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My Mom's Story So Far


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Hey - I've been reading this board for about 2 months since my mom was diagnosed with limited stage SCLC and thought I'd add one more story to the many here already.

My mom, who will be 70 next month, has just completed Round 2 of the carboplatin/etoposide chemo regimen after being diagnosed limited stage SCLC about 2 months ago. She'd had a persistent cough for close to a year; my sister and I asked her several times to request a chest X-ray, but she was satisfied with her doctor's idea it was sinus and allergies. It was only when she went to a new endocrynologist for a baseline X-ray of her thyroid area (it was removed many years ago) that her lung tumor was found. As with so many other diagnoses, hers was made incidental to another condition.

She was a 1/2 pack to pack a day smoker for 55 years. She never wanted to quit and we have worked hard to help her to realize that there is no benefit in doing the "woulda, coulda, shoulda". We all make choices in life that are not necessarily good for our health, and the stigma associated with lung cancer is really such a shame.

Post too long...currently, mom is in good health with very few symptoms (still a cough and a little chemo fatigue). She's able to do all the things she did before diagnosis. She has an ache in her left shoulder blade on her left (tumor) side which is making us nervous, but she'll have a CT scan in a week which I assume will let us know if the ache is a bone metastasis or something else.

Thank you to all who post such valuable information here.


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Welcome Linda,

Sorry your Mom and you have to go through treatment for SCLC. Hopefully she will be one of those with limited side effects. You didn't mention anything about radiation. Is she going to be scheduled for that as well as chemo.

You can see by my profile, my husband was diagnosed in April 2006. Overall he's doing ok. Is going through a second chemo at this time and we won't know results till most likely the end of July.

Please, feel free to contact me if you would like.

Blessings to you and your mom.

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Hi Linda, welcome to the site. It sounds like your mom has a great deal of support from the family. I am glad she's feeling so well right now. it certainly makes things easier with the chemo. keep us posted on the CT results...hopefully it's nothing bad and if it is, I'm sure they'll have a plan to treat it. All kinds of great advice and experience from the members here. I'm pretty new myself and have been so grateful for the support network I've found. Shelley

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Hello Linda,

I am sorry to hear that your mother has this awful disease. It is good that she is doing so well with her treatment. I will keep your mother in my prayers.


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Hi Linda and welcome.

I have found lots of very useful info on this board and lots of support too! Hope your Mom continues to do well. It's always nervewracking to wait on those scans and then the results.

My Mom also had pain behind the left shoulder (tumor side also) but she was receiving concurrent radiation so that's what we thought it was from. Hindsight told her that she had been having pain there for some time but thougth it was her friend Arthur Itis.

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Hi, and welcome.

My husband also has small cell, limited.

He'll be starting his 4th round of chemo next week.

Have they mentioned radiation? It REALLY shrunk my husband's tumor quite a bit when they finally did his. 2 rounds of chemo showed hardly any shrinkage, but the scan after the radiation was totally different!

Hope everything works out well for you,


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Wow! I'm so glad to be so warmly welcomed by you all.

To answer the couple questions about radiation for my mom:

The doctors intended to do concurrent radiation with the carboplatin/etoposide combo, but have decided to wait until the tumor shrinks some from the chemo alone. The tumor is large (6 cm x 6 cm x 7 cm), or at least it was two months ago upon diagnosis, and is situated close to her heart. The radiation oncologist feels that he'll be more effective and more precise with a smaller tumor; he doesn't want to risk damaging too much good lung tissue just yet. Makes sense to me, as I understand that radiation does damage surrounding tissue.

It's my understanding that after her CT scan (June 11), a determination will be made on when/if radiation still makes sense. She has this discomfort in her left shoulder and if that's a mets, well, I don't know if that'll change the tumor radiation plans or not.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mom had an excellent tumor response to the first three carboplatin/VP-16 rounds (see profile). She also looks great and feels about as good as she looks. But (there's often a "but", yes?), true to its bad rep, the small cell cancer decided to move somewhere else while the tumor in her lung was shrinking; there is a small bone mets to her shoulder that wasn't there at initial diagnosis. She told the doctors about some shoulder discomfort and an x-ray showed a bone mets.

She will continue with the same chemo for another round and will have the bone mets radiated next week along with a full bone scan to see if there are any other hot spots.

I have a question: if other spots on her bones are hot but she's not feeling any pain or discomfort in those areas, will radiologists generally recommend radiating these spots? Or is it more typical that they'd leave additional spots alone if there are no symptoms?

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My mom ws diagnosed sclc limited in FEb of 07. I'm so sorry that you have had to get on the roller coaster ride no one wants to ride!

My mom had radiation and concurrent chemo. SHe had a complete response in her lung so we started PCI. SHe has a suspicious spot on her brain but we will scan after PCI to see if it's still there.

My understanding is that if they find any spots they will radiate them. I to believe the radiation did the most in getting rid of the tumor in her lung so I am glad they will be doing that.

COme here and ask any questions you may have. It is a great resource!!! There is so much hope so stay positive. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!!

Prayers to you and your family,


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Thank you to those who gave me insight about how radiation would work if my mom's cancer moves to her bone.

Today yielded an unexpected surprise -- doctors were certain that shoulder discomfort she'd been having was mets to bone, but a bone scan today did not confirm a mets. In fact, they went on to schedule her for the protocol of concurrent chest radiation in a couple weeks.

My dad had pancreatic cancer for most of the 1990's and I now remember too well how this cancer rollercoaster works. One day we're down, the next we're up...

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