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My Mom

Posts: 17
Joined: Jun 2009

My Mom (83 years old)has not been diagnosed yet but three masses were found on her lungs during a unrelated X-ray. (1 in one lung 2 in the other) No symptoms accept she has been losing weight. Specialist said he thinks from the X-rays it looks malignant and sent her for a breath test yesterday and a CT today and then I'm told they will set a PET Scan and then biopsy. I am still in shock! I'm not sure how to help her. I know she is scared and I know a lot the cancer field plus I have survived breast cancer twice...but I can't even think here. I don't know a lot on the lung cancer front but I have this feeling that it is inoperable and terminal...I just can't shake it.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2009

My heart goes out to you as you see your mom having to go thru this. The only advice I would give you is to start researching AFTER you discover what exactly it is that is growing in her lung. I had lung cancer 4 months ago and my left upper lobe was removed. It is a scary time, but not knowing what to be fearful of can really play on your heart strings. Once the tests are done, sit down with a doctor that you trust, go over options, research it,and call your local cancer research center. It is not always doom and gloom with cancer. There are many survivors, we all just took different paths to get there.
Please post again when you find out what it is. I have found alot of support and great information on this site.
I will keep you both in my prayers.

fam57's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2009

I am so sorry that your mom and you are dealing with this. I understand the shock you must be feeling because I too have dealt with this news. My wife was diagnosed with Lung cancer and it was tough to take. Let me just say that it is important that you give your mom all the support you can give. Whether it is just an ear to listen or to provide information. She needs to know that she is not alone and that people care. There are several websites that can provide information and help you and your mom in knowing what questions to ask. We took advantage of a nurse navigator when visiting our doctor. That allowed a qualified oncology nurse to take notes for us and let my wife and I concentrate on what the doctor was saying. I am sure that there is a program similar to that where you are. Ask her doctor about it or call the clinic to see if this service is available. It is a great way to stay informed and focused on her care. Please know that my prayers are with you and don't hesitate to post again and let others know how they can help. I know that there are many people here that can provide information that can be valuable to your mom and your family as you continue to fight this disease.

ARobben's picture
Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 2009

whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down there!

She's not even been diagnosed yet and you've already written her off as "inoperable" and "terminal." Take it from someone who actually has inoperable, terminal lung cancer...you gotta stay positive. You can't let worry get the best of you. I know this is easier said than done, but if it does turn out to be cancer, your mom is going to need you to be there and be strong!

It's absolutely okay to be worried. It happens...especially with family. But I wouldn't vent your worries to your mom. Find someplace else to let your worries go (a friend or another loved one, a counselor, or even these boards), but you'll need to be strong for your mom. You can do it!

Now, I'm not an expert here, but you really can't diagnose cancer from an X-ray. Wait til the CT and the PET. These are much better tools...and then if it is cancer, the biopsy should be able to determine exactly what type. And then, like someone else said, it's time to research, research, research!!

Best of luck!

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

Well said!

I will add that even PET and CAT scans can be bogus. I know that from personal experience. They may be looking at the effects of previous pneumonia, bronichitis, smoking, or, in my case at the time, a current lung infection.

You are absolutely correct: slow down, take a deep breath, and be prepared to deal with things, however they lay out.

Take care,


JV in KY
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

I just want to tell you that I know exactly what you are going through, thinking, feeling....
Only thing different between us currently is my 78 y/o Mom has definitely been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. She does have a large mass in one lung and several smaller ones in both, PLUS it has now invaded her ribs. She has gone through her first chemo with another following this coming week. She lost so much weight before this disease was diagnosed that we thought perhaps she was going through some type of anorexia. She is now so thin that it will not help her in the long run. The cancer was found after she recently moved and re-injured her ribs and needed an X-ray. Her first session with chemo left her vomiting when she was awake and sleeping the time she wasn't vomiting. I am several states away from her, but was with her for 2 weeks, a few weeks ago while she was going through the testing and subsequent biopsy. She has a great family support system in her home town currently with her brother and sisters living close by. They get her to her doctor visits and treatments 45 miles away when needed. I have arranged for Meals on Wheels to be delivered to her since she doesn't cook a lot anymore. She has become very picky about food and doesn't like a lot of the meals, but I have told her to eat what she does like in them and toss the rest away.
I call her at least once a day to see how she is doing. Overall she is doing okay. She has a positive outlook on things, and knowing better myself after speaking with her doctor, I want to let her continue to think as she is right now. Her cancer is not operable, but her doctor says if we can sustain her life, up to two years, then why not try as long as she can tolerate the treatments.
I go through days almost in tears as I certainly don't want to lose her for years to come, but being handed this deal of the cards, what can you do but to love her and give her the support she needs? There are times that I now feel as though I am the parent and I need to protect my child, who happens to be my mother. I sometimes resent the fact that I am having to be the pillar of strength when it is I who needs to be comforted as I know I have a huge hole in my heart that is going to open up a lot sooner than I want it to be. I never had it in my plans to lose my mom this soon in life. I always thought she would be around for years to come and we would do things together, see things together with her turning older and grayer naturally; not taken away so quickly in life. I'm sure I'm not saying anything that many haven't already heard, but my heart hurts and yet I can't show that to my mom...MY pillar of strength for so many years. I have tears running down my face as I type as I am saying the things in my heart that I can't say verbally or I will lose it. All of my resolve to be "strong" will simply crumble.
Feel free to write whenever you need to if and when your Mom gets diagnosed. I pray you won't have to deal with all that so many of us are dealing with, or have in the past.
My heart goes out to you as I know you will have quite a hardship to endure being the strong one in your family.

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