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Hello all. My name is Leslie. I am here because 5 short months ago my aunt was diagnosed with sclc.

She went to the hospital with pneumonia and they found the cancer while she was there.

Since diagnosis life has been incredibly insane.

She has gone through intense radiation and chemo treatments, which had great results. So much so that they considered the cancer in its limited stage and she went for preventative brain radiation treatments.

Yesterday she went for her first pet scan since the last one two months ago that beared great news.

This one did the exact opposite. The cancer has come back full force into her liver and bones. She will go for a brain scan Thursday to check there.

Doctors offered a different type of chemo treatment that would prolong her life from 3 months to 6-12.

Can they truly put a time limit? Is that how long I have left with the woman that is my second mother?That helped raise me? Whose children are my siblings?

I am so besides myself, we all are. We have all fought so hard. SHE has fought so hard.

Can anyone offer advice, words of hope, and inkling into what to expect next?

..... I am so lost.

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I've been pondering your post for more than 3 days trying to craft an answer that would console.  I've faced a death projection but survived late stage non small cell lung cancer for more than 11 years.  The projection resolves to an unsettling question: is chemotherapy curative when administered to treat metastatic (numerous sites in the body) disease? It is hard to face the objective answer to that question and find hope.


But a survival projection is statistically derived and implicit in the science of Statistics is the search for a central tendency, a number, a value, that will describe the most likely outcome from thousands or perhaps millions of possible outcomes.  A statistician derives a mean or median to express that central tendency, but how might that mean or median description of life apply to your aunt.  Years ago, when I was struggling to understand my survival projection, I happened upon an essay by the noted Paleontologist and cancer survivor, Dr. Stephen J. Gould called "The Median is Not the Message."  This essay gave hope to me and allowed me to understand the projection of life in a whole new way.  Google search for it or view it here


It is my fervent wish that you find hope in the clammer of all this bad news and that your aunt is "in the variation" not the central tendency.  Attitude matters.


Stay the course.



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As I am driving to the lake for a day with all the family I get alert of a reply. It couldn't have come at a better time.

Thank you for your words, and your perspective.

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