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I wish that I never had to find this board...


poggie

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...but I did.

We just found out last night that my mother-in-law has lung cancer.

This whole process started when she had her regular exam with the gp a few weeks ago. As she was leaving, she mentioned to him that sometimes it feels like she has a tickle in her throat and can't stop coughing. He sent her for a chest x-ray. That showed something but they weren't sure what so she had a CT. After the CT, they sent her to a pulmo. He said that she had pneumonia and gave her antibiotics but also scheduled a biopsy (I think a tube down her nose into her lung). That was Monday. Since starting the antibiotic, she is feeling much worse. She is coughing all of the time an it is keeping her up at night.

We have no idea what stage it is until another test can be done. By the time that the doctor called to tell her the results of Monday's biopsy, all of the hospital scheduling offices had closed. Now, we have to sit and wait until Monday to even find out when the next test can be scheduled. It just feels so cruel for the doctor to have called with this horrible news knowing that we would have to wait the weekend in shock and limbo.

She is also a 16 year survior of breast cancer. She had a small lump and opted for a complete mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy with chemo/radiation. She was just given the final clearance from the oncologist last year. The affected lung is on the same side that the breast was removed but they said that they are not related.

Should something have shown up on the blood work that was done?

She has never smoked in her life but my husband (her son) does. I was the one that had to break this horrible news to him last night. I know that he if feeling very guilty but won't/can't get the words out.

How do I support my in-laws and my husband?

In addition to all of this, we have a young daughter that was finally diagnosed with a very rare, progressive disease. She has been in constant medical care for the last 9 years. We are constantly going somewhere (therapy, doctors, clinic visists, tests...) and we are completely burnt out.

It just seems so unfair!

We're in the Chicago area. If anyone can offer a suggestion of who/where she should be going I'd appreciate it. I was thinking maybe Loyola, Rush, U of Chicago...Any ideas?

Thanks for listening.

PS. Please excuse this if it is a duplicate post. I was having trouble posting.

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I hope your husband finds this motivating to quit smoking , for a least something good will come from it. Sadly lung cancer is on the rise in nonsmokers, especially women, and those who live in cities. I hope you find the information you and the family need here and the support also. It is a difficult time, all those screening, staging tests. Soon they will lay out a plan and somehow that seems to make it some what easier, although as you can imagine this is a tough road but doable. Keep us posted on this weeks tests and decisions. Donna G

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I too am sorry you had to find this board. But know that those on here are also very involved with their loved ones and can provide you the support and encouragement you need to fight this battle. As someone has posted before knowledge is power.

My only advise to someone who is "new" to this is get yourself a notebook and take notes on everything. Everytime you talk to the doctors, the nurses, the lab techs. Write everything down. Write your questions down and keep that book with you. It will become your bible in many ways. Write down all the medications, the tests, when, where, who.....all that stuff. I know for me it saved us so much time when it became critical that Randy get the care he needed and those treating him did not have his records avalible to look at immediately.

The other thing I would advise to everyone is get that medical and legal power of attoney. No one needs to go through the heartache and pain trying to get records or have treatment done when you don't have it and your loved ones are too ill to be able to handle it all.

I have become a real advocate that each person here who has cancer have a voice to yell and scream for them. If you feel that something is not being done right, yell until you understand. Ask questions and make them explain everything until you do understand it.

My prayers are with you and your family. Encourage your husband to quit if he can. All he can do is try. Take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Don't be afraid to ask for help from any of us on the board. We have been there, are there, and will be here in the future.

Keep your eyes open. Miracles do happen. They may be small but they are miracles. Put your trust in God.

Love and hugs coming at you.

Shirley

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Hi Poggie,

Sorry you had to find us this way and sorry about your mother-in-law. Take one day at a time and one step at a time. Your mother-in-law is a 16-year survivor of breast cancer so she has the courage and fortitude to battle this. Your husband should not feel guilty. I’m the only one in my entire family (and only the second one in my entire family with cancer / everyone in my family kills each other off with heart attacks) who has lung cancer. It does not matter how we got lung cancer or why, all that matters is that we do whatever it takes to overcome it. As far as support goes for your mother-in-law, go with your gut feelings and you will know what to do. Also very sorry to hear about your daughter. I’m from Massachusetts so I don’t’ know anything about Chicago except the Cubs And Red Sox (It’s the Red Sox that’s going to kill me not the lung cancer) have the same thing in common. I constantly search the Internet for anything and everything about lung cancer. Knowledge is the key. I joined a support group for lung http://www.wellness-community.org cancer. Also keeping a sense of humor helps. Hope this helps. My prayers are with you and your family. Take care and God Bless.

Rich

PS: I look at it (this board) as part of the pieces of the puzzle that I have put together as I travel along my long journey with this terrible disease. Wonderful, compassionate people, great information and yes tears and laughs also. Helps in dealing and coping and battling. Maybe some day we can all get together and have a cold one and give the universal (the middle finger on our hand) salute to lung cancer.

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Well I dont live near chicago but probably the best thing you did so far is come to this site. You will learn a lot here such as you dont need to smoke to get lung cancer. Your husband should not blame himself. Second thing is dont jump in to conclusions. Wait untill you can find out more about the cancer, such as stage, type, where located, can surgery be done. I will pray that it was caught early. Early detection is the best cure. You want to catch the cancer before it catches you. God must of told you Mother in law to tell her doctor before she left about the tickle and the cough. Imagine if she didnt say anything and just left?

COME TO THIS SITE AND COME OFTEN :!::!:

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The US News and World Report ranking of Cancer centers/programs shows the U. of Chicago in 6th place; Northwestern Memorial Hospital in 34th place. Haven't had any experience with U of C, but have had family member in Northwestern Memorial. Wonderful care, wonderful, helpful staff, easy "overnight" for family member. If I were in Chicago, I'd try one of the doctors affiliated w/ NU.

Sorry you have to be asking these questions.

Muriel K

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