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What should I expect?

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I had carboplatin and etoposide (VP16) for sclc in 2004. The VP16 caused me to lose my hair but other side effects were doable. I had Cisplatin the next time and it made me sick only because I didn't stay hydrated - drink lots of water. I have had lung radiation, brain radiation and 5 different chemos in my journey - I have fatigue and some weakness but otherwise have been able to work (except for chemo week) I have a desk job and am married to the boss so don't work long hours.

Best of luck to your Mom.

God bless us all.

Nancy B

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First of all, I am sending prayers and blessings your way for this journey.

You are right that everyone is different.

Try not to expect anything really. Things will happen and these are not in your control. And no matter how much you love you cannot fix it.

I can only speak from the caregiver perspective-this is a rollercoaster of emotion. Be loving with yourself and patient-expect for you that you may experience guilt when you are happy, worry that each time you see her will be the last, scared that you have not done everything you could, angry that your mom has to go through this, even angrier that she could be taken from you-----it took me years to figure out that these feelings were all okay. I have come to treasure my hour drive back home from her house because I get the chance to let go of all those mixed feelings.

For your mom-

I believe that the most important ingredient is attitude and belief. If you believe it you will see it-so I would encourage you to find support to help you and your family to focus on or find the positive in each day.

Some days will be easier will be easier than others.

As much as possible within the process of healing do not focus on the cancer-focus on the health and vitality even if it seems very very small and hard to focus on...

Take a deep breath-this is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

It can be overcome and life can still be good-



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Hi Hopeful,

First of all, welcome! So sorry about your mom's diagnosis - I understand that feeling of everything being turned upside down and not being sure when your feet will be back on the ground again.

My mom was dx'd in October and just finished round 2 of her chemo this week. Her treatment also includes the cisplatin/etoposide (no radiation yet as her tumor is too big) and she is handling it very well. She is tired but still keeps much of her same routine, with a nap each day and dozing earlier in her chair before bedtime, usually. She started losing her hair this week (and had it shaved yesterday). The doc's said with her chemo plan it would happen around week 3 and they were right on (for her).

Everyone is different - as a caregiver I have found great comfort and information on this board. The search option is great - if you want to educate yourself on specific topics, etc. I have also enjoyed the book 'Help Me Live - 20 things people with cancer want you to know'. It is written by Lori Hope, a lung cancer survivor.

Best wishes to you and your mom,


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Expect the roller coaster. Enjoy the highs.

Expect to learn what is really important in life, as priorities shift.

Expect to imagine that sometimes you can't go on, and then find out that you can.

Expect to find hope around every corner. There is so much of it out there in the way of treatments, etc.

My main bit of 'advice' (since you asked) is to take care of YOURSELF during this journey. If you burn out and are falling apart, you can not help anyone--including your mom. Be gentle to yourself. We are here when you need us.

God bless!


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Everyone gave great advice.

For yourself:

Definately expect highs and lows. Enjoy the highs and remember you will get over the lows.

Expect to learn more than you ever wanted to about cancer, but remember knowledge is power :)

Expect your life priorities to change and expect to no longer sweat the small stuff. You may find yourself suddenly "annoyed" when your friends complain about things that aren't important. You may find yourself astonished that you don't get stressed over the "small stuff" that you used to get stressed about.

Expect to forget what you ate for dinner the night before, but you will remember each act of kindness from people given to you and your family at diagnosis time.

For your mom:

Expect her to have good days and bad days :) My mom said that once she hit the real low of chemo and radiation, it was over. Side effects from chemo typically start out mild and get a bit worse over time, but then it is all over.

My mom always says her biggest advice is to stay hydrated. She had to have IV drips for hydration.

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Thank you all for your insight. I am so scared of the future but know that I have to be strong for my mom. I am so glad I found this website as I don't think many people really understand how it feels to see someone you love SO MUCH go through this!

Wishing all of you and your families the very best!!

Happy Holidays!

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