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What to expect


Tom I

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My mom is 72 and an ex-smoker, she was diagnosed with SCLC with mets to the liver and brain back in March 2003. Originally we thought she had a stroke, but it was a seizure from the cancer already spreading to the brain. She went through a month of whole brain radiation and that shrunk the tumors on the brain. She is now in the middle of her chemo and the last cat scan showed that the tumors on her lung and liver have also shrunk. This is obviously a great thing. But everything I have read about SCLC is that the cancer seems to always pop back up a short time later. Can anyone tell me what to expect? I know everyone is different, but it seems that SCLC is very very aggresive and the treatments only slow things down.

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Tom,

My Mom was 74 and an ex-smoker with SCLC as well. It is hard to tell you what to expect because each person reacts to the therphy differently. It is good to hear that the tumors are shrinking. Just to give you what we went thru, Mom was diagnosed Nov 02 with it just in the lung, but it was huge. She went thru chemo first, and then radiation to the lung only. She was declared clean at the end of April. She had 5 weeks off. She golfed and felt good for a while, she was scheduled to go for brain rads in June and the scans showed more tumors had grown in a matter of a few weeks from the last scan. By the end of June, they started chemo again instead because of the rapid growth, but I think all of it was just to much for her, she was in pain and was getting harder to control, and in a matter of 3 weeks she lost the fight.

I know this may not be encouraging, but there are a lot of people that fight this much better and longer, you will find this first hand through this site. It's been a year for your Mom already, and that alone is a great thing. So keep after her doctors and ask all you can.

I wish the best for you and your Mom, and prayers are with you in the battle. Hang in there.

Dona

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Tom,

You could be right, or, you could be wrong..... the cancer has been in your mom's body and with the treatments she has had, no one, not even the dr can tell her if it will be back or not. All you and your mom can do is hope and pray with all your might it is in limbo and stays there till eternity.

I am sure her drs will be setting her up for regular visits and they will do scans every so often to ck it out. If it were to come back, it usually doesn't show it's presents until it hits again. Usually one does not know it hit unless they are experiencing some pain or some problem that they may not of had before and then a trip to the drs and lo and behold, it's back....or maybe not.....Good luck to your mom and you for being with her.....God Bless

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When my dad was first diagnosed, all I read were horror stories about sclc and how rapidly it grows...with other types of L/C there seems to be more treatment options than with later stage sclc.

Then I had the special opportunity to meet folks from around the world, right here, who were defying all of the odds and all those outdated statistics! My dad was dx. with two tumors in his left lung, two small tumors to the liver..... he was given 4 months to live. That was almost a year ago.

Almost everything has worked for him to reduce or eliminate his tumors. His lungs remain clear, and although he has just had a setback with new growth to his shoulder and one met on the brain, he is still fighting with all that he has got with a new chemo and whole brain rad.

There is always a chance that they will go away like before, there is always a chance more will come back.

We are looking at this cancer as a chronic condition that constantly needs to be checked and treated. No one can tell you when or where or how many or what's next, with this disease. That's the worst part.

Depending on how a person reacts to treatment, their mental attitude and all the other extenuating factors, will determine how well they do.

Keep doing what you're doing. Research and advocate for her medical care, enjoy each and every moment you have together, whether that is two days, two months, two years, or twenty.

Good luck, and please keep coming back and keep us updated. Your family will be in my prayers.

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I want to thank everyone who has shared their personal experience about this terrible illness. I have the feeling we are in the beginning of a journey that will have many surprises (good and bad). I just hope that mom does not suffer in the process.

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SCLC is aggessive but it also responds very well to the chemo. My husband was diagnosed in December and was so sick he could barely walk. After 8 rounds of chemo he was just about back to normal. The chemo, while not a picnic, wasn't bad. After his last treatment in June he built a beautiful arbor and fence in our yard and is still mowing the lawn. A few weeks ago we discovered he had brain mets after his face became numb. He has just finished up 14 radiation treatments and we are hoping it was successful. Your right, its a journey both good and bad. You learn to appreciate the good so much more than ever before. We, like Katie, treat this as a chronic disorder that constantly has to be watched and treated. Hugh has had a very good quality of life since his diagnosis, not like it was before to be sure but he has a positive attitude, he keeps busy doing yard work, and light housework and today he even went to work for the first time since his diagnosis which is HUGE! He isn't planning on working full time as he is a landscaper and he isn't able at this time to do such physically intense work for 8 hours a day, but they needed someone to go look at and trouble shoot a job and called him. I am a firm believer that a positive attitude plays a big part.

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I agree with the others. I think of my cancer as a chronic disease, that maybe God will totally heal for me :D In the mean time I just do what the Dr says and try to go on with my life. In Feb. 2001 was diagnosed with sclc in the R lung, inbetween the lungs, around the vessels of the heart and in the L adrenal gland. After 9 mos of chemo it was all scar tissue according to the PET scan. I went 1 year without a relapse and in Feb. 2003 it returned in the L lung. I have just finished 6 mos of chemo again and the worst part of it is how TIRED I get. I am 46 now so I am sure it is harder on anyone older. I hate feeling like I am sleeping my life away. IT IS BETTER than last week tho. You go thru lots of little steps and some big ones but if you can keep her spirits good and looking to the future she will definitly do better. :D

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