Daughter of a Mother diagnosed with Stage IV adenocarcinoma

My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung cancer in May of 2011. In the beginning we all were shocked to hear this news but very hopeful since she had successfully battled Lymphoma 12 years ago. When we first found out I took her to the ER because we thought she was having a stroke only to find out that she had a large tumor in her brain along with 3-4 smaller ones. The ct scan later showed masses in her left lung and she was then diagnosed with Stage IV inoperable lung cancer. ...After 20 full brain radiation treatments and 5 chemos (Cisplatin and Carboplatin and Alimta). I feel as though she has given up hope. I am her primary care giver and I love my mother more than anything in the world. After reading life expectancies and effects of the rad and the chemos she has been receiving I feel that there is nothing else i can do but be there with her no matter what. We did get some good news from the Oncologist who said that the tumors in her lungs had almost completely dissapeared (after 4 chemo treatments) but we are still in the dark, waiting for an MRI in October.

She is hopeless and depressed which I know are normal feelings, but it is killing me inside. When I see her I try to smile and make her laugh and let her know that I love her. I'm currently in my last 2 semesters of College and it's a constant struggle between taking a break from school to be there with her as much as I can and just trying to suck it up and graduate. But being a full-time student I am not able to be with my mom as much as I was during the summer.

I need advice, someone to share a story, or just kind words, to help my mother and I get through this. I am terrified, Ill, and helpless.


  • Glenna M
    Glenna M Member Posts: 1,576
    So sorry....
    I am so sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis and know how scary it can be. Has your mother requested any help for her depression? Part of what helps most of us through the treatment and recovery is a positive attitude. It's natural to be depressed at times but it is not healthy if it's for prolonged periods of time. There is no shame in asking for help and there are many different medications they can prescribe for her to help her deal with this. Please, get your mother to speak with her doctors about this, the chemo seems to be having good results so she should be pleased, not depressed.

    Make sure you take time for yourself also. Being a caregiver is the toughest job anyone will ever do but it won't help your mother if you burn yourself out.

    I'm sure others will post soon with more advice and encouraging stories so stay strong.

    My best to you and your mom,
  • laynie11
    laynie11 Member Posts: 36
    Hi Luna
    My mother has just been diagnosed with large cell lung cancer, metastatic to her mandible bone. My Mom is an otherwise healthy 60 year old. She has just had her first chemotherapy treatment this last Sunday. Thankfully, she is tolerating it well (so far). I am an only child and live about 30 miles away. I understand what you mean about feeling guilt for not being with your Mom as much as you'd like. I share your feelings of being terrified and helpless. I have no idea how my Mom's illness will progress, but I do know I will face many of the same issues you are with regard to caring for your Mom.

    Focus on the good news for now - the tumors in her lung are almost completely gone!! Worrying about what is to come WILL NOT change the outcome of her MRI in October, in fact worrying won't change anything. I realize not worrying is impossible, but I am trying to do less of it.

    Another thing came to mind when I read your post.....You mentioned you love your mom more than anything in the world, this tells me your mom loves you even more. This said, I am sure your Mom will want to see you succeed and lead a happy, healthy life doing everything you love to do. Getting a good education will help ensure you achieve everything you want to achieve in your life. I hope you are able to find some help in order to allow you to finish school. I am sure your Mom will want to see you graduate. I am a mother and I know my child's happiness and success in life means more to me than my own happiness.

    I was referred to Hospice in the city I live in. It is a non-medical institution that offers many programs and support for cancer patients and their families - this is NOT TRAVELING NURSES - it is NOT the Hospice that handles end-of-life care. It took me a while to get over the word hospice because I associate Hospice with death. It is anything but! I went into Hospice this Friday. I am scheduled for counseling. I talked my Mom into calling - she did and a social worker from Hospice visited her in her home today. Hospice has sooooo many resources available - Yoga classes, massage, nutrition, support groups, counseling, groups, classes - and so much more, all free of charge (even to family members). They even have volunteers who will visit with patients in their home, drive patients to doctor appointments, etc. Now my Mom has access to all these services and help with support. This is allowing me to KNOW I am doing everything possible to help my Mom. Also, sometimes, people need to vent to someone other than a family member.

    If there is a Hospice or something similar in your community, please look into it. I am so grateful I did.

    Good luck and I hope to see a good news about your Mom in October. I'll say a prayer for your Mom, please do the same for mine.

  • Hope4Marge
    Hope4Marge Member Posts: 74
    I am here for you, as I am a
    I am here for you, as I am a daughter of a mother with stage 4 lung cancer. She was diagnosed the day before Thanksgiving last year. It's been a scary ride but you will find much needed support with this group. Reach out to us anytime. Hang in there. Hugs to you and your mom.
  • Hope4Marge
    Hope4Marge Member Posts: 74
    Checking In
    I hope you are doing ok. I have been thinking about you and your mom. My mom has been failing and I am scared and nervous. Know that you are not alone, as I try to remind myself, as well. Let us know how your mom is doing when you can.
  • DCG1956
    DCG1956 Member Posts: 4
    Luna, I am in the exact same position as you are. My mother was just diagnosed a month ago. I hope all is going well with you and your mother. Balancing school and being a caretaker is extremely difficult but I'm sure you've been able to handle it.