My dad was diagnosed 1/25/13 with Stage IV NSCLC with mets to brain & liver.
Dad was always a fairly heavy smoker of menthol cigarettes. He had been previously diagnosed with COPD.
He received whole brain radiation for the brain mets and that seemed to ease the headaches & did shrink the tumors a bit.
The lung tumor is located in the right paratracheal region. He started chemo. He received Carbolatin/Avastin. He did seem to tolerate this ok. No major side effects. He did treatment every 3 weeks, for a total of 3 treatments. The CT showed minimal shrinkage (around 2mm) and also some necrosis was evident. He then took a treatment of Taxotere. That was on a Monday, by Wednesday he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. He stayed in the hospital in isolation (due to very low white counts) until the following Monday and was released on Tuesday. It is now Thursday and he is still pretty weak, but doing better.
The latest CT (before taxotere) states there is moderate to severe emphysema. The results of the CT also state "Necrotic aggressive appearing mass of the right paratracheal region with narrowing and invasion of the superior vena cava and encroachment on the ascending aorta" It also says to consider small cell carcinoma or metastatic disease. We had been told previously it was NSCLC.
I am concerned about superior vena cava syndrome. I'm afraid that between that and the severity of his COPD there will not be other chemo that could be tolerated and beneficial. Would Almita?
I am going to the dr. with them on Monday. It doesn't seem like she (oncologist) is very giving on information unless asked. I'm trying to research and have questions ready. I wonder if it's time to discuss pallative care. I know my parents are not ready, but I hate to see my dad suffering.
I appreciate any input or guidance anyone can give.