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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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I was just diagnosed with stage 4, too. At first I was stage 1, two years ago - they removed small tumor along with upper right lobe, told me it hadn't spread anywhere and that I was cured.


This fall I find out it had spread to lymph node in center of chest, subcarinal - just ONE - inoperable..stage 3 or 4.

This week I learned it has spread to brain and I have multiple tumors - some large, some small - and they are causing me problems with swelling and neurological symptoms.

The treatments they have to offer will only prolong life by a few months - the main goal being to alleviate pain and symptoms of the tumors being there.

I am currently at home again, taking steroids to try to lessen the brain swelling, along with pain pills to try and lessen the pain. I get the impression that they will be increasing pain meds -

I can no longer work and have to put in for SSecurity benefits - It will take like 5 months to receive a check - I'm not sure I'll be alive in 5 months (!) I have no clue how we'll pay bills or buy groceries until the first check comes - we always live pay day to pay do before - NOW what do we do ?? I have 4 children, two of them quite young.

I don't think I'll do any treatments - they did one radiation treatment to my head yesterday - No more - I want to keep my hair - I'm losing everything else, including my life - at least let me keep my hair. If pain or swelling becomes unbearable, I'll have something done I guess but - not until -

I'll continue to drink my herbal teas and take the supplements - and pray - Going to be annointed soon and I hope the laying on of hands will be an answer to all of this.

I hope that God will want to show off now, and take the cancer away, and amaze the doctors.

I have no faith in doctors , by and large. I do have faith in God and think that some of the herbal teas and supplements are helpful.

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Hello, and Im glad you find our board because it is filled with HOPE!

I dont know all the details of your mom's situation, but I see no reason to give up hope.

My father was originally diagnosed back in May at Stage IIIa, he had one lung tumor about 2cm and one node in the mediastinum. He was going to have surgery but then a supraclavicular node popped up which moved him to IIIb ineligible for surgery. He began a course of radiation treatment called IMRT (intense modulated radiation therapy). It goes precisely for the tumor sparing surrounding tissue so there are not really any side effects at all. It is high dose radiation too for better results. They were going to do this for the tumor and node and just while they were seeing some results with the node, he had a seizure and three brain lesions were found. He had whole brain radiation and in two weeks they'll do an MRI and if anything is still there, they will do stereotactic radiosurgery which is a type of radiation that will zap whatever else is left over. We're praying the whole brain radiation took care of everything though.

Tomorrow he goes back to chemo, they are starting him on Gemzar. They will also use Zometa because his bone scan showed "something" in the rib area but they are not sure if it is metastases or from a few other things it could be.

Let me add, he also battled two bouts of non hodgkins lymphoma and had a stem cell transplant 9/01.

Our family prays very, very hard for him. We ask everyone we know to pray for him, he is on many prayer lists. He has had Anointing of the Sick, been to a healing mass,we have been to healing masses by proxy for him too. We rely heavily on the power of prayer.

Ive done nothing but research since his diagnosis in May. I know how serious lung cancer is. We also went for a second opinion at Sloan Kettering in NYC which is an excellent cancer research hospital. Having said that, I WILL NOT GIVE UP HOPE. This Friday I am taking him to a doctor who deals with alternative therapy. This is vitamin supplements, nutritition, etc. Ive read a lot about high doses of vitamins, minerals, etc and all the success stories associated with that and nutrition. He already drinks Essiac Tea but I wanted a doctor's advice on how to handle the rest of it.

If I can help you in any way, please feel free to email me or PM. But, please dont give up hope. Learn what you can, ask questions. Come here, read all the success stories. Keep in touch, let us know how its going.

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I understand the shock and grief that you feel at this time. My 47 year old sister was diagnosed in July 02 with Stage 4 NSCLC and given a very poor prognosis. She decided to fight, and that she has done. It is now far, far beyond what her projected lifespan was by the "experts". It hasn't always been easy nor pleasant, but she has opted to participate in the treatments deemed appropriate throughout her ordeal, and by and large, has responded well. None have been the "cure", but we sure keep praying and trying the next treatment. Most of her days of the 19 months since diagnosis have been good, and she aims for many, many more.

A disease such as cancer changes each person it touches. I don't know what it feels like to have cancer, only what I feel like as I hurt for my beautiful sister (in so many ways) and her husband, son, and my parents. In my opinion, one must become very educated about the disease (as scary as that education becomes), and then make choices that one can LIVE with....no matter how long that may be. And we, as family, must respect those decisions. I cannot judge another's choices until I've walked in their shoes.

I wish you and your mother the best of luck and the best results of treatment, if that is what she chooses. Take care, and keep posting.

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I am so sorry you have to be here, but you have found a great place for support. My mom was diagnosed last March, stage IIIB. The doctors have never given her a "time". They told her most likely she wouldn't be cured, but that didn't mean should couldn't survive and live with this disease. Most recently my mom was in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. The callous doctor walked in and told my mom she would die in the hospital. My mom looked at her and fought with all her might. I am happy to say that she is home and doing better. I also know two other people, one who was diagnosed and had a lung removed, found out it had spread to some lymph nodes, underwent chemo and radiation, and is surviving still 9 years later. In addition, a former neighbor was diagnosed and given merely months to live, that was 8 years ago. Never ever underestimate the power of the human spirit.

This battle is an awful emotional roller coaster ride, so make sure you lean on everyone here. Take care of yourself and blessings to you, your mother and your whole family.

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Hang in there, you're not alone at all.

I'm in a very similar situation. My mom has just been diagnosed with inoperable NSCLC. It's been the most intense few weeks of my life.

I'm from Canada and I've been hearing that the Canadian health care system is as slow as the British system. I hope that's not the case, but I can easily understand if you're feeling a lot of frustration. Get a second opinion, for sure. The "experts" are just humans; they're experts just like economists and fund managers are experts; everyone makes mistakes and errors in judgement.

Let's continue to share our experiences here, going forward.

You're not alone!


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The first DR. we saw for my mom told us her cancer is inoperable/incurable and pretty much said she had months to live. Then we saw a DR at Dana Farber in Boston. What a difference. He has her under an intense radiation/chemo regimen. His goal is to shrink her tumors (2 of them, one on each lung) small enough so he can operate and remove them. He actually told her "I am going to cure you". It was amazing. And she is doing great. Gaining weight, eating, and I truly believe this is because of the hope this DR has given her.

Get a second opinion. It could be the difference between life and death.

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No one, including doctors, can saywith certainty when an individual is going to die. So there is always hope. I support you in keeping your mother positive because I believe that the positive people last longer than those who are not, whatever the length of time. While she is going through treatment, get your mother interested in something to look forward to. When she can, encourage her to get out and do things she enjoys. My wife was diagnosed with 4th Stage NSCLC in Oct. 2002 and given 9 months. Presently, she is a 15-month survivor and doing well at this point. We realize things could change anytime, but we are living as normal lives as we can. We are planning a trip to Scotland in May for a week. Best to you. Glad you are here. Don

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