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Mom diagnosed with Stage 4


CRS6603

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My mom was just diagnosed with stage 4 Lc today. She is 56 years old. She smoked a little in her 20's but quit and has not smoked in over 30 years.

She really had no symptoms at all. 3 1/2 months ago she felt something pop in her back and had had terrible pain since. She has been to Orthapaedic's, Chiropractor's, Neurologists, and finally she was referred to an Oncologist. Well we are awaiting tests back from a sample of her bone but her CAT scan shows a tumor ( pretty large one) on her left lung and a lot of deterioration in her left pelvic area. ( Metastasis?) It's very scary to me. Her Oncologist was not too optimistic. He gave her a prognosis of fair to poor, leaning more towards poor. After my Mom and Dad left his office I stayed behind to ask some more questions. I asked for a worst/best case scenario and he told me 6 mos. to a year. She goes back to the Oncologist tomorrow to get a shot for the metastasis in her pelvic area. I have been researching Lung Cancer on the Net since I got home and I am getting somewhat informed. I guess I am here to see what lies ahead in the future for her..(whether good or bad). I feel and pray for all of you here and wish you the best of luck..

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Try not to assume the worst. I know it is hard.............Brian got a scary diagnosis too, but keep hope and positive thinking in the mix. There are a lot of wonderful stories of folks NOT BEING STATISTICS. Your mom is person and not a number.

Your family is permantly a part of our prayer concerns.

We care.

Brian and Pat

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Hi, and welcome. My wife was given 9 months, and she is now 2 1/2 years from diagnosis, and going well. Prognosis with lung cancer is just statistical, and all persons are different. Besides, someon has to be in the high percentage of the statistics for surviving. So, hold on to the hope. Since bone metastasis to the pelvic region is in your description, you might ask the onc about Zometa. It is a monthly intravenous that is not chemo, but a bone builder. It could have beneficial efforts to help heal the pelvic area dn the prevent further bone mets. Good luck. Don

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Dear ??,

I sure do wish that doctors would quit telling patients how long they have to live. Doggone it! It's really upsetting to me because they should just say they don't know - BECAUSE THEY DON'T!! We always hear that same thing 6 to 12 mos., and it just ain't so!!!!! I suppose it can be, but there are so many new treatments these days, those statistics are so old, and so many people right here on this web site have INCREDIBLY beat those odds!

I suppose this is tacky, but there is another new person that joined today who sounds as scared as you, so I'm just going copy my post to her for you to read. Hope this helps, and WELCOME to LCSC! We are here to help you in any way we can. Here's my post to Jaime:

Try to take some deep breaths, honey. The first few weeks of dealing with this disease are the worst, but trust me, things will settle down in a while. Your mom has had an extra double whammy with the blood clot problems, and I'm sure this has been really hard on you.

My husband is a Stage IV lc survivor and quite advanced at that. He has brain mets, bone mets, one liver met, and a, like your mom, a large pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart), in addition to the lung cancer. But, guess what? He's doing great. Working full time and starting to plan a motorcycle trip for later this spring.

The first 4-6 mos. were really, really tough. He was so sick and so knocked on his butt, that I thought the treatments were going to kill him instead of the cancer. That's the way it usually goes. They have to get worse to get better.

I'll be praying that this is the way it will go for your mom. You are probably about the age of our son and I know how this has knocked you for a loop. Take deep breaths, and just take it one day at a time. Our son was a basket case for several months, but his dad told him he was going to be around to kick his butt for a long time, so stop the gloom and doom.

My best to you Jaime, and please, please stay close to us. You will learn so much that will give you encouragement.

Love,

Peggy

P.S. My husband is 18 months post-diagnosis and he started this whole thing with a big headache, that turned out to be lc with 8 brain mets. They gave him 6 mos., too. :roll: Thank God they didn't tell him that!

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Welcome to our site. I am so sorry you find yourself in need to be here but it really is a big help. The people are really A #1! One thing I can guarantee you is that you can NEVER allow yourself (or your Mom) to be a stasticic! Back the end of May or beginning of June, I was given a couple of weeks without treatment & not a much better outlook with. Today, I'm kicking pretty darned strong most of the time. God knows that could turn, but for now, I'm going take whatever great days I have & run with them. I really believe that the more positive your outlook, the better off for all concerned.

May God be with you on this unwanted & undeserved journey.

Prayers & hugs,

Melanie

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Listen to Don and Peggy, they are very wise! When I finally pinned the doctor down and asked I was given 4mths without treatment (that was 02/11/05). That's hogwash as far as I am concerned!

Read the biographies under everone's signature and you WILL find hope and NOT JUST ANOTHER statistic!

Hang in there, your in our thoughts and prayers!

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Hi: welcome to this site. I think your oncologist may be on the pessimistic side. I would want one who would give an honest preamble about how meaningless the statistics can be. It would not hurt to shop around for another oncologist who will offer a hopeful and agresssive treatment plan. In any case, it is always prudent to get another opinion when you are deciding on a treatment plan.

I found it very helpful to do a lot of online rearch as you are doing. I got some good info, but mainly it gave me sense that I was doing something about my disease. It provided me with some stuff to talk about when I went to see the docs.

Maybe you can make arrangements to attend all the doc visits with your parents. It is always good to have another pair of ears there, especially early on when one is dealing with the shock of it all.

Just remember there area lot of stage 4 survivors who continue to live beyond the statistical life span.

Your mom and dad and you have my best wishes and prayers.

Don M

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Hi there, welcome,

I agree with the others, My Mom was given like 3 months when she first was diagnosed, now fair enough she did pass away last year, but it was two and a half years later. (and she was strong and fine for most of it)So please don't let the "staging" freak you out. Take some deep breaths and try to stay optimistic, I know it is hard.

Also I gave my Mom "It's Not About the Bike" by Lance Armstrong, and she was very inspired and it changed her entire outlook on the cancer, just a suggestion.

hugs to you and please keep us posted.

Steph

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to all for your support. I am going back to the Onc this afternoon with my parents. She is getting her Zometa shot and then they are scheduling Radiation then Chemo treatments right away (hopefully tomorrow) at LIJ Med. Center. (NY) Are there any questions you suggest I ask? I have a few but more will be better......... Hearing this news about my mom made it incredibly easy to throw away my cigarettes..... Hopefully for good....

Thanks to all for your words of encouragement and prayers. THEY HELP......... Talk to ya soon..........

Cris

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Hi Cris,

Ron was told to go home and get his things in order on March 29, 2004 - four days before his 54th birthday. We were devastated. Luckily, Ron is a furnace repairman and just happens to have the head onccologist at our cancer centre as a customer. We called him the evening of the visit with the neurogsurgeon who gave him the news (without having the benefit of even letting an oncologist talk to him). The oncologist suggested that the cart was being put before the horse and we were in to see him within one week. Radiation took care of the tumour on the spine after 5 treatments. Chemo between April and October put Ron in remission. He has had a great year even with all that he had to go through. He goes tomorrow for a consult on an MRI that was done January 31. We're nervous, of course but we're in better shape than we were this time one year ago.

There is a lot that can be done. Don't let anyone write your mom off. She can conquer this!!! Lots have.

Best of luck with your meeting with the oncologist.

Prayers to you and your mom.

Janet

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Mom got her zometa shot today. Hopefully it strengthens her bones. She has A LOT of pain. Called North Shore University Hospital (Manhasset NY) Oncology Dept. today and faxed over the reports for a 2nd opinion. Current Onc got me really depressed again to make it 2 days in a row he has done this....... No Pathology report or biopsy has been done but the cat-scan that shows a tumor in her lung and the cat scan of her severely deteriorated pelvic area left side basically says a lot. After reading the reports I got more depressed. Sometimes I think getting too imformed might be a bad thing. She has mets in her ribs, thoracic region, mass in T12 area (Wherever that is) Man this stinks, My Dad is taking in really bad. 50% of People diagnosed with Lung cancer are already at stage 4. Why don't the symptoms show up earlier? My mom did not have a cough or anything to that extent just pain in her back............. Only in the last week or 2 has her chest felt heavy........... Approx how long has she had the cancer that is it materialized to this SCARY point. The tumor in her lung is 3cm, is that considered small , avg, large?

Well I hope to hear better news tomorrow from the 2nd opinion. Mom ( Ida) has 4 grandkids an 8 year, 3 year, 2 year, and 4 mos. old. 2 grown sons 34 and 31, a daughter in college at the tender age of 21 and a loving doting caring husband that is 57.................... Thanks to all for listening and letting me vent......... GOD BLESS.......................

CRIS

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Welcome Cris. I know it is a lot to take in at the beginning. Your mom can have a great improvement from the radiation with her pain and the chemo. will go after those tumors. There is hope. New drugs. New treatment options. Prayers. "In Faith Believe." Take care. Praying!

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CRS6603, Did they do a biopsy? Did they tell you what type? ( there are many). Some are very slow growing. Let us know how things are going. Welcome. Donna G

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  • 3 weeks later...

My Mom is doing OK. Her chest feels heavy. An X-ray was taken to rule out fluid buildup. Today was her 4th day of radiation and tomorrow she starts Chemo with Taxol and Cisplatin. Hopefully she responds well to it........

03/15/05 Mom Diagnosed with Stage IV LC

3 cm Tumor

Bone Mets in Back & Pelvic area

Radiation started on 03/28/05

Taxol & Cisplatin to begin on 03/31/05

Thanks to all again for your kind words........

Keep the Faith

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OH and I was wondering what everyone thought about the Dr. NOT doing radiation on the tumor in her lung? I found this a little odd but then again I am not a Dr. She has gone for a 2nd opinion and her 3rd opinion is on 4/4.

03/15/05 Mom Diagnosed with Stage IV LC

3 cm Tumor

Bone Mets in Back & Pelvic area

Radiation started on 03/28/05

Taxol & Cisplatin to begin on 03/31/05

Thanks to all again for your kind words........

Keep the Faith

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Most of the reading I have done suggests that chemo alone is standard treatment for stage IV when it comes to treating the primary tumour. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, and I know that there are members of this board who had both chemo and rad. It was not offered to Mum, and she didn't much want it anyway!

Hope your Mom continues to feel OK.

All the best

Karen

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Wanted to welcome you too. Your Mom's story sounds a lot like my Mom's story. She found out about the cancer in the same way too. Your Mom is NOT a statistic. She is capable of outliving any of those doctor's predictions like lots of people here have done.

((((hugs)))) to you. I'm so sorry for your Mom's diagnosis, but keep HOPE alive!

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