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Stage IV Adenocarcinoma in my mom

svalles10's picture
svalles10
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

My mom, who's 68, was diagnosed on June 11, 2010 with stage IV adenocarcinoma lung cancer, that has spread to her brain and parts of her bones. Doctors stated one tumor in brain is inoperable due to wrapped around main vein, but other one they can de-bulk, then do radiation and chemo. Doctors also stated both were very large tumors in right upper lung & in her cerebellum.

Prognosis was: with surgery, radiation and chemo..... 4-6 months
with surgery, no radiation or chemo.... months
with nothing...weeks

And all this info was given before they knew about the bone scan results.

She originally didn't want brain surgery, radiation & chemo, so they started her on steroids to get her eating and sent her home. She's doing well right now, eating good, etc. And now she's talking about fighting it.
We are in the process of getting a second opinion.

How hard is radiation and chemo on someone my mother's age?
She's never smoked, eaten healthy & has taken vitamins all her life and was still going to the gym up to a month ago.

-Sandra

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi, Sandra,

As long as your mom is reasonably healthy I don't see why she would have a problem with chemo & radiation. Of course, I don't have an MD after my name, but I've seen more than a few really elderly people in the treatment rooms I've been in.

It seems so unfair that someone who apparently did all the right things - ate healthily, exercised, never smoked - should get cancer anyway, makes you wonder what the point of a healthy lifestyle is :(

Please, don't focus on the numbers the doctors quoted at you, there are plenty of people here who have gone blithely on past their due dates, your mom can do the same! Best of luck to the two of you,
Deb

svalles10's picture
svalles10
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

Deb,

Your right, 68 years young.
Yes, she struggles with the fact she thought she might have pneumonia, and in a matter of days, her days were numbered.
Thanks for the encouragement.

Sandra

HeartofSoul's picture
HeartofSoul
Posts: 732
Joined: Dec 2009

Im sorry to hear of your moms dx. Its good to get second opinion for her. I can empathize on why she doesnt want surgery, rad and chemo as the treatments can be demanding.

When Dr's speak of stats and prognoses, they use large groups of people (thousands) but dont break it down by sex, age, current health, medical conditions, and there are often exceptions who live longer, sometimes much longer. Also the data that is used can be outdated on 5 and 10 yr survival rates as new therpaies, drugs and trials surface since the reports were completed. Many factors are not easy to measure such as persons will to live, their attitude, quality of life, how the cancer will respond to treatments, and which symptoms will occur and to what degree and frequency.

Sandra, were here to give support, advice, encouragement and to make a difference for both person with cancer and their caregivers.

I would respect your moms decision, whatever that turns out to be, and provide her with as much quality of life, understanding, love and companionship as you can. I do encourage her to get a 2nd opinion as I do almost everyone with cancer diagnoses. I know of late stage lung cancer survivors here in CSN and can refer you to some of them if that would help

svalles10's picture
svalles10
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi,

I would like to hear from some late stage lung cancer survivors here in CSN, if you could refer some to me I would appreciate it so that I may share the info with my mother.

Thank you,
Sandra

HeartofSoul's picture
HeartofSoul
Posts: 732
Joined: Dec 2009

Wicker_Woman
http://csn.cancer.org/user/43731

Soccerfreaks
http://csn.cancer.org/user/72176

Clsmith
http://csn.cancer.org/user/95492

Glasus (caregiver to wife)
http://csn.cancer.org/user/98696

Cobra1122
http://csn.cancer.org/user/104361

Ree5558
http://csn.cancer.org/user/69180

cobra1122's picture
cobra1122
Posts: 244
Joined: Jul 2009

I am a 2+yr survivor of stage 4 lung cancer with mets to the lymphs(at time of disgnosis). It has since mets to bone and brain, I have
Suffered a stroke have early onset from Altzhiemers and Parkinsons, I have only 30% of my heart is operating. I am on Hospice and still going strong.My wife and I have leRned to laugh anf live, we can't change anything going on so we cherish everyday. But we know that I am sick and my time is limited, how long we haVe no idea and don't care, every prognosis I have been given was wrong. I have long past everytime I have been given.
You and your mom need to cherish the time you have, a positive attitude help greatly. Your mom needs all the positive support she can get whether you agree with her choices or not. Help her live ahappy time, you can't live tomorrow today so she. Needs to enjoy life today and create memories for you and her family.
I went thro chemo, had some bad side effects and had to stop, but glad that I did because it bought me more time to spend with my wife,kids, and grandkids. So I can only say don't give up Hope and keep fighting.

Our Prayers and Best Wishes to Your Mom, You, Your Family, and Everyone,
Dan (cobra1122) and Margi Harmon

flc101
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2010

Sandra,

My mother is 68 years old also and was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in April.

She just completed six weeks of chemo and is undergoing radiation (just completed 8/33). The side effects haven't been too bad -- fatigue and sleeplessness mainly, and she sometimes complains that her legs hurt. There hasn't been much pain and her quality of life is good. No nausea or vomiting, either. Her appetite isn't great, but she hasn't had any taste changes from chemo.

Everyone responds differently to treatment, but even if she does have side effects doctors are quite good at managing them.

Hope this makes you feel better. I know how hard it is. My prayers are with your mom, you, and your family.

svalles10's picture
svalles10
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

Thank you for your advise and knowledge that you have shared with me. Everything I've been reading is so encouraging and has helped. Thank you all and my prayers are for your families and lives!
-Sandra

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