Question re the progression of Stage 4 NSCLC

Specialties Hospice


Hi All- I have a question for all you seasoned hospice nurses. My 79 year old father was diagnosed with Stage 4 undifferentiated NSCLC on November 12 , 2008. He has a 7 cm tumor in his rt middle lobe and a 2 cm in his left upper. At thet time he was 123 lbs...usually 145. He opted for no treatment and was given 4-6 months prob. less. He was placed on Hospice. Hospice has been wonderful. His nurse comes every week and they basically look at each other. My dad has gained all his weight back and seems totally normal to me. His nurse says the only sign of cancer is no breath sounds in the rt middle lobe. Nothing else has changed since diagnosis. He is on no meds or oxygen. He has no pain. He says he feels tired when he works in the yard etc but rests a few min and is back at it. I came home the other day and he was sawing down branches with a hand saw.

My question to you all is, does this seem odd. I guess I would have expected some symptoms by now. Even his nurse is stumped.

What do you all think?

Thanks so much.


140 Posts

It's different for everybody... Calm before the storm? Try to enjoy it.


10 Posts

Specializes in Hospice.

I agree calm before the storm, Ive seen cancer do this alot, people go months perfectly fine then it seems like overnight they get hit full force and usually they go quickly. God bless you and your father.


6 Posts

Thank you!

Lorie P.

754 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Private Duty Peds.

it person is different, i know of 1 pt that has been like this for 3 yrs, but justlast week he took a turn for the worse.

so please enjoy the time you have with him that he is still able to do things.


63 Posts

Specializes in OB, MS, Education, Hospice.

This has to do with his tumor burden--the cancer cells are still multiplying...and at some point he will begin experience respiratory symptoms, symptoms suggestive of metastasis-- or possibly a rapid decline due to tumor encroachment on other structures. Enjoy your time with him--I am glad he feels so well right now--this is a blessing for all of you for sure...

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