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Picture of Topic Friends and family


Topic Friends and family

For anyone supporting someone else with cancer

  • 156 conversations

Newbie: one of a million questions!

Started by Anonymous on 31 March 2017 at 21:05



Hello everyone,

I have just signed up. 

My ex partner who i am still close to was diagnosed on 1st of March with lung cancer which has metastasised (sp?!?!!) into his bones.

He has had 2 weeks of v strong radiotherapy - in a public hospital (Rome,Italy) where his sister is a doctor. the family have been in touch with a centre in milan and they looked twice for receptors in order to be able to give luck.

in the meantime he was moved this monday to a private clinic and began Paclitaxel and Carboplatin chemotherapy. 

Unfortunately it turns out his insurance will not cover the astronomical fees for the private clinic so he is going to go to his sister's house tomorrow. His sister is not sure how it is going to go - she doesn't have a big place, is a single mother to a 20 and 15 y.o.

I am worn out already (although i just finally took a couple of days break) as i have been spending pretty much every other night on the floor of the hospital next to him- often being there for 16 hours at a time - public hospitals clearly cannot provide the one on one care i feel he needs - he would wake at 2.30 in pain - pain management seems to be a far lower priority here in italy than in the UK which I and british nurses i have spoken with about this find shocking. 

I assisted a friend who died of breast cancer aged 48 3 years ago. My ex (Luca) is going to be 56 in april.

I am trying to look after myself - have not been working (am a Guide here) nor answering any of my emails for work - cannot concentrate. Have been in touch with a voluntary support agency here - waiting to see if they are able to take me on - just had one hour assesment - should know next week.


My question right now: Paclitaxel and Carboplatin chemotherapy - I have managed to look it up - and I am wondering how long before any likely side effects may show seems to be a treatment he will be given once every 3 does it build up in the system? 


I am very concerned about what is going to happen Luca - although I have just got off the phone with my family who said that I really have to let his family sort it out...

As much as I want to be there for him (as a single woman i thought today maybe i should take him in) I fear for my sanity (his sister being a doctor, though not an oncologist, is heavily involved in his treatment and for example seems very anti morphine - there's another thing I would like to know: she says it is not necessarily the best thing for releif of bone pain - is that true? I have spoken to nurses who say that it is the drug of choice for pain relief... ) - so i feel that I have to take a bit of a step order to be sain and strong enough...if i were to take him in i think as my mum said it is likely that i would end up having rows with his family - i'm sure many of you have lived through the strain that this disease at this stage puts not only the sufferer but also all around them under...


ok...feel i am rambling a bit - and will see if any of you have any info/advice for me....


Thanks for reading,




Comments (3)

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Displaying 3 comments

  • From Anonymous
    03 April 2017 at 17:27

    Thank you Keith.

    Best wishes to you too,


  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    03 April 2017 at 10:12
    Edited on: 03 April 2017 at 10:14

    Hello Emma,

    This sounds a very difficult time for you - still close to Luca, but also knowing that his family are there for him too. Perhaps it might help to let him try managing at his sister's - but then offer respite for the odd weekend at yours ?

    Bone metastases can be uncomfortable for some people. I'm not sure if your ex had his radiotherapy for his bone mets, or for the lung cancer itself? There are a range of medications which can help relieve his pain, which includes morphine, but also the hospital team may suggest something like bisphosphonates which are given to strengthen the bones, relieve bone pain and reduce the risk of getting a broken bone. (Macmillan Cancer Support website).

    You asked about the chemotherapy regime he's on, and how quickly the side effects may accumulate. Paclotaxel and carboplatin (PC) like many chemotherapy regimes cause some side effects - and there's no way of knowing how many of those effects each person will experience. Some people get off very lightly, but most people are affected in on way or another. (The info highlighted above, is from Cancer Research UK, and explains what to look out for). He won't lose his hair till about the time of his second treatment (cycle). The tiredness levels often build up over the duration of the overall treatment.

    It makes sense, if you can, to step back a little and re-group. You sound emotionally and physically exhausted. It's important to look after your self too. Hopefully you could offer to help out with Luca, so his sister can have a break - but also giving her the space to get into the routine of having her brother living at her home.

    I'll message you and introduce myself - as you may have more questions, and this can feel a lonely and scary time...

    Warm wishes




  • From Anonymous
    01 April 2017 at 21:08

    Hi Emma,

    I read your post and was very touched by your concern for your ex-partner. Unfortunately, I can't offer any advice, other than to say for you to look after yourself.

    I hope others can provide the information you require.

    All The Best


Displaying 3 comments

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