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My Beautiful Mother at 54

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2013

Hello, I don't know where to start, but after two endless, and sleepless days I landed myself here. I feel like I need group therapy as no one I know, other than you all on this site can understand me and my pain. My mom started showing signs of being sick right after Christmas. She had this awful cough, and chest congestion that seemed to never dissappear. She has seen her doctor numerous times, and all what he did was give her prescription after prescription. Never shook it off, her voice changed in February. She sounds terrible. Continuing with meds that never helped my mom got tired of playing games and seen her sister's GP. He sent her off right away "Last Thursday March 14 2013" to get a CT scan, and the office called her back right away on the same day. We knew already something was terribly wrong. She went in on Monday, two days ago, that the CT scan found cancer of the lungs. When she told me this I fell to the floor screaming and crying. Trying to keep the faith, the doc sent her to see the specialist right away to talk about her findings. Feeling sick to my gills, everything happened so fast. She has a tumor on her bronchial tube. The spots have spread to both lungs, there are many of them and it also went into her lymphnodes. Stage 4!! He says she is dealing with a very aggressive cancer. She goes in for biopsy next Wednesday, but the specialist said by how things look, her situation is so bad that it cannot be operated on. My family is devastated. I know that there are thousands out there who are currently suffering and have suffered loved ones battling this crazy disease.... but I can't help to say that I'm on the verge of breakdown. My mom is my best friend, SHE IS ONLY 54!!!! There is no history of cancer in the family. She just started living her life. I gave her the first grandchild, a little boy. My brother is getting married in August, and this is all nothing but a mess. She has been good to herself. Yes I won't sit here and lie, she did smoke, but she is the most loving, giving, pleasing, hardworking person in my eyes, who is the very last person to deserve this. I am trying to stay confident and positive that we can somehow slow this battle down, and bind her time, cause I know that is all we have now. Is there anyone here who has anything positive to tell me?? Believe it or not, Since her diagnosis, she is already showing rapid signs of blood slivers in her mucous when she coughs. Yesterday she found her chest was really hurting, and today she is getting prickly tender sensations in her shoulders. GOD please..... Do NOT take my mother away. I need her, we all do, and I can't even digest the thought of losing her. Does my mom stand any kind of chance, with some kind of chemo or radiation, and be with us longer than I think?? God Bless you all for listening, and for being strong. I need you guys more than ya think. I am 36, with a 2yr old son who loves his baba, and I almost feel like I need medication because I am having a difficult time dealing with this.

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

This is NOT A DEATH SENTENCE.   Inoperable is not the same as untreatable.  As difficult as this is The Enemy needs a name and then and only then can you move on.  I have stage four adenocarcinoma and am approaching the two and a half year survival mark.  If you saw me on the street you would never guess.  

There are people here and other places in my life that have survived ten and twenty years with stage four cancer and mets to other organs including the brain.  There are many new targeted therapies that are prolonging lives with good quality.  You have come to a great place for information.  Another good site would be cancergrace.org.  It is run and monitored by some of the most renowned and cutting edge oncologists.

Please let us know what happens.  

GrannyT62's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2013

Hope this will help you some. I personally was a smoker for 30 years. I stopped smoking in May of 2012, because like your mother I had a cough that would not go away and the doctors kept treating me with antibiotics and telling me that I had bronchitis as well as whooping cough one time. No x ray was every taken or even suggested. I continued to have the cough even though I had stopped smoking but all the information showed you could have a cough for up to a year after sensation of smoking.

In November, I landed in the hospital with Pneumonia.  I demanded a CT scan after 15 days of IV antibiotic fluids and I was no better. It showed I had a mass in my left lung 6.6 x 4.2 cm and it was connected to my heart and blood vessels, the bottom half of left lung had collapsed.  I was told no operation would be possible by my local medical doctor. I left the office feeling pretty low and depressed, felt my life was over at 50.

Within a few weeks I was coughing up blood (lots of it). I was scared and it was the holidays and getting in to see doctors is hard enough without it being the holidays.  Living in Wyoming with only a few Oncologists in the state is not fun. I saw my first set of doctors on December 6th. Out of the first set of doctors I picked one to be on my team. (All the research I had done said to pick a team of doctors you felt like you could trust or felt comfortable with). I then went in for my biopsy and PET scan. That told me that I had small cell stage four lung cancer it was also on my arm and two areas on my pelvis. The doctor told me it was not operable but it was treatable and the goal was to get it in a non-active state. With Chemo and Radiation hopefully would stop the growth, shrink what I had and put it in a non-active state.

I then traveled to another town and met with the medical oncologist I chose. The first treatment center I looked at was very busy and the housing was not that great so I looked at another location and I was amazed at the difference in the treatment center, the staff and the housing.  I was lucky the both of the Oncologists I chose worked out of this treatment center.  So I currently receive treatment 100 miles from my home in Wyoming the facility is a couple hundred miles from Denver and they are tied into the Denver Cancer Center for support.

Currently I have completed four rounds of Chemo and six weeks of radiation on my lung, 19 treatments on my arm. I have a cough but it is not nothing like it used to be, the blood stopped after the second round of chemo and my tumor has gone from original size to almost nothing on my lung. I do have some radiation burns. I feel so much better.

It is scary and challenging and I have not completed my treatment yet but I feel so much better than the day I walked out of that doctor’s office and was told it could not be surgically removed. Sometimes, I feel like I could run a race. I am looking forward completing my treatment and seeing what the PET scan shows. They have recommended that if the PET scan is clear then I should complete three weeks of low dose radiation on my brain.  (a little nervous about that but it will be okay) 

I have also tried to have a positive attitude, stay busy, decrease my stress and watch what I eat, exercise and continue to live my life.  I’m looking forward to going back to work (I hope in August).  I hope your mother does well with treatment and the family can help by putting a happy face on and being positive because she herself is probably got all kinds of things going on in her mind that she will never voice.  (I did, do and still do)  Hang in there and be supportive.  Keep us posted. 

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2013

GrannyT62, you are truly amazing. Thank you for sharing your story and journey with me. I also need to thank Dennycee as well. I hope I spelled that right. I simply cannot imagine what any of you are going through. All I can really say is that I do share the same feelings that your loved ones have experienced as all of this is so scary. My brother and I have turned to those in our lives who have members of the family with cancer. You have inspired me even more to keep moving forth and deal with this one day at a time. I made a promise to my mom, that any changes she has to make "even simple ones" that I will make those changes with her. First I'd like to mention that I am Canadian. I live in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. What makes that part even greater, is we live in a city that has one of the most recognized Cancer Institutions in Western North America. The Cross Cancer Institute also deals with the University of Alberta. Maybe if you have some time, I would love for you to google The Cross Cancer Institute Edmonton Alberta. Having them on our side, and warriors such as yourselves, gives me more strength today than yesterday, that my mom and family are going to pull through this and she will be ok. I know and have heard that the very beginning of a battle such as this is very overwhelming, and scary, and there will always be good and bad news, but to keep positive and stay strong as this is the worlds best medicine. As for now, I am keeping smiles on my moms face. We are encouraging her to fight like she's never fought before, and to release all negative energy out of her body. To stay focused on everything she has to fight and live for because she is far from done. She goes in next Wednesday for a biopsy, and then her journey will start from there. I don't have enough information with any medical terms as of yet, but as we get further I will keep you all posted on her journey. Thank you again for your inspiring story. In fact, I will print it and let her read it. She needs all the encouragement she can get. My love, prayers, and best wishes go out to each and every one of you. God Bless and again.... thank you so much for listening and being there. I need this more than you know. :)

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