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Update on my mom

Laralyn's picture
Posts: 529
Joined: Apr 2012

Sorry I've been so absent the past week or so. We all know what a whirlwind it is between diagnosis and starting treatment, and I've been going through that with Mom. We got the best news we could get under the circumstances. Her PET scan showed only the cancer we already knew about: a lesion in the lung with involvement of a nearby node, and one lesion in the brain. It's good to know it hasn't spread beyond that, since it brightens the progosis just a little and also was something she was really scared of. Her father and brother both died of lung cancer that had progressed much further than hers before it was discovered.

She's had her first 4 whole brain radiation sessions, and she has another 13 scheduled. After she finishes the radiation, she starts on chemo. The medical oncologist will have additional pathology reports by then that will tell us the type of chemo she should have. Lung cancer is so much more common than H&N that it has some of the earliest research and results on targeted and antibody therapies, so if she has a certain mutation she can take chemo by pill rather than IV! So I'm hoping the cancer cells have that mutation.

I was talking to my best friend last night (who I'll get to see while I'm home with Mom) and we're going through something similar. She has a type of MS that causes a lot of pain but goes into remission. Her sister has the kind of MS that, once it starts, moves quickly and never goes into remission. Seeing her sister in such bad shape is rough on her emotionally not just because she doesn't want to see her sister suffer, but also because she's having to deal with her own possible future state. HPV+ SCC had goes to the lungs if you have mets, so it's the same with me and my mom. 

I'm really, really glad I'm here though. My mom is really struggling with it emotionally. I think I'm the only one she feels like she can talk to about her fears (and she waits until my dad is downstairs or in bed). I'm able to talk to her about what I learned about living with uncertainty, waiting for scan results, dealing with the treatments, etc. It helps a lot that I can say with 100% honesty that her treatments will not be as rough as mine were. She gets half the radiation (and it's limited to the brain with nothing below the nose), and her chemo is spread out over much longer and at lower doses than mine. It was especially important to explain that survival statistics deal with medians (which means half the patients lived longer... sometimes much longer).

Now that we're settling into the treatment routine, I should be here more often. Glad to see all the posts of folks doing so well, both the people who rode the bus right before or after I did, all the new people doing so well after treatments, and the old timers who show us all the light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4678
Joined: Mar 2012

to be with her.  I think when a person is first diagnosed, they don't realize how comforting it is to have someone close to them who knows what rads and chemo are all about.....once a person been down that road, we talk about chemo and rads almost like it's an everyday thing....there's no uncomfortableness as the words roll off our tongues. 

Sending positive thoughts that the mutation is found.....and her treatments are kinder to her than they are for HNC.

patricke's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: Aug 2006

Hey Laura, your mom is fortunate to have you to help her thru these challenging times.  Hang in there, and remember to take care of yourself as well.


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

sending prayers ur way.  so glad u could b with ur mom.  please keep us posted on her progress.


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4369
Joined: May 2012


I am so glad your Mom has someone knowledgeable to talk to and that the treatments sound very doable (thank goodness).

Take care of yourself and good luck on this ride.


CherieLW's picture
Posts: 472
Joined: May 2013


So glad you are with your mom right now, sounds like her and your friend and you- you all need each other right now!  My dad tends to shut down when I try to talk about things with his cancer.  I recenlty found out he thought he had a 50/50 chance, when in reality his chances are 90/10.  So I hope he can find some peace of mind knowing that. 

Praying for you all!

Posts: 839
Joined: May 2013

that things sounded better than you had even thought they would and that you're able to be with her.  Thoughts and prayers are with y'all!

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sep 2009

But hpefully, like you mention she will have a better go at it than a lot of us have...



sin9775's picture
Posts: 199
Joined: May 2013

There is just so much darn pain and suffering in this world.  It is so wonderful that you are strong enough to be there for your mom!  God bless you both.


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009


Just glad that you and your Mom can talk about your feelings and fears, it helps to have someone who understands what we are going through. My Wife is always there for me 24&7 but I find it is hard for me to talk to her about something’s. All the best to you both and will continue to keep you both in my prayers.



Duggie88's picture
Posts: 703
Joined: Feb 2010

I like when the light at the end of the tunnell gets a little brighter. I've never felt so much heart ache for people I've never met until I found this site. When my CSN buds are hurting I feel their pain. I am so glad you can be there to help your Mom through this especially emotionally because all medine can do for that is surpress it. Someone there beside you is the best medicine.

My thoughts and prayers are with you especially this coming week while I'll at the shore. I am up every morning early sitting on the balcony over looking the ocean watching the sun come up and while  thanking the big man for allowing me to do so, I will mention Laralyn and Mom.

Enjoy the day


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