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My mom has lung Cancer! Help!!

redstorm2
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2007

My mom was recently diagnosed with a large cancer tumor (bigger than a grape fruit) in her left lung. It has spread to her lymph nodes and adrenial gland. She is 68 years old and they told her she had less than a year (she was also told 1-2 months maybe a year). They also told her it is inoperable. They said it was slow growing, non-small cell and squamash (don't know if I spelled that right)and that she had stage four. They told her the want to also do a PET and a cat scan of her brain. They also said they would like for her to do radiation and Chemo to shrink the tumor and lessen her pain. They told her that this will not prolong her life. Please let this not be true. Is there anyone out there with a diagnosis like this that has lived longer than the Doc's. prognosis?

CinciRick's picture
CinciRick
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi RedStorm2,
It is sad to hear about your mother. I was in a simiar condition a year ago but night quite as bad. The largest tumor I had was more like the size of tennis ball. It as in both lungs, lymps system, glands, and spine. The first estimate was 7 to 12 months. Only using chemo and no radiation after a few treatments my coughing stopped, and then after 5 months the tumors shrunk an amazing amount. I still have cancer but the remaining tumors are small. The only ones that did not shrink were the 2 in my spine. It has been over a year now and I was feeling pretty good until I came down wirh shingles. Once I am off the medications for Shingles I expect to be active and back to normal. That first round of chemo was GEMZAR/CARBOPLATIN. I was only 53 and in otherwise goodhealth. I don't know why they said the treatment would not extend her life. The information I read on the internet shows much longer survival times for people doing chemo versus patients who do nothing. Hopefully you won't find any mets in her brain on the CT. I like PET scans since the images are easy see and understand for lay people. The drawback on the PET is that it does not show and tumors smaller than 10mm. or about the size of your litle finger tip. The survival time I see quoted most often for advanced NSCLC is 50% survive 7 months. If your mother is a non-smoker, if she responds well to the chemo, and is in otherwise good health, she could go way beyond the average estimates. Ask your mother's Oncologist if they have an opinion of RadioFrequency Ablation. It is just recently being used for Lung Cancer. If the Oncologist says it is not for Lung Cancer then they are not up-to-date. It worked wonders for Leroy Sievers lung tumors in the Ted Koppel TV documentary. The link below is for Leroy Soevers blog.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/mycancer/index.html
So you need to do everything as if it is going to be a short time such as power of attorney, living will, DNR (Do not resuscitate) papers and the rest of the paperwork, and then continue to pray you will beat the odds. The chemo side effects will make it appear that she is gettig worse when she may actually be geting better. They will likely start chemo and then after 2 to 3 months do another set of tests to see if the cancer is responding to the treatment.

samantha83
Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2007

HELL YEAH people live longer than their doctor’s prognosis! The doctors don’t know how long your mom will live. They aren’t gods. They are just giving you information about other people in similar situations, but every case is unique. They can’t possibly know unequivocally that the chemo will not prolong her life or that she won’t live until she’s 100. Oncologists, especially those dealing with lung cancer, tend to have really negative attitudes in my experience. It doesn’t mean they aren’t good medical doctors – you just can’t let them get you down. I think it’s something cancer patients and caregivers need to learn to deal with. It’s really part of the battle. You gotta kill the cancer and prove the doctors wrong. Having a positive attitude alone will without a doubt prolong a cancer patient’s life. As for the death paperwork (power of attn, DNR), my dad (with stage 4 adenocarcinoma) would NEVER fill that out. He believes he’s going to live till he’s 100. Everytime my dad sees his oncologist, he tells him how he’s gonna have this cured in no time. I was ready to kick our doctor to the curb, but I really think my dad’s attitude is rubbing off on him. Anyway…start scheduling appts for 2nd and 3rd opinions today...Don’t wait. You don’t need to wait for doctor’s referrals.

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Please remember that statistics describe groups not individuals. Your mom was not part of the group the statistics are based on, so no one can tell you exactly how long she has. Based on the doctor's information, you can count on the situation being serious. Not curable does not mean untreatable. Get to the best lung specialist(s) you can for the best game plan they can muster up so her life is as long and as good as they can make it. If there are any words you want to say or things you want to do, DO IT NOW! You may end up with much longer than the doctors predict or you may not, but you will never regret moments well spent.

debber216
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 2007

The first thing I can tell you is, DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO STATS!!!! They're only a guideline and based on very old statistics!!! Things have changed alot!! So, hugs, prayers and courage to you and your family!!! God Bless. Deb

GrammyJones
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2007

I was diagnosed with Stage IV Extensive Small Cell Cancer on 8/1/06, only 4 days before my 50th birthday, after several tests and biopsy. At that time, the cancer had spread to both my lungs, liver, lymph nodes and bones. My doctor believed it had spread way too far and my life expectancy was very limited... without chemo 1-3 mos. and with chemo maybe 6-9 mos. Surgery was not an option due to the cancer being so wide-spread. I had 2 cycles of chemo and then another ct scan. All my growths had shrunk more than 50%. Then, 2 more cycles of chemo. After another ct-scan, the results revealed only a spot on my liver. I went 4 months with no treatments before, once again, having a ct-scan, I learned the cancer was once again in my liver, one lung and lymph nodes. I once again began chemo, 2 cycles, and I'm now awaiting yet another ct-scan next week. I continue to stay positive, which is very most important, that these results will also be good. I can only wait patiently (yeah right!) for the results on 7/24. I will then probably need another 2 cycles of chemo but that's ok. Most importantly, I've beaten the 9 mos as I was originally medically told I'd live. I've only a few weeks from being at my 1st anniversary!!! I've also had 2 brain scans, both of which came back showing no cancer. My plans are to live years longer. As far as pain, I've had very little pain other than where the cancer has ate "holes" in my spine and legs but I continue to walk just as much as I'm able without any assistance. As of yet, I haven't needed any pain meds. I've learned just to lay down and rest and that seems to work wonders. I was lucky enough not to be sick from the chemo treatments since they now have excellent anti-nausea meds. I am much more fatigue during the last chemo cycles but doctors say that's normal due to my body not returning to normal between cycles. All in all, I feel the best I have in well over a year! I can only pray and keep my faith that I will conquer this illness. Staying strong and keeping your faith in our Almighty Lord is most important!!! I will keep your mother and you in my daily prayers.

LloydMicheal
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2007

2002 My Dr.said I would never walk again and had app.6 monthes to live.Iam still here,must use cane or wheelchair for any distance,but Dr.was wrong.

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