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Mother's Lung Cancer - New here

archadtz
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

My mom, 55, has officially been diagnosed with stage IV SCLC.

It started at the end of July when her right leg started periodically going numb. Then it would "awken" and go into a localized seizure. Just having a peripheral bypass a year prior, we thought it was a blood clot.

We took her to the hospital, where they kept her over night. July 28th, we got the news that she had a 4cm tumor in her brain causing the leg problem. She was put on dexamethasone to control swelling and radiation was scheduled.

She completed 2 weeks of radiation in Sept, and had biopsies done. Initial report was small cell lung cancer that spread to her brain and there is a small spot on her adrenal gland.

In Oct, we were told that perhaps it was not small cell, and a bronchioscopy was ordered. A month later (last week), we got the news that it was indeed small cell (Good thing we had we wasted 2 months to get the same resolve).

They set her up for chemo ASAP and she went this week on Tues, Wed, and Thurs. She now has 3 weeks off, then goes again for 3 days, cycling for 4 months.

My mom is a very private, strong person. There are 5 of us children, and she doesn't say much about it to us, but we are with her almost 24/7. She has repeated the doctors in saying that this will only buy her time but it's "far gone".

Her chemo so far this week is kicking her butt. She is exhausted, tired, and throws up frequently despite the medication they have prescribed.

Me, personally, I am a mess! My mom was a single mom, raising us 5 kids, she is our rock. She has 10 grandkids who love her. We can't imagine life without her. I am a super strong person, but I can't help but get teary eyed thinking about it, or, even now, writing, I am crying. I worry about her health, her future, and her finances (as she is on disability now).

I know there are miracles, and I know people say to stay optimistic, but I am a realistic optimist. Every person is different. My mom is willfully strong, but her body is already weak from her other medical issues.

I would love to hear from others, your stories of hope (yes, I know there is always "hope")... but right now, it seems so hard. We are also afraid to ask "how long" though we know statistically (speaking just statistically), they say <2% chance of making it to 2 years.

Thanks everyone in advance for reading and your responses

Janessa <3

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

I really can't comment as I have a different type of cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to the other lung after being in remission for 2 years but I wanted to tell you to never give up hope. The treatment is rough but if it buys more time with those you love I feel it is worth it. I'm pretty wiped out for the 1st week after chemo but I gradually get back to my "old" self and I spend as much time with my family as I can when I'm feeling well.

Your mother sounds like a fighter so encourage her to continue fighting. All you can do is spend as much time with her as possible and constantly let her know how much you love her. Make memories!!

Wishing only the best for your mom,
Glenna

grannylove
Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2011

So sorry to hear about your Mother and the anguish it is causing you and your siblings. But I am glad that you have reached out to this board. Mom and her family are not alone in this fight. I personally have NSCLC but there are survivors here with SCLC who will be able to better answer any questions or concerns you have. Be patient, as some are not able to check this board daily. As Glenna has said, always have hope and do not give up. Make memories everyday. Since Mom is having a hard time during chemo, are you making sure she is eating and drinking alot of fluids? I know her appetite will diminish somewhat, but ask her onc to prescribe something for her nausea. It is very important to drink alot of water day before, day of and day after chemo. Ginger ale is also a helper. Get educated on how you can help your Mom thru these treatments. If she has weight issues already, you might want to get some Ensure Plus for weight gain. They make a dark chocolate that is yummy when mixed with choc ice cream. Great shake! Even if she only drinks 1/2 of it at a time....it will help. Maybe you can get the other children together and come up with a plan to make this treatment as easy on her as possible. Clean for her, cook for her and just be there during her treatment weeks. This is a rough road, for sure, and she needs a good support system in place. I know that being a single parent, it is hard to ask for help, so don't wait on her to ask.....you ask or just do it. Show her what she has taught you about being there for each other. And you will be spending time with her as well! There are great local support groups also Janessa, just call your local cancer society or cancer center. Sometimes it is good to actually talk with others dealing with cancer or being a caregiver. I know this is all overwhelming but you can do this! Stay strong and as positive as you can. Remember.....no one leaves this planet alive. But we are alive now...so hold onto that and each other. There is also a chat room that you can visit and discuss if you would like. Know we are here and you can post whenever you feel the need. Blessings to Mom and her family! Stay strong! Cheryl

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