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Looking for SURVIVORS! Need some strength.,..

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2006

Hello. My mom was diagnosed 3 1/2 weeks ago with Lung CA stage IV, with mets to the brain (3 lesions). Tomorrow she finishes her whole brain radiation. Which she is tolerating quite well, minus the hair loss and fatigue. Told today try chemo for the lung (carboplatin and another one, that has slipped my mind) Said the tumor in the lung (which is rather small) in incurable. Chemo will giver her life longevity. I am looking for those who have surviving stories, opinions, ideas, anything.


reinstones1's picture
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2006

Hi. It's all so scary isn't it? Glad you're here.

The other drug you're thinking of is probably Taxol. My Mom finished first line chemo with carboplatin and Taxol in May. She's now on 2nd line chemo with Alimta.

My Mom was diagnosed on 12/7/05. We're still here nearly 8 months later. If I'd believed some of what I read and researched (all depressing and bleak), I would have given up.

All of the news in the last 8 months hasn't been good. But my Mom is still here, fighting and being positive. That's so important. Her hair is also growing back. . . she's got about 1/2 inch of fuzz to cover her skull! :-)

Why aren't they recommending removal of the tumor in her lung?

I'm thinking of you. It's hard to stay positive all the time (impossible, actually)-- I've been struggling lately too. We'll be here for you.

I'm praying for you and wishing you and your Mom the very best during the course of her treatment.

ernrol's picture
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2006

I had stage IV lung cancer and was told that there was no cure and all that they could do was to slow its growth or at best shrink it a little, but God can do things with doctors that they do not know they could do. I believe that God can cure 100% of those he wants to cure and you have to believe that you mom is one of those. I had Carboplatin, Taxol and Tarceva all at the same time. I have been cancer free since November 2005.You can read my story on my web page, just type ernrol in the search box above, and then click on ernrol to the right, or you can click on the e-mail.
If you have any questions let me know

Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi everyone,

I'd like to thank everyone for their stories of hope and inspiration. I'm a caregiver of my mother who is battling stage 4 NSLC, with 3 tumor locations - left lung lobe (6 cm mass), lymph nodes and pelvis. The cancer has also spread to the lining, so I'm confused now to the number of the tumor locations. Reading majority of the information and so-called "factoids" on cancer information sites is distressing and disheartening, to say the least. To them, it's all about the clinical data with stats. Mind you, I've been mathematically trained in college, so I know all the ins and outs of the components of stats. Logically, I know stats are always just a reflection of past events. Though lots of prognosticators love to use stats to support their predictions, ultimately every subject is different and unique. And no amount of statistics can size up that subject. I was dismissive of those stats during the World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox when they were behind. According to the sportscasters and many sports writers, the Boston Red Sox's chances were written off because past stats just didn't bear out teams triumphing with such an uphill battle.

Sports is a lot easier to speculate. Life entails more gravity and importance. So, though I could easily dismiss the stats drummed up for sports, I confess that the lung cancer stats got me down several times early in my mom's diagnosis. I keep telling myself that stats mean nothing to the unique circumstances of an individual. Do stats factor in the survival tactics and strength of lung cancer patients? How could they? Do they even separate the survival rates of smokers versus non-smokers, which my mom has never smoked in her life? (Second-hand smoke may have been the primary contributing cause.)

I'm coping better now that I am focusing more on survivor stories and your experiences in defeating a frightening enemy. Whenever I need my spirits lifted, I try to come here for that. I would be lying if I said that my emotions aren't on a rollercoaster.

With those words of gratitude for the encouragement you all bring, I'd like to ask the survivors whether you've enhanced/boosted your chemotherapy treatments with any supplements? My mother is taking a multivitamin supplement targeted for seniors. I've been cooking and feeding her the cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, bok choy, napa cabbage, etc.) every day. My mother is bothered by the gas from digesting broccoli, so that foils my plan of attack in concentrating on broccoli as part of her diet. I'm planning on trying Beano for her. Perhaps, Beano will alleviate the gas and the sensation in her esophagus of the broccoli stuck there. Also, she's downing a chopped garlic clove (after sitting for at least 10 minutes for the formation of the anti-cancer agents) daily. For post-chemo, she drinks a ginger tea to prevent nauseas. She's responding with little side effects. No nausea despite taking an anti-nausea pill (generic Compazine) only during bed time.

To get back to my original question, I'm becoming confused about the guides concerning the use of multivitamin supplements, with some literature claiming that the vitamins' antioxidant properties interfere with chemotherapy's attack of cancer cells. Any anecdotal truth or counter-truth to that?

As background to my mother's case, she's on a weekly chemotherapy of Carboplatin and Taxol for a scheduled 6-treatment cycle. She's had one infusion. My mother is Asian and has never smoked. One thoracic surgeon had alluded to a treatment that would be promising for a patient of her background, but he passed off to the oncologist as to what exactly that treatment was. Her oncologist said that he was probably referring to Tarceva. Tarceva is a second line therapy that's he's reserving. I'm hoping the first strategy is successful, which we will find out after the 6 cycles.

I'd appreciate any tips. Thanks for inspiring hope and positivity.

Ernrol, I haven't read all of your experiences yet, but I will for I am latching onto you the most for encouragement.

Plymouthean's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi. I'm a five year survivor of stage 3a non small cell lung cancer. Originally diagnosed as inoperable/incurable. I had no mets. Some very skilled oncologists and other doctors, and a lot of prayers from a lot of people got me through it. I'm living proof that people do beat cancer.
Don't pay attention to statistics, odds, etc. They are just educated guesses.
What type (small cell or non small cell) does your Mom have?
I don't understand why they aren't going after the lung tumor, especially since it is small. It sounds like a second opinion is in order.
If possible, accompany your Mom to her appointments. Ask a lot of questions. Don't stop asking until you are satisfied that she is getting the best care, and that you understand the situation.
It all sounds, and in fact is, pretty overwheming and frightening right now, but as you learn more, you will better understand, and you will be able to cope.
And never give up... miracles do happen!

Posts: 133
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Jami, I have small cell lung cancer , also inoperable and not cured, but am a four year survivor since last february. Had four chemo's and six and a half weeks of radiation to chest, side and back. The tumor is still present but is dormant. My tumor was very large, 5 inches x 4 inches x 3 inches, was on lung, in lung, in lymph nodes, wrapped around aorta artery and pushing against my esophogus. I am doing well except the neuropahty and fibrosis from the radiation. I keep active and good spirits , and I think is the key to getting better, keep active as possible and a positive outlook. I was given no chance of survival when diagnosed, so don't listen to statistics . well huggsss and God bless, Mike

Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2006

I also have SCLC and had 6 chemo rounds plus radiation but, only 15 mos since dx. It's nice to hear about a 4 yr survivor.

My fibrosis started 6 mos after radiation & increased quite a bit on a scan 3 months later. Do you receive any treatment for yours?

Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2005

TO KeepPraying-My heart goes out to you, keep your faith, and tell your mother to never give up. I was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in Sept.2003 It was non operatable I did 4 rounds of Chemo (12-treatments) of cisplatin and etoposide, I also did 30 radiation treatments to my chest (twice a day)and then did some radiation to the brain,after two and a half years all my tests are comming back ok. Tell your mother to keep fighting, trust her Doctors and health providers,try to take in some nourishment and keep her faith in God.

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