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My mother was diagnosed today with small cell lung cancer. I live across the country, so the information I have so far is probably pretty limited.

I know the following:

-cancer is in her right lung and surrounding lymph nodes.

-she had already had many tests beforehand that did not indicate (in retrospect) anything was in her brain.

-she is having a PET scan in 1.5 weeks

-she is already scheduled for rad and chem in 2 weeks

-there is no surgery being scheduled.

What she has told me was that if it is spread into her lymph nodes (beyond the ones surrounding the lungs), she has been told she would be looking at palliative care. If it has not, she will undergo the rad+chem.

I don't know anything else at this point. But any research I've attempted to do into this has just led to tears/helplessness.

Perhaps someone could point me in the right direction on what I should be looking for (information wise), or ground me in realism?



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Hi AC,

On CancerGRACE there are many posts on SCLC - both limited stage and extensive. You'll notice that some of these are already 5 years old. From what I have read, there have not been great advances for SCLC, so the information is still of value. I am linking the resources for limited stage - no need to get ahead of yourself. If you want to read the info on Extensive, I think you will find the site is pretty easy to navigate (a recent improvement!)

http://cancergrace.org/lung/category/lu ... d-disease/

I'm not sure any of this will be all that reassuring, but I function better with information from a reliable source.

Does your Mom have good support at home? How about you? Try to not do this on your own.

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Hi there.....

There is lots of room for hope. Check out the resources that ts offered. We have many here with the same story that are alive and well.

Let us know more details as you get them.........types of chemo offered, etc....we've been through it all.

We will be hee for you through it all.

Hang in there.

Judy in MI

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My biggest piece of advice is not to read about prognosis etc regarding SCLC. I made this mistake. Right now you are in shock as I'm sure your mother is. Take a deep breath and know that after the shock wears off a bit, you will be in a better place mentally to research the best treatment options for this terrible beast. My social worker said to me early on that I was trying to live with "one foot in the grave, and one foot out". Once I was able to move out of this mind-set, I have been able to learn to live...one day at a time. SCLC is one of those cancers that we the patients learn to live with. The initial chemo your mother will get will beat down the cancer so well, you will be thrilled! The little cells will get active again eventually. Her oncologist will beat them down again! That's where I am right now in treatment.

Again, please ask any and all questions! These fine people on Lungevity and Grace.org have been so helpful in getting me to such a better place mentally!

((((hugs)))) to you and your mom!


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So the best possible scenario would be that the cancer be contained to the one lung and lymph nodes around that tumor. But if it turns out to be more lymph node involvement, Sara has described how your Mom will proceed in this fight. I have NSCLC but am living that way--chemo them and cells go away, they come back and chemo them again, they move and chemo them again. May sound bad but I'm living pretty darn well that way four years into my journey.

Good luck and lets hope the PET shows nothing new.

Judy in KW

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I know diagnosis is tough, and information can be very scary...but statistics in NO way ever dictate what will happen in an individual's situation and care.

Simply put, you are on the right track. You are in the loop, you have asked the right questions and you are gearing up for what is to come, which is good.

Hang in there...and as you need support, we'll be here!

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