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Mom has cancer

Sandy Parker1950

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Hi all,

This all started about a month ago, we thought my mom had a bad case of pneumonia, but after the antibiotics did her no good, we quickly realized it was something more serious. Her lung continuously filled up with fluid as did her heart (but only once). She is having an Aspira catheric indwelling put in tomorrow which should give her some relief. The fluid in her lungs tested positive for adenocarcinoma. She also suffered a blood clot while in the hospital and is now on thinners. She's had numerous CT scans of her chest and abdomen, but none have showed any lesions/tumors. Her CA 125 level was 505 and her CA 19-9 was 6600, which seems excessively high. She had a PET scan on Monday and we'll get the results on Thursday. I'm just hoping and praying that it's something treatable.

In your experience, have you ever seen a positive outcome with such terrible symptoms leading up to a diagnosis? Does my mom necessarily have Stage IV cancer given the details? I'm so desperate for good news. 

FYI, she has no pain anywhere in her body, except in her left knee which she had replaced 4 months ago. It took forever for her swelling in her leg to go down, which we knew wasn't normal because she had her right leg done 3 years ago and it healed up just fine. This leg took much longer to heal and the fluid just wouldn't absorb into her body. 

Any information or advice would be appreciated. 

Thank you!!

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Welcome here.

You asked about positive outcomes.  I wouldn't know about your mother's heart complications.  As for the fluid testing positive for adenocarcinoma, and the staging for her cancer, the PET scan will tell us about other locations.  I won't be able to answer if your mom has Stage IV cancer based on the information you've provided.

Advice -- read this about adenocarcinoma and plan to attend consultations with physicians when test results are discussed.  There is a lot of vocabulary to learn and often a second set of ears is important in trying to recall what the doctor said about test results.  Also, get a hard copy report of the PET scan and all future scans and test reports.  Ask the doctor for these copies during the consultation.

If you are comfortable, let us know the results of the Thursday consultation.

Stay the course.


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Hi Sandy.  So sorry your Mom has had so many problems.  Tom has given you some very good advice.

Do go to the appointments with your Mom.. Take notes and ask questions.  Getting copies of test results is good!

Please keep us posted on how she is doing.  I pray that indwelling catheter gives the relief she needs.

Donna G

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys,

Mom and I are still hanging tough over here, although she still isn’t on treatment yet. We’re scheduled for an MRI on Sunday to see if there’s any Brain Mets (please God, no!!) We should also be hearing from her onc tmrw about the results of the molecular testing. Based on this, we’ll determine treatment. We need it desperately. 

The strange thing is, the results of mom’s lymph node biopsy were “poorly differentiated carcinoma” most likely but not limited to the lung or breast. 

It feels like we’re guessing on the primary here. Her onc feels that based on the PEY scan, we’re treating this a NSCLC. Gosh I sure hope they’re right. 

Anyobe here have a similar diagnosis?

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