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Mom is stage four small cell lung cancer

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2011

Mom was diagnosed with stage four small cell lung cancer with mets to brain, liver and bones on June 15.

She has tolerated three rounds of chemo pretty well; just tired...but Decadron and other anti-nausea helped with side effects.

She was in ER the week after first round of chemo due to a bladder infection.

She is now in hospital after a routine chest scan following the third round of chemo showed a large blood clot in lung!
We rushed her to the ER, only to have the doctors say there is nothing they can do to thin the blood clot because she has brain mets.
We PUSHED for a brain MRI, and miraculously the MRI showed the 6mm brain met is GONE!
The oncologist thinks the blood/brain barrier may have been broken.
He still thinks there could be brain mets that the MRI machine is not reading, so after her 6 rounds of chemo, he will send her to someplace with an even stronger MRI machine with stronger magnets.
Thank goodness my sister in law pushed for the MRI that night, because the doctors could then treat her blood clot with blood thinners.

She is in the hospital right now, but the doctor at the hospital thinks she can go home. We are pushing for her to stay until the clot is dissolved.

We are finding that we have to PUSH doctors for tests and PUSH to get things moving.
Anyone else feel that way?
I am glad mom has us.
She is only 68, and has a lot of life left to live!

I wish doctors would have told us about ways to prevent blood clots, since that is a common side effect of chemo.
And wish they would have also warned us about how easy it is for chemo patients to get UTIs.

What else do I not know about that I should be prepared for?

Hopefully, she can get through the next 3 rounds of chemo before the next MRI...and then we will do whole-brain radiation if we have to.

Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

Mari, I've been meaning to post but haven't had time. My mother is end stage ovarian cancer, which is a type that is handled much like lung cancer. She was diagnosed over two years ago and is still here, but failing. Boy, do I remember the charged emotions of those first few months. Everyone was sooo freaked out.

About this pushing. Just be sure you are pushing for what you mother would want if she had all the info before her. Not what you or other family members want, which is worth talking about but not the real issue. Stage four with distal mets in multiple sites is bad, hon. They were hoping the chemo would stall or shrink the tumors, but it's a maneuver bound to break down over time.

Hope you and your family can do your best with each day. Tell your mom you'll be with her no matter what, one day at a time, and that she won't be left alone to suffer. That's what she really wants from you, doncha think?

Posts: 39
Joined: May 2011

Oh, brain mets suck, they suck so bad. They are EVIL, and I pray for your sake, they stay gone. But, if they reappear, my best advice is Hospice. Seriously, I wish Ric had agreed to call them in sooner. I wish I had something hopeful to add, but instead, I'll just say I'm praying for you. And to agree with Barbara "do your best with each day. Tell your mom you'll be with her no matter what, one day at a time, and that she won't be left alone to suffer." And I'll add...don't feel bad about using home health care/friends/family to get respite. You'll need it.

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