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Small Cell Lung Cancer - growth in the brain?

(84 Posts)
Katymac Thu 04-Feb-16 20:37:43

Dad has been ill for some time - he is now dying

The growth in his brain is what he will die of - but how will he die?

Will he just go to sleep, or have a stroke or an aneurysm or a heart attack

Everyone is being vague & despite saying he could have morphine at 'any time' now he has asked for it they have given him antidepressants angry

CMOTDibbler Thu 04-Feb-16 20:47:38

I'm sorry your dad has got to this end of life stage. People with brain tumours usually get more and more sleepy, until they don't wake up and gently stop breathing.

The antidepressants may be for pain control - some of them are very effective for nerve pain, even more so than morphine and without causing constipation and the other side effects.

If you are worried, then talk to his palliative care or hospice at home team as they will be able to explain decisions and what will happen

Katymac Thu 04-Feb-16 20:51:44

They should 'help him sleep' apparently - I read the side effects which do include drowsiness (esp when taken with alcohol - & he has lots still) plus suicides in teenagers & young people!!

I asked for some antidepressants for him at the beginning of Jan & the MacMillian nurse said they wouldn't work in time as they take 4 weeks to kick in

It's just rotten for him

CMOTDibbler Thu 04-Feb-16 21:30:52

If its amitryptaline then it does help sleep. My mum had them for a long time as they both helped her pain and gave her a good nights sleep. Its a lower dose than when used as an antidepressant though.

It is rotten. But the hospice team (are they involved?) can make it as least bad as possible.

Katymac Thu 04-Feb-16 21:32:25

No - I'd recognise that (I've taken it)

I googled but I can't remember & it was on my mum's computer

Katymac Thu 04-Feb-16 21:36:57


I think they thought he would go quicker

Katymac Fri 05-Feb-16 11:51:28

He has oromorph now - for pain in his left eye

Cel982 Fri 05-Feb-16 12:04:31

Really sorry to hear you're going through this, OP.

Yes, mirtazapine is often used to aid sleep, as well as for its antidepressant effect.

As CMOT said, with brain mets (and other terminal cancers as well), people tend to spend more and more of their time asleep, until eventually they're sleeping all the time. And then gradually their breathing changes and slows, until eventually it stops. In most cases it's a very peaceful process.

Is your Dad at home, or in a hospice, or somewhere else?

Katymac Fri 05-Feb-16 14:34:57

He is in a hospital bed downstairs at home the 'Hospice at Home' team usually only go in for a few days/a week until either the patient goes or the SS carers go in

But they have been coming for 4 weeks now & are a bit confused

whatisforteamum Sat 06-Feb-16 10:18:20

Sorry Katymac that you are in this situation,My Dad has small cell cancer too and has oramorph.You are a bit further ahead than us.Im thinking of

Katymac Sat 06-Feb-16 12:01:38

My Dad has been pretty well until this year (apart from post radio exhaustion)

This is the first (& apparently only) pain he has had all through his treatments

Good luck & hugs to your family

NannyPlumForPrimeMinister Sat 06-Feb-16 13:47:44

Hi Katymac,

We haven't quite reached your stage yet, but I have found this link about symptom timelines that may be of help

Brain Hospice timeline

Thinking of you and your family. It is the unknown that I am really worried about flowers

Katymac Sat 06-Feb-16 14:13:15

Thanks for that - I think we have been at 5-7 days for about 3 weeks now, he was at 2-3 days the first week in January & then rallied & has remained at 5-7 days since then

It's just horrid - I feel so sorry for myself and DD & my mum and so angry that he seems to have no mental support at all

Katymac Sat 06-Feb-16 16:34:10

My brother thinks he may progress differently to that link as it's not a brain tumour but a secondary lung cancer growth whatever that means

NannyPlumForPrimeMinister Sat 06-Feb-16 17:06:57

I wondered that too, my dad has NSCLC with numerous brain mets, one of which is on his brain stem (the area that makes you breathe/heart beat and things).

I considered emailing the owner of that website to ask her opinion on brain mets rather than brain tumours but haven't.

I really feel for you at the moment, I spend hours worrying about how it is going to pan out in the end x

I am hoping my dad's brain stem met gets swollen and he just suddenly goes sad

Katymac Sat 06-Feb-16 18:41:41

My dad's seems to be on his left side gross motor skills......maybe

They keep saying that it isn't a proper metastases & then write metastases on his diagnosis hmm

Thanks to everyone for their good wishes and all my best to everyone who has some one poorly atm

Hassled Sat 06-Feb-16 18:44:22

Katy I'm so sorry you're at this stage - I have no advice, but will be thinking of you x

Katymac Sat 06-Feb-16 20:01:33

Thanks Hassled

Katymac Sat 06-Feb-16 22:46:24

Awful day today - helooked trapped in his head unable to do or say what he wanted

ApplesinmyPocket Sun 07-Feb-16 21:52:14

I'm so sorry, Katy. He sounds like such an amazing, lovely man (from his writings that you once posted a link to.)

Thinking of you.

Katymac Mon 08-Feb-16 14:07:00

Thanks Apples - it's lovely that you remember his 'book'

My brother is being quite slow posting stuff on it

He slept all day yesterday and hardly ate a thing

NannyPlumForPrimeMinister Tue 09-Feb-16 12:04:13

How was your dad yesterday Katy?

Katymac Tue 09-Feb-16 12:49:07

Thanks for asking - he was awake more & ate 3 meals

It seems to be very up & down atm

My brother is over from Sweden on Saturday

whatisforteamum Tue 09-Feb-16 14:32:09

Thinking of you Katymac.Lovely that your brother is coming over smile x

Katymac Tue 09-Feb-16 15:12:08

NannyPlum this at the bottom f Page 7 suggests metastases progress the same as actual tumours - but I don't know how up to date or accurate it is

Thanks Whatisfortea DD will be home for half-term too so big family thing I guess - her 18th birthday party last December will be the last 'family' party he went too

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