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Anyone Dealing with More than One Family Member with Cancer?


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Hi,

I am looking for anyone who is dealing with more than one family member with cancer. As many of you know, my dad was diagnosed with SCLC - ED. Well, my mom is in the process of being diagnosed with cancer. She has a spot on her lung and a spot lit up on her colon with the PET scan. She's undergoing a MRI as I type this. We do not know if her cancer originated in the lung or colon. We will know after the colonoscopy next week.

I asked the oncologist about this today. He has seen six couples in his practice who have had cancer at the same time.

I am not going to lie about it.... It's overwhelming. I am a primary caregiver and I want to be there for my parents sooo much. But I also need to look out for me.

Kristi

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I'm sorry to hear this Kristi,

My mom and sister were dx.d 2 months apart from one another. This was 20+ years ago, and they both had lung cancer. I know it's hard and very overwhelming. My house was turned upside down during that time, because my mom lived with me. Your going to have a bumpy bumpy road for a while, but you'll find a lot of support here at LCSC. People here WILL get you through the rough spots.

Deep breath in, and blow it out. We're here for you.

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I would never wish this on anyone. We are early in the game and I am already worn out. It's the confusion from what is relayed to me. I think that I will just have the doctor's offices call and talk to me.

It would help me to talk to others who have had to deal with two family members, particularly parents, going thru the journey at the same time. This is one journey I hate. I hate cancer. I absolutely hate it.

Off for port placement and IV fluids for Dad... Another long day. :: SIGH ::

Kristi

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Both of my parents have lung cancer. I have to say my dad's diagnosis was "easier" in that we already had a medical team in place that we trusted and I already knew the questions to ask. I did feel very numb and was in shock for most of his preliminary diagnosis, so I didnt know how to react.

It does get frustrating and overwhelming and for me what helped was to get as much info directly from the drs because there was always confusion when the info was relayed by o thers.

Now both of my parents are in remission for now and we use humor, there is no other way but to poke fun (at least for us).

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Kristi,

My older brother was diagnosed with sclc one week after I was diagnosed with nsclc. I was diagnosed 12/28/2005 just 4 months after my 28 yr. old son passed away from osteosarcoma (bone cancer) that he had been battling since spring 2003. I found out after mine and my brother's diagnoses that our other brother had surgery the prior year to have his prostate removed as he had prostate cancer. Also our mother passed away 16 yrs. ago from sclc. Our father and younger brother haven't been touched - Thank God. It is devastating to hear that one family member has cancer. When other members are simultaneously diagnosed it is almost too much to bear! I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Stay strong!

God Bless,

Sharon

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Hi Kristi,

My heart goes out to you. Both of my parents were also ill at the same time. My Dad had neck cancer, my mom had Parkinson's Disease, and both had senile dementia to one extent or another. Fortunately, both of my parents had long term health insurance policies which more or less covered the expense of having in home health aides for them. So, luckily, I was not in the position of having to be there as caregiver 24/7. I was there pretty much every day though, seeing to it that things were being taken care of properly, driving them to their doctor's appointments and doing the shopping. I do not know what your parents have in terms of insurance coverage, but if they do have anything in place that you can utilize, definately use it. Also, do not be afraid to ask for the assistance of any relatives or siblings that might be available. This is to much for one person to handle alone, you are going to need help. Find help, and ask for it from anyone who can provide it.

I am thinking of you, you can do this, but do not try to do it alone. You have to take care of you to.

All the best,

Gail

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Kristi:

Multiple, simultaneous cases in same family are not only common, but to be expected, particularly given the genetic factors; i.e., an individual is 2.5 times more likely to contract cancer (of any kind) if they have a close relative that has had cancer of any kind (parents, children, siblings, aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc.)

In addition, in the case of couples, they may have both smoked for years and thus have twice the chance of catching lung cancer anyway (one out of ten smokers develops lung cancer compared to one of twenty in a non-smoking family, and then they also have a doubling effect to deal with; i.e., the econd hand smoke also increases their odds.

In my case, I had a maternal grandmother with melanoma that metastasized to her breasts; a maternal aunt with throat cancer; and a maternal uncle with bladder cancer. That, put together with the fact I was a long time smoker, raised my odds incredibly (although I was knew none of this at time, having chosen to remain a member of the ingnoranmus ostritch family rather than give up my "precious" cigarettes).

Lastly, in the case of a couple (married over 40 years) in one of my lung cancer support groups, he was dx'd IB in July and underwent a wedge section since which time he has been NED. Three months later, she was Dx'd Stage IIb herself and been through both radiation and chemotherapy in hopes that she too will become NED. In other words, their saga began with her as caregiver to him and continues with him as caregiver to her.

In the meantime, please take care of yourself. If you try to be sole caregiver to both of them all by yourself, the likelihood is that you will beat them to the grave (45% of all caregivers predecease the patient they are caring for).

Carole

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My mom was dx with NSCLC in April 2004. She started treatment immediately.

Then, in June-July 2004, my dad started having Abdominal pain. He was dx with recurrent melanoma in the small intestine and had surgery in October 2004.

Despite the best efforts, Dad passed away in Jan 2006, and Mom followed him in April 2006.

Feel free to PM me any time. I will try to help any way I can!

~Karen

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Thanks Karen!

We are not sure if Mom's cancer originated in her colon or lung. She has a colonoscopy tomorrow. She sees the oncologist on Friday for follow-up. I am sure that he will have the results of the MRI and colonoscopy.

I hate that both my parents have cancer. In fact, I am not going to lie... It's devastating to my three brothers, their families, and I. We are very close to our parents. I wish that my parents never got cancer. I hate cancer!!!!!!

Kristi

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"peebygeeby"]Hi Kristi,

My heart goes out to you. Both of my parents were also ill at the same time. My Dad had neck cancer, my mom had Parkinson's Disease, and both had senile dementia to one extent or another. Fortunately, both of my parents had long term health insurance policies which more or less covered the expense of having in home health aides for them. So, luckily, I was not in the position of having to be there as caregiver 24/7. I was there pretty much every day though, seeing to it that things were being taken care of properly, driving them to their doctor's appointments and doing the shopping. I do not know what your parents have in terms of insurance coverage, but if they do have anything in place that you can utilize, definately use it. Also, do not be afraid to ask for the assistance of any relatives or siblings that might be available. This is to much for one person to handle alone, you are going to need help. Find help, and ask for it from anyone who can provide it.

I am thinking of you, you can do this, but do not try to do it alone. You have to take care of you to.

All the best,

Gail

Gail,

My folks have excellent health insurance... Low co-pays/deductibles. That is a major blessing. Medicare is their primary insurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO Is the secondary.

My three brothers live close by and help whenever they can. They run errands and take us to appts. (I don't drive due to my vision.)

Kristi

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