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Mother Recently Diagnosed

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Greetings, my name is Jean and my 79-year old mother was recently diagnosed.  She had surgery last month to remove a mass from her lung as well as lymph nodes.  She is now facing chemo and radiation treatment options.

 

She is understandably anxious, and I want to be there to support her.  Any advice would be welcome.

 

Jean

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Welcome Jean. I am glad if she had lymph node involvement that they are discussing chemo.

Is she in good health otherwise?  

I am also so glad that she has you to help support her.  We need help going through this

journey.  Help with emotions.  Help with getting to appointments and listening to the doctor, taking notes.

Help with housework, groceries.  All of that really helps.

Please keep us posted on how she and you are doing and what they plan.

 

Donna G

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Thanks so much Donna.  Yes, she is in excellent health otherwise.  She hasn't been overly happy with getting the answers she needs for her questions.  She is going to get a second opinion on her treatment options.  I am going to go with her on herr next appointment.

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Jean--- to get a second opinion is  a very good idea.  Don't forget to bring a notebook to the appointment

with her.  Take notes .  It will help when she goes over what was said and tries to make a decision after.

 

Keep us posted. 

Donna G

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Welcome Jean.

 

Do you recall your mom's diagnosis - type and stage of cancer?  Here is a good primer on lung cancer that may be helpful for you as you accompany her to her next consult: http://www.lungevity.org/about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-101

 

It is so important for a second set of ears to be present at all discussions with oncologists.  I was so frightened, I couldn't remember anything my doctor told me or suggested.  My wife was the thinking, rational person in the exam room.  So, going with her during consultations is a good step.

 

If you have questions before or after the next consultation, this is a good place to ask.

 

Stay the course.

 

Tom

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Hi Jean, 

Donna and Tom posted great advice about taking a notebook and being a second set of ears. That's a great plan. Here are some checklists you may want to take with you http://www.lungevity.org/support-survivorship/asking-right-questions Keeping a designated notebook is a great way to document which doctor says what, and great way to reference what answers you received because you may not remember everything. 

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Thanks all so much for the assistance!  My mom started with stage 1, but after the lobectomy, it is now stage 3 because they found cancer in the lymph nodes.  I should know more at her next appt.

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Jean, you sound like a wonderful, caring daughter. It sounds like you are doing all you can by being there for your mom and going to the doctor appointments with her. This cancer journey is confusing and an extra set of ears is always a good thing. You have come to the right place here at Lungevity you will find so many caring, helpful people. God be with you and your mom.

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Thanks so much for your concern!  She is recovering nicely from surgery.

 

She told the oncologist that she would not have chemo or radiation treatment.  She said the oncologist was disappointed.  Her surgeon is doing a CT scan next month and he said it would show if any cancer had returned or appeared.  He said that for the next 2 years, she would have CT scans every 3 to 6 months.   He mentioned symptoms if the cancer comes back:  cough, chest pain, trouble breathing were mentioned.
 
One thing she was that the surgery has a 40% to 50% chance of cure rate.  So chemo and radiation is 'just in case.  This was all new to her.

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Jean,

 

The post surgical chemo is very common and I believe important.  Also common is repeated scans and 3 to 6 months is normal.  It took me years to graduate to twice-a-year scans but this frequency of scanning was necessary for me.  It pointed to 3 recurrences of tumors after mine was surgically removed.

 

Stay the course.

 

Tom

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Tom, thank you for sharing your experiences.  My mother turns 80 this month and is more focused on quality of life than extending it.  I can't say that I blame her.  I'll be anxious to hear the result of her next CT scan.

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Jean,

 

Now I understand.  Quality of life is extremely important and I can well understand not wanting to endure uncomfortable treatment.

 

I hope the scan results are good.

 

Stay the course.

 

Tom

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