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New Here... scared and confused

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2011

My mom was diagnosed in February of this year with small cell lung cancer (non extensive). They did chemo, radiation, and then did radiation on her brain in August as a preventative measure. Her sixth and last round of chemo was not able to be done because of her blood counts- they just would not come up high enough for the doctor to be comfortable giving the last round of chemo.

She'd been having some problems lately- swelling, pain, etc, so they decided to do a brain MRI and a PET scan. She got the results yesterday- the cancer has grown back in her lung (in July it was nickle sized, now it's back to fist sized), spread to her bones (just at her hip) and kidney and brain. :(

She was told if she did no treatment she would be dead within 3 months. Her oncologist and radiation oncologist are meeting today to decide what to do from here and then she will most likely start the treatment tomorrow.

I am so scared, shocked, confused, angry, etc... The kicker here is, I just gave birth 7 weeks ago to her first and only grandchild. The grandchild that she has been asking (begging) for, for at least the past 7 years. How unfair and cruel this is.

I guess I'm not really asking anything... just venting. I wish I knew how this was going to play out. I can't bear the thought of losing her, I don't even want to think about it. But I know I WILL lose her, sooner rather than later. :(

Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2011

A loved one of mine is in the same position as your mother. I'm so sorry to hear your situation. My thoughts are with you.

Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2011

So sorry you have to go through this. I lost my mom last year to cancer and now my dad is diagnosed with stage IV nonsmall cell lung cancer. He's been feeling very fatique lately and has had a drain put in him to drain out his lung fluid. I don't even live in the same city as him. I'm an hour and 1/2 away by plane. I was there for 3 months during the summer and was there for 8 months before my mom passed away. I feel so guilty for being so far away. But I have to work and pay mortgage. Another thing is, he wouldn't want me there. He always encourages me to not let his life interfere with mine. When I was with my mom before she passed away, she kept telling me to go home and apologized to my husband for keeping me away from home. I had my 1 year daughter with me at the time. Luckily, I have sibblings that live there to care for my dad. I don't even know if I have really grief about my mom yet and now having to deal with the possibility of losing my dad is beyond tramatizing. My mom was only 58 and dad 62.

I totally know what you are going through. It's ok to vent...sometimes we just need to vent to complete strangers than to talk to our friends and family. My friends and my hubby will never understand the feeling when they haven't gone through something like this. It will get easier with time. We are very adaptable human beings and will learn to cope with losts. The best gift you can give to your mom is to live your life to the fullest and be the best mom you could be to your son just like your mom is to you :)

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

Please don't give up hope that your mom will be around longer to enjoy her new grandchild.

I know how scary the diagnosis is and most people think of it as an automatic death sentence but that is not usually the case. Unfortunately I do not know anything about your mothers type of cancer as mine is NSCLC Adenocarcinoma but I remember the day I was told I had cancer as if it were yesterday. That was 2 years ago, I received treatment and went into remission for 2 years and have just recently found out that it is back. Again, I am not looking at it as a death sentence but rather another battle I have to win.

Do what you need to do for yourself, cry, vent, scream, punch the wall. Whatever it takes to get the anger, fear and frustration out of your system. Once you have done this you will be ready to help your mom. She will need someone with a positive attitude around her who will help her keep her spirits up. Just be with your mom, be positive and love her. There is still hope.

My best to you and your mom,

Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2010

I totally agree with Glenna - don't give up hope, even if the prognosis becomes darker. My wife has been fighting this same disease since November of 2009. After all of the chemo and radiation, she went into remission for about 6 months. The cancer came back in her brain in January of this year and was taken care of with the cyber knife procedure. Then, it came back in her lungs in April, so they put her on topetecan. This didn't work as the cancer spread even more to her lymph nodes as well as her other lung. They switched the chemo to taxotere which seemed to only make her more sick. In August the brain lesions came back again, so they stopped chemo and gave her another round of whole brain radiation (WBR). They also put her on a drug that was just approved by the FDA for sclc mets to the brain in August called temodar. After the WBR was completed, they started the taxotere back. Recently, she had an MRI on her head and CT scan on her torso. The results showed a complete response on her torso (no sign of cancer anywhere there) and the 5 lesions on her brain were much smaller and dying. She was told in August that she would be lucky to live until Christmas with 6 months being the best she could hope for. The results have been nothing short of miraculous as the onc's are now saying that all bets are off on her life expectancy.

No one but God knows what our life expectancy really is. This disease can really take its toll on both the victim but especially the caregivers. Don't lose hope and never give up!


Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2011

Please do not give up. I don't have an answer as I have watched my mother go from a vibrant woman, to a sedated FIGHTING hard woman within 3 weeks. (She was diag Non small cell stage 4 lung cancer Oct. 4). I was literally just told that she has a few days left and I am not giving up hope. SO LETS HOPE TOGETHER. I recently started a new job in a new city (3 hours away)... I feel as if my whole world is crumbling around me and I'm sitting in the middle of it looking like a fool because I have no idea which way to go, BUT I feel like a strong fool :) because I am not running. I am standing here prepared to take on whatever challenges may arise. So plz vent. Hold ur baby. Love hard. Pray lots

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