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my mom's going into surgery tomorrow


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I'm new to the site. My mom is going into surgery tomorrow. She's in stage 4. They plan on removing her lung, 3 or her ribs, and some of her spinal tissue. She was just diagnosed in May. She has been receiving carboplatin and taxil on a 3 week rotation with 1 week off. She also just recently completed 30 everyday sessions of chemo. She has been continuing to work and seems to feel pretty good, other than a few traditional side effects and bumps in the road. From what I've read on stage 4, it doesn't look good, but she seems to be feeling so good. I'm not quite sure what to expect after the surgery. I'm scared for her. Any words of wisdom?

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I know how anxious you must be feeling. When my mom had brain surgery I felt like I was going to vomit. My insides were in knots, I couldn't sleep, I was so worried about what my mom was thinking and thoughts that were going through her head. My words of advice would be to remember to take it one day at a time. Also, talk to your own doctor and see if they recommend some anti-anxiety pills to relieve you from some of the stress and anxiety you are having. Be with your mom before the surgery and do everthing you can to take her mind off of it. I read my mom the latest gossip in People and tried to think of funny things...I kept upbeat...it was so hard ...drinking 1 beer the night before helped keep me relaxed. Keep her busy. ..have some other family members around if you can. I also did some research on the doctor performing her surgery and found out she was from Yale and had done 100 surgeries in 1 year. Once I told my mom about how qualified her surgeon was, it helped a little. Keep your chin up, your mom will get through the surgery...the fact that they are willing to do the surgery is spectacular! As for the news after the surgery...prepare for the worst, but EXPECT the best. We are here for you.

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Welcome, Judy, but I'm sorry you have to be here.

Something is not right with your story. Stage IIIB (generally) and stage IV are considered inoperable. So the good news is I think your mom is at an earlier stage of the disease. ASK THE DOCTORS, SPECIFICALLY. Then, there will be plenty of information available from the kind folks here, once you've got the right staging info.

There are plenty of folks here who have had part or all of a lung removed, and I'm sure they'll chime in with lots of personal stories.

If your mom is particularly upbeat, that's great! :D Attitude plays such a large part in treatment, and in how someone recovers from surgery. Just make sure she gets whatever pain relief she needs, and she'll be fine. It will take time. Follow the doctor's instructions and continue to post here. There is plenty of very useful information posted every day.

Take care of yourself, too! You and your mom are in my prayers.


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Yes Judy, if they didn't think your mom had a chance they wouldn't be doing surgery. SURGERY IS A GOOD THING! There are so many here that are inoperable. I am guessing she is at a 3A stage if they are operating. All the best to your mom that they are able to remove it all.

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I believe they may operate for stage IV. In certain cases.

If there is only one brain met, then surgery is possible.

Not sure of other cases, but it probably is a good sign. Either the stage is not IV or she is a certain subset of stage IV for which surgery is an option




The only survivals in Naruke's series were in patients with intralobar pulmonary metastases. The only accepted indication for surgical treatment of Stage IV bronchogenic CA is staged resection of the primary and an isolated brain metastasis. Numerous series have demonstrated that some patients in this category can be salvaged. Magilligan, Henry Ford Hosp. Detroit (SClinNA Oct 1987 1073-80) reports 21% 5 yr. surv. in a highly selected group of 41 pts. Other surgeons have reported lower survival in similar trials. My personal experience includes three cases with resected brain metastases, two cases of solitary rib metastases, one case of solitary contralateral lung metastasis and one solitary small bowel metastasis resected. Two of these patients (brain and small bowel) are five year survivors.


" ...Surgical resection is rarely beneficial in patients with stage IV NSCLC. Occasional long-term survival rates have been reported after surgical resection of the primary tumor and a single metastatic lesion"

the above is from Dr Hainsworth

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Wow! You guys are really quick and supportive. It's amazing how a few words of encouragement. The surgeon did tell us that she was stage 4, but after Barbara's message, I called my mom's oncologist back to find out exactly what stage. The oncologist said that she is stage 3b. I know not too far from 4 but still not 4. That does help with tomorrow.

Natalie, I wasn't sure how I was going to handle tonight, but I think I will take your advice. Barbara, thanks for the push to confirm the stage. Ry, yes that's what my surgeon said when I asked the likelihood of her coming out of surgery (we wouldn't be operating if we didn't think it would work).

Thanks again for your words of encouragement. I will keep you posted.

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I wish your mom a successful surgery and praying for a complete healing. You hang in there and keep the faith. Just believe and she will be healed. God is good.

What state are you in? Did your mom have chemo and radiation. I noticed your post said 30 chemo treatments, did you mean radiation? What kind of chemo did she have and how many treatments. The reason I asked is because I was given 38 radiation treatments and was give 8 weekly treatments of Taxol/Carboplatin at the same time. Please post and let us know.

God Bless you and praying for a "Cure" for us all......



Dx'd 3-03 - 3A-B - NSCLC

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I wanted to respond to you. Yes, I did mean radiation. She's had 30 radiation treatments and chemo (taxol/carboplatin at same time) in a rotation of 3 weeks on and 1 week off since the 3rd week in May. By the way, we're from Colorado.

I will keep you in my prayers as well and will offer any support I can.

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