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Extensive small cell lung cancer with mets to the brain

Chrystin
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2009

So 2 days after Thanksgiving my mom was sent to the hospital because she couldn't remember how to write her name or answer her phone at work. By the end of the night they were telling us that she had extensive (stage IV) lung cancer that had spread to her brain. They were able to take out one of the tumors in her brain but not all of them. She does have one sight on her lung as well. I work in a semi-clinical field paying Long Term Disability claims and I see things like this all the time. If it were just a claim that had come across my desk I would have that gut awful feeling that I would be doing a life check on this patient in 6 months. Well when we spoke to the oncologist she suggested chemo therapy. But also mentioned that this type of cancer does come back. I feel like I am the only one that realizes that she will die from this. Or maybe she won't and I am being negative?? I am doubting myself. My father and brother are sad but not understanding that this will be her demise. I have heard the dr. say "end stage" cancer, so I think they would understand what that means. maybe I don't understand what that means. I always thought I did. So the chemo could work and she could survive? Really what are the chances of that. I am a pragmatic person and like to know things blunt. I understand theres a healthy way to be optimistic and I would like to be that person too. I just want the whole picture. I want the optimistic, the pesimistic and the realistic information. I just feel like if we do not have any idea of how long we have with her then we won't savor every minute as tho we may have another and another. Example, I asked for a huge Christmas since this will probably be our last together, my brother thinks I was crazy for saying that and got very upset with me for being so negative. I think I was being realistic. I am not trying to be negative. My mother is the love of my life. She is the closest person to me, and I will not be able to breathe with out her. I really won't. I can barely breathe now, just thinking of my life with out her in it. I am not done being her child yet. I am a mother of 3 and that goes out the window when I am talking to my mum. She is my mum and I need her to stay being my mum. I am pulling the kid card, and I want to stay her child. I don't want to lose her. I can't bare it.

I just don't want to be blind sided into thinking she is going to be alright and then re-live the day that we found out she had brain cancer. I can't do that all over again, I can't I know it. I just love her and I want to be prepared for the worst. Is it unreasonable to say that chemo will give her a few months, but that it will reoccur and that will be her ultimate demise in my best non-clincial opinion of a year????

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I do not think you are being unreasonable in your suppositions. Of course, those of us who are here are either living proof of the power of hope and humor and, in some cases, belief (AND ALMOST ALWAYS medical science and technology which I would normally think went without saying), or, we are living on borrowed time ourselves and either deny it or acknowledge it and do as you suggest, which is to spend our last days, however many they may be, living life to its fullest.

There is no expiration date for your mom, and you should realize that right up front. Your family may be in denial, and it sounds like they are, but there is some validity to the notion that just because a doctor specifies an End of Days, he or she is not, by definition, right.

Mom is in for a long battle (I am a survivor of head/neck cancer and lung cancer, but am also the son of a wonderful woman who fought breast cancer and then ovarian, only to die of metastasis of the long ago breast cancer to the brain ... I KNOW where you are to some extent).

We all treat these things in our own ways. My best suggestion at the moment is to let dad and your brother handle this in their own ways, while you handle it as you will. There is no right or wrong, from what I have gathered over time, and this is certainly not a good time to be judgmental of either dad or bro.

YOU can be there for her and with her to your heart's content, Chrystin, and don't need anyone else involved to make that decision for you. YOU can do that.

I wish your mom and her family the very best, confident that she has people around her who love her, in whatever ways they choose to express it. That is all to the good for mom.

Take care,

Joe

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