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Lung cancer, undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Will I be in a lot of pain before I die?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1210 Questions
I have non small lung cancer i ead given 2 months to live without trratment. The tumor is wrapped aroind my tracha esophagus juggler vien and catrutiord artrery. I underwent 15 chemo treatments and 31 radiation august of 2011 they found a new tumor in my right lung and did surgery to remove it.the original tumor was 41/2 inches they got it fown to 21/2. Iam very scared about how much pain i will have before i die.i have a six year old gtanddaughter i have been taising since she was 4 monyhs old, her mother walked out and my XXXXXXX has custody they live nextdoor to us.we have yold hrr iam sick and might die soon we have msde the desion for me to die at home, but i dont want to svare her, will i be in alot of pain??
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 58 minutes later

Thanks for writing.

I appreciate your courage and effort considering all that you are going through.

I guess you are very much attached to your grand-daughter and that is the main concern for you at this stage rather than the disease itself. This is quite natural and she is fortunate to have such a caring grandma like you. But anyway, grandmas are always caring!

Now coming to your disease course, from your information, it seems that the disease has responded and a new lesion came up, which was operated. It is not clear why you have been given a time of two months to live. Is your tumor growing again and unresponsive to therapy?

Unfortunately inoperable lung cancers eventually reach this stage, sooner or later and patients are more likely to die from the disease rather than other causes. Pain can vary from patient to patient and can not be predicted. There are many effective pain medicines (including morphine) which may be used in appropriate indications to alleviate your pain. Staying at home at the terminal stage is perfectly fine and has been shown to improve the quality of life as against dying in a hospital.

Your grand-daughter is six years old and she can understand some of it but definitely not everything. It is not about scaring her but to get her to accept the facts slowly. I think she would at least understand that you won't be with her for long. Gradually she would come to terms with it. Not having her mother at home is certainly a bit of a problem. Her dad has a lot of work to do in this setting. Maybe you can take help of a counselor also.

I hope the information will be of some help to you. Please feel free to post any other query coming across to your mind.

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