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My mother has lung cancer!

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2007

I am not surprised with this diagnosis, she has been a smoker all her life. However, nobody wants to hear that horrible word! So far she has only seen her family doctor who has referred her to a surgeon. I am going with her tomorrow for the first visit. I have no idea (other than lung cancer) what stage she is at or what type it is. I am concerned that she is going to a general surgeon and not a cancer specialist...maybe that comes later???

She has been going to the doctor for months now with fatigue, depression, not feeling well, no appetite, and her doctor pretty much told her she didn't know what to do with her anymore.
The other day she started coughing up blood which finally got her family doctor's attention!

Anyway I have many different emotions right now(including anger at my Mom for smoking, which I feel guilty about). I am still in shock and know that we have a rough road ahead...just not sure what we should be expecting.

Hopefully the appointment goes well tomorrow and we leave with some answers.

I do have a question though. Has anyone experience severe nose bleeds as a symptom? Suddenly a few months ago my Mom started having nose bleeds (lots of blood!!!) that are hard to stop. Just wondered if that could be a symptom?

I will update what our findings are after tomorrow.

Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Smitch,
I am so sorry about your Mom's diagnosis, and being angry is a normal reaction. Just remember though, that even people who have never smoked still get lung cancer. So, no one deserves this disease. It's too bad that it had to come to your Mom coughing up blood, before anyone would dig further into the cause of her previous symptoms!! At first my doctors believed I had ovarian cancer, then only after a hysterectomy, did they find the lung cancer!! They will probably schedule a CT Scan to confirm the diagnosis, at least they should?? I don't know where you live, but if you have access to a Cancer Care Center, that's where I would take her. Anyway, you and your family will be in my prayers. Take care and God Bless. Deb

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2007

Thanks for the support. My Mom is scheduled for a CT Scan, a breathing test and a scope. It will be at least another month before we know anything. What I did learn yesterday was that she has a mass the size of a golf ball on her left lung. I think the thing that is the hardest to handle right now is her state of mind. She is so depressed, angry, and the self pity is horrible. She isn't very nice to be around. My brother and I both realize we are going to have a tough road ahead. I think people must deal in different ways...some take the experience and try to be as positive as possible...and some just turn miserable. I can only try to keep a positive attitude and hope I can rub off a bit on her.

Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi Smitch. I was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer Stage IV in Aug. 06 just a few days short of my 50th birthday and YES i too was a smoker. I didn't have the nose bleeds but continuously went to my doctor complaining... same complaints as your mom... in one ear and out the other! I was hospitalized and nothing found. Then, 3 months later... I became so sick... extremely high blood pressure, diahhrea and vomiting. Finally, being rushed to the emergency room, they did an x-ray. Soon thereafter, upon having a CT scan, PET scan and biopsy, my nightmare began. I do undestand your mom's upset... I've been there. She's probably mad at the world, including herself. I was a mess upon being diagnosed. Give her time, she must first cope with it all within herself. It had attacked both my lungs, liver, lymph nodes and bones. Please stess to your mom that she must stay positive. Anyone's world changes forever with those 3 words... "You have cancer!" I previously did chemo every 3 weeks for 6 group of chemo. I was "clean" for 4 months before learning it was back. It has returned to my liver and lymph nodes. My bones continue to be damaged from the cancer... mainly several "holes" eaten in my spine. But amazingly, I feel the best I've felt in well over a year... the cancer has only slowed me down slightly... I won't "give in" to it! I am again doing chemo along with additional injections for my bone pain. Surgery and/or radiation is not possible due to being so wide-spread. I continue to stay positive... and I refuse to let the cancer win this battle I fight. It's now 10 months since my being diagnosed and I have plans of going no where!!! My doctors have been amazed at my improvements. Prayers are powerful1!! I will keep your mom in my daily prayers! If you ever want to talk, or stress, please e-mail me at MsKissy@lexcominc.net. I've been through it all and, upon coping with it all, I'm able to talk freely about the disease. I'd love to maybe be able to help you through your feelings. God Bless... Vicki

Posts: 27
Joined: Feb 2010

i found out i had lung cancer 9 11 09 it is basal cell carcinoma from skin its rare no chem are radation its inboth lungs .we are waiting on this clinic pill called hedge hog inhibtor gdc 0449..i was upset when i found out i had it i was in shock for a couple of weeks.see if her doctor will give her something to calm here down and see if he will give her some antidression they will help here.i understand `what youll are going through the whole family goes through it .but beleive me one day at a time keep god in youre heart and beleive he can heal u in many ways keep the grace and faith in god he is are creator and he knows from the time we are born what are life is going to be. god bless youre mom and family keep in touch shirley

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I work in a school with young children and I try my hardest to convince them not to smoke so that they have a greater probability of not getting lung cancer. I never smoked and I got it anyways. In spite of all the lectures you've heard, try to remember cancer is a disease, not a punishment. It will conserve her breathing ability to stop smoking now. That is something she an do to improve things now. Consulting with the best cancer specialists now is another thing you can do right now. General surgeons can remove the cancer, but there are newer techniques like the VATS procedure available from thoracic specialists that can minimize your recovery time. After the biopsy/surgery you will need to meet with the oncologist to find out what, if any, chemo treatment is needed and set up followup tests. The surgeon will also want to see your mom regularly, especially while the stiches are healing. I don't know about the nose bleeds, but I wonder what her blood pressure is and what medicines she is on. Some herbs and pills thin the blood (tea, asprin, ibruprofen, aleve, ginsing, vitamin e among others). I would want to "brown bag" all of the stuff your mom is currently taking and review it with her pharmacist to see if any of the combinations of stuff she is taking is causing some of the nosebleeds. Excessive bleeding that is hard to stop could be a problem during surgery. Good luck!

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2007

I went into emergency at the hospital when I coughed up blood for two days. Then I saw a pulmonary specialist who ordered CT scan and some blood tests. The PET and CT scans revealed a medium-size cancerous tumor in the left lung. Then a series of tests were ordered before I was referred to a surgeon, who recommended pre-surgery chemo, radiation, and surgery. I obtained a 2nd opinion from a well-known and respected surgeon. You must consider getting a 2nd opinion to back up your future decisions. I now have taken pre-surgery chemo and radiation. The key here is as time passes the cancer can spread, so you must spend a lot of time making appointments for 2nd opinions, getting referrals, tests, etc. Time is of the essence for you, so the SOONER you can obtain appointments and TESTS, the better chance you mother will have to get the best treatment.

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