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My mom was diagnosed after what I feel was a year long of misdiagnosis. She kept going to her Primary Care Doc with Bronchitis symptoms and he would just send her hom with meds without ever doing any xrays. After a year, she went in with another problem and he said that she sounded like she had pneumonia and finally ordered an xray. After several weeks of antibiotics that didn't help the pneumonia, he sent her to a lung specialist. He did some tests and said that he felt like she had cancer, but apparently the last test didn't show cancer so he sent her home and said that apparently she just had pneumonia. After several weeks of getting worse I took her for a second opinion and she was immediately sent for surgery and was found out that she had Stage IV lung cancer. The mass was too large to take out so they are doing chemo and eventually radiation. When her surgeon came out of surgery he seemed to not have any hope for her at all, but when the oncologist came in to her room later than evening, he was optimistic that he can help her live a long life. The first day of chemo he told my mom that every week she should start feeling better and better. But every week she is getting weaker and feeling worse. She isn't nauseated, but just really bad weak. She cannot get up out of the chair, wheelchair or commode by herself anymore.

We are really worried that the oncologist is just being too optimistic for her sake. We are worried that she is really going downhill and will not live much longer. Can anyone here relate to his?



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Donna, welcome to the board. You will find great supportive people here. Whether or not your mom was misdiagnosed after she had an xray is open to question. In my case, xrays didn't tell the story and even the CT and PET scans minimized the problem.

I don't know what chemo your mom is getting but some of them can really be rough. I never had it as bad as your mom but I was really healthy going into it. If she was already run down with repreated brochial problems and pneumonia, that could account for the weakness in response to the chemo. I remember my grandson parroting me one day when I was frustrated that I couldn't open a bottle: "I know Nonie, you're weak as a kitten." He'd heard me say that many times during chemo.

Hang in there and keep us up to date. In my book there is never too much optomism. It would be helpful to know what chemo she's getting, how often and for how long. Let us know when you can.

Judy in Key West

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Hi Donna

Welcome to this great site. You will find lots of comfort and support here. There are great stories of survivor's here as well. I'm sorry to hear that it took so long for your Mom to finally get the correct diagnosis. As Jamin mentioned, chemo can weaken your system. Especially if she was already weak. I hope your Mom starts to get her strength back. Take care and please keep us updated.

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Hi, Donna, welcome to the group. Cases of delayed diagnosis similar to your mom's happen all too often, unfortunately. If you can give us a few more details, we'll be able to put things into better perspective for you — specific type of lung cancer, location (one lung or both), if/where it's spread beyond the lungs, which chemo drugs are being used.

The oncologist may have very good reason to believe your mom will respond well to chemo, but I agree that he might have gone a bit far in saying she would be feeling better in short order. During my chemo treatment, my scans, chest sounds, and lung function steadily improved almost from the beginning, which gave me a boost mentally, but I felt weak and generally "junk" until I finished the four months of Taxol/Carboplatin and was able to switch to an easier maintenance routine.

Best wishes and Aloha,


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What the oncologist should have told your mom is that it gets going to get worse before it gets better. The chemo drugs take the good cells with the bad but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Once she completes the treatment she should see results. Make sure she gets lots of fluids - that will help. Make sure she doesn't get an infection or pneumonia -- call the onc if she has a fever. Keep us posted on how she does.


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Hi Donna and welcome to this site full of caring people and information. Lots of us go through a frustrating period of getting properly diagnosed but this case is completely uncalled for. I will bet you are furious and rightly so.

There are lots of folks here who have survived for a long period with Stage IV. The bottom line is none of us our statistics and none of us know how long we have. That is in someone else's hands. Just take it each day as it comes and do the best to support your mom and get her feeling better. And enjoy every moment you have with her.

Take care and please keep us posted on how you and your mom are doing.


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Welcome Donna. I am so glad that you found us and this site. There is a wealth of info and support here.

The initial diagnosis of pnuemonia is very common with lung cancer. My tumor was solid and happened to show on a simple xray but most do not. Eventually doctors send the patient for a CT or Pet Scan or biopsy and by then it is larger or has spread. We really need early detection and a screening test.

Has your Moms tumor gone out of her lung? if so where? Is it in more than one side or lobes?

Keep us posted.

Donna G

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