I am 73 years old and have recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma in my left lung. I have lost 9kg since January due to the fact that I feel so nauseous all the time and am finding it so difficult to eat. I am trying to hold it together for the sake of my sons and husband. We have been married for 55 years and I am so sad that I have to leave him. I am also very frightened at what the end will be like. I am terrified of suffering a lot of pain. I have been to see the oncologist but her words were not very encouraging when I enquired roughly what time had I left. It could be 6 months and having chemotherapy will only give me extra months and not years. That is if the chemotherapy was able to shrink the tumour at all. She advised that there was only a 30% chance of this happening. I am now questioning whether it is worth putting myself through treatment and losing valuable time doing it is worthwhile.
Hi Nandi, can I just tell you our story, stage 4 lung cancer, incurable, 7% chance of treatment working. Fast forward two years, aged 73 year's old, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, ups, downs, bad days, good days, a two year blog on how we lived and we've just come home from our local pub having had a laugh and a good drink with friends. So you choose what you think is best for you, but don't give up just yet. Lots of good wishes your way, Carol and battling cancer hubby.
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. Neither the surgeon who performed the biopsy or the oncologist have given me much hope and I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Your kind words have really helped.
Hello Nandi and thank you for posting a question.
I am sorry to learn that you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. This must be a difficult situation for you and your family and I can appreciate your dilemma about whether to have treatment or not.
When the aim of chemotherapy treatment is to shrink a cancer, relieve symptoms and extend life, as you know, sometimes it will only extend life a little. In situations like this, it is necessary to balance the potential chemotherapy side effects against what it is expected to achieve. So in situations like this, some people do decide not to go ahead with the chemotherapy treatment. This can allow them more time to spend with their family and perhaps have a little more control of the situation. This is because they won't need to plan around hospital visits and appointments.
But it can be difficult to decide against treatment because some people do benefit, but unfortunately it is not possible to know in advance how an individual will respond. Another option that some people consider is starting treatment to see how it goes. If the hospital visits are too arduous or side effects are difficult to cope with, then chemotherapy can stop. Regardless of what you choose to do, if you have not already done so, do ask about being referred to a palliative care team. This is usually a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals who are experts in controlling the symptoms of advanced cancer. Nowadays health care professionals are very good at managing the symptoms of people who cannot be cured. So please be assured that everyone will do their best to make sure that your pain and other symptoms are well controlled.
A palliative care team should also be able to offer some support to you and your family. Hopefully you will be given time to discuss your concerns. I mention this because it can be really difficult to tell close family members how frightened you feel as you know that this may be upsetting for them. Although you have posted in the nurses's topic area you may find that some of our other lovely forum members come forward and offer support. You are also very welcome to give us a call if you think it might help. Mesothelioma UK also offer information and support and they have specialist nurses that you can contact if you wanted to talk things through.
Please get back to us if you think that it might help If you want to talk the number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday (closed public holidays).
You're very welcome. The treatment can shrink the tumour, as it did my husband's, take all the support you can and decide what is best for you. Our consultant told us we had a very small chance of keeping it under control but would fight for us if he was willing to fight for himself. Pop onto my posts if you want to talk, there are quite a few of us chatting everyday and boosting each other up. Take care, Carol.
I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, my dad has just also been diagnosed with mesothelioma so I’ve done a lot of research on it over the past few months. Have you been offered any clinical trials at all as there are several across the U.K. for this condition? Has your oncologist discussed your suitability for Zolendronic acid or immunotherapy drugs? Have you been in touch with mesothelioma charities who can help you with welfare rights? I wish you all the best of luck with your chemo and hope the 30% chance you mentioned will be in your favour, stay hopeful. Lauren
Hi Carol, what treatment did your husband get for his Meso? was it just chemo or did he also get Zolendronic acid or immunotherapy drugs? My dad has just also been diagnosed with mesothelioma so I’ve done a lot of research on it over the past few months. The decisions we make are crucial so need any advice we can get, he has been offered a few clinical trials and I’ve also looked at Meso trials myself the one that looks the best I think is an immunotherapy drug trial. Thanks Lauren
Hi, my husband has smoking related cancer so I can't answer your question I'm afraid. However each treatment of chemo is gauged to the type of cancer you have, so targeting each individual. So trust your consultant as they will set the treatment for you, research is good but trust your consultant as they k ow what is best. Hope this helps a little bit. Kind regards Carol