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Update - Not ill at all but terminal

Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2010

I posted about 6 months ago about my dear friend in her 30's who has been diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her brain.
She has had brain surgery and radi to head and no more cancer is seen there. After 4 cycles of chemo she has just had another scan and been told cancer has now spread to her liver and spine. Doctors have withdrew treatment apart from a tablet to try and slow the growth but they don't think it will work.

We are truly gobsmacked and devastated.

I know this is the million dollar question but how long will she live? I know nobody can really know but my friend is not ill in the slighest! The only symtpon she ever has was headaches and that was due to the secondary tumor on her brain and now thats gone.

How can somebody be so well, fly through chemo relativley easy (just heartburn and upset tummy for a few days) and nowbe told theres nothing more they can do?

Can she live for years like this? Or is something drastic going to change soon now chemo has stopped?

Sorry for rambling on and thank you for reading x

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I am glad that your friend is doing well right now in spite of mets to various organs. I am wondering if you have gone for a second opinion at a lung cancer clinic associated with a teaching university. The research on lung cancer chemos is way behind what we need, but some places can do more than others. Sometimes doctors will review your treatment plan even if you can't travel there. Then they can advise you and your doctors what to do next.

As for how long a person has, even doctors don't like to predict that. When I was first diagnosed with cancer I met many patients who were given a month to a year to survive and had lived years to decades longer in spite of the gloomy news. I wish that happened to everyone with stage 4 cancer! (Better yet, I'd like to see a cure for all of us!) Sometimes there isn't much the doctors can do. If doctors have moved from a treatment plan to a palitive care plan, they should share all the particulars of what they will do as problems surface to maximize quality of life. Radiation can continue to be helpful if those spinal mets cause pain for example. Hospice can help provide supportive care at home or in a center. But before you accept palative care, make sure the best that are out there really can't come up with a better alternative.

ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

I've read one news article that some insurance company is introducing a combined hospice - treatment plan. Under this plan, treatment is continued but pain relief is also increased, even to a point were it may pose additional danger to the patient. Why can't this be an option? Why does a patient need to give up treatment in order to get additional pain relief?

Sorry, I don't want to be inflammatory but maybe this issue should be discussed in another thread.

Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2010

thanks for your replys. I've only just seen them as not been back on here.
My lovely friend has been back several times and the answers are always the same - theres nothing more that can be done. Tarceva and radio if pain gets bad - which it hasn't (yet).

Drs have been brutally honests and told her she probably only has months and not years.

For anybody this is utterly devastating - made worse in her case for being a young mum.

Good luck to you all and may a cure be found soon xxxxxx

Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2010

Silm: I know how your friend feels, my wife (30 years old as well) has Stage IV LC and was diagnosed 10 months ago. Docs gave her 6 months max to live, however she's still keeping the fight and taking it one day at a time. In the beginning she didn't have any symptoms, however within the past several months; my wife can not walk for long distances and is in constant daily pain. She requires daily assistance to perform the littlest of tasks. We are thankful that my mother-in-law has moved in to help with my wife and our 3 kids. Tell your friend to not give up, and if she can possibly look towards getting into a clinical trial. With her being so young, female, and possibly a non-smoker; she fits the profile with someone that has the ALK mutation. Ask her doctors to test for ALK, and see if she can get on Crizotinib. If her doctors are not giving her much hope, find new doctors. Google Pfizer and Crizotinib to find a doctor that is participating in the trials. There is always hope, don't give up.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2011

Hi there,

My younger sister (she is 27) has refused chemo & surgery. She is going the natural route and fighting her cancer with diet. Seen's that the doctors have said they can do no more i would tell your friend to research "alternative cures" www.cancertutor.com will give your friend all the info she needs. She also needs to be really postive and have faith in God. God bless xxxx

sleepless in jersey
Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2011

Im trying to have faith in the alternative way, but having a tough time with it. My sister in laws Mom had breats ca. did chemo (in philly at the cancer center)and went in remission for 5yrs, than got Lung ca. chose to do no chemo and do vitamin therapy in california and go all organic etc... im so sorry to say she dropped significant amt. of weight and...
Its been 2yrs now, I know medicine has improved even in 2yrs I hope your sister will reconsider if not I wish her lots of luck and prayers!

Please keep us informed how your sister is doing!
Lots of prayers for her, keep her fighting and continue to stay positive. She has her youth on her side to fight the beast!!

PS-Believe me im all about the healthy way, im organic, essential oils and air purifires just haven't seen enough alternitive to have Mom go that way.

Praying for all our cancer friends and family...

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