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Mom in law just diagnosed w/ sclc


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:cry: Hello, I am obviously new to this web site, and have a lot of questions and concerns. My husband and I just found out last night that his mom who just turned 60 has Small cell lung cancer. She is currently in ICU. The whole thing has taken us by complete surprise because 2 weeks ago she was perfectly fine. Then she started hurting very badly on her right side and we were told last week after visiting the ER that she appeared to have liver cancer, within this was on Dec 20. The same day we are told her lungs were clear only her liver showed lesions. So she was supposed to have a biopsy yesterday, but on Monday she started having a lot of difficulty breathing and then couldnt walk or breath yesterday, which again took us to the ER, in which we were told she has primary lung cancer that had spread to her liver and it is called Small Cell. She also has Pneumonia and a collapsed lung. He gives her at best 6weeks w/out treatment, and says she is too week for any chemo. We dont know what to think or do because we are in shock that this could happen so very rapidly. So I guess what I am wondering is, has anyone ever had an experience w/ a loved one or someone or any advise whatsoever to help us understand any part of this. My husband has a very large family consisting of 7 brothers and sisters and they just lost their dad in June, so at the very least advise on how I can help him cope through this is very much appreciated! Thank you all!
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ashmegsmom, I am so sorry you are here but this is a good site for you. A diagnosis is not a death sentance. There are plenty of people here who have proven the Doctors wrong. Try and keep her spirits up and instill in her to fight like she has never fought before. This disease can be beat. Make sure the Doctors are doing everything they can. Ask a lot of questions and be an advocate for her. Don't hesitate to get a second opinion. Ask as many questions on this site as you need also. There are a lot of very knowledgable folks here. You and your family will be in my prayers.

David C

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My dad was told he only had several weeks to live after his dx. too. He had sclc with 4 mets to the liver. His "happened" so very suddenly too. We thought he had come down with the flu and then he lost his voice- next thing we know he has extensive small cell lung cancer.

The most important thing to know is what to ask the doctor. There are several treatment options out there and it is best to always have a second opinion or two, all your preliminary test results and an arsenal of back up plans for treatment options. No two oncologists think alike and your MIL needs to start treatments right away the minute she is able.

My dad didn't live the 4 months they gave him, instead, he lived almost a year!! That might not seem like a long time, but every day was a gift to us and those memories are what sustain me most days. Lung Cancer robbed us of a great man at only 64.

I firmly believe that if my dad had been more open about his symptoms- and not so proud or strong or stubborn or whatever it was-- and had we jumped on his problems (new tumor growth) more quickly, he may still be here with us today- or not...I dunno -

Talk to your MIL, or have your husband do it. Find out what SHE wants and if she even wants to fight her cancer with treatment. If she does, pull out all the stops, research and inform yourselves- this is a good place to start- then find the best team possible to help her fight this disease.

Most importantly, I think, is communication- She must tell you how she "really" feels and she must be able to control what happens and whether or not she wants treatment, watch closely for any "new" symtoms or problems that might indicate new metastasis and treat those right away. A positive attitude in the patient is at least 50 % of the battle.

There are people here with your MIL's same diagnosis who have survived for a very long time and they will probably be answering your post here soon. So don't believe in statistics because in almost every case here, they have been wrong.

This is a battle your family is about to embark on, it is not easy at all...but in the midst of the madness and sadness, remember the love, and love each other every single day.

We are here for you.

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I am so sorry to hear about your MIL but please tell her that she can fight this and win!

I have sclc and I am doing well. I admit I was lucky and mine was caught early but there are so many things they can do she should not give up before she has begun to fight.

Please feel free to pm me if there is anything I can ever do

God Bless,


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My husband had a collapsed lung when he was diagnosed 12/13/02 with NSCLC. He developed pneumonia also. The doctors need to treat these health problems first and get your mother-in law stable before they can treat the cancer. My husband was given a poor prognosis. It's been a year and now we're going for the second. I'm sorry to think of what you are all going through now. But once they get her stable you all with her onc. can plan for her treatment for the cancer. Carolyn

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The beginning is the roughest. Everyone has to become adjusted to the fact she has cancer. Not an easy thing to accept. After you have, the best thing to do is pick an oncologist that thinks like you do. If she wants to fight it then she needs one that has the fight in him too. I was diagnosed 2/01 and it will soon be 2/04 which will be THREE YEARS. Mine was found in the lung and adrenal gland and around the heart. I am still kickin fairly well. She will too if she gets the right treatment. Good luck, Cindy

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Guest cbysea1

Dear Ashmegsmom,

I have Limited Small Cell Lung Cancer and Squamous 3rd stage b cancer.

But you know what? I am living with Small Cell , not dying with Small cell.

I have only been diagnosed since Nov.19/03 but we started treatment immediately. I now feel I have a chance to beat this round and live to fight another round when or if it comes back. The doctor said I have a 50 % chance of killing these 2 cancer tumors.

At first I felt so helpless and confused.Somehow I found this board and thats when my attitude changed.There is no time in this cancer game to waste.I owe a great deal to the people that I don't even know on this board.

I doubt I would be where I am today without their stories and help.

There are days I can't give 100% of positive attitude so my family adds the rest for me.I also know I can always vent and get a kind word of cheer at this board. God Bless Them.

Hang in there with your MIL.

Tell your MIL all you know and ask her what she wants to do next.

Then get your MIL well with her pneumonia make sure they pump her full of vitamins and proceed to the chemo or radiation or what ever your doctor says is best.

If you don't feel like your doctor is going to give your MIL everything possible to fight this battle , then find another one.

But do it fast.Once you start treatment for the cancer they advise against changing treatments in midstream.

SCLC is the fastest growing lung cancer when it comes to reproducing it's self , but it is the one that responds to aggressive treatment the best,from what I understand.Like I said I am also new to this disease and I am not a doctor.

This board has helped me so much.

I felt like No one wanted to tell me "all" the facts of lung cancer and what it would do to me when I got it.

Here you will get the truth in as much as we know it, concerning the cancer.You will also get loving and caring responses from everyone who posts here.

We understand. We are in the same situation.

As long as your Mom has a heartbeat , I believe there is a chance.Don't give up and don't let her give up.

Stay in touch and ask questions.Knowledge is Power.

Bless you and your Mother-in-law,

Cheryl_child of God

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I know exactly how you feel. The helplessness is first, then the "what do we do's ", then back to helplessness. At least this is how it was for me.

The first thing that helped me was to know I was not alone, so please rest assured... you and your family are not alone.

This board has been a major blessing in my life. Everyone here is loving and friendly. I've never been afraid to ask a question and while nobody can answer all your questions (since cancer can be so different for each person) I have been able to find the peace and support I desperately needed.

Blessings to you and your family during this difficult time...

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