Stage 4 adenocarcinoma lung cancer

My husband who is a non smoker/never smoked a day in his life was diagnosed Aug 10th 2009 with stage 111b adenocarcinoma lung cancer, but on tuesday Aug 11th 2009 after the MRI to rule out the brain, we were called and the resluts showed one lession in the brain. We went last wednesday to the radiation Dr and Matt started radiation the very next morning, his second treament was then again on Friday and start over again on Monday morning. He will go a total of 10 visits. "Treat the brain before you can treat the lungs".. How scary is that. The Dr's Keep telling him. My golly the only symptom my husband Matt even has is a cough. Are they sure?... I am very afraid, he's only 42 and he's my hole world, my betterhalf, my lover, my friend and I dont know how to help him. He's got a mass in his upper right lobe, 6.5 by 5.8 and smaller masses in the lower right lobe as well. He has lymph nodes that are inlarged around his esophagus. This is all happening so fast. Riverside Hosptial (Columbus Ohio), is where he is choosing to go. Everyone there has been so helpful, my family and friends are also being very helpful. My question to everyone is what kind of assistance is available financially? Matt works 122 miles round trip away and all though he wants to continue to work, the cost of drivng back and forth not only in money but in health may not be worth it in the long run. I'm a nurse (LPN), with decent income and decent insurance, not to many avenues have been given to us for copay assistance or out of pocket expence's. The Hospotal wants to go by my last 3 months income to qualify. three months ago we didn't have this problem we have no money saved for a rainy day and we live paycheck to paycheck as most the rest of the country does. HELP where do we go, who do we call. Are there any programs available out there nationwide? I found this site by accident and now I after reading alot of journal entries I have a little more hope. Thank you to all of you who have shared your experiences on line its very nice to know he's not the only one out there afraid and going through the same kind of misfortunes.

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I am so sorry that you are going through this. I am the patient, but if it were my husband I don't know what we would do financially. One possibility might be Social Security Disability. I understand that certain stages of lung cancer are approved pretty much automatically. I briefly looked into it, but the problem for me was that there is a 24-month wait for Medicare. The State I live in doesn't have anything for interim coverage. I need to remain employed in order to keep my medical. I would also think that the financial office at the hospital where he is being treated might have some leads for assistance, as well as social services. I will keep you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers.

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If you look to the right of this posting, you will see a list of all kinds of resources for different things.

Team Inspire that runs this site will no doubt respond as well. I am so sorry that you have entered this living hell. I know that you and your husband are in a state of shock and everything seems surrreal. that is how it is in the beginning.

He is a young man and should be able to withstand the treatments they offer him.

It will have to a day at a time and a minute at a time until you have a chance to catch your breath and get the supports on board that you will need.

My heart and prayers go out to you. Just put one foot in front of the other for now. If you have friends and family, pull in all your resources to support you through this. God Bless

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Sounds pretty similar to what I have.

Same stage, fist-sized in right, etc., etc.

I worked for 2 months, gradually going from full time to about 24 hours a week.

I would suggest now that your husband look into the disability at work, how it works, leave, and etc. Work disability generally pays better than social security, however, you have to apply for social security as well and then they deduct. He's an automatic for social security (that still leaves 5 months without income or income below $980 a month) before benefits ACTUALLY kick in, though the approval like I said is automatic and you'll 'know' right away. One less thing to worry about K?

I was like within a month of having been working for a year when my disability would have taken effect. Phew. Like I said they deduct social security once it starts, but it paid 50% of my salary and started before the social security would have (this particular plan required your reduction to go down to 20% to take effect, I was diagnosed in May and beginning of June took effect -- I had been thee a year mid-February so like I said *phew*. Lot of paperwork, get it over with now (more at work than at social security). Go online for the social security number, call for an appointment and start filling out the paperwork.

I hope your husband qualifies, it has made a huge difference (still half income and I had to rent my daughter's room to her dad but hey ... it worked).

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Take things one step at a time......There are many here who will give great advice and many having the same issues. Cathy, my wife is 35, non smoker and stage 4 NSCLS. She immigrated to the US 8 years ago and worked full time for 3 years. They told her she could NOT get disability because she had not worked long enough.
Cathy also had mets to the brain...radiation took care of those but it was hard on her....sick to stomach and hair loss....She got some pills to take prior to radiation and all was well. She had chemo, Carbo/taxol and avastin was added after brain mets were taken care of. 8 months later saw progression and went to Tarceva....fisrt scan showed "dramatic improvement" in both lungs. She has been on it 6 months and bt the grace of God is doing fantastic.
Her only symptom was a cough as well. Actually, we waidted almost 6 weeks while they treated her for pnumonia.
Again....stay strong, positive and take things one step at a time. We are here together!

Bill & Cathy

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My husband is also Stage 4, had brain tumor removed, then WBR and upper lobe removed. Also had gamma knife for activity around brain tumor site and chemo.
Applied for disability when company downsized and then applied for SS disability same time. SS approved within two weeks. Missed one month pay in May due to short term changing to long term and then again this month when SS kicked in. They pay on your birth date and he is 26th. We pay Cobra ins for him which will last until Medicare starts. The payment for this year is $96/mo,(reduction by Obama) and then will be $300 until Medicare kicks in. It was hard to loose 35% of his pay but we are ok and I work full time.
I paid the copays by monthly payments when they were high and that will probably continue, at least they are getting paid.
But he is doing well and has been NED 18 months, Thank God, and that is all that matters.
Anyway, it is correct that Stage 4 is approved faster. Alot of paperwork and make sure you make copies of everything.
Good luck

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i michigan i had to file for ssi..once i did that the state gave me medicade and state ssi ...because you have to be disabled for 6 months to qualify for ssi...i don't get much. i was making about 1500.00 a month working. now i live on 745.00 a month and my rent and phone come to 650.00 a month so it really sucks...i was at the same place of employement for 8 years and they won't let me come back , even for 2 days a week which i am allowed to now i am looking for a job and it is almost impossible...anyways good luck to most states, when you have cancer, you automaticly qualify for funds...

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All of the advice you've received is good, but if I was in your shoes, I'd start by dealing with the social workers at the hospital. They deal with this situation all the time and should be able to point you in the right direction.

Try not to worry too much. You will have to jump through some hoops and beat some bushes but you will find the help you need. You found us, so I can see that you are already a good bush beater!! LOL!

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My mother was diagnosed with NSCLC in May of 2008, and that exact night I needed information! I requested information from It took about 2 months to receive the information, but they do have an entire book with financial resources as well as so much other information that I only received recently, but has been helpful.

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I am sorry to hear what you are going through husband is 54 and got diagnosed in March and it turned our world upside down. I do know that I pay my bills every month what I can afford. I have told all the medical companies that is all I can do. Most have been accomadating. I will say I love Riverside...if he has chemotherapy I love Columbus Oncology. My husband had the best doctor there. They are affiliated with Riverside. He starts radiation on Wednesday at Riverside. I know all the bills are scary but what else can you do? We have to try all we can to win this battle.

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Everyone else had some great advice for you. Just to add, these three organizations offer co-pay assistance for medications. This can be helpful for things like chemotherapy drugs, pain medications, and other drugs that might go along with cancer treatment:

Cancer Care Co-Pay Assist Program

HealthWell Foundation

Patient Access Network Foundation

Hope that helps!


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Diseasewise, I feel that I am very nearly in the same boat as your husband, i.e. St. 4 Adenocarsinoma lung cancer and have never smoked. We are only guessing I got it through Radon exposure. At any rate, I have been fighting for 3.5 yrs and am doing reasonably well. I go to the James Cancer Center in Columbus and have been very satisfied with the way things are going. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of drugs out there that have been approved by the FDA for treatment of lung cancer. If something good can happen, I happen to be 72 yrs. old so Medicare has been my saving grace. The drug I am on now is Nexavar which is approved for liver and kidney cancer. The Oncologist decided to try this but since it is not approved for lung cancer Medicare does not automatically pick up the tab (it is a BIG one) as is all cancer treatment. The Oncologist appealed to Medicare and it was denied the first time and also the second time was denied. Their next attempt was going to be to contact the manufacturer of the drug for some help. I don't know what happened in the meantime but Medicare reconsidered and they are picking up their share (80%) of the tab.

My suggestion would be to talk to your Oncologist. I truly believe they may be able to help you. I don't think the average person could ever afford cancer treatment.

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I'm pretty sure once you are Stage IV, SS is automatic. It was for my Dad anyway.

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Lung Cancer is an automatic approval for Social Security Disability, I will try and find the link, it was approved last year.....

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I am stage iv and my ss disabilty took only about two weeks to be approved. I receive a benefit for myself as well as my kids. You could check with the American Cancer Society to see what they offer.
Take care,

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I was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma in June of 2008. They attempted a lobectomy (Lower right lung), but when they opened me up they found that it had metastisised to the pleural space outside the lung, so just did biopsy and closed me up. I did not qualify for SSI as my income, with my husbands check put us over the limit, but I did qualify for SSD. I applied in Oct. and got my first check in Feb. 2009. I also receive LTD from work, ( they deduct the SSD amt. from each check).

I applied for the Social Security Disability over the phone and was told that they would put "terminal" on the application and that would speed the outcome up. I will qualify for Medicare at age 62, since I am on the SSD. I receive a little more SSD than I would have if I waited and retired at 62. Also was told that I would be automatically changed to Social Security at age 65, but that the amount of my check would not go down. They will review my case in 3 years.

I hope this has been of some help to you. Hang in there. Speak with the financial people at your hospital. They are most helpful and can point you in the right direction.

Stay strong and God Bless!

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Loriann: I have stage 4 adenocarcinoma. I'm 42, never smoked and never thought in a million years I'd end up with lung cancer. I was diagnosed in early March. I know what you're both going through and I wish I could save you from the shock and fear . The only advice I can give you financially is to pursue the SS Disability option as soon as possible. I waited to apply because I knew nothing about SSD and, honestly, I was still reeling from the diagnosis, surgery, etc. Everyone I've spoken with says its a quick approval for lung cancer.

You and your husband will be in my prayers. Don't hesitate to use this board whenever you need info or just need to vent.

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