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Introduction


AngJ

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Introductions are always so hard to write.. I'm happy to be here, but not really, I wish I didn't have to be here at all, I know none of us do. I'm quite thankful, however that there is a place that we can all come together as one and do our best to best this thing. I'm rapidly approaching 40, married with 3 fuzzy kids (2 keeshonds and their kitty) and a quazi-normal life... ahh but then again what really is normal? :)

My mom is 66, smoker for 45+ years - her sister who is 8 years older than she is was diagnosed with lung cancer in December. 3 weeks ago mom started having some pains in her leg and went to her GP. While she was there, she had him look at a place in her neck that had been bothering her.. they did some chest xrays and a CT of the chest, long story short, they ended up doing a biopsy and the report.. adenocarcinoma.

We met with an oncologist at our cancer center (which we all adored him) Last week, she had the CT's of the had, neck, abdomen and pelvis. Bone scan and PET. The scans revealed tumors in her neck (which was what was biopsied) both lungs, and small ones on her liver, spleen and adrenal gland. Non Small Cell Adenocarcinoma, stage IV that started in the lung. Thankfully, bone and brain were both clear.

Tuesday we start chemo - I'm quite impressed with how quickly the oncologist is moving on this - she'll have 4 treatments of Carbo/Taxl and the 5th treatment will be Avastin - I've not done my research on what these will do to the cancer as well as her - that's my next step.

She tries to be strong, at least in front of me, and I her - my father (he's 77) is treating her with kid gloves when she doesn't want to be treated any differently.. she says she's the same person she was last week, last moth, last year and doesn't want to be treated like an invalid.. so I'm not, I'm letting her do what she can (she's been very weak the last 2 weeks) and letting her tell me when she needs help. This is ultimately her fight, I'm just here to catch her when she stumbles, cheer her on in the face of adversity, to celebrate the triumphs, to comfort the sadness, and to help her from letting dad drive her crazy. As soon as I get a piece of information I try to do as much research as I can, so I can be informed, so she can be informed. I'm convinced that having as much knowledge as we can have is one of the key components to fighting this.

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Welcome to the site. You will get a lot of support here. The chemo that your mom is getting sounds to be a good aggressive treatment. I had Tarceva instead of Avastin, but have been told that if I was starting treatment today it would be Avastin. Your mom sounds like she has the right attitude and that is important. Keep us posted.

Stay positive, :)

Ernie

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Hi and welcome to the board. Glad you found us but sorry you had the need. Is your mom going to be having any type of radiation? My cancer was deemed inoperable and I received radiation and carbo/taxol. Finished the treatments in August and as of my last PET scan a week ago everything is deemed as "stable". Great people here that will help support you and answer questions. Take good notes at doctors appointments and do not be afraid to make them explain things to you. Again, welcome to the site.

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Hi, and welcome to the LCSC. You certainly have the right idea on how to best help your mom, and I'll add just a few "enhancements" to what you're already doing.

If at all possible, you should try to accompany your mom to all of her chemo sessions and oncologist visits. With chemo about to start, her schedule will be a lot less hectic than it has been up to now, with the various consultations and tests jammed into a short time period. If she'll be on a 21-day chemo cycle, which seems to be the most common these days, then we're talking about a couple of days every three weeks, or maybe three days if there's a scan of some type needed that cycle. You're there not only to support your mom directly, but to listen, ask questions, and take notes. Many people use a tape or digital recorder when meeting with the onc -- while you should ask him/her if it's okay, I've never heard of one objecting.

Also keep notes of your mom's side effects as they develop and then (in many cases) go away each cycle. You won't always know what drug is causing a particular problem, but by keeping track of dates, a pattern may emerge. Sometimes a problem may not be a side effect as such, but rather a previously existing condition that's become worse and more bothersome because of lowered resistance, poorer circulation, etc. brought on by the chemo in general.

If your mom is the stoic type who doesn't like to "bother" the doctor or staff with what she considers a minor thing, you may need to be the one who makes the call. I was surprised how seriously my onc took blisters, slow-healing incisions, and other skin conditions that were at risk of becoming infected (I was put on oral antibiotics four separate times during my six cycles of Taxol/Carbo/Avastin). Infection is a really big deal because it can require treatment to be interrupted.

Adenocarcinoma is probably the most common, best studied, and most treatable form of NSCLC, and you'll find many people on this site with an initial diagnosis of Stage IIIB or IV who have done quite well. We'll do everything we can to help your mom become one of those success stories. When you get a chance, you should create (and frequently update) her profile to save you a lot of repetitive typing whenever you post a question or comment. Click "My Profile" at the top, scroll down to the "Signature" block, enter/update the information, and be sure "Always attach my signature" is marked "Yes."

Best wishes and Aloha,

Ned

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Welcome,

I had 4 treatments of carbo/taxol and I have to say I didn't do too bad. As far as permanent side effects my bones tend to get achy, especially in the hip area and lower back but it's a small price to pay.

As for Avistan, I have no knowledge.

Keeping notes is great advice, I can't tell you how many times I went back to my notes to see what a particular doctor had told me.

As long as your mother is able to be independent and wants to be, bless her heart, I agree with you to let her.

Kathy

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Hi and welcome to the board! Sorry that you have a need to be here. I too am diagnosed with Stage IV Adenocarcinoma. I was diagnosed in Dec. 2005. I was treated with Carbo/Taxol/Avastin (just like your mom is going to get) and had a 7 month remission. I am just now going to start on my second line of chemo due to a small growth seen on my liver. I fully intend to go back into remission with this chemo. Hang in there and stay strong! This disease is beatable! I will keep you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers.

God Bless,

Sharon

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Hello and welcome

I am sorry you had a reason to find a site such as this but glad you have posted.

Please let us know how we can help you and your mom. As you can see, there are many folks here willing to share their experience and knowledge.

My best to you and your Mom,

Christine

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Welcome,

I'm sorry there's a reason for you to be here, but you won't find a better group of survivors and family members! These guys are the greatest! Sounds like you guys are off to a good start. I just wanted to welcome you and send positive thoughts for your mom. Hang in there, and keep us posted!!!

I try to do as much research as I can, so I can be informed, so she can be informed. I'm convinced that having as much knowledge as we can have is one of the key components to fighting this.

Knowledge is power! And knowing your options and what you're fighting against is key in winning the fight against cancer! You're doing great!

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Hi Ang,

Welcome here. We are also sorry you had to find us. But as you see there is so much knowledge and support here. I know how scared you must be, but I love your mother's attitude. She does not want to be treated differently. You can see what a special lady she is.

Her doctor is moving fast ant that is good, the sooner the better.

Hang strong, this is controlable and you mom could be around for a long long time.

Have faith and keep a positive attitude.

Keep us posited of her progress. We are here for you 24/7

Maryanne

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Sorry you have to be here with the rest of us, but a big warm welcome nonetheless.

My mom is currently undergoing the same chemo plan (4 treatments so far) and has done pretty well. Side effects have been minimal. Doing the reasearch is a good thing, for me it has really helped with peace of mind that were doing the right things.

I wish your mom much success with her treatment and will keep your family in my prayers.

Please PM me if i can offer any knowledge or support.

-Danielle

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