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Remission question Stage IV NSCLC

Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2010

I have some questions about my mom. She is 56 yrs old and was dignosed June 2008 with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (in the left lung aprox. 7-9 cm). It at that point had spread to the brain and right above the kidney area with precancer in the right lung, broncular area and enspagus (spelt wrong Im sure). She had a port put in while in the hospital.

She had 1 month of radiation and 1 round of chemo (which consisted of 12 doses). She however, only recived 9/12 doses due to low cell count and then she had to have a blood transfusion. So, at that point the DR called it quits with that round.

We do the every 3 months scans with one showing fluid on her heart. A few scans later he said the fluid is gone and she is headed towards remission. Of course we were excited and just kept hoping for more good news on the next scan. Three months later on the next which at this point is the year point since she was dignosed he tells us she is in total remission...no scars on the brain to even show she has it there and only a small scar on the lung where the larger mass was.

My question is: Is this possiable to actually be gone this fast with so little of treatment? I dont get me wrong am very thrilled but, at the same time very confused. Did he dignose her wrong? Was it as bad or even what he said it was?

She is on morphone time release 30mg 2x's a day with vicodine for break through pain. If she is in remission why still the pain? Also, she still looks sick, has bad days on wanting to sleep, not wanting to go anywhere or leave her house for that matter, still not gaining weight which he was concerened about last vitist and is having memory issues...she will argue with me on her pain meds..she forgets she had just taken it and try to take another. I love my mom alot and I really dont know what I should do next. I dont wanna sit by thinking the cancer is gone if it isnt (if that makes sence to you all). Anyways thanks for any help you can offer.


soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

You should express these concerns directly with mom's doctor, Ash, assuming the doctor is legally permitted to tell you what is going on.

Based on what you have described, a rather bleak picture, I would say, my first question to you would be to ask who exactly gave you the news about 'remission'? Was it the doctor or mom or dad? Just wondering, as it sounds as though mom is still in a bad way, albeit perhaps for another reason.

It IS possible to be in remission without going through tons of treatment. But bear in mind that remission and cure are two completely different words, completely different concepts.

Remission implies eventual recurrance, to be blunt, at least the possibility/probability, while cure does not not.

A question at least as significant as the first is another you ask: why is mom still on these potent drugs that truly affect quality of life. Get that question answered, and perhaps all of your questions are answered.

Best wishes to mom and her family.

Take care,


Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks for your reply Joe!

The Onocoligist is the one that told us during her visit in November 2009 she was in total remission. He did state to us that in the future it can come back and at that point he would do the chemo again the same he did this time around. He also stated he couldn't tell us how long it would stay gone but, said it can come back slowly where she has time or rapidly where she has no time at all. So, we are awear of the difference and what this nasty disease results to in the end.

But, my question is she couldn't even fully complete 1 round of chemo (which was her first round mind you), had a blood transfusion and was told quanity over quality by the office several times. She is still on these meds. I know she still looks sick, has memory issues and not gaining weight. Is it possiable for cancer to be suddenly gone with not even 1 full round of chemo that had spread to the brain, above the kidney area with precancer in several spots also? I have talked to several people on this even they are in shock and disbelief.

Anyways, thanks for any support on helping me figure this out.

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