Together we will beat cancer


My dad has sclc

3 Dec 2019 23:17

Hi I'm just after some advice, 

my dad has SCLC (small cell lung cancer) which has now metastasised to his liver, kidney and lymph nodes, When we got this news back in Oct he went down hill really fast I thought he only had a matter of weeks left, he has since however got used to the news and seems to be being himself a lot more, however the pain has got a lot worse and he has now been given Oramorph to take. What I'd like to know is a timescale, I know that sounds bad but it's not just me loosing my dad but my 4 children loosing there granddy, that's what they call him and I'd like to be as prepared as possible, I know everyone's "journey" is different and I've spent countless hours googling and reading people's different stories but I still feel none the wiser. How long have we got left with my dad? What is the process once oramorph is prescribed? Devastated to say the least but would rather know some first hand facts as such  

thanks for reading hay xx

My dad has sclc

4 Dec 2019 14:21 in response to Hay901

Hi Hay901

I'm so very sorry about your Dad.

My own father passed away from SCLC in November 2018.  He was diagnosed in November 2016 with limited stage cancer and the prognosis at the time was 8 weeks if he didn't have treatment.  He had an initial treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy which controlled the cancer for at least a year if not more but it did metastatise to his spine and further into his lungs and lympth nodes.  He had another two courses of chemotherapy treatment and radiotherapy to control the pain in his spine.

For about the last 8 months of his life, he was regularly taking Oramorph twice a day to control the pain and was predominantly bed bound.  In June 2018, he was told that he wasn't well enough for further treatment and was told he had circa three months, but he survived for five months.

As you say, everyone's journey is very different and pain thresholds vary so in my opinion, using the frequency of Oramorph isn't necessarily a reliable indicator as to how long someone might have.  My Dad had a very high pain threshold so we knew when he was requesting Oramorph every couple of hours that the pain for him was unbearable but that could be very different for someone else.

There were a few times over this two year period that we thought it was time as he had contracted infections or generally didn't feel well so he was hospitalised on three or four occasions but he always seemed to bounce back but you could gradually see him physically deteriorating over time.  There was never anything wrong with him mentally though, he was always his usual self.

I can only give you the indicators that we had when Dad was about 10 days from passing.  I hope this helps and you don't find it distressing.  I'm also the sort of person who needs to know as much as possible so most of my time was spent researching on what could be expected.

He had told me he felt weird, he was sleeping a lot and we would struggle to rouse him from his sleep, he stopped communicating with us, he couldn't swallow or drink, he ceased passing urine or faeces and the day before he passed, he slipped into a coma.  On the day he passed he was cold and clammy and his breathing changed (cheyne stoking).  He left us at 9:00 pm.

Sorry for the long post but I think what I'm trying to say is that it's difficult to put a timescale on it as there are many variants.  You generally get a rough idea in terms of months or weeks based upon their general wellbeing but Dad went into what's called 'active dying' so quickly that I don't think we expected it at that time.  My best advice is enjoy every day and never leave anything unsaid.

I wish you all the very best.