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Just found out my mom has lung cancer which spread to her brain they gave her 3 to 4months to live.

She looks and acts healthy. But drs say within the next month she will not be herself.

I am very close to my mom and still in shock and I cant imagin my life without her.

I don't want her to suffer

I really dont know what to expect.

can anyone give me some advice?

thank you

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I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's diagnosis. Have the Drs. suggested any treatment for her? If not, you should probably get a second opinion. There are many here who have been diagnosed with brain mets who have seen a positive response on treatment. It is good that you found us. Please feel free to ask any question you may have and to give us more spcifics about your mom's diagosis.

You might want to also visit:


This website is run by Dr. Jack West, an oncologist in Seattle who specializes in the treatment of lung cancer. If you register on the site (free) you can ask him questions about your mother's diagnosis.

In the meantime, hang in there. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed in the beginning.


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Hi, welcome to the LCSC!

We have a number of members who are still here and doing well years after they were given a similar prognosis. They went for second, third, even fourth opinions in some cases before finding the team of doctors that was right for them. Give us as many specifics as possible, and those in the group with relevant first-hand experience as patients or caregivers are sure to respond. Read through some of the profiles at the bottom of our messages to see what sort of information would be good to include. For now you can just put that in a post within this topic thread, then later we can help you transfer the info to a profile to avoid repetitive typing. Some of the items to include would be:

Other significant health issues if any, the symptoms which led to the medical evaluation that resulted in the cancer diagnosis, the specific diagnosis (SCLC or NSCLC with stage and cell subtype if known), what tests were done to arrive at the diagnosis (CT scan, PET scan, brain MRI, bone scan, biopsy, etc.), any pertinent quotes from the written reports of those tests/scans (your mom is entitled to have these), the type of medical facility doing the evaluation, what specific treatment options were discussed, etc.

I doubt that you have all of that information at hand right now, but any part of it would be good as a starter. Since your mom "looks and acts healthy" I believe it's appropriate to be very aggressive, and we've got some real winners in this group who can help you in that direction!

Best wishes and Aloha,


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You should get a second opinion. What area are you in? There are many long term survivors of stage 4 Lung Cancer here. I myself have survived coming up on 5 years, and even had a large brain metasasis about 15 months ago and am doing very well presently.

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maybe i didnt give you guys enough info

she has adenocarcinoma which spread to adrena glands dont know if i spelled that right but She has cancer in both her lungs and it has spread to her brain. Im starting to think back at little things like her losing her balance she keeps cleaning her glasses cause she said they were foggy

she was getting dizzy. She has no headaches.

She thought she had a pimple on the back of her head and it didnt go away so she went to derm and they did byop and the dr called in 4 days wanting her to come in for mri cat scan and some other tests.

I live in So Calif and my mom has one of the best Oncog drs.

Sorry if my spelling is off here but it just is fustrating to think my mom is not going to be here.

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This what the paper says

irregular mass in right lower lobe extending to right

infrahilar region suspicious for primary neoplasm

abutting the right heart border

multiple small nodules identifies throught both lungs

mild interstital dsease thoughout both lungs

mass within left adrenal gland suspicious for metastatic disease

several small enhancing lesions in cerebral hemisphere for metastatic disease

And there is more on paper

so alot of it dont make sense

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Thank you for the additional info. Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the presence of the mets would make your mom stage IV. Although the survival statistics for advanced lung cancer are not good, please keep in mind that there are always some who "beat the odds" and, with newer treatments, those numbers are increasing.

Maybe your mom would be willing to start a treatment program (probably chemo plus brain radiation) to see how it goes. Some people have excellent response with very mild side effects, and they are the ones most likely to stay on the winning side of the survival line. You saw the reply from Joe B, and you should be getting some others too. My Aloha,


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Hi and welcome to the community. I'm sorry you have to be here and know how frightened you must be right now. This is a serious cancer, but don't give up hope. The best advice is to find out what kind of a game plan is suitable for your Mom's situation and proceed with treatment, if that is her choice.

I second the recommendation to post to Dr. West at Onctalk.com.

There are indeed many here who have lived for years with Stage IV. My husband lived for 2 1/2 years and his lungs were loaded with cancer of the same type as your Mom's. (He also found out he had emphysema at the same time.) See: http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w28/ ... e-Marc.jpg

If everything falls into place and she responds well to treatment, there is no telling how long she might have. They will treat her brain met differently from the rest of the cancer as chemotherapy cannot cross the blood/brain barrier. She will likely have a combination of radiation and chemotherapy. It's doable.

Have hope and please take care of yourself during this initial phase of diagnosis. Your Mom will need you.


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The thing is she don't want treatment

my dad died from lung cancer and she seen what it does and i understand

i just dont know what to expect

I'm very sorry about your dad, and I can understand your mom's concern. At the risk of pushing too hard, let me just say that if your dad died of lung cancer 10-15 or more years ago, a lot has changed since then. New drugs are available, and routinely given, that reduce and even eliminate some of the worst side effects of chemo (such as nausea). If your mom is willing to give it a try, then everything we've written up to this point still applies.

But if your mom continues to decline treatment, I can understand that too. I can imagine situations where I would make the same choice. You should make initial arrangements for hospice support early, before she actually has need for pain medication. You should also be aware that in some cases, such as bone metastases, radiation treatments can be very effective in relieving localized pain even if the person is declining chemo and other treatments for the basic cancer.

With this I've about reached the limit of my first-hand knowledge, but there are many others here who can help you through the weeks ahead. My very best wishes and Aloha for you and your mom.


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The Dr told my mom they could give her chemo and radation but it wouldn't help.

They can't operate at all.

And My mom would rather spend whatever time she has left not sick.

I went to Dr today with her and they showed me the test results and Im not a dr but you can clearly see the tumors.

the one in her brain has grown since she found out and that was wed jan 31st

there were so many tumors it was really hard to look at.

she dont want 2nd opinion cuz she said it would be the same.

Dont know what to do

all i know is 90 days to live is alot to take in

Who knows my mom is stubbon may defy drs.

i have noticed a few changes in her like weight loss

she is off balance now

just hard im worried i know i need to stay strong for her but its hard when my mom was the one that was always the strong one.

Yes im very close to my mother.

thank you all for your support



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Sorry to hear of your mom's diagnosis. My husband was DX with ED SCLC

over 3 years ago. He also had brain mets. Alan has

had both Chemo and Radiation and his Drs never ever

gave him a prognosis. Neither his medical oncologist

or radiation oncologist believe in giving a "number" on how long Alan had to live. Alan has

not had an "easy" time of things and his cancer has

once again come back, but he has battled and continued to live his life.

I would be seeking another opinion right away. I too

live in So. Ca. and would consider my husband's dr.

the best.

Do not give up hope

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I am so sorry to hear about what you and your mom are going through. It must all seem so unreal, so painfully unreal.

I agree with others suggestions, if your mom is up for getting a second opinion that would be good. Also doing things to keep her interested in life and to keep her energy up as much as possible helps. For a while I thought my mom was getting better, she did to as well! She had much more energy and started to regain some weight.

Someone on this forum gave me great reassurance and advice that I am always thankful for. Right after the Hospice nurse told my mom she thinks mom had 6 weeks left, which shocked us, I was encouraged to just remind my mom how much I love her each day, every chance I got and I worked hard to make sure she still felt independent as much as possible even in her quickly fading condition. Basically live your life and use this time with no regrets. Leave nothing unsaid, so should she pass away you will not have those horrid regrets filling your mind. And should she make a wonderful recovery she can then tease you about how much love you surrounded her with, so much so it almost annoyed her. :) Children are allowed to still drive there parents crazy. ;)

Again i am so sorry you are going through this, it breaks my heart. Please let me know if there is anything I can do, if you ever need to chat I am here.

Warmest wishes x Kate

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Update on my mom

Mon she fell she said her leg gave out.

Hospice came gave her walker wheelchair, and potty for shower and bedside.

she says she is not in pain.

She looks fine she does get a lil absent minded.

Social worker from hospice came yesterday read Dr. report and said enjoy the time you have now with her because next week she may not be ok.

We found out jan 30 th

and they said 3 to 4 months

she refuses to get 2nd opinion

results say the turmors are to numerous to count

and there are 2 in her brain she has them in her kidneys chest wall lungs

I don't know how anyone could survive this.

but im looking at the facts

Thank you all for your support


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It sounds like you mom has made up her mind. It is her decision so now our job is to support you during this time. Please know that we will be here for you during the next weeks and months. Every day you have with your mom is a gift and I hope you can concentrate on the gift of each additional day. Each day that is good, that she feels good, that you can share with her is to be treasured.



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I feel for you. I lost my mom to lung cancer about a year ago. She was my best friend. Just don't let the doctor's give up on her. Try to find a clinical trial. Go to several oncologists to see what they think. Did you call Sloan Kettering in New York?

I wish you and your mom the best of luck.

Connie L.

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Hi Lyris,

I am new to this whole cancer thing too. My dad was diagnosed only 2 weeks ago and there is so much to take in. I don't have much to offer expect a strong hug. I am sorry you have to go through this.

Enjoy your mom and take lots of pictures. You might feel good recording the conversations you have with her too. I know when my gma passed after a short bought with pancreatic cancer, the thing I wanted most was to hear her voice again. That may help you.

We are here for you and will do everything we can. You are a strong woman and so is your mother. Chin up young person. Take care of yourself.


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