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Update on mom


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Hi Everyone,

Sorry for being away for so long ... and without a hall pass!

Called an ambulance for mom a couple of weeks back as she was short of breath. Long story short, she was in hospital for 5 days with fluid in the lungs and the emerg doc thought it was heart failure. Oncologist thinks it's chemo so though we missed one day of chemo - she'll be admitting mom for the last 2 cycles. In the meantime, lots of tests to make sure the heart and kidneys are working okay.

In the meantime, just prior to this, the radiation oncologist was talking about options for radiation starting at the end of December. I was confused as prior to November, he was not going to do radiation at all. Perhaps it has to do with mom having "extensive" SCLC. (We only just got a clear answer on that last week) So though she's technically extensive, he's impressed with progress so far so he's going to do radiation.

So lots of ups and downs. He said radiation gave a small chance at a cure, but mom wants to take it. So she'll be starting radiation at the end of December. 22 sessions to the chest, and 10 to the brain.

None of us thought to ask, but does anyone know if the brain sessions are usually done after the chest, or are they done at the same time?

Jeez, there were 7 of us at the meeting with the Onc. You'd think one of us would have thought to ask


Chemo again this week. Hope all goes well.

Hugs to anyone out there that needs one!


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In Robert's case, he had the radiation to the chest done first. They were going to do the brain rad after the completion of his chemo. Robert did his radiation in conjunction with chemo.

Hey, I've read where they do rad 2x a day with better results. Might ask doc about that. Don't know if your mom is up for that but if never hurts to ask.

Best of luck

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Glad to see you back. I'm also glad to see that your Mom appears to be responding well to treament even though she's had a few setbacks. The one thing I've learned through my Mom's experience with this disease is that you spend quite a bit of time managing setbacks! :D

To the best of my knowledge, your Mom will probably not have brain radiation and chest radiation at the same time. In fact, I'm not sure they can happen at the same time. In Mom's case the chest radiation occurred first. Brain scans followed to confirm that there were no mets to the brain. PCI started within two weeks of the end of chest radiation (to give Mom a break!).

Couple of thoughts for you and your Mom:

If she hasn't lost her hair because of the chemo, she should expect to lose her hair due to the brain radiation. Other than that, Mom experienced minimal side effects other than some fatigue.

Chest radiation can mean some extreme pain in the esophagus/throat. Your oncologist will no doubt be on top of that, but a prescription for "magic mouthwash" is something that she may want to consider. It may help numb any soreness that occurs in the throat area. Your Mom will also most likely need a topical cream for the burn (like a big sunburn) in the chest area. It helped manage the peeling and burning sensation for my Mom.

Keep your chin up!


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Thanks for the responses!

Kel, the hair is long gone, and she's been using the magic mouthwash for a while now, but thanks for the heads up!

Glad to know that your mom had minimal side effects. I think the list we got of potential side effects is worrying her, but I keep telling her that everyone is different - and that she may find it easier to go through than she thinks.

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My best to your mom! And tell her to try popsicles too -- they help a lot with the bad taste. (I swear, they are my new addiction!)

I had a total of 4 rounds of chemo, 34 chest radiation treatments, and will start 12 PCI treatments tomorrow. After the 2nd round of chemo, they started the radiation, so I was having both for a while. I finished chemo at the end of August, and finished radiation on Sept. 9th. The Radiation Oncologist says they generally start PCI about a month after the chest radiation stops, but I had a spot on my lower right lobe that they were trying to figure out -- turned out to be a touch of radiation pneumonitis and scarring, as the cancer is now in remission.

I'm going to try and keep sort of a diary here about my PCI from day to day, just to let people know what it was like. Others have posted about it too, and none so far that I've seen have experienced really awful side effects.

Tell your mom she CAN do it -- especially with your love and support. This stuff can be SO scary, for sure.


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Hi Deruo,

I sure hope they don't plan to do radiation to the chest and brain at the same time. If they do, RUN to a different doctor. I'm sure they are planning to do one after the other. PCI is different that WBR, but they did my husband's WBR first because that is where he was symptomatic. Since I don't see any mention of brain mets in your mom's profile, I'm assuming the brain radiation is PCI, which is preventive. I don't know which they will do first. Other SCLC patients, or oncodoc, can better answer that question.

But, I wanted you to know that I will be praying for your mom.



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