Thursday, August 22, 2013

Disability Stage 4 Lung Cancer

Sitting down with my oncologist Tuesday … we talked about latest symptoms of fatigue, fatigue and more fatigue … chemo fog ... intermittent knee pain … intermittent dizziness … intermittent shortness of breath … phlegmy cough and mucus with chemotherapy.

Chemo fog and associated mental confusion so impaired my ability to complete Patti's Long Term Care renewal ... that what should take a week of paperwork took weeks ... and almost caused me a catastrophic misfiling of her renewal.

Expressing my desire to try radiation on the remaining tumor (after all I went through 10 whole brain radiation treatments with out a problem and worked throughout the treatment) ... she explains that while radiation could attack the tumor it would do nothing about the potential spread of cancer … this is Stage 4 and metastasis is a constant threat … seen or unseen.

After 12 weeks off getting my butt kicked by aggressive chemotherapy, I share that I NEED to return to work  … except I hear the unimaginable words “you may never work a full day again” ... “you may never return to your previous level of abilities”…chemo side effects can be cumulative and each patient is different ... this is the worst time for chemo patients in her opinion ... combining side effects with quality of life ... my oncologist suggests considering applying for social security disability for me and inquire about hospice nursing at home to help take the load off Megan. 

Cold hands reach up from the chemo fog and scratch "depression" on the symptom list before dragging me down the rabbit hole …

We agree to postpone Chemo Round 4, take a brief break from chemo, digest 'quality of life' issues and talk again next week.

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. Huge load of overwhelming info... I do understand the depression thing.... sending positive thoughts and love your way...


    1. Thanks Jackie you are always so kind and yes I am learning trying to outlive lung cancer is not only physical but about mental health, especially in my odyssey where cancer must be secondary to caregiving ... I MUST be able to transfer and lift Patti