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My mom Sharon was diagnosed last week with NSCLC Stage IV. She was a smoker for a very long time and quit about 5 years ago. She is a remarkable woman who has suffered her entire life with panic attacks and great anxiety and prayed everyday for the strength to survive. She has always been close to God, but not until this experience with lung cancer did she ever truly give up her worries and fears to him. She has amazing faith and plans to fight this cancer with all that she has. She does not know her prognosis, I am the only one at this stage who is fully aware of what she is up against and it is a lot to hold onto by myself. I sometimes, mostly all the time, think she is a lot better off not knowing the mortality rate of this horrible disease. My mom started Chemo today, Carbo/Taxol. As far as we see right now, the cancer has spread only to her lower back. She was on steroids for the back pain, but now that she has been diagnosed, the doctor wants to see how the tumor in her back responds to chemo and plans on taking her off the steroids. He has not made any immediate plans to begin radiation.

Sorry for the rambling above, just wanted to let you know a little about my mom. She has a loving husband of 37 years and a son and daughter and great daughter-in-law. I think the idea of maybe a grandchild in the works by my brother and his wife might just keep her motivated to beat this! Whatever works! It is unimaginable at this point to think of life without her.

One question for you all, is Carbo/Taxol one of the most aggressive treatments out there? It is hard to determine this on the web?

I have been reading this website day and night since last week. All of your stories are heartbreaking and inspirational at the same time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers each day. Denise

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You are presently going through what I think is the most difficult part of this ordeal. When I was first diagnosed, everything seemed so dark and overwhelming and so unknown. I wish I had read the information at www.blochcancer.org (newly diagnosed cancer patients) at that time and that I had known about the support and knowledge available on this list.

As for Carbo/Taxol, I had that along with an experimental drug when I first started chemo. I had to be taken off Taxol because of the immediate and somewhat severe development of neuropathy. It was considered "intense" but, as has been pointed out, it might have been the strength as much as the actual drug. Remember everyone can react differently and the important part is to have a doctor who is constantly monitoring the reactions and adjusting accordingly.

Your Mom does not need to hear dismal statistics. She is an individual and there are many factors that can make a difference in the outcome. You should not dwell on the statistics either...they can haunt your thoughts and that is nonproductive. Concentrate on assuring the best medical support you can find and asking all the questions necessary.



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Sounds like your mom has placed herself in the best hands, God's. One can't get any better than that. She also has you and that will help her get through this horrible time in her life along with the rest of the family.

Make sure you read and print out for your mom the www.blochcancer.org that was mentioned above. It really starts one out on the right track...there is also another one www.chemocare.com.

Hang in and get ready for a long and hard ride.

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Hi. I just joined this group today and I think I am in the same situation as you, in that my beautiful Mum was diagnosed six weeks ago with lung cancer and two weeks ago we found out she was stage IV. It is a horrible, horrible time and I know that when you look at the survival rates they are so appallingly bad that it is depressing. Unfortunately my Mum (and rest of family) are all aware of these stats. I am in this limbo between being able to try to accept this poor prognosis, or between holding out hope for a cure from the alternative methods. Please keep us posted on how your Mum goes, and my thoughts are with you.


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Hi I just want to tell you that I am somewhat familiar with the Taxol/Carbplatin chemo. Johnny recieved one treatment every week for 6 weeks. He had very little in the way of side effects. He was fatigued on the second day after treatment and he lost about 2/3 of his hair. Other than that he did quite well. In fact he gained not only the weight that he had lost but more. A total of thirty pounds. No stomache problems at all. The first CAT scan showed a 50% reduction in the size of the nodules. When he started the second series is when he had a problem. We were told that what he experienced (high temperature and low blood pressure) were a reaction to the Carboplantin. It is plantinum based and the plantinum is toxic. We were told that eventually everyone has a reaction to it but most very late in treatment. Johnny just reacted sooner than most. I have often wondered why instead of just continuing with Taxol alone they did not add Cistplatin. We were told that tho it was platinum based too it is better tolerated than Carboplatin.

I know that you are asking about the chemo but something you said sent up a red flag for me because of what happened to Johnny. If your mother is subject to anxiety attacks don't want to get help for that. Anxiety is very common in lung cancer as is shortness of breath. One feeds on the other and sets up a vicious circle. Tho she may seem alright now I warn you that sooner or later she will have a problem with anxiety. Many of the other drugs she will use will cause anxiety and also the chemo. Just be very carefull about any anxiety medication she takes. Some of them are terrible. Ativan can cause a reaction called Paradoxical CNS Stemulation. That is a terrible thing and very upsetting to the person as well as their loved ones. I know I saw what it can do. Read all of the information you can about those drugs. Xanax worked good for Johnny along with Paxil until it was changed for no appeartant reason. Xanax as well as Ativan are Benzodiapines. Ativan is the stronger. Just be infomed about any medication. IF she takes something and feels like something is wrong it probably is. Take action right away.

God bless you and your mom. You see I not only lost my Johnny to lung cancer I lost my mom to it in 1985. There was much less done in those days for a person diagnosed. Pray for a cure and remember to keep a positive attitude no matter how bad it looks now. I have been told that attitude is 90% of the battle.

As for statistics look at it this way. If it says 14 out of 100 will live 5 years that means 7 out of 50 or 3and 1/2 out of 25 or 1 out of every 11. Now that is something that many can live with. Your mom will be one of those 11. Just keep believing that and work toward it. Don't let anyone take hope away from you. Fight to show that lung cancer is a disease not a person!!! Lillian

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