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My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2002

Hey everyone. I just had to get a few things off my chest. I'm really scared. I'm 21 years old and about 4 days ago my mother was diagnosed with a late stage of lung cancer. The tumor is so big that it is blocking her airway. She is having trouble breathing and is also retaining liquid in her face among other places. She can barely eat anything and has lost weight (which I believe is typical). I'm pretty much still in shock, but the fear of this is gaining on me very quickly, day by day.

I can't help but think about "what if" situations. What if I lose her? I have no father, was recently laid off due to this recession, it's almost impossible to find a decent job, I have no savings, no personal transportation, no credit, mother is out of work now and I have a younger sister that I would have to take care of. My mothers disability will not be enough and neither will grabbing any job I can get. If I lost my mother, I'd lose myself. I consider myself an adult, but rising to this ocassion is going to be extremely difficult. I don't know how I will support everyone.

I'm not sure how to deal with this. I'm not an optimist, not a pessimist, but consider myself a realist/analyst. I've thought about so many scenarios, but they just fade away. Life has pretty much slapped me in the face, now it's time to deal with it. I will do whatever is necessary to get my family through this. If anyone who reads this is going through the same thing, just hang in there and do whatever you can.

If anyone has any information regarding any kinds of services such as helping a family member of a cancer patient find a job or something to that effect, please e-mail me at tcory4@comcast.net. Thank you for reading and for any info any of you provide.


Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

No wonder you're getting more frightened every day. I wish I could offer you practical advice, but at the moment I can only offer you emotional support. You have such a heavy burden to carry! The first step, I think, might be to try to sort out the kinds of things you can affect (like trying to find work and help, as you are) from the things that you can't (your mother's fate). There might be a free support group in your area for caregivers, and that might be someplace you could find ideas from other people. (ACS should be able to help with this; also if there's a Gilda's Club in your area--check www.gildasclub.org--they have a lot of ways to get all kinds of information.
Meanwhile, hang in there and try to focus on the present. It must seem overwhelming now, but people usually find they can get through things that look impossible at the beginning.
I'll be thinking of you, and if I think of anything more useful, I'll write.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2002

I don't have any advice or answers or a job, I'm just 21yrs old myself and last week was told my father was dying of esophagal cancer in stage 4 of 4. Its spread to his liver and limph notes andthe doctors said that it wasnt possible to remove all of it. He starts chemo this coming week and I dont know...its just very terrifying. But I'm sort of looking for some sort of support or comfort or something. it's just hard

Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

It *is* hard. All we can ever do is the best we can. Meanwhile, where there is life, there is hope. I know that's kind of corny, but it's true. Just don't forget to take care of yourself and your own needs, as well as taking care of your father and family.
I've never gone through anything harder than my mother's death from cancer, and that includes my own experience of having cancer (which wasn't really easier, though). But we do get through, somehow. I hope you have or can find some friends to help give you support, maybe even a support group. There's really nothing like talking about these things with someone who is going or has been through it.
I'm sending you a hug and warm thoughts.

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2002

Hello Todd;
Your story pretty much sounds alot like my situation.My dad was diagnoised August 2000
and we've been through it all,he had medicaid at least but that wasn't bringing money in to pay for other things,and his disability barely got him by.My heart goes out to you because i lost my dad to lung/brain cancer March 23rd,2002 and i found out really fast that if they don't get your money while you're living they'll get it when you're dead.I had make arrangements and decisions without insurance and money.I think you're just being a realist just like me ;looking out for what is going to happen and then decide where to go from there.I don't know how old you are but my brother and i are in our 30's and i'm not in so good health myself.I just want you to know that you're in my prayers and i hope there is someone out there to help you and your familiy out.GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!!!!

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