Lung Cancer

A support group for anyone affected by lung cancer to come together, share experiences, and ask questions.

to have or not have 2nd course of chemo??

Posted by
We got the news on Monday that we were dreading and that my dad cancer has grown from first lot of chemo and also a new tumour has appeared. We now find our self in the position that they have suggested my dad start another 12 weeks of chemo. My dads cancer is terminal and the outlook from the bits and pieces I have picked up do not seem great. When my dad went through the last lot of chemo he suffered terribly. He had severe stomach pains of which he explained to be like the pain of stomach ulcers he suffered from years ago. He was in and out of hospital very tearful(which is not like him at all) and generally more unwell than before. The hard thing about all this is my dad is still the same as he was before being diagnosed. He is slightly more out of breath but still does everything for himself and not unwell. When doing chemo he was so unwell. He has just finally got back to the man we know and they want him to go through it again. This time he will lose all his hair and the side effects of the new drug look pretty similar to what he suffered before. The trouble is my dad doesn’t understand thankfully that he is expected to get quite ill quick soon and that his chances are not great. We now have to make the decision as to whether do what the doctor has suggested or not. If he goes ahead with the chemo and starts to feel ill are we wasting precious time we have left. The last lot didn’t work so why will this lot?? Its so hard me being selfish wants him to try everything if it means he’s here longer, but why make him suffer more quickly by having chemo when he is felling great atthe moment?? Who can i talk to for straight answers as to how long they think my dads got left without my dad knowing as he has said he would rather not know!!

Sorry to ramble on any help would be appreciated.Wendy x

Posted by

May I ask how old your dad is? I think he needs to be consulted on the decision and it should be his choice.

I have terminal lung cancer which has spread. I had two lots of chemo and main tumor in my lungs had not grown at all so I went for another two chemo treatments. After those, the tumor had increased in size. I went for a second opinion and was offered more chemo but they doubted it would help a lot. They said it would give me maybe a month or two more but only if it worked.

I am feeling reasonable at the moment, tired but I can still do a lot of things I want to. I have decided on no more chemo. It is as you say, I feel as if I would lose precious time with my loved ones. You don't want your dad feeling like crap for maybe weeks when he has limited time.

This is just my view of course. I didn't want to know how long I had, I would rather concentrate on today. I have discussed it with the family and they agree, quality rather than quantity. I am sure some people would disagree with me but it is just my opinion.


Stay strong Wendy and good wishes to your dad,

Rosie x

Posted by

Hi Wendy,

I'm sorry you're going through this.

In our experience, and with what we know now dad wouldn't have had any chemo.  Like your dad he was fit and well upon his termnial diagnosis and was offered palliative chemo.  From the second lot he just deterioated and his quality of life was taken away from him step by step.  He suffered terribly and it was a huge relief when he went because it was heartbreaking to watch him waste away and be in so much pain.

Lung cancer is a horrible, quick killer, and that is going to happen anway and treatment we thought just prolonged his suffering.  We lost dad in December and I'm sure without treatment we would have lost him sooner, but at least he may have stood a chance of feeling better in those weeks leading up to his death.

It's a very personal thing and no-one can advise you, it's only natural that you want to hang onto your dad as much as possible.  I hope you find some answers and can enjoy lots more time together.


Posted by

My sister has been battling lung cancer for the last 2 years and until her last PET scan, things seemed to be going well. Unfortunately that scan showed growth in the tumor, plus  it has spread to her liver and is in her lymph nodes in her stomach.

She has been put on a palliative round of chemo and they placed a Pleurex(?) catheter into her lung so that her lung can be drained here at home, no more trips to the emergency room for that. She knows she's terminal and the doctors advised as long as her body tolerates the chemo, they'll keep giving it to her as long as she wants. It's her choice right now.

I'm taking care of her now, until recently she was fine, almost as if nothing was wrong. She was told she had 6-8 months. I'm on such uncertain ground. I have researched end stage lung cancer and know what some of the general signs of  the progression of the disease. But, I wish the doctors would be more helpful on what's going to happen with her. What I need to do.

I don't want her to suffer, so far the chemo hasn't adversely affected her. She wants to stay here as long as possible for her grandkids.

I agree that it's a personal decision on whether or not to continue the chemo, it's a decision I would hate to have to make.

Good luck to you and your family.....

Posted by

Hi, I guess I am writing to confirm what has been said in the previous replies. My own position is terminal and I have just finished a second course of chemo'. A little like other medicines, the view is that second, and subsequent, courses of chemo' are progressively less effective. When I completed the second cycles of chemo' I told my wife that 'that's it, I'm not having any more'. (I will probably change my mind but with strings...?) Since getting the original diagnosis I have been really well. In fact were it not for chemo' side-effects I would have felt totally normal. Having said this, both courses have probably bought me an additional six months. (I had a particularly good response to the first course - less so to the more recent.) My plan going forwards is perhaps to accept further chemo' but with close monitoring. For example I will request XRay/CT Scan after say two infusions to see if I am getting any benefit. If I can determine at an early stage that it is unlikely that the chemo' is going to offer me much then I shall quit it then. This way I will feel as if I have given the chemo' a chance and I will have met the wishes of my family. By the way, my family are wonderful. There is no pressure on me and at all stages my wife and immediate family leave the decisions to me. My belief now is that quality is more important to me than quantity. I know the disease is going to run its course and I expect I have one year, possibly two. I want to enjoy what time I have left and I want to be as 'normal' as possible for my family. I hope this is a little helpful to you?