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How Long?

daughtertobea
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2011

I need the help of those who have been through this already or have been doing it for a while. My mom was diagnosed with stage IV Squmous Cell Lung Cancer. She is terminal as the cancer is in the blood stream and has spread to the bone. We asked the doctor how long, but she would not give us an answer. I have researched online and everything I have read suggests less than 8 months since chemo is not an option for her. Is this an accurage estimate? Here are her symptoms:

1. she has lost 40+ pounds in six months
2. she has been spitting up blood for atleast 2 months probably more (she didn't tell me until two months ago, but I am sure it has been much longer)
3. she has a hole in her spine where destructive cells are eating the bone (doing radiation to stop these destructive cells so her spine will not collapse)
4. she has a cluster of tumors on her neck
5. she has tumors in her pelvis and lower back
6. she is very fatigued, but she does have good days
7. she has loud wheezing at moments, but not too often

I want to spend some quality time with her, so I really am hoping that we have eight months to do some things she has wanted to do but we have put off due to our busy lives. I know no one can tell me exactly how long, but I would like to know if 8 months is a good estimate so we know how fast to plan these few things. The only reason I am putting it off any longer is that we are trying to get the pain under control with radiation first.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

None of us has an expiration date and we are all terminal. No one know how long your mother will be here. Treat each day as it it might be the last. Do as much as she feels like doing. Tell her often how much you love her. Hug each other tightly and cherish each minute you have together. Leave nothing unsaid. I lost my husband 18 months ago. He fought cancer for six years. He lived longer than anyone expected but not long enough. It is never long enough. I would highly advise you to contact hospice if you have not done so. They will be there for the whole family and help you through this. I'm sorry that you are having to go through this. Cancer really does suck. Take care of yourself and come here often for support. Hugs, Fay

tanker sgv's picture
tanker sgv
Posts: 128
Joined: Nov 2010

I know how u feel, I was there. First thing first is demand either hospise or palliative care takes charge in activily minimizing her pain. Rules for hospice in so Cal is chemo or radiation for quality of life is acceptible. Speak with a medical social worker at your hospital to find out ALL OPTIONS AVAILABLE. Do the hard talks now. Ask any?or just vent as often as u like. But there is no time limit of life not Even an estamant. But if she lives the next three years or three days asif each day were her last, in the end it will be the best day's of her life. If u ever need anything feel free to message or post. YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU ARE ALREADY DOING THE BEST YOU CAN.

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

I take care of my mother (ovarian cancer) and I can understand your difficult position. Hopefully the palliative radiation will get your mother as comfortable as possible, but do start hospice services at the earliest possible time. Time and again on these boards, you will read stories where the doctors gave way broad stroke estimates of longevity, and experienced hospice people pinpointed the patient's status in the first interview.

Then again, it's one day at a time anyway. Good luck with this one.

LeeandShirley's picture
LeeandShirley
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

I, too, became almost obsessive over how long my husband has since he was dx'd with stage 4 primary liver cancer. I found all the statistics I could on the internet that could give me hope of a long lasting remission. I could only find wide ranging statistics. None of which were very optomistic. And that's all the doctor can go on. But, statistics are just what happens to some people, some of the time, over differing periods of time. Your doctor knows she can't be accurate with that. The only thing we know is our loved one is terminal. As, yes, we all are. And every day COULD be our last. If there are things you want to do with her, by all means do them, when she has a good day. Live like tomorrow is just an, "IF".

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