Cancer, two Questions one medical one pastoral

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  • Cancer, two Questions one medical one pastoral
  • project

    Tell them,they need to know,a freind has just had a quarter of her lung removed, and haveing chemo therapy, she is still looking well.


    Don’t do what my family did – and not even mention the C word until years of Radiotherapy and drugs are no longer able provide a cure..

    Looking back, I wish my family had been up front and discussed the possibilities from the onset.

    Good Luck to your FIL.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode

    Hi itstig

    Sorry to hear about the FIL.

    My wife is a thoracic nurse and sees lung biopsies quite often. She says they are quite intrusive – usually an incision through the side of the rib cage and under general anesthetic.

    Will be in hospital a few days and might need to have a chest drain in at first.

    As for telling the kids – yes you should tell them. Get things out in the open – they need time to come to terms with everything as well.


    Danny B

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    I’ll go with the others here on the pastoral side. When it looked as though I had something I told my kids immediately. This meant that we could then talk properly through everything else that was happening but it had the hugely surprising effect that as soon as they told their friends at school they all came out with stories of parents and relatives that had gone through similar things and so were able to share their experiences. It was fantastic

    Mrs mW has a brain tumour and is currently laid low with a programme of chemotherapy. We didn’t really have to break the news to anyone all that young as the youngest family member is 21 so we were just straight up with everyone from the first appointment. We took the approach that the facts were the facts and should be treated separately from the emotions that inevitably follow.

    Get it out in the open, the worst part is telling people for the first time, once you get that out of the way and start to come to terms with what the news means to each person then you can start to deal with things as they happen for better or worse.

    Best of luck and heres hoping that your father in law will be as well as he can be for as long as he can be.


    Itstig, found myself in a similar situation. Hospital informed my dad that he has tumours in his bladder and has to go in for a CT scan in 2 weeks time. We thought it was prostate problems that was causing the blood in his urine. We were numb when driving back from the hospital and now have an anxious wait to find out whether it’s spread. It’s shit.

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    The waiting and not knowing is horrible. I hope the weeks pass quickly

    Best of luck and heres hoping that your father in law will be as well as he can be for as long as he can be.

    Brilliantly put. +1


    My mum had a lung biopsy and subsequent surgery.

    Didn’t help though – October 2010 initial diagnosis, operation over Christmas, pumped full of drugs that made her life hell and died in June 2011.

    Premier Icon itstig

    My father in law had a tumour removed from his bladder 2 weeks ago. Called in by his consultant today and was told it was a malignant tumour and his scan also shows a shadow in one of his lungs which they want a biopsy from, not good. Apparently he’s been given 3 years max.
    Anyway how invasive is a lung biopsy?
    How do you tell your kids (they are young adults really)at the moment we’ve been sworn to secrecy until after the biopsy. Thanks

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    My dad had a tumour taken out of his neck a week ago, plus loads of biopsy samples around the area to see what type it is. Based on initial results looks like it hasn’t spread thankfully so he may need RT and may avoid any follow up completely, depends what the biopsy says (results tomorrow)

    We told his granddaughters 9,7,6 as much as we could as soon as we could, if you contact McMillan they have some child friendly books they’ll send you that you can either give to the kids to read or use to guide what you tell them.

    Our situation was a bit different because we have a family friend (mum of school friends) who has late stage incurable brain cancer, and we felt we had to discuss it before particularly my eldest twigged about the lump in grandad’s neck, and got herself worried about it. So we told them the truth, that cancer is a name for a group of different types of lumps, some cancers are curable, and based on what grandad’s surgeon had said he thought this one was a treatable one. But you know your kids better than us.


    Have been in a similar positon. Tell everyone as soon as you can, enjoy as much time together and put any family problems in the past. Make the most of any local support groups you come across. Conversations with your father in law may be difficult to have to start with but talk as much as possible about what he wants now and in the future.


    There are various ways to biopsy a lung mass, depending on where it is. If it is close to an airway, they will do it via bronchoscopy under sedation. If it is near the edge of the lung, it can be done via a CT guided biopsy under local anaesthetic or via thoracoscopy (keyhole surgery) under general anaesthetic.

    Ask your father in laws’s physician (with his consent, you could make an appointment for a phone consultation via his secretary) for more details if you need them – as medical professionals, we often forget that the general public don’t see this every day and don’t know what a biopsy entails and how scary the uncertainty is at this time.

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