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Chelsea

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I’m a caregiver for my 58 year old Mom who was just diagnosed last month with stage 3b inoperable NSCLC. She’s on carboplatin/Alimta every 21 days for four sessions. 30 radiation treatment ya as well. She’s completed 8 radiations and two chemos. She has a lot of underlying issues as well, such as lupus. This second round of chemo is really knocking her for a loop. She has been In bed for almost a week with sever abdominal cramping. I am not very sure how to feel about any of this, she was a breast cancer survivor for about 17 years up until last August when she had carcinoma incitu of the breast. Luckily, she didn’t need any treatment for that nor was there any lump . She opted for a mastectomy and has been having trouble healing from that up until just recently. Her recent diagnosis of the lung cancer is a tough thing to swollow.. I am looking for advice on how to help with the stomach cramps, success stories, triumphs and just encouragement. I’m getting married in 10 months and my sister is having a baby in june. Lots to look forward to but our mom is our rock. 

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Hi Chelsea,

Welcome here!  Your mom is going through a lot, and so are you. Has she talked to her oncologist about the severe cramping after the chemo? It doesn't seem like that should be happening. Maybe there is something she could take for it or maybe her chemo could be adjusted. I hope she can get this resolved. It sounds awful! Sorry I don't have any advice to offer on that other than call the doctor or clinic if she hasn't already.

I'm glad you've found this forum. You'll find a lot of people on  here who are survivors of advanced lung cancers as well as caregivers like yourself. This is a place to find hope and support as well as information. 

Hang in there!

Bridget O

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Chelsea,

I hope the New Year brings a good prognosis to your mother's condition.

I had 18 infusions of Taxol and Carboplatin without abdominal cramping.  I had 6 of those infusions in combination therapy with Tarceva, at the time, a new oral chemo therapy drug.  The Tarceva caused severe and extended diarrhea that was a troubling symptom to endure but not abdominal cramping. So I agree with Bridget's suggestion to consult with your mother's oncologist.  

Addressing your request for advice on success stories -- pick a forum and read the conversations.  Notice how often many of us have been responding throughout the years.  From that evidence you may conclude that treatment works.  Having said that, I note your mother has a history of cancer and has the autoimmune disease lupus.  I'm not a physician but lupus may complicate her treatment, and perhaps one complication is the reported abdominal cramping after infusion.

I believe when one chooses to undergo lung cancer treatment, one chooses life.  Treatment often extends life.  How long?  No one can answer the length of extension and the survival statistics you've likely seen are also poor indicators.  Proof?  At one time, one of my doctors told me I had about 6 months to live.  In 35 days, I will celebrate my 14-year anniversary of life after late stage NSC Squamous Cell LC diagnosis.  The important part about the extension is what one chooses to do with it.  I hope you encourage your mother to engage in life both during and after her treatments.  You've got a lot of family celebrations in the near future that ought to be joyful events.  My wish is for your mother's treatments to arrest her disease.  My encouragement is to help your mother find a little bit of joy in each day she lives.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Tom- 

congratulations on coming up to your 14th year! Your triumph brought me to tears! Tears of joy, and tears of hope. Thank you for sharing your experience with me and replying to the posts on here, you are shedding light and hope to everyone.

 

- Chelsea

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Hi Chelsea,

I'm very sorry to hear of your mom's diagnosis.  I too am a caregiver for my mom.  It's a tough road, but moms seem to be tough - mine had to deal with me, so she is tough as nails!  My mom completed 6 rounds of carbo/alimta along with immunotherapy.  The only stomach cramping she reported was with the days she had diarrhea.  As mentioned by Tom and Bridget, make sure she brings it up with her doc sooner than later.  Even if it ends up being nothing serious, they may have a remedy for it. 

I am excited to hear that you have lots of positive things happening in your family for y'all to look forward to!  Exciting stuff, but stressful too.  I hope that you find the time to enjoy all of it alongside your mom.  These times are precious.  This is my second go around for my mom with lung cancer.  This time is harder since her mass is inoperable.  But there is hope.  These forums were a big help to me to get the support I needed so I didn't go out of my mind with worry.  The warriors on here like Tom and Bridget are a testament to us that lung cancer is conquerable (is that even a word???!!!).

Take care,

Steff 

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