I am writing from India, and this is my situation.
My father was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma of Lung Stage IIIB in Nov.2005. At that time many doctors gave him a max. of 2 months of survival.
We went to a new oncologist who is very highly respected in all circles(i donot wish to disclose his name).He told us the situation can be 'controlled' but not 'cured' and that my father would have a healthy and long life as long as we identify what medicine works for him best.
After this, rest is history. My father was undergoing chemotherapy using many drugs and we finally settled on Alimta, which seemed to do wonders for him. Compared to other patients at the hospital my father was alwys very healty, no weight loss, hair loss etc. He is a very strong willed person and maintains a very positive attitude towards life and followed a good fitness regime. it was impossible for anyone to even guess that he suffered from cancer in last stages.The oncologist says, these qualities have helped him more, if not same as the chemotherapy.
In Jan 2007, we performed a CT Scan and it showed that the tumor in the right lung had shrunk to 1.2 cm x 1.1 cm. Our oncologist was very hopefull and joyed. So were we. Finally, we had belled the cat.
The situation was well under controll for many months.
Few months back, due to some un-forseen financial cirumstances, we could not administer the chemotherapy to my father for about a month and at that time his diet too was very poor. As a result, he had lost almost 15Kgs in 20 days.
When we finally could get around to his treatment and our oncologist suggested immediate CT Scan and Bone Scan as he was having severe pain in his lower back and was unable to get up or even walk.
The CT Scan shows multiple tumors in the right lung,rib-cage and the liver. The bone scan has confirmed multiple extensive damage sites at the spine, femur, pelvis, few ribs, and the skull base.
Our oncologist has told me that the cancer is now in the last stage and nothing much can be done. He gave me a time frame of max. 12 months(my father still doesnot know). Its been two months now.
The oncologist has administered half a dose of Alimta to my father for the time being as his body was too week due to bad diet. He seems to be taking it well. He is gaining weight now, seems more healthy, blood count etc. has moved up and his diet is well take care of. I must say that our oncologist is very pleased with these developments and is confident that my father can battle this out as Alimta seems to be his 'miracle drug'. But yet, my father experiences extreme pain in all his bones. We have been suggested some nuclear medicine for the same.
Our oncologist is one of the best in India and has received many presidential awards and has many clients from even US and UK. He tells us that my fater's strong will power and zest for life will keep him well and we should not be too concerned.
What would be your opinion on this? How long does my father have? Can i make it easier for him in any way?