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New here and feeling very lost.


Chrissy123

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Everyone talks about cancer and I've felt very fortunate to not be able to relate...until now. Last Wednesday my mom was diagnosed with stage 3a non-small cell lung cancer. In a matter of minutes I felt like my whole world came crashing down. My mom is 63 years old and has numerous other health issues such as Lupus, Sjogrens syndrome, asthma and a few other auto-immune diseases. Last week they found that the cancer was also found in a few of the lymph nodes by the mass. Unfortunatly the mass is so close (or even attached?) to the aorta that removing the mass is not an option. She will be having a PET scan on Wednesday and I will know more than. I feel completely lost and walk around in a daze. My mother is my world and I simply cannot imagine life without her. Thank you all for reading this and I will post again when I hear something.

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but keep reading until then. Our inspirational forum and good news forum are loaded with wonderful testimonies of survivors here! once you know more about a treatment program some of the anxiety will fade away. let the emotions go loose for now and get them out so your all ready to kick some LC butt soon. muster strength!!!!!

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Hi, Chrissy, welcome to LCSC. Here's an article that will give you some excellent information on stage IIIa ("locally advanced") NSCLC:

http://cancergrace.org/lung/2010/04/23/ ... y-ref-lib/

It should help you understand the options offered when you see your mom's oncologist after her PET scan. Many of us divide our time between LCSC (for support, coping tips, etc.) and GRACE (for more technical/medical information). It's by far the best combination anywhere on the web. Aloha,

Ned

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Chrissy--

I'm so sorry to hear of your Mom's diagnosis. I know it feels like the world has come crashing down, but we're here to help you get your feet back up under you. This is a great place to find support.

Praying for you and your Mom as you adjust to this diagnosis and find out what her treatment plan will be.

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Chrissy, like your mom I was dx'd IIIb nsclc when I was sixty-three. I turn 67 next month and altho I am still on treatment, I had a couple of remissions and am living a pretty normal life. It takes time but lc dx is not the death sentence it used to be. The beginning is pretty awful emotionally but over time, you settle into what we here call our "new normal." For each of us that looks differently.

Hang in, continue to post and let us know when a plan is in place.

Judy in KW

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keep an appointment book for visits, schedules, questions, list of medications and test results. list inside for medicines should include every pill she takes including aspirin. doctors need to know this info!!

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Hi Chrissy,

Looks like lots of wonderful advice already. I agree with all of it. It's scariest now, and once you are armed with a plan, then you will feel more in control. Once you hear, do let us know, and we'll support you all along the way.

This on-line support board is full of amazing and kind folks, and it's a good place to be. Take care, and I'm praying for none or almost none of those lights on that PET tomorrow.

MI Judy

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Hi Chrissy

If you had said your dad was diagnosed, instead of your mom, I would think you were my sister. I went through the exact same feelings as you're having about a month ago when I got my dad's diagnosis. (My story is also listed in Introduce Yourself under 'Aloha...') I didn't eat for almost a week, and cried every day. My 3-week vacation was spent taking dad to his appointments and getting involved in his treatment plan. He is also not a candidate for surgery, so he started his chemo/radiation appointments today.

This site is a godsend, and I've met the kindest, most wonderful people here. Take things one day at a time,a dnplease keep us posted. We are all here for you.

Cathy

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Hi Everyone,

My Mom had her PET scan on Wednesday and I'm happy to report that her cancer has not spread. As thankful as I am for this report I can't get over the reality of the situation...my mom has stage 3 lung cancer. Radiation treatment will be starting on Tuesday with 7 consecutive days of treatment. It worries me how her body is going to handle this but I guess I'll find out soon enough. The day she starts radiation will be exactly 2 weeks since she was diagnosed. I will be off work for the next 2-3 weeks so I am happy I will now get to offer some support along at all these appointments. We will be meeting with the oncologist on Monday to determine her chemotherapy schedule. Busy week ahead but I'm just extremely grateful I will get to be with her. Once again thank you all for posting replies and simply reading my story. Even though I do not personally know any of you I feel like we're all in this together. Your encouraging words are truly appreciated.

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Chrissy, good news on the PET!!!!! Try to find out what kinds of chemo she will be receiving, so we can help you help her with the side effects. Please remember that Stage 3 lung cancer is not a death sentence. There's lots of reasons for hope today.

Keep in touch, and as you get details, please share them if you want to.

MI Judy

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Thanks for posting the update Chrissy. Great news on the PET! I've no experience with radiation and I'm sure 8 days straight sounds really scary. I wouldn't worry though. They will assess as they go and make adjustments if necessary. Don't remember from other cases if they give a break before starting chemo. Let us know as the plan progresses. Wishing your Mom all the luck in the world.

Judy in KW

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Hi Chrissy

That's fantastic news about the PET! Your mom is also lucky that her radiation is only for 7 days. My dad's is for 7 WEEKS! He just finished his 3rd radiation session, and he's feeling fine. Well, other than some "intestinal issues" that are most likely from the chemo. He was given chemo and radiation simultaneously. His radiation sessions last, from the time he walks into the room until the time he walks out, a total of 10 minutes. He was given a ton of information at his first chemo appointment to bring home.

Take care of yourself. I think that once things are underway, you will feel a lot stronger.

Cathy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everyone,

I'm not sure where to post this question so I'm going to add it to this post. Please correct me if I'm posting it in the wrong section.

My mom has just finished her second week of chemo and her 8th radiation treatment. All in all she has been doing fairly well but for the last two nights she has had a very bad pain (mainly in the front and back of her chest.)

We spoke to her oncologist and she said it sounds like an issue with her esophagus, which is said to be common. My mom said this pain feels more than just acid reflux or indigestion. We just gave her a Pepcid and antacid and seems to be doing a little better.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thanks again for always being there and helping us out on this journey.

Chrissy

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Chrissy, I haven't had radiation, but your description of esophagus pain sounds very much like what others have experienced while undergoing radiation to the upper chest. Your mom's radiation oncologist can prescribe a special mixture sometimes called "magic mouthwash" which one drinks shortly before mealtime and which makes eating more comfortable. Yes, it's a common problem, but it can be relieved at least to some degree. Good luck and Aloha,

Ned

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Hi Chrissy

My dad is currently undergoing both chemo AND radiation. He's about to have his 4th chemo treatment and has had about 15 radiation treatments so far. He is also experiencing throat discomfort, hoarseness, and some mild "tightening" in his chest. Like Ned said, his doctor (it was his regular oncologist) just prescribed the "magic mouthwash", which he is supposed to drink an hour before he eats, when needed. Its a special mixture they mix up at the hospital where he gets his chemo. It looks like Pepto Bismol, but doesn't taste nearly as good (I took a taste of it - yuck!), and is supposed to numb your throat a bit so it's easier to eat. You should look into it for your mom.

Best wishes to you and your mom. :-)

Cathy

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Esophagitis is pretty common when they are irradiating the mediastinum- the middle of the chest so therefore right over the esophagus. As others have said, mention it to the doctor. They can write for 'magic mouthwash' (sometimes also called magic swizzle). It has a number of different recipes to it but usually contains benadryl, immodium or kaopectate, and lidocaine. I used it myself once for a laryngeal inflammation that was very painful. It really numbs everything. Dietary changes can help a lot too. The radiation oncologist should be able to give your mom a lot of good advice once he knows of the problem. Good luck, and this too shall pass once the radiation is done.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello Everyone!

It's been quite awhile since I last posted on here and for that I apologize.

My mom has finished all of her treatments...4 rounds of chemo and 38 radiation treatments. Her strength and courage during the last few months still leaves me speechless. Last week was our "big" meeting with her team of doctors and we received the best possible news I could have ever asked for. My mom's "inoperable" cancer is now operable. Her tumor shrunk so much that it actually detached itself from the aorta so her team of dr's has suggested they go in and try to remove the tumor. For those of you that are new to this, removing the tumor will also include removing the lower lobe of her right lung. The dr prepared us that he will not know how much of her right lung will need to be removed until he is in there. Unfortunately there is a possibility the entire right lung will be removed. Her surgery is scheduled for April 20th. We have been given a sense of hope and I wanted to thank all of you who have included my mom is your prayers. I will try to post again around the time of her surgery and keep you all updated. Until then you will all remain in my prayers.

Chrissy

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