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My Mom's Battle


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Hi...I'm Zach.

My mother Ruth is 70 and had been diagnosed with stage IIIa (Squamous Cell). She's not a candidate for surgery because of lung capacity test. She also has mets to her subcarinal lymph nodes.

She was initially diagnosed on 11/25 and we were yanked around for 2 months about the possibility of surgery. Eventually after not hearing back from the surgeon, we realized she wasn't a candidate. Mom finally started treatment on 2/3 (yesterday). She's on Carbo/Taxol for 7 wks. with the accompanying radiation.

This is mom's 3rd battle with cancer. Hodgkin s in the 80's, Breast Cancer in '02, and now Lung Cancer. Oh yeah, she had TB in the early 60's too.

Mom's not very mobile (she has hip/lower back problems) so I have ended taking care of her a lot. She's an independent woman in spirit now rather than in action :wink:

I am her only child and live over an hour away, so I have to drive down to Denver, CO frequently to take her to appointments and such.

I know from reading the stats and stories that this is a losing battle. Am I the only one that find's the offices/waiting rooms/staff annoyingly cheerful? Everything seems so saccharine and "fakely" sweet....

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Hi Zach-

Welcome to the website. Hope you find a lot of hope here.

This is NOT a losing battle. There are many here who have fought long and hard and are surviving despite the odds against them. Please do not give up. Mom may just show you how tough she really is!!!!! Your mom is NOT a statistic - she is her own person. Considering she has fought several other cancers, TB and won just goes to prove what a trooper she is.

And yes, I understand how you feel about some of the medical profession but wow, what a tough job they have working with cancer patients. I once asked my onc how he did it and he said "hey, I save peoples lives".

Please continue to come here and post - let us know how mom, and you are doing. Post any question, vent if you need to, we will be here for you.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Hi Zach. Welcome to the site. I'm sorry you have found a need to be here but glad you joined us.

As Patti said this is NOT a losing battle. 1 year ago last month my 73 year old husband was also diagnosed with NSCLC squamous cell IIIa-IV with subcarinal lymphnodes and liver involvement. He was also deemed non surgical. He underwent 7 rounds of carbo/taxol followed by 35 daily radiation treatments. He has had no treatment since July of last year and the lung tumor continues to shrink and the mets are not visible as per the last scan in December. Other than some irritaiton from the radiation and a bout of pneumonia that had him in the hospital for 5 days at the beginning of December he is not doing so bad.

I'll also add that until a week before he was hospitalized with the pneumonia he continued to work 5-6 days a week and only missed 2 days of work through the whole course of treatment. They sent him home with supplemental O2 while the pneumonia continues to clear which is why he had to stop working.

This is doable and not a death sentence.

Your mom has come through so much already and it sounds like she will put up a good fight.

Keep us posted.


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Am I the only one that find's the offices/waiting rooms/staff annoyingly cheerful? Everything seems so saccharine and "fakely" sweet....

My oncology clinic is fine, but I know what you mean, since my dental clinic is exactly as you describe. Maybe that's why, although they're nice people and one of the dentists is a personal friend, I still dislike going there.

Your mom is on a very good treatment plan, and since she's obviously a tough lady, there's every reason to expect she'll respond well. I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma stage IIIb over 28 months ago shortly after I turned 71, and I'm doing okay — certainly much better than I thought possible when this all started. Keep us in the loop and we'll try to give you some helpful into on whatever side effects she has.



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Hi Zach, glad you found us. Your Mom is lucky she has such a good son that will drive an hour and help her out with her care. Chemo is tough but lots of times it does a great job. I had to have chemo to make my tumor shrink and become operable. When they did surgery all they cut out was dead scar tissue! Wishing your Mom the best. Keep us posted.

Donna G

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