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Everything posted by azgirl

  1. azgirl

    Update on my mom

    I haven't been on here in a long time; I'm not sure if anyone remembers me or my mom's story. I had my first baby in Sept. and haven't had the chance to get on here much. Anyway, I thought I'd give a little update on my mom. I know when I was coming on here a lot it always helped me to read encouraging updates. My mom was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC June 07. The cancer had spread to her brain. She had two surgeries (brain and lung) followed by chemo. Today she is NED!!! She is doing wonderfully and I am so grateful. There were a lot of people who didn't think she'd still be here today, but we never gave up hope. I know this terrible disease can come back at any time, but for now we are LOVING LIFE and enjoying our blessings.
  2. I'm so proud of you!!!! I know it isn't easy even with the Chantix--keep up the great work!!! Maryea
  3. My mom started taking Chantix just before she was diagnosed and continued to take it afterwards. I believe she was on it for about 3 months. It worked for her without any side effects (that I know about). And she had smoked for over 35 years. Not sure if it would have worked as well without the dx, but she had tried quitting so many times over the years and the Chantix was the only thing that worked. I know there has been some bad press, but I'm not sure what it was all about. Good luck to you--I'm not a smoker but from watching my mom struggle with her addiction I know how terribly hard it is to quit. Maryea
  4. Chris-My prayers are with you and your family. I'm so sorry. Maryea
  5. Susan, Yes, it was your mom's story I was reading. Thanks for clarifying that she had a CT scan before her bone scan. Thank you for your input. Maryea
  6. Thank you all for your always helpful answers. It is so nice to have a community of people so willing to answer questions and help someone they don't even really know! Maryea
  7. I was just reading a profile in the "My Story" forum (I'm sorry, I can't remember the name right now...) that indicated her mother had a scan and was told she was stable, then a bone scan revealed she actually had bone mets to her spine and hips. Do PET scans often miss bone mets? I am asking because my mom recently had a PET scan and was told there was no evidence of cancer. However, she has been having terrible back pain for a while now, so I am worried that something may not have shown up on the PET scan. Is that possible? Should she have bone scans for all of her follow-up scans, or are PET scans suffice? She was stage IV with a solitary brain met. that was removed last summer and then she had lung surgery. She thinks that the pain could be lingering from the lung surgery. I don't know what to think but it scares me that something could have been missed. What do you thinK? Thanks for sharing any wisdom you may have in this area. Maryea
  8. Horray!! Wonderful news!!!! Maryea
  9. If it metastasized to six locations, that means it was stage IV! I love to hear all long term survivor stories, but I especially love to hear stories about stage IV long term survivors since my mom is stage IV. It always lifts my spirits!
  10. My thoughts are with you and your sister. My mom received WBR last August. It did cause her fatigue and she lost all of her hair, but it is tolerable. I wish you the best. Love, Maryea
  11. My mom is a 11 1/2 month stage IV lung cancer survivor. Her one year anniversary is coming up on June 6th. She has a scan coming up next week, and she lives fearful that the cancer will come back. She is still dealing with the side effects from chemo and WBR. She is grateful to still be alive, though, and tries to stay positive, even when sometimes it is difficult. Hang in there and know that you are not alone!
  12. 6 years!! Wow! You are an inspiration! Maryea
  13. I agree with cat127. I live across the country from my mom (she's in Michigan, and I live in Arizona), but I called her every single day when I wasn't there. She told me several times how important that was for her, even when she couldn't talk long because she wasn't feeling well. If you can't be there physically, at least let your sister know you can always be there emotionally for her.
  14. We told the doctors ahead of time to NOT to let my mom hear any prognosis. My brothers and I knew what the stats said for stage IV lung cancer because we'd researched it on the internet, but we didn't want our mom to hear those numbers. A few doctors had casually mentioned to us that her prognosis was not good, which only angered and upset us. Never did my mom hear anything like that though, and her attitude was always that she was going to beat this. She's no longer treated at the original hospital she was treated at, but I wish those doctors who acted like she was already dead when she was there could see her today!!
  15. We got a juicer for our mom and it really helped her during chemo. Sometimes she couldn't eat whole veggies, but she could always drink them. Plus most juices you buy are full of added sugar, so it was good to know she wasn't getting anything extra that she didn't need. My husband and I bought a juicer, too, and we love it!
  16. My mom changed her diet quite a bit, and for a 56 year-old woman who has eaten a certain way her whole life that hasn't been easy. The main changes are limiting sugar, meat, and processed foods. She tries to make veggies and whole grains her main foods. Most regular doctors have very little education in the area of nutrition, which is why they don't inform you one way or the other how you should be eating. Since my mom's diagnosis I have read a number of books on the subject that have taught me a lot. A couple that come to mind are "The China Study" and "Crazy, Sexy Cancer". I've probably read about 10 different books now and I truly believe that nutrition can help.
  17. Just make sure she has plenty of pain meds. My mom was in SO much pain after her lung surgery; it was terrible to have to see her like that. My mom had a epidural for pain, but that didn't really help. It wasn't until they took the tubes out that she got some relief. I'm not sure if your friend had the same kind of lung surgery--my mom had the most invasive one. The good news it that it does pass, it just takes time. You're a great friend for being there for her.
  18. I don't have advice for you but did want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless, Maryea
  19. I am so sorry to hear that you have so much to deal with right now. I know how overwhelming it can be. Your parents are so lucky to have you. Don't lose hope!! Maryea
  20. What wonderful news! Keep up your amazing spirit. Hope is such an important component of fighting this disease. Thanks for sharing some HOPE!! Maryea
  21. azgirl

    Chemo question

    hello everyone, I am wondering if anyone can tell me approximately how long the effects of chemo linger after treatment is finished? My mom had her last treatment on Dec. 17th and still has tingling in her hands and feet. (I know there's a special word for this, but I can't think of it right now! ) Of course it is different for everyone, but she's just wondering about how long she can expect to have some of the side effects. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks! -Maryea
  22. Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing your story! It will bring hope to many people newly diagnosed. I'm glad you decided to join in! Welcome!!!
  23. One more thing I forgot to mention: Don't be afraid to get a 2nd opinion or find another doctor if you are not 100% certain that the current doctor is "in it to win it", so to speak. My mom's first doctor spoke in terms of "quality of life", which made us head for the door! We weren't looking for a short term fix, but a CURE. Your mom CAN be cured if she's getting surgery. If your doctor isn't fighting for that, I say find someone who will.
  24. I believe my mom falls into the same category as your mom. She was diagnosed last June and is currently cancer-free!! Everything looked so dire in the beginning (even doctors were telling us she didn't have much hope ) but she NEVER believed that she was going to die anytime soon and she still has that attitude today. Of course we can't predict what the future holds and if the cancer is ever going to be back, but we are so grateful for the results she's had so far. Have faith that your mom can have similar results!
  25. My mom is in the same boat you are. She had WBR in August 07 and her hair has only grown in some places, while in others she is still completely bald. She has a little on the sides, and two patches on the back. She is hopeful that eventually it will come back.
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