Journey with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer

Family/Friend: Lung Cancer > Non-Small Cell > Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 5 years ago, Male, Age: 57, Stage IIIA, EGFR mutation positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • MoesBaby
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcino...
    over 4 years ago
    MoesBaby's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    On June 4th or 5th, my dad was taken to the local hospital with chest pain. Since he has a long cardiac history and they wanted to have him at a hospital that could handle a cardiac emergency, they took him by ambulance to Evansville, Indiana. Once they got there, the staff started doing losts of testing to check his heart. One of the tests they did was a simple chest xray to look at his heart. They found a spot on his left lung that "looked like pneumonia". They decided to do a CT scan of his chest to get a better look. Once the CT was complete, they discovered that this wasn't pneumonia, but it was suspicious so they scheduled a biopsy. On thursday, June 7th, they opted to do a heart cath even though all of his heart tests had come back normal thus far. After the heart cath, they informed my #2 mom that he needed some "heart work" done, but they needed to worry about the cancer first. That was the first we had heard the C word. I was at work and got the dreaded phone call. Crying, my mom says "I have some news and it's not good." I said "It can't be good, you are crying." She said the words that are burned into my mind and heart forever "Your daddy has lung cancer." After I got off the phone with her, I burst into tears and immediately called my #1 mom and my husband. I didn't understand how this could be and why did it have to happen to MY daddy (Yes, I still call him daddy, even if I am 31yrs old!) of all people. This wasn't fair and what did I do to deserve this?!?! Was God trying to punish me for something? I walked around in a fog for a week or more and if anything remotely sad was said or thought of, I would cry. This is a big deal for me because I don't EVER cry! A few days after he was released from the hospital, he recieved a phone call from his doctor saying that everything would be okay and they should be able to remove the cancer, do some chemo, and he should be just fine. The next day, my parents were supposed to have a meeting with several physicians to discuss the plan of action. Once my parents got to the hospital, they realized the doctors had already had the meeting and they gave us another kick in the gut. He told us that my dad was not a surgical candidate because his tumor is located very close to his heart and it was likely very vascular. If they attempted to do surgery, he would probably bleed to death, so surgery was not an option for us. That news was almost as difficult to swallow as the first news of cancer. They told him without treatment, he had less than one year left, but with treatment, he had 18mo to 2yrs. His doctors in Indiana made the decision to send him to Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tn to get another opinion. The doctor in Nashville agreed with the doctors in Evansville, but he told my parents that they didn't play God and they weren't going to tell him his limit on life. His doctors in Murray, Ky told him he had about a 20% chance of survival, but they weren't going to say difinitively. About 4-6wks after initial diagnosis, he had a power port put in his right chest and he started the first of 6wks of chemo and radiation. He started radiation 5 days a week and chemo (Carboplatin and Taxol) once a week for about 2hrs each time. I had not been home in about 4yrs, so I made the decision to surprise everyone, except my brother, and come home for 2wks. I arrived in Ky Saturday, July 28th with my son and daughter. My dad was a little shocked to see us, but he told me that he knew something was up because Matt was "acting wierd". My #2 mom was at work so we went to see her and I sent my son inside (he is 4) and she had to do a double take. She was definately surprised to see us! On monday, July 30th, my brother Matt and I went with dad to chemo and radiation and I got to meet his 2 doctors at the cancer center: Dr Ahmadi and Dr Geisi. I really like both of them and I was impressed by the care that I knew he was getting. I also met an AWESOME nurse (I can say this because I am one) named April and she talked to me like she had known me for years and she talked to me like a person, not an idiot. We were able to sit in his chemo treatment with him and be a part of the experience. While I was home, I was able to go to radiation with him 2 more times, which I cherished every minute. I know we don't know how long he has on earth, but I know I will be going home as often as I can and I will enjoy all of it! I can't bear the thought of not having my daddy there for me, my siblings, my son, and the rest of our family.

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  2. 2
    • MoesBaby
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcino...
    over 4 years ago
    MoesBaby's Avatar

    Chemotherapy and radiation combined

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    He is currently on Carboplatin and Taxol. He doen't really have too many side effects from the chemo, but he is pretty tired a lot. About 2-3 days after chemo, his left shoulder starts hurting and there isn't much that will help with the pain. About a week ago, he had to take a break from chemo and radiation because he had radiation burn and couldn't swallow, eat, or drink much. The doctors decided to take him in and scope his throat to see if he had a stricture. Once in his throat, they decided to back out because it was so burnt that they were afraid it would tear if they tried to balloon it. He has restarted chemo and radiation and has about 5 radiation treatments and 3 chemo treatments left.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • MoesBaby
    • Experience with Squamous Cell Carcino...
    over 4 years ago
    MoesBaby's Avatar

    Infection

    Oh No

    I got word from my sister (she is 14) that my dad's port has become infected. It has caused swelling to his chest (boob according to my sister) and down his arm. They have put him on some heavy duty antibiotics to help with the infection. On a good note, we are on a "wash out" period with chemo and radiation and then we will do another PET scan to see what did/didn't happen with his treatment.

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