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Small Cell Lung Cancer and what to expect???

kilrqueen's picture
kilrqueen
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2013

My mother was recently (3 weeks ago) diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.  Her oncologist said that it only has 2 stages and that my mother is in stage 2 since the cancer has spread from her left lung to her liver, bones and lymph nodes.  They did do an MRI and said that is has not reached her brain.  Week before last was her first round of chemo with Cisplatin and Etoposide, she also gets a shot of Neulasta on the 4th day.  Since her chemo, she has been taken to the emergency room twice.  The first time was due to her not taking ANY pain medication for an entire day.  The very next day, she was again rushed to the hospital with a temp of 103.2, and was delirious.  She had no idea where she was or who anyone was around her.  After 2 bags of antibiotics and fluids, she started coming around.  She has been having a difficult time breathing.  Doctors keep saying it's because of the tumor in her lung, then they found out she has pneumonia once again.  Well, today they told her that there is something growing on her lung that isn't part of the cancer and they have no idea what it is but it eating away at her lung.  The doctor that told her this recommends that she not take anymore chemo, according to him it will kill her if she does.  But he said that it does not look good for her because of whatever this is in her lung.  She is 75 years old and usually full of fight but today she just looked beaten.  I would like for her to get a second opinion because I just can't be okay with no answer as to what this other thing is in her lung.  Anyone have anything similiar to this?  Any thoughts????  I'm lost here, she is my best friend and I'm not quite ready to lose her.  We live in Houston and right now she is NOT going to MD Anderson which is what I would prefer.  Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice.

 

Prays for all of you,

Barbara

Ladylacy
Posts: 508
Joined: Apr 2012

Have they performed a bronoscopy on your mother to see what it is in her lung?  As far as the chemo, yes it could kill her.  My husband was first diagnosed and under radiation, chemo and surgery for laryngeal cancer.  Then a year later they found cancer at the cervical of his esophagus which is a rare place.  At first he said no more then changed his mind and underwent around round of radiation and chemo.  Less than 6 months after treatment ended the cancer had returned to the cervical of his esophagus and it was found in his right lung.  Only thing offerred was chemo but we were told up front it would cure, only prolong and could possibly hasten.  He is almost 77.  He declined all further treatments.  Today 10 months later he is still here but is getting weaker. 

What does your mother want?  That is the main question and as hard as it sounds and seems, it is all her choice not anyone else.  I didn't try to talk my husband out of his decision.  We have been married for 51 years and together 2 years before that and no I don't want to lose him but like I said it is his decision, not mine.   I have read so much about chemo and the side effects.  He had a hard time with the first chemo but the second round was a different chemo and a lighter dose.  But I also know that if he had chosen chemo for this last time, it would have been a much stronger chemo with bad side effects.

Wishing your mother and you the best -- Sharon

kilrqueen's picture
kilrqueen
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2013

Hi Sharon,

 

You are so right, it is all her decision.  She does have a DNR in place.  They can't really do anything at this point to see what these bubbles are in her lungs because she

is to weak and it would only make her suffer more then she already is.  None of the doctors have seen anything like it and one doc is a pulmonary specialist along with her oncologist and the infectious disease doctor.  At this point they have her on a machine that forces oxygen into her lungs and when they remove it for her to eat, her oxygen goes back down into the 70's.  Tomorrow we have a meeting with the hospital social worker to learn more about hospice care.  Her pulmonary doctor told us she only had a few days but her oncologist (I think) told the truth and said they don't know how long she has.  So we are just taking it one day at a time and making her as comfortable as we possibly can.  This is her second bought with chemo, last October she was pre-leukemic so she was on Dacogen a very light chemo and she came through that with no problems other than having her leg amputated in February which was not related to any cancer issue, she's always had clots in her legs.  This past year has not been easy on her.  I did tell her last night that this was between her and God and whatever they decide we will all support.  It sounds like your husband probably would have been on the same type of chemo my mother just did.  She has only done one round of it, but it has completely kicked her butt.  Her oncologist said at this point it is best to just leave it to God since she would not have been cured of the cancer anyway, as you said, it's just prolonging their lives for a bit.

 

Thank you for responding and I'll pray for you and your husband,

Barb

dennycee
Posts: 685
Joined: Mar 2011

Barb-

Sharon has given you great advice and it sounds to me that you are making well informed decisions and actions.  if she decides to fight MD Anderson would be the ideal place..  Why doesn't she want to go there?

 

kilrqueen's picture
kilrqueen
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2013

Dennycee and Sharon...thank you both for responding.  Unfortunately my mother passed away yesterday at 6pm.  I was fortunate enough to be with her when she stepped over.  We had put her in a hospice the day before, so they made her very comfortable.  It was a nice, quiet, serene room...no more bright, noisy hospital rooms.  I am at peace with it because her passing was very peaceful with absolutely no struggle.  I'll keep you both in my prayers.

 

Barb

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