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once in the early stages section, but I wanted to share my whole story (as of now). I had posted this on another forum, but there seems to be much more activity here (and I can use all the support I can get at this point.)

I've been reading for quite some time but have been utterly unable to write the whole story. Now I've realized why. It contains so much emotion, so much pain, and so much worry that words could never carry the burden I've felt.

My name is Mitchell and I'm 24 years old. I've enjoyed growing up with my mom. Married at 14, she had me before she was old enough to drive. Life was sore in those years. My dad was an abusive drug addict and I had two younger brothers. She literally fought her way through nursing school, graduated with honors, and became a very respected healthcare professional in our community - working hospice (which is NOT helping her cope now). She always smoked but quit the day after her diagnosis. Cold turkey. I am so proud of her.

Being so close in age, people would comment on my 'older sister' taking me to the doctor and I used to get so angry about it. I would stomp and say "I AM HER SON!!" But as I got older, I felt thankful. Because we were close in age, I felt that if I ever had to loose her, we'd both be old and gray. Some say I am her rock. I grew up very early out of necessity. I've been with her through everything. Life has been harsh to her, but we've weathered it all together. We are best of friends and I simply adore her.

A couple of months ago, I moved back home due to some circumstances beyond my control. She was elated and that helped me overcome my 'what a failure' thoughts. I never saw what I see now. God knew. . .

On Friday, Oct. 13th, we were celebrating my mom's partner (Boo)'s birthday with some friends. I had to work third shift, so I left early. Later, at work, I got a call that mom had gone to the ER with chest pains. She'd had a couple in the last few months. They always went unexplained. In fact, they still do. During this visit, an XRay showed a mass on her lung. You all know the diagnostic procedure, so I won't put you through it.

6 weeks later and here I sit. Just as terrified as I was the day we found out that it truly was lung cancer. My grandma died of the beast in her sixties (almost twenty years ago) and I know the gravity of the situation and I feel as though my limbs have been torn apart.

She had a lobectomy last Friday. She came home two days ago and she is in such severe pain. I see daily progress, but I think her depression about the situation as well as her pain blind her to that progress. Her lung is still partially collapsed and so she has difficulty breathing.

After surgery, the doctor said she is stage IIB. He removed the cancerous lobe, found only one affected lymph node in her hilar region, resected a small part of her bottom lobe that contained a very small nodule which tested negative for cancer. He says if it weren't for that one lymph node, she'd be stage I. I guess I'm clinging and hoping that statement gives us just a little better prognosis. The statistics are so scary and I just try so hard to suck out any more hope out of everything I read and hear. It's all so much to deal with. She meets with the oncologist in a couple of weeks to discuss adjuvant chemotherapy. We're doing all we know to try to minimize the risk of recurrence.

She's so scared and so am I. So many of you are so much wiser and have so much more that you know and I guess I'm sharing this, hoping someone can relate and offer me some answers. Is there a good chance that I'll get to keep my mom around? Most everyone I read about is stage 4. Are there folks out there who are dealing with a stage II? What can I expect? Should I be preparing myself emotionally for the worst? How do I keep her positive and in good emotional health when she's so terrified?

So many questions. Thank you for taking the time.


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Your mother has a very good chance. Please read my profile after my post. It will tell you that I am almost 4 years post dx and well over 3 years past treatment. I would suggest that she do chemo and radiation just to put the icing on the cake. The fact that she was a candidate for surgery is a really good sign. I wish you and your mother the best.


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Hi Mitchell: I would prepare for the best if I were you. No more cancer for your mom. I have always assumed that I was cured after each treatment. I still believe I can be cured. I had early stage cancer 3 yeras ago. It has come back twice since then, but I beat it back at the second cancer. I will find out in less than 2 weeks if I beat it back again. I think I did. It is easier for me emotionally I suppose, to assume that I will beat it. Anyway, the odds are that your mom will be cured. I think you have to be cancer free for 5 years after treatment to be considered "cured".

don m

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Hi Mitchell.

Every one of us has gone through the fears that you describe. The farther out from diagnosis, the smaller they become. What helped me with the fears was a tiny pill called ativan. Another was the fact that so many people were praying for me. Even from great distances. Even people that I didn't know. That was nice. Something else that helped was a gutt feeling I had that I was going to survive this thing. I don't know where that feeling came from, but it saved me alot of worry.

Too bad Mom is hurting and having a tough time with her breathing. This doesn't help with the fear factor. As you plan for and become involved in her adjuvant tx, you both will feel a whole lot better.

I am going to be sending my now retired radiation oncologist a note of thanks for burning the dickens outta me 4 years ago! I was stagelllb; Too late stage for lucky surgery.

Glad you posted!

Cindi o'h

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Hi Mitchell,

I was a stage 1B in June of 2003. I had a lobectomy and chemo, and, although it's still in my mind all the time, and I get really scared sometimes, I lead a perfectly normal life otherwise.

What helped me during the early times of all this was seeing a therapist and some anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications.

But, first and foremost, I think your mom needs to talk to her doctor about getting that pain under control. If what she's taking isn't working, there are other options.

I guess this is all a one step at a time thing. It will get better. I never thought it would, but it did. And, actually, she has a really good prognosis.


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Hi Mitchell-

I know you guys are scared right now. I've been there and it is hard to find something good to focus on in the middle of a cancer diagnosis. I am however jumping up and down with joy for ya'll that this was found at such an early stage, that your mom was able to have surgery to remove it, that you moved home so you are there to help and that only that 1 lymph node tested positive-I can see so much to be hopeful for in your post and situation.

If you have to deal with this beast at least she has a fighting chance!

My mom has been fighting a long time and quite frankly it stinks..I wish i could offer you a magic pill that would make it easier to focus on the positive and would ease your mind of the no doubt horrific things we can create in our minds that may be 'on the horizon' for our loved ones....

I can offer these things from my own experience.

Everything is what you make it.

Feel everything you feel, including sadness, rather than trying not to so you appear strong...you give fear power when you don't release it.

There will be great days and not so great ones....this will be somewhat like a roller coaster, try to find joy somewhere in this ride!

You will never forget mom has cancer BUT as time passes you will stop thinking that each time you see her may be the last and start living life again.

A statistic is just a number and should be viewed as such. You will make yourself nuts if you look at them to long.

Your mom has to be committed to healing rather than just dealing with the disease-do the best you can to lift her up and help her focus on the positive-it will help you too!

I think you both have so much to be hopeful for Mitchell and am sending you blessings and asking that angels lift you both.

You and your mom are lucky to have each other!


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Most doctors will not perform surgery unless they are absolutely sure they can get all the cancer. The best chance to beat this is to have surgery and follow up chemo. I know it is hard to see her in pain, but hopefully she will get some good news once she has another scan.

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Hi Mitchell,

Your story has brought out alot of emotion in me. I can really relate to your relationship with her. My mom was 15 when she married, 16 when she had my bro and 17 when she had me. My dad was quickly out of the picture and my mom struggled so much. That all only brought us closer and we were always like sisters. That's what everyone thought. Unfortunately my mom was stage IV when diagnosed and died when she was 41. Now your mom seems to be in the much earlier stages and just that they could do surgery is great. You need to remember to take good care of yourself through all this. You and your (((MOM))) will be in my prayers.

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Hi Mitchell,

Your mom should be around many years. The fact that she could have surgery is a good sign that it was caught early. I could not have surgery or radiation and I am now cancer free. I know doctors don’t agree, but I consider myself cured. It is true it may come back. Then I will just have to be cured again. Thank God the doctors were not right about their first prognosis, so why should they be right about being cured. Keep us posted

Stay positive, :lol:


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I'm so sorry about your Mom --- BUT she is early stage and that is a GOOD thing. It will take awhile for her to recover from the surgery. Make sure her Doctor's know about her pain and get it managed so she can make a full recovery in the best way possible. A cancer diagnosis and surgery can really beat the heck out of a person, so give your Mom time to heal physically and emotionally.

What a great son you are, I must say. It is so heartwarming to see someone so young reaching out to get support for their loved one. I know you are a young person with a world of wisdom in your head. You and your Mom have been through the mill before, so just look at this as another journey you have to make it through. I understand your fear because my Mom was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer when I was twenty-four. It seems overwhelming now, and will from time-to-time, but you will get through this to see many, many more happy memories with your Mom.

All my best,


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Hi Mitchell,

So sorry for your moms diagnosis. As we have all walked in your shoes be it the victim or the caregiver like yourself.

Your mom is a very very lucky woman that they found her LC early and she was able to have an operation. Only 1 in 4 is operable.

You mom has a tremendous chance of beating this. Right now she is LC free and hopefully when she has her next CT that is what it will show. Her doctors seem to know what they are doing.

Adjunctive chemo is the way to go. That is just for preventive measures.

Once your mom heals and starts to feel better so will you. Let's just wait and let her heal. Know that she is very lucky that she has such an early stage.

I am sure you will hear from many people on here who have that stage. But there are many on here that are stage IV who have been around for years and are doing fine. There are so many treatments now of days compared to the past.

Your mom will be fine. Just give it time. LC is NOT a death sentence, so Mitichell get that out of your mind. Keep a positive attitude and faith as faith doesn't get you around trouble, it gets you through it.

Also, you mom will find that the chemo is doable.

You are both truly blessed to have each other. I can feel the special bond you have for each other through your post.

Take this as a blessing as it was caught early and they were able to operate to get it all out.

Keep us posted on her scans. I hope they get her pain under control. It is a very painful operation. Hang in there, she will get better and will be her old self again or her young self again.

Maryanne :wink:

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Wow, thank you ALL so very much for the tremendous posts. I feel so much more encouraged hearing your stories and finally seeing people who are surviving! I have those moments when the walls start caving in but I'm absolutely determined not to give up. We can beat this!! Thank you all for helping me realize that.

Mom is terrified of pain medicine as addiction runs very high in our family. My dad was an addict (recently set free from a 30+ year drug addiction and got saved!), two of my brothers are addicts (though one was also saved and set free almost 9 months ago!), and also my grandfather and uncle both were addicts. This terrifies her so she tries to skimp out on the pain medicine and really regrets it. She also refused the epidural and regretted that. I guess if it hurts badly enough, she'll get over it and start taking the medicine!

She seems to be doing better every day. Yesterday, we interviewed for our city's welness community and the director just couldn't believe Mom was only 2 weeks post op. She has been dressing and getting herself ready, being completely independent, walking well, and everything normal except for driving - despite all the pain! She's bored from sitting in the house and she seems to be a little stir crazy, but other than that, I think she's recovering very quickly.

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I have a 24 year old son, so your worries really touch me. In addition, your Mom and my huband have very similar diagnoses.

My husband is Stage 2B, and was just diagnosed around 10/1 and had surgery on 10/10. He began chemo on 11/9. His 2 positive nodes were also in the hilar region.

I have researched and read medical literature for endless, endless hours since my husband's diagnosis, and based on my research feel truly optimistic about my husband's prognosis. I can also tell you that the literature is clear that 2B patients should receive chemo in order to lower the risk of spread or recurrence.

He is on his second round of 4 chemo treatments, and while his life is being impaired to some degree from the chemo, it is really not all that bad. Your Mom will be okay through chemo, and she will recover from surgery over the course of several weeks.

Yur Mom is very lucky to have been diagnosed at a treatable stage, and very, very lucky to have you as her son. I want you to believe me when I tell you that you can and should be optimistic about your Mom's prognosis!

Since we are both caring for people in the same stage of this disease, please feel free at any time to e-mail me at MaryMcGee_Kline@Hotmail.com if you would like me to share any information with you. As you have probably already noticed, this site is filled with information and people happy to share it. You are not alone.

Take care!

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Mitchell, so sorry you have to be here but so so glad you have found us.

We will walk this walk with you and help in anyway you need us to. This website is awesome for information and the love and support is neverending!

Blessings to you and remember to take care of you too!

Your mom is in my prayers and please keep us posted on how she is doing.


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Mitchell, Try these Links for info on alterntives to conventional Pain Management treatment. click on each link to be redirected;




These may be of interest regarding fear of conventional Pain management treatment and addiction. Good Luck and Let me know if I can help in any way.

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Hello Mitchell and welcome

I am sorry about your Mom's diagnosis but very glad you found this site and have posted.

You already can see what a wonderful group of people this is and you have gotten some great advice as well.

Please let us know how we can help you along this journey. Ask any and all questions and know that there is always someone here that will be able to offer you suggestions, advice and support.

My best to you


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I'm just overwhelmed by the awesome support and the great advice you all have to offer. I wish mom would come here and see the hope that exists and meet all of you who are beating this thing!

She's doing quite well today. We have the dreaded onc appt tomorrow, so my aunt is here and they are out shopping and going to see my brother. Mom has sent her CNA away every time she comes. She's much too prideful to let a stranger come in and help her shower, so she got a chair and has been doing it herself or w/ the help of her partner every day. I see her struggling with stuff that requires bending over or periods of standing, but otherwise she's very normal at this point! The doctors and people we've seen just can't believe she's two weeks post-op yet you'd never know by the way she looks and acts. Her biggest problem is resting. She can't get comfortable to sleep well, but she's making great strides.

Tomorrow, we'll know what the plan is for chemo/radiation. I don't want to do anything that would put her at further risk, but I do wish that we could just have a semi-normal Christmas before she starts this. I don't know. We'll see I guess. Her doctors are being very aggressive, so they may not like my idea (I don't think she does either.) She already has wigs on her night stand. One minute she's sobbing and talking about dying, ("handing out shovels" as I call it) and the next minute she's ready to fight!!

I'll update you all after we get home tomorrow. Wednesday is my 25th birthday and so we'll celebrate it tomorrow night since I'll already be off work. Let's just hope that the appointment goes in such a way that we can truly "celebrate."

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Let us know the game plan, I think most doctors are mindful of things like holidays-- I know ours is. He asked John if he was sure he wanted to have chemo on the 22nd or back it up. He has worked around weddings and various celebrations that have come up. Most chemo schedules go every 3 weeks so if she starts fairly soon, she'd feel good for the holiday and not be due for her 2nd treatment till after Christmas.

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Hi Mitchell and Welcome,

Mitchell the fact that your mother was able to have surgery is a very good thing. The fact that she was staged II is also very good because that means that the cancer was found in the early stage. It takes a while to heal from the surgery. Please have your mom ask the oncologist about adjuvant chemo. Adjuvant chemo is to have chemo infusions after surgery to hopefully kill any microscopic cancer cells that may not show up on the scans. I had stage 3A lung cancer. I had chemo/radiation, sugery and more chemo. I just told you that so that you can let your mom know that chemo is doable and it is temporary and the results are certainly worth it.


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Thank you all and thank you for the birthday wishes.

We did go to the oncologist yesterday, and he is a great doctor. I liked him much better after meeting him. He has a zany sense of humor and has already built an incredible rapport with Mom. He knows very much about how scared she is and that it's a bit over the top. Everything he wants to do, her reply is "I'm scared of that,"

So therefore he made several very funny remarks about how negative she was and how she's afraid of everything. He told her he'd be praying for the people in her support group, they'd need it with her!

While I know that wouldn't work with many people, it really lightened the mood with Mom, made her laugh, and put her at ease. Later, it also made her realize just how bad she's been. So, I was ok with it.

There was no earth breaking news yesterday. He looked at the report, told her her stage (which we knew) and then said that due to her fear and for our well being, he would not even go into detail on chemo. He wants her to show up at the office on Dec. 27th, then he'll give her the speech. Immediately afterwards, she will begin treatment. This way, she doesn't freak out and spend three weeks worried sick and being scared.

I think this also is fine, considering she is an RN, worked in hospice, and knows very well what is going to happen. There's no need refreshing her mind about side effects, etc., and then leaving her hanging for three weeks.

Later last night, I took her to the wellness community for her support group. This was her first and I think it really made a big difference. Afterward, she was so encouraged, convinced she needed to work on her attitude, and just flat 'believed' that she was going to live (I think that's the first time she's convinced me that she honestly believes she can beat this.)

So, all in all, it was a good day and when we got home from the wellness community, there was a nice big birthday cake waiting on me, with all my family there. It was awesome and we had a great time.

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