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Sometimes, I'm just stunned. . .


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So mom saw the oncologist today. My brother went with her and this is the first time he has been able to go with her to the Dr since her Dx in Jan '07. So I talked to mom afterwards and she told me they would give her radiation and more chemo. Ok. So tonight I called my brother we had a long talk about the Dr. visit and then he just floored me by telling me that he never knew she had lung cancer until tonight.

How on earth is that possible? It has been 16 months! It is not that he has been inattentive, but mom was in denial for a few months and told him that they didn't know where the cancer came from and she never told him any different. It just boggles the mind. So I had to tell him everything tonight.

I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry so I did a little of both.

Susan

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Hi Susan. I would have done the same. Laughed and cried. Probably not uncommon for some patients to not be comfortable with using the lung cancer word given it's stigma and that is totally understandable. And it doesn't really matter, cancer is cancer and it's crap!

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I can totally relate to this, my husband is still reluctant to admit it is lung cancer. His symptoms are all from the bone mets so he talks to everyone about this tumor on his right shoulder, never about where it started or where all the other are. I let it be... denial is understandable I guess and since I am the researcher and the "big mouth" in this duo it is okay I guess!

I am glad your brother finally went to the dr and knows more details now, should help you to have in more informed maybe.

Deb

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I "get" it too....my dad was always relunctant to talk about it for his own reasons I guess.....what I remember most is his selective memory about doctors visits....I would be sitting right next to him in the same onc. office and we both would walk away with a different take on what was said. The only thing he knew for sure was his appointment times and that was because he had that written on a little reminder card.

Asking a survivor who has been thru treatment would give us caregivers a greater insight into the thought process during such a stressful and fearful time.

For my dad, I think his selective memory was due to self-preservation. I think if he knew the dire statistics he was facing and the actual prognosis- he wouldn't have had the emotional strength to continue on. He had hios GP tell us right in the face he had only 4 months at best. The pulm. told us 6 months. The onc. said 8-12 months WITH treatment. I remember feeling kicked in the heart each and every time. I can't imagine what he was feeling or if it even registered with him at all. He blew all three of those prognosis' away so one thing is for certain is that those numbers AREN'T for certain and if I had to do it again, I would never have asked the question.

I remember just a month before he passed away- someone had asked my dad if he was given a prognosis...I just held my breath and waited for him to answer...and when he did, he said "Nope. No one ever said. Just that there is always hope and I'm giving it a shot".

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I think I did both when I was alone.

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Susan,

Could it be that your mom thought she had told him. Otherwise, I can' t imagine her letting him go with her if she was trying to hide the fact. I don't know what to say except maybe your Mom just wants to think positive. She sounds a lot like mine. We all deal with things differently. Sorry you are feeling so heartbroken. At least he does know now , which I would think is a good thing. Hang in there , Susan.

Hugs,

Sue

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