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Mum diagnosed today


AnnT

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Hi Guys.

My 82 year old mother was told today that she has lung cancer. She was in pain last month, but it wasn't until my younger sister pushed that she saw her doctor; bless him, he lined up a course of tests over the last three weeks, today a broncoscopy (sp?), and my sister had the call that it is lung cancer, they've taken a sample to see how fast it is growing.

So, of course, as you would, I'm straight to the net to get more info. She won't get results until next week, but I want to be prepared, and quite frankly, I'm terrified! She is a difficult, difficult woman, my sisters and I (53, 47 (me) and 45) are, quite frankly, scared of her. I've spent two hours reading through the posts on here, and the medical terms and the prognosis, and I'm feeling really overwhelmed.

I'm glad I've found this board. I hope you guys, who have "been there, done that" won't mind me hanging around here.

So, I'm on information overload, and need to go off and have a sob. Sorry if I've gone on a bit.

AnnT

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Hi Ann,

So glad you also found this site. Like you I found it a few weeks ago, and it has been great comfort and a very special place to me when I need it, just to write my thoughts down with people who understand. I too live in the UK. My Dad has lung cancer,and I find it hard as people still don't like the word cancer in this country.

I hope you find that you can talk and say what you want when ever here. God Bless you all. Sonia

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Hello Ann and welcome

I am so sorry about your Mom but glad that you have found us and posted.

We will do as much as we can to help you along this journey. Please keep us updated on your Mom and let us know how we can be of help to you. There are many wonderful and caring folks here that will be happy to answer your questions and offer advice.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers,

Christine

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Hi - I too am from the UK, this board has been a great help to me when I have needed info on my Dads condition and treatment.

My Dad was diagnosed last autumn and has recently had his first dose of chemo, he didnt tolerate it very well and these guys here gave great advice and comfort.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Dawn

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Thanks for the posts, it is good to know that this site is here!!! Blessings of the web, eh?

My Mum got a letter today from the hospital and has another test on Monday - from what she has told me today it sounds like a "PET" scan (can you tell I've been all over the Cancerbackup site)? Her hospital, Eastbourne on the south coast, are really lining up the tests for her! She is back to the the consultant on Thursday, incidentally, it will be her 82nd birthday that day. My elder sister, who also lives in London, has stayed with her for the last few days, Mum has already said she doesn't want any treatment - as they are going to make her ill, because at the moment she feels really well.

I can't see her until next week due to work commitments - yeah, as crazy as that sounds, my husband lost his job three weeks ago, and at the moment I am the sole breadwinner. He was out of work for over seven months before he got that job, and I need to keep the income coming in; work is massivly busy and at this moment I've 20 days straight without a day off. I'm mentally and pysically *done*.

My big sis and I have discussed tonight the plan of, once all the hospital tests are done and we know what we are looking at, Mum will stay with big sis until she can't manage the stairs, and then stay with me; I have a ground floor bathroom / bedroom set-up. So I may need to keep my employers sweet for the time being.

Oh, man, this is hard! My Dad died six weeks after we had a family party to celebrate his 80th birthday - woke up one beautiful spring morning, had a cup of tea in bed and collapsed, died within an hour. I said to my Mum at the time - that is the sort of death I would wish for everyone I love.

Ok, deep breath. Sorry this is so long - it is actually thereputic to put all the thoughts spinning around in my head into words!

OK, gonna leave you all in peace. Thanks to those of you who stayed until the end of the post!

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Hi,

Sorry to hear about your Mum. I'm also a relative newbie, and the daughter of an 83 year old diagnosed with Squamous Cell LC november of this year. I was so scared that treatment would just wear Mum out, but she's doing remarkably well. Minimal discomfort. Obviously whether or not to receive treatment is ultimately your Mum's decision, but if it helps, tell her about the 83 year old who's going through both chemo and radiation, feeling well - still doing most of her normal activities, and looks great in a wig!

good luck, and keep us posted about "mum"

Jen

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Welcome Ann,

sounds like your mom has a good medical team behind her, and you've got a good team behind you right here!

Keep posting and keep us posting. Hoping for encouraging news and successful treatments for your mom.

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Hello AnnT: So sorry to hear of Mum's diagnosis. I was the only caregiver to my mother - age 74 at diagnosis - who could also be very, very difficult. Must be something about English women. She went into total denial and refused any kind of treatment. Then she sunk into a terrible depression. For me there was never any possiblity of having any kind of meaningful conversation with her and she lashed out at me a lot, probably taking her anger out on me. She was very angry when she found out she had lung cancer and basically withdrew from all friends and family and isolated herself. It was such a shame that we could not have had a closer time together. That was 11 years ago but it still feels like yesterday. If this board had been here then (& had I been computer literate) I know I could have got information and support so I am posting this just to let you know that there are other difficult women in the world. With all of that said, I wish you, your sisters and most of all your Mum the very best wishes and good luck.

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Hi Wendy! Thanks for your kind reply (and all the other supportive posts). It is kind of you all.

Wendy - you know, I felt like I was almost betraying my Mum by using the words "difficult"; so many of my friends have great relationships with their mothers - I've told some of them *some* of her little gems, I'm sure they don't believe me. She doesn't like my sisters and I communicating between each other, she has always liked to be the one giving out the information (and usually playing us off against each other). Seriously, it is only in the last four or five years that my sisters and I have really "got on"; she put barriers between us.

Well, I'm a better mum for having her as an example, I guess.

She finds out tomorrow the results of all her tests, and then we can start to plan. I've been thinking about our original plan of her moving into my elder sisters, and then into mine as her condition worsens, and I don't think it will work. My sister stayed with her last week, for five days, and they were on the point of a massive row when my sister went home. I'm thinking of suggesting that maybe during the week she stay at my sisters (my sister works nights in a care home for the elderly), and weekends with me - in order to preserve both our marriages and our sanity!

As much as she drives me crazy, I don't want to see her frightend, as she is at the moment, or in pain.

Thanks all for the support!

AnnT

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Hi Ann: You don't have anything to apologize for. As someone else on this site once said 'it is what it is'. If I had to go back and do it again I think I would try to be not so pro-active regarding potential treatment for her. I will never know for sure but I think if I had waited a few weeks then my mother might have come around to accepting her situation and have been more ammenable to treatment, once she got over her anger. As it was, we started out on the wrong foot, the anger stayed and sadly we were never able to put it right. Probably wishful thinking but again I will never know. Looking back I think she was very afraid and her fear clouded her judgement, but she was never one to go to doctors, said she didn't trust them, so who really knows. I wanted to move her in with me and my husband but she absolutely refused and insisted on living alone until about a week before she passed. I went to her place daily to do for her what I could. Anyway I do wish you and your mum all the best. As they say in Lancashire, Keep your chin up lass.

Wendy

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Ann-

My MIL is 86 and has lung cancer. She did not want treatment either (at least not chemo or surgery). She decided to have just radiation to the tumor about 2 years ago and she is doing quite well. She never went back for tests to see how things are as she says she doesn't care, she's had a long life. In older people the cancer seems to grow slower so your mom may be fine for some time. Oh and on the difficult scale...she's off the chart. :lol:

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Hey Ann: My 83 year old mother was diagnosed last month with Adenocarcinoma lung cancer. Just like you I hit the Internet searching for everything I could find on the subject. Maybe that was a mistake. She's decided to give chemo/radiation a try. She is otherwise in very good physical condition for her age ( other than osteoarthritis and glaucoma). Hopefully these treatments will be of some benefit to her.

Good luck to you and your mum.

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Teeny update - the consultant she saw last week has said it is a fast growing large cell cancer, almost completely over one lung and partly into the other. They did a scan on Monday to see if the pain in her hip is related, and she has the oncologist tomorrow.

The speed that all these tests have been set up is remarkable. We, here in the UK, have the National Health Service, crippled by budgeting costs, but they've been great with Mum.

Tonight Mum has said she doesn't want treatment because it means my sister taking time off work to take her to the hospital and she doesn't want to be a burden ... and that when she told my sister that she didn't want treatment my sister agreed that would be a wise move. Of course, what my sister meant was she doesn't want Mum having chemotherepy and getting weak and sickly. Mum, natch, saw it as a declaration of "I can't be bothered".

Oh, my, praying for patience!

I'm off to thead the posts I've missed.

Ann

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Excellent advice, Wendy! I'm amazed that i didn't snap at her when she said that about my sister, it really was a "bite your tongue" moment.

I told my sister what she said, and she was horribly upset; I debated about it, but I figure the three of us need to be straight with each other.

So. The oncologist (a lovely man, Mum liked him, which is a blessing!), has offered one, maybe two, radiation treatments to reduce the tumour enough to help her breathing, which is, and has been for about six months, very laboured. She has an MRI scan i 10 days to see if the pain in her hip is secondary cancer. He has given her painkillers, the first ones she has been offered apart from paracetamol. They have a cancer specialist nurse at the hospital who has come to all but one of her appointments at the hospital to be with her either in consultations or the treatments - Mum likes her too. Mum is acutally from Ireland, came to the UK in the 1940's, and this nurse is from the next County, so Mum really likes that.

Mum doesn't want to know timescales. But my sister asked when Mum was out of earshot - the cancer nurse says a couple of months.

Thanks for listening. I really like this site! I can talk to my husband, but he hasn't been through this, he knows the difficult relationship I have with my Mum and it clouds his sympathy. There is a line in one of my favourite films, "French Kiss" with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline, that I think of often ..... "Even people who hate their mothers love their mothers".

AnnT

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