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Back pain and stage III


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Hi! I'm new...

My mother-in-law is in the process of diagnosis...so far she's stage III lung cancer(three masses on her left lung) but tomorrow they are doing a bone scan...so I'm wondering if it may change to IV...her primary sypmtom was severe back pain sort of right between the shoulder blade as is she' been punched in the back...I'm wondering what causes the pain...is the tumor pressing on her spinal chord or is it because most likely the cancer is in her bones and thus the pain...just trying to understand it all...my father died in '01 due to a tumor high on his spine(2nd vertabra...like Christopher Reeve) and basically the tumor pressed on the spinal cord till all body functions below the tumor slowly ceased and thus he was quadrapelgic...and it eventually stopped his breathing...my dad did not want to live on a respirator so he passed away three days before 9/11...any thoughts...

Thanks!

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Mel -

If the pain is caused from bone mets (which can cause horible pain), it can be caused by pressure and inflammation on the nerves around the spine -- as the tumor gets larger, the pain often worsens significantly. If they find bone mets, she will be staged at IV. The good news is that bone mets are treated very well with radiation for pain reduction.

My mom never had any LC symptoms, her primary tumor was less than the size of a dime -- yet the cancer spread to her bones very rapidly. We used radiation on the spine, neck and hip...as well as heavy doses of pain medications.

I am so sorry that this is happening to you and your family. It is so scary in the beginning -- but once you face the reality and diagnosis, you simply learn to adjust and do whatever you can.

You will get amazing support here. welcome. Feel free to PM any time.

Holly

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Hi Mel,

Hope you get some answers soon so that your MIL can get some pain relief. There are options and many times radiation helps with the pain.

You will feel better once there is a firm dx. and a treatment plan in place.

Will keep your family in my prayers. Please keep us updated and let us know what you find out.

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Hi Mel,

I was diagnosed because of back pain. I'm on a very low dose of pain meds and didn't have radiation. The chemo did a great job for my pain.

Everyone is different and reacts differently. The main thing to remember is that this is not a hopeless situation, even if indeed it has spread to her bones.

Wishing you both the best.

Joan

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Welcome Mel,

Sorry to hear about your mom. I understand how scary this all is, and how terribly you and your whole family must be feeling. I'm glad you joined us, as there are so many people here to help support you and offer great advice and knowledge.

I'm sorry I saw this post so late, but I did want to let you know that the pain may not be bone mets. My husband had back/side pain prior to diagnosis which turned out to be caused by fluid that was building up around the lung and inflammation caused by the tumors. Either way, there is much they can do for the pain and for any mets. She can survive this, and she can live a long long time even with bone mets. (Just ask Don and Lucie Woods, Lucie was diagnosed with NSCLC and bone mets over 3 1/2 years ago).

I will be praying for your mom and your family.

Please let us know how things went, and how you both are doing. We care.

Carleen

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She was in such pain that Wednesday she canceled her bone scan appointment because she cannot lay on her back flat and her pain meds wheren't doing the job, so she went today, Friday and thus I've yet to hear the results...they did give her demerol yesterday and today for the 15 minutes the scan took they had to give her lots of pain medications...including "the lollipop"...fast acting drug...don't know what...I'm getting sketchy information all around...if you can tell...she did tell me today though that there's one large mass 2 to 3 inches at least and then two masses in her limph nodes...so now the hunt is on for anything in the bones...she is getting the fentenal patch...two at a time...has five lollipops and then pain pills...so at least she's getting more pain medication now...Thanks for the encouragement...its all been doom and gloom news so far...Know what I mean?

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Hello, Mel,

We're here to support you and your mother through this. I'm glad that they're giving her plenty of pain meds -- no one should have to go through that pain. And, as others have told you, even if there do turn out to be bone mets, there is plenty that they can do for them; don't let the prospect get you down. You never know what lies in store and lots of our members are out there, forging ahead, bone mets be dam...d! Do let us know the results of the scan; at least that will give you some solid information and then you can start planning the fight ahead of you.

Ellen

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Mel -

The suckers and the duragesic patches should help a lot - the nice thing about both is that they can be adjusted easily -- and the Actiq suckers act so quickly....as you probably know, the goal of the patches is to keep a steady dose of meds so that she is fairly painfree -- please reassure her that they can/will up the dosage on the patches if they need to -- there really is no cap on the amount of mg...my mom was about to 200-250.

If she is having that kind of severe pain, I would think she has spots in the bones and that radiation could be a possibility -- praying for the best for all of you. Pain can be managed! Sometimes it just takes a while to find the right mix.

Holly

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