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How do I cope with my mom having LC?


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I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I was devastated when we got the dx for my mom( Sept 25). I was confused and not sure what ?? to ask and who to ask them of. I cried myself to sleep and woke up crying,Cried on my way to visit and on my way home(im still surprised that one can drive a car and cry at the same time). Cried in the shower and while walking the dog. I cried and cried and cried for weeks. Then I got mad and i was yelling at everyone(God included). It has now become a new " normal" for me. I have found that the best thing for me is to learn all i can about the disease and treatments and to have a plan in action. I have also started a journal because sometimes my thoughts all run together and i dont make much sense to anyone but myself. Also i can say anything i feel in the journal without fear of hurting anyones feelins or offending anyone. I have had a shift in priorities and have found that sometimes the little things are just that ...little. I still cry but not as much as before.(do you think you can ever run out of tears?) I hope that you are able to come to terms with things and enjoy your time together because even with out this awful thing called cancer life is way too short.

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Hi Jackie, so sorry you find yourself in this situation. My Mom was diagnosed about a year ago and I live a fair distance away too. Like your Mom, she took pills for everything you can imagine. In Mom's case, her oncologist said that those things (blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) shouldn't be a factor because they were well controlled with medication.

As everyone else has said definitely get a 2nd opinion. Remember as hard as it is for you to get your head around this, it has to be so overwhelming for your Mom. She needs a person to gather information and options for her. Take that anger that you feel and put it to work for her and be her advocate. If you can help doing the "leg work" for her, she'll hopefully feel a little less overwhelmed and able to concentrate on the medical fight instead of the logistical fight.

Let us know how things go. I'll be thinking about you.


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Really bad news. Talked with my sister tonight and she says mom is in a lot of pain. She's also constipated from the pain pills. No energy at all. Doesn't want to spend time with friends and family. Just wants to be left alone. I'm so worried about her. I don't what it's like to be told you're dying and to be in a lot of pain but I can imagine it's not fun at all. So maybe it's unrealistic of me to think she's going to party it up for the remainder of her life. I'm so depressed right now. Just crying off and on. I'm irritable. I wanted my mom to fight this and she said she would but it sounds like she's giving up and just waiting to die. I did talk to the Onc today on the phone and he said that there is treatment but my mom didn't want it. He said that it would only give a couple more months and that she'd be sick off and on with the treatment for a couple weeks at a time. She wouldn't be able to do anything when she's sick and he thought that where she's at that she's better off without it.

gotta run. I'll update you.


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Oh jackie I feel so horrible for your family. Have you talked to hospice, I don't have any experience with them, but do know of families that have had great responses especially with pain management. I am sure that others here will be along soon to offer their support. I just want you to know that I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm back from my trip to CA. It was a good one and I feel very good about having seen my mom for Thanksgiving and that she got to see my two daughters again. I'm planing to go back for Christmas. But just found out my husband's mom has cancer. no one seems to know where it is though. Pancreas? Near bile duct. The weird thing is that it didn't show up on CT. She had a stint put in and they saw a mass and biopsied it. It was pre cancerous but now they went back in and found more masses and said it's cancer.

I don't know how much more I can take. I can't have my girls lose both grandmas! And then I'm torn between who to spend Christmas with. I know my mom is dying. But when? She's tired and has some pain but other than that she was really good. We all took pics with her and she's eating okay. Not as much as she used to though.

My sisters and I saw the social worker. It really helped because my sis had an anxiety attack because I want to still believe that mom will live. She was telling me to not do or say things to upset anyone. So I got to tell my side of the story and it was good because my sister didn't understand that I still have feelings of helplessness from losing my son and that I want to feel like I'm doing something to help my mom. So we hugged and did better relating to each other.

My mom said that she's going to be here next year for Thanksgiving. I hope so. She's amazing and I know that if she believes then it's possible. But she'll really have to get her mind and spirit into it too. I bought her cherries and strawberries because they are supposed to help fight cancer. Let's hope she eats them.

well I'll let you know if anything changes. I feel better knowing I can call the social worker to find out about mom. Seems like my sis has her with one foot in the grave. But I don't think mom is that close yet. She's so strong. It's hard to imagine that she'll die someday. I'm ready for it but I just don't want it to happen yet.

God be with us all,


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Jackie I'm confused that the onc has no treatment available for her. You mention that she has small cell and the oncologist offered Tarceva? Small cell usually isn't treated with Tarceva. Small cell also responds well to chemo, has she sought a second opinion? Check around the site. There IS treatment available for her, regardless of what this onc told her.

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There is treatment available. Since we don't know the extent of her disease- I'm going to assume by what you said the Dr. said- that your mom's small cell is extensive stage.

It could be that the cancer is profound and has metastasized to so many places that treatment will only buy a few months. BUT if her cancer is only outside of the lung (which is considered extensive-stage too) then in my opinion treatment can be successful.

There are extensive stage sclc survivors here. It can happen. But your mom has to have treatment to combat the cancer.

There are indeed some serious side-effects with the first-line aggressive chemos, but not all people experience them. She could always try treatment, and then stop if the side effects get to be too much. Or have a less aggressive chemotherapy combination like Topotecan.

Keep in mind these are only suggestion, I am NOT a doctor.

As for her pain, which could be resulting from mets., radiation can help alleviate that pain. Her pain needs to be managed by her doctors, she shouldn't be in such pain.

Keep us posted. Am saying a prayer for your mom and your family.

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I am sorry to hear of all your problems with cancer. I am interested in her statement about being here for Thanksgiving next year. This sounds to me that she does not totally believe what the doctors are saying. There may still be a way to get treatment. There is a book called “Fighting Cancer” by Richard Bloch. He was told he had three months to live. He died 24 years later of heart problems. You can get a free copy by going to this web site:


While you are waiting for your free copy, you can also read the book online or print out each chapter. To order book look at left of screen. To view or print out each chapter look in the upper right corner of screen. You can also get to their web site and other things from that screen. He has said that "there is no cancer that someone has not beaten". If you click on Dedication to the left it will lead you to some other good sites.

Maybe if your mom read this it would boost her will to fight harder. This is a highly motivating book.

I can relate to your concern about your children loosing both Grandmothers. My grandchildren lost one of their Grandfathers two years ago to cancer, and then about 6 months later their other Grandfather comes down with Stage IV lung cancer and of course that happens to be me. The good Lord can still work miracles. Let’s pray that he does in your mom’s case. Keep us posted

Stay positive, :lol:


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Hi Jackie:

Perhaps you mom has NSCLC instead of SCLC. You mentioned it being stage 4 and your mom being offered Tarceva. Both of these things relate to NSCLC. Anyway, it sounds like the oncologist is reluctant to treat your mom with aggressive chemo. Stage 4 NSCLC is treatable, (as well as extensive SCLC) but the patient has to be willing and able to undergo aggressive treatment and have an oncologist who is willing to provide it.

Tarceva is usually reserved for secondary treatment if the first line of treatment did not work well. Perhaps your mom’s oncologist is offering Tarceva because it is not as harsh in terms of side effects and may offer some benefit to your mom.

Your mom talks like she wants to get treatment. You might want to make sure she is being served well by her current oncologist. It is always a good idea to get a second opinion, at a comprehensive cancer center. You could probably suggest that without seeming to interfere with your sister I think.

Your mom and you husband's mom and the rest of your family have my prayers.

Don M

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Well life is what it is. I feel like curling up into a ball and hiding. My MIL is going to have a Whipple done on the 18th. She'll be in the hospital for three weeks. So she'll be in the hospital for Christmas. I've heard that the Whipple is tricky. I'm scared that she might not make it. So my plan is to stay in town for that and also for Christmas to make sure she's in the clear.

I was planning on going back to CA to see my mom. I'm not sure when that will happen now. I also don't know how much time we have with her. I told my sister to let me know if there's any change in mom so I can fly out right away.

As for treatment... My mom is on hospice. They do acupressure, pain control, and other things for comfort. I'm sure she could do Chemo but she's not sure she wants to be so sick from it. I'm praying she doesn't suffer much.

Cancer is so awful! Why is it attacking my family??? Is cancer stress related? The book I got said to analyze major losses in your life a year or two prior to dx. My mom lost her little sister unexpectantly. I moved cross country. 5 years ago my son was stillborn. Could all of this have started the cancer to grow??? And then my MIL went through a lot last year. Selling her house, moving cross country, retiring from her job that she had for 30 years, spending more time with her husband. (LOL) That last one might really be the cause of it all. :) But I can see that stress can affect you negatively. But if that's so then maybe reducing stress can help. I'll suggest it. But of course it's up to them to take the steps to do something about stress.

I appreciate all the info and support you all have given me. I will keep you all in my prayers as well. I know that God is holding me in His arms and giving me strength to deal with this disease. All we can do is trust in His will.

God bless,


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