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PET Scan Results


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Hi there,

I've just received the results. My Mom is stage 4 and it has metasticized. The cancer is in numerous lymph nodes, her thyroid, chest wall & ribs. The tumor in her left lung is so large that the entire lung would have to be removed. Her right lung just isn't strong enough to sustain her. Apparently they didn't get enough tissue from the lymph nodes during the biopsy since that initially came back negative. I'm sorry I am just rambling - I'm in shock and trying like heck not to completely lose it.

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(((I'm so sorry)))

I wish there was something I could say to help. Just know that there are others living with and surviving stage IV, and I hope you mom will be one of them too. I'm sending lots of hugs and prayers...

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VegasMom, as someone in the same boat, believe me I am so sorry and I empathize completely. My dad was first diagnosed IIIA/B before they found the brain mets. And then right before they did targetted radiation on the few brain mets they realized that there were more than they thought and ended up having to do WBR which delayed his chemo a month. (he's FINALLY starting on Thursday)

You get those bad breaks and they are as hard to deal with as the original diagnosis itself. You are just getting your bearings and then boom new info that makes you yearn for the earlier state of affairs---which you originally and reasonably thought was nightmarishly terrible in and of itself---And now you have to wish for it! How very very frustrating.

That said, many people here are ticking right along in the face of stage IV. While my family is still very new to the process, we take hope and strength from the many people here and elsewhere who are managing this disease.

Just so you know, it is the fact of metastasis that makes your mom stage IV, not some additional bad news on top of metastasis. Similarly, from my understanding, the lymph nodes will be invovled in almost all metastasis.

btw, I have found it somewhat calming on bad news days to take long showers. Always end up mixing water and tears but come out feeling a little better.

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I too am so sorry to hear this. My mom is also stage 4. As if knowing your loved one has lung cancer isn't enough. Finding out that it has metastisized is just such a blow. It is almost too hard to bear at times. I remember finding it hard to catch my breath that first week after my mom's diagnosis. However, with each passing day, it seems to get a little bit easier and we find new ways to cope. My mom was diagnosed this past December with mets to the sacrum, liver, and brain. She is doing well right now. I am greatful that she doesn't have pain and is feeling well. Hang on to hope! It is out there! We are all here for you. It is okay to cry. I don't understand why, but it does make me feel better to sometimes just let it all out and then move on. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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Hi, I'm so sorry to hear your news. My mom is stage 4 as well, and although it was very scary at first, it becomes a little easier when the Docs come up with a plan for treatment. My mom started feeling much better after the initial treatment and I wish the same for yours. Please ask the wonderful people on this board anything you need to know. They have been so very helpful to me. Shelley

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I am so sorry to hear the news about your mom. She sure has a fight ahead of her. Just give her all the encouragement and love you can.

There are survivors on here who are stage 4 and are beatin the odds. I hope like Katie said she will be one of them.

I know how scared you are. We are always here for you 24/7.

Keep us informed of what treatment they are going to give her.

Maryanne

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Vegasmomof3,

Your Mom's PET scan and my mom's PET scan sound like the same results. See my profile....

We had our first teaching chemo appointment today. Other than Mom's shock of the medical bills piling up, she was ok with what to expect. We start chemo Thursday. Although we are just a step or so ahead of you in treatment, it is true that once there is a plan in place...you feel yourself exhaling a bit more. I actually exhaled today. All the other days this past week I've been sobbing.

My mom's first chemo will be a carbo/gemzar combo. My blessings are with you. From one daughter to another.....I understand how devastating this news is. I read over my mom's PET report at least once a day.....and we just got her results last Thursday. =)

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My Mom has now said she wont pursue treatment. She states "why bother". Mom is more of a quality not quantity person. This is absolutely tearing me up. I was just getting to the point of being able to talk about this without crying then todays news hit me like a ton of bricks. Why does it seem to hit harder now??

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Hi,

Tell your mom that my quality has improved with treatment. I read your other post about the financial concerns, and know that's an issue now, but tell her treatment can help. My side effects were fairly easy and I feel better today than 8 months ago. She won't know unless she tries.

Raney

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My mom's tumors were also quite large (7cm and 3 am in her right lung) She was feeling pretty worn out, coughing contantly, had severe chills and quite a bit of pain in her side (probably due to the cancer) After her FIRST chemo treatment these symptoms started to go away. She has felt better the last 4 months than she has felt in a year. Her quality of life has been much better since she chose chemo. I hope your mom will at least think about her options. I'm not sure what the treatment was for her ovarian cancer years ago, but I'm sure the drugs were much more stressful on her system than many of the chemo agents are these days. The Carbo/Gemzar combination my mom was on was really easy for her. Just 1 day/2 out of 3 weeks...The only real side effect she had was a decrease in her blood counts which they treated very easily. It's very hard to accept that a loved one doesn't want treatment. My prayers are with you and your family. I hope everyone can be at peace with the decision that is made. Shelley

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I'm so sorry you are in this tough place right now.

My Mom worried about chemo, and initially told us sshe wouldn't do it. She was a big quality / quantity person herself. We tried to back off and let her make her own decisions, and she eventually decided to try one session. She kept going after that.

My Mom was very strong for 25 months, and I am so grateful for that time. Feel free to PM me any time if you want. This is just so overwhelming at this point. We're all here for you.

:) Kelly

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I'm sorry your mom has chosen not to have treatment. While it is hear decision, I'd talk to her carefully to make sure she understands that quality of life is not necessarily a tradeoff if she gets treatment. Dr. West has an article on onctalk about studies that demonstrate that quality of life is preserved or improved in patients undergoing 2nd line treatments (that's what I remember it saysing--I'll see if I can find the link for you--here it is

http://onctalk.com/2007/05/22/survival- ... v-lung-ca/). Here is the conclusion:

But all of the studies I highlight above show that for the patients fit enough to tolerate the treatment, the agents that have shown a survival benefit don’t appear to require a choice of paying for survival benefit with quality of life. Instead, you can get the double benefit of treatment, especially if the therapy actually works well against the cancer.

Second, I would make sure that she is not making ths decision because of financial issues. If necessary take the bills she has received to the doctor/hospital and ask them to go through it with you to determine when and what insurance will kick in and whether there are resources of assistance if it is needed.

My mom is also stage IV and doing well 5 months after diagnosis. She got almost immediate relief from the pain her mets were causing once radiation began.

Again, it is her decision, but make sure she is not using fear or reasons that don't exist to make it.

Susan

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I am sorry that you all have had so much overwhelming bad news. Your mom probably feels overwhelmed now and so "why bother?" she says. I hope she will reconsider and at least aim for treatment that will make her feel better.

don M

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My mom seriously considered not having chemo, and she was diagnosed at IIIB. She had saw brothers and sisters go through it with little help and alot of discomfort, nausea, etc.

But that was 10-20 years before her diagnosis, and things have changed.

My mom's oncologist told her the only thing he'd recommend was chemo, six treatments. He told her he'd re-evaluate after the second or third to see if they were helping and see what side effects or "quality of life" she was having. The shrinkage ended up being dramatic and the side effects little.

Maybe your mom would consider commiting to just two or three.

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Hi-My Mom has small cell so we are looking @ completely different types but I wanted to just

say if you read your Mom the stories on this site about all of the survivors and how much their quality of life got better after treatments maybe she will reconsider.

Hoping for the best for your Mom.

Dar

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Oh I'm so sorry to hear it wasn't better news from the PET! :cry:

Please, as gently as you can, let your Mom know that the new therapies are more gentle than they've ever been and many have few side effects that aren't managable pretty easily. There are many, many people living quality lives with stage IV lung cancer.

We had this same discussion with Mom when she was diagnosed and at first she didn't want to go through the trouble (and yes, the expense) of treatment when she had been told it wouldn't make more than 6 months difference. She lived for a year and a half past that 6 months with a good quality of life and we treasure that time now.

Ultimately, though, it is your mom's decision and I know you'll do a wonderful job of supporting her, whatever she chooses. I know it's hard...we're here for you.

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