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Help...My 53 year old mom dx with stage 4 cancer, lung, etc


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Help.... I am not sure where to turn and after reading through some of the posting I realized this might be the place. My 53 year old mother was dx about a month ago with Stage 4 small cell cancer, pretty much everywhere. Lung, liver, kidney, spine, adrenal glands, bone.... She was a huge 4 pack a day smoker up until about 5 years ago. My husband said we always knew this would happen, we just didn't know when.... He's right but honestly... I am a mess. One minute I feel like this can't be happening and she is fine and the next I am crying over EVERYTHING! She is not undergoing any types of treatment other than pain management. The doctors really haven't said a whole lot and she seems to be hanging in there... I wonder about how fast this will go and I pray that she is just comfortable. We haven't been very close and prior to rcving the phone call 4 weeks ago that she was in the hospital...she was in so much pain... well, we hadn't talked for a year and a half. She has always been so busy being mad at me for everything. But, now that I went home right away and have been making weekly trips to see her and help out she seems to have mellowed. There is so much I want to say but I don't know how.... Cancer... I don't see it when I look at her and I don't feel it when I hug her and sometimes I just think this is unreal... Stage 4 they all seem to say this is really bad... And yet with the meds she seems kinda ok... I am so confused and luckily I don't know a soul who has been through this..... I have been trying to read about it but I don't seem to be getting far and with a 3 year old and a 6 year old at home... well, I don't even know if I am prossessing all of this yet... Does anyone have any advice for me or information if this is really that bad??? I am lost... Help.... I wouldn't wish this on the devil.

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welcome:

some people choose not to have treatment other than pain management. The progess of the disease varys form person to person. There was one old guy on this board who lived for a couple of years or more after diagnosis without any treatment other than pain management. Whatever your mom chooses to do, at the very least the pain should be managed.

Have you talked to her about what she wants to do? Has she said she wants to let the disease run its course, or does she want to fight it? These days, one may survive for years with late stage cancer if it is treated. It is also possible that the treatment would not be very effective, but many do well.

If you want to find out more from the doctors, your mom would have to sign a release from allowing you to have access to her medical records.

You and your mom have my prayers

Don M

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First of all ((((hugs)))) to you. I'm sorry that your Mom is dealing with this and that you are dealing with it too.

The thing about time is no one knows how long any one has. As extensively spread as your Mom's cancer is, without treatment things may go fast. But, she may have a lot more time left than anyone expects.

As far as not knowing how to say things to her--As MY Mom used to say, "Act like you're wearing Nike's and Just Do it." It doesn't matter if you stumble or if you cry. This is your Mother. And regardless of whether she's here for 2 months or 2 more decades, time is limited.

Keep coming here. We will support you in any way we can.

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i remember when my father was first diagnosed at the age of 58,it feels like a bad dream you cannot wake from then it was anger, shock and fear of the unknown, depression and crying. Lots of crying, but not in front of my father. From my limited experience, treatment and the will to live is up to the individual person. My father was diagnosed with stage 3A inoperable, but because i was expecting his first grandchild a girl, he chose to do whatever it took and continued to do so. You just to be there emotionally for your mother it is not an easy road especially if your alone. Just love her and pray for her. The rest is up to her and her doctors, but i believe love and prayers are just as important and to know that you are not alone in dealing with this terrible sickness. It is just as scary to them, if not more, to them to us and a lot more painful. Yes we go through all the emotion, but just imagine what she is thinking. With my father, the depression and anxiety were bad. It was the fear of the unknown, that can kill you. JUST BE THERE WITH LOVE LOVE AND LOVE.

My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family through

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II have no medical advice but my best advice as a daughter is that when you see your mom, tell her no matter what has happened that you love her unconditionally, like a daughter always does. Forgive her for anything you feel she has done to wrong you... I know it can be hard but you have to let it go even if she doesnt let it all go, accept what she has. Sit with her, ask her questions about how she grew up and what her family was like. She will like to talk about it. Women who are facing their lives tend to revert to childhood memories. Learn as much as you can from her.

I bought this little book called Grandma Tell Me. It has 365 little questions for her to answer. Very simple. In the beginning she filled out some but then it became difficult for her to write so I would sit with her and ask the questions and write the answers until she was tired.

When my mom passed (just a month ago today) I kept thinking of more things I wanted to ask, even silly things like Mom... where is that recipe for the sweet pickles you made when I was little? What jewelry do you want my daughter and nieces to have?

Who is in that picture?

I pray for you all that she has time. In the meantime make sure you say what you need to say right away. Only God knows how long she has.

Some get a few weeks and live a year and some get 3 month and get days.

Kepp coming in here, these people aer tired and true supporters.

Kim

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Welcome to the best place in the world for support and info for LC- in my humble opinion!!

I'm so sorry that this is happening. I don't have any advice on the medical side other than we never know how long any of us have- only God. Just love on her. It sounds like there has been a lot of healing done between you already.

You are in my prayers.

Kelly :D

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I am so very sorry that you mom is ill and also sorry that you are having to deal with her illness. I feel it is very important that you talk to your mom, very openly. As the patient, she probably already has many of the answers to questions you have. I believe, as so many on this board, that treatment options are something the patient should choose. It sounds as if your mom has already decided not to pursue aggressive treatment at this time. Like others have said, your mom's illness might progress very fast OR she could have a lot of time left. Go back and read Val's post about talking openly to your mom. Val is a very wise young mother with lots of advice that she has learned through some very rough experience. I will be remembering you and your mom in my prayers. Oh....don't assume the cigarettes were the cause for your mom's illness. There are many non-smokers that develop lung cancer.

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I'm so sorry you are going through this. I lost my MIL and Mom both to small cell lung cancer.

With my MIL, when she was dx, it was very advanced and she choose no treatment. She was very frail and didn't believe she could withstand chemo. After the first week, one of the tumors had grown so much it blocked her throat so food and liquid was unable pass. We did 38 raditation treatments to shrink that tumor enabling her to eat. Sadley to say, from dx to the end was very short. We had 4 months, 11 days with her.

My Mom choose treatment, her cancer had not spread. She did 6 rounds of chemo and no raditation. The chemo did shrink the tumor, but not completely. Between rounds of chemo she played many rounds of golf and enjoyed family and friends. She stayed very active as she had always been. But even with the treatment it only gave her 11 months.

Does your Mom have hospice? If she has choosen no treatment and her time is limited, it would be very beneficial to all of you to have them there to help.

You and your family will be in my prayers. I know how hard this is for you.

Patty

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Hello and welcome!!

I'm so sorry that you've had to go searching but so glad you found your way here! There is no better group I know than these wonderful people who have "been there/done that" and are willing to share experiences with you. There has not been one joy or one heartache that have come where there wasn't someone who could relate directly.

Great big hugs to you and your mom...Keep coming back and sharing, asking, or just peeking in. Prayers for your mom and for your family.

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Hi -

I echo the advice already given...but add one bit -- assume you have very little time and make sure nothing goes unsaid. No one except for God knows how long anyone has on this earth. The doctors thought my mom would have at least a year, and she had less than five months --- you just never know.

Please use everyone on this board for any support or info you need. I could not have made it through my mom's illness without these people. I am sorry that has happened to your family.

This journey is a very tough one...but you WILL make it through it. Love your mom every day and forgive her for whatever has happened in the past. She needs you.

Holly

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I will echo the "you never know" sentiment.

Mom was dx'd 15 months ago, stage IV. They told us 12-18 months, she chose not to do aggressive chemo (they didn't think it would help). Below is a picture of her taken a week ago, and she is leaving today for a family trip to Mexico. You never know!

The only thing you can know, is that you do not want to live a single day with regrets. Sounds like it's been a rocky road for you and your mom. Do everythng you can to patch and mend, and just let her know you love her. You can make up a lot of ground, and she may be ready to hear it from you now.

Please keep us updated on how you and your mom are doing. This is a tough time, and we are here for you!

:) Kelly

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Welcome Muppet,

I have absolutely nothing else to add to the wonderful posts from all those who have dealt with a Mother dx with LC as you have. They are the EXPERTS in my eyes. I would just like to say I am glad you are here and that these folks can offer you advice. Let us know how things progress.

Kasey

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Everyone here does give wonderful advice.

I just want you to know that you are not alone and you have support.

My mother is the same age so I can relate. AFter my mom was put in the hosp for the second time I was sure we were going to lose her. She is out now and doign well..I'm not sure for how long though. I decided to start asking her questions I was too afraid to ask before. I really advise you to start opening up and appreciating everyday you have with her.

Your family is in my thoughts! Hang in there...take it day by day

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My Debkins as I call her was also fine 1 minute and gone the next Staff did not even have time to revive or try reviving her when they found her in her hospital Room. She just stopped breathing and all her vitals were normal 5 minutes earlier. remember yesterday, cherish Today and Pray for tomorrow. thats my advice.

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Welcome,

You are in a good place to come here with your fears, and so mature to openly ask for help.

Wonderful advice has been given.

I know this is a very difficult time for you.

Try to put your resentments beside or behind you, no matter how deserving they may feel. Look to this contact from your mother as a gift of time to remedy and heal the hurts between you. Some people never do have an alarm that declares that the end may soon be near. Take advantage of these moments and work toward healing your hurting heart.

Concentrate on forgiveness.

Cindi o'h

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Thank you all so much for your help and guidance! I went home this Saturday and really told my mom that I love her!!! I also cried a bit and what amazed me was how ok she was with everything. I did get to ask some questions and...well the time spent was very good! I can't say that I am ok and we do need all the prayers we can get...just as when I skim the boards I cry and pray for all... I am having toubles switching gears, specially with my own small children at home and a supportive husband, it is hard. Thank you all so much though... I am not sure how to communicate on these boards very well so bear with me... there are some of you who I would like to address more... hopefully I will have time to learn and time to learn from all of you! My mom is in good spirits and she goes to the doctor tomorrow....

Question though... is vomitting really common in people with this disease? Even though she recieves no chemo...etc.... I guess it is all the meds... but she get sick quite often.... food to is becoming an issue... hard to swallow for her and she just isn't that hungry?

Thanks again, I send my love and prayers to all!

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You may have to start on Ensure type products or smoothies at room temp for nutrition. easy to make in a blender w/o having to purchase to much stuff. IF you are thinking about a Juicer for various thins Jack Lalanne at WalMart is probably best price. htink small and see what Doc says.

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Sorry your mom is feeling so ill. I did notice your mom has mets to liver and kidneys. Nausea is often common with people who have mets to the digestive tract because it causes fluctuation in production of digestive enzymes and bodily chemicals. My husband has liver mets, and at each visit the doctors ask him if he is experiencing nausea and vomiting even when not on chemo, so it must be pretty common.

Please have your mom ask her oncologist for an anti-nausea drug like Emend or Zophran. Vomiting is not a good thing as you want to keep her weight up. In addition to the anti-nausea drugs, ask her onc to put her on a steroid like Dexamethadone or Decadron. They are anti-inflammatory drugs so may help with some of the pain she is having; they have also been known to help with nausea and being steriods a common side effect is increase in appetite and weight gain.

Also try and get your mom into drinking boost or ensure high calorie drinks. They will give nutrients as well as high calories especially when not taking in a lot of food.

I will be keeping your mom in my prayers.

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