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my mother has just been diagnosed with stage 4


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Hello everyone,

I wondered if there is anybody out there who could offer me some advice.

My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 3 days ago and tests have shown that the cancer has spread to her spine.

She has suffered from severe back pain for the last 18 months and her legs have given her a lot of pain for the last 3. She has lost a stone and a half in weight, has poor appetite and is just recovering from an infection which the doctors say may be either bronchitis or pneumonia.

I spoke to my mothers consultant today and she informed me that my my mun has months rather than years to live. The consultant wants to concentrate on treating her symptoms rather than looking for a cure. She has told me that, in her opinion, the main priority now is to alleviate pain and make my mother as comfortable as possible. The hospital are intending to give her a hip replacement as her bones have started to erode and they want to prevent a hip fracture.

In effect the consultant has told me that there is no hope of survival and that my family must prepare for the worst.

I am finding this very hard to accept. I believe that there must always be hope and that if we can encourage my mother to remain positive it will help to prolong her life. Only today she was looking and feeling a lot better. Her infection seems to have cleared, her appetite is improving and she is breathing and moving a lot easier. She has always been a strong woman and her main concern at the moment is for her family and how we are going to cope. She seems to have resigned herself to the fact that she has not got long left - is there anybody that can give me a similiar story with a positive outcome to boost her spirits?

A priest visited today and gave her the sacrament of the sick, this seems to have comforted her, but I want her to start fighting this disease not surrendering to it.

Please, can anyone tell me if they have had a similar experience. Should I accept what the Doctor has told me? Should I ask for a second opinion?

I have read some of the postings on this site and from what I can see there is always hope. Does anybody know of any pioneering treatments that might be worth a try?

I should add that I am from London, England and I believe this site to be mainly American. If any of you believe that treatment options are better in America than please let me know. I am willing to consider anything that may make my mother better.

I wish you and all your families well.

God Bless

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A second opinion is always a good idea. Since there are surviviors, there is always hope, and don't let anyone take that from you. Do all you can to fight the disease, while keeping your mother as free from pain as possible. My wife was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, with five bone mets (primcipal one on the upper spine). The doctor estimated 9 months and she is already a15 month survivor. Right now she is doing well. We never know how much time we have -- statistics are just averages from past cases. Keep in mind there are many surviviors, some of them right here on the board. Keep plugged in for support and info and questions. Don

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What Don said is very true. If possible a second opinion is ALWAYS a good idea. The more CORRECT information you have about this disease the better. You can use the web to get the latest information. A good place to start is the National Cancer Institute at: http://www.nci.nih.gov/

That's an American site but it does have some real good information about cancer of all types. There might be folks here that would know of a British one that can get you started.

You can also ask those doctors for their direct line to God's cell phone. They must have His number to be so sure about the when and where of your Moms passing from this world. I had a friend who had brain cancer. He was told he had WEEKS to live before the cancer killed him. They were half right. The cancer DID kill him ... TEN YEARS later! And brain cancer is one of the few that have a smaller percentage of survivors than lung cancer. There is ALWAYS hope.

Now for the "dicey" part. I always struggle a bit to come up with the best way to say this, but I think it needs to be said. Something to remember as you're going through this is that, in the final analysis, this is you're Mom's decision to make, no one elses. And please believe me I KNOW how that feels. Not only am I dealing with this disease myself, but I lost MY Mom to lung cancer 5 years ago. She fought it twice and beat it twice, but the third time she said she was just too tired to go through it again and chose to let the cancer run it's course. I didn't like it, but I came to accept my Mom's unique courage for what it was. And because, as she did all her life, she taught me so well *I* was able to face my own "decision time" when it came.

Be honest with your Mom and let her know how you feel and what you've found out here and other places. Then, when she has decided what she wants to do, support her with all your heart, even if you may disagree with the decision. It will mean so much to her .. I know.


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Hello, I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this dreadful disease. Most of us are American , but lung cancer is not! It is wonderful that we have people here from England, Australia, China, Guam, and many more places. Dean is very good at expressing himself and has very good thoughts , he is right, your Mom is the one to decide what is right for her. In order to make a good decision , it is good to have all the information pro and con. You can help her with this but she is the one to decide. Keep us posted. Donna G ( PS I and many of us have been to London.

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