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Mother stage IV Diagnosis


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Hey everyone my name is Carlos and my mother was recently diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC lung cancer. She got checked because there was fluid in the space between her lungs and she told us in the last couple of weeks. She's getting her port in today and tomorrow she starts chemo and something called keytruda and two other drugs she didn't tell me about. I've read up on the cancer itself but honestly I'm all over the place with the news so I don't know which way is up right now. Any help about helping her through chemo or diet would be appeciated. Thanks.

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Welcome here.  Sorry to learn of your mom's diagnosis but as you've reported, she had a treatment plan and a good one -- immunotherapy.  Here is information you may find useful about immunotherapy.

Your mom is having conventional chemotherapy (like two drugs) in combination with immunotherapy.  That treatment is now a standard of care for some Stage IV NSCLC and can be very effective.  The conventional chemo will be infused.  Here are some tips on infusion (I note she's got a port, a very good idea).

I would follow her doctor's suggestions on food to avoid, if any.  She'll likely find food unappetizing after infusion and indeed, my wife needed to "encourage" me to eat during my chemo! Which way is up?  With advances in immunotherapy, there is far more than hope for a good treatment outcome.  There is actually a chance the treatment will cause NED -- no evidence of disease, our very desirable treatment objective.

You'll likely have questions and this is a good place to ask.

Stay the course.


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Just adding my own welcome.  I don't have any experience, personally, with chemo or immunotherapy, but I do know we have lots of folks here with advanced cancer who are doing very well on similar treatment protocols.  Sounds like your mom's doctors have a good plan for her.  And once they assess her response, it's always possible to tweak the treatments to achieve a better response if that becomes necessary.  There are more tools in the toolbox for lung cancer every day.

Glad you found us.

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Hey Carlos,

My mom is an advanced stage lung cancer patient too.  After undergoing a lobectomy with follow up chemo and radiation, she had her 1st recurrence.  For this recurrence, lung cancer treatment had grown greatly and her treatment plan was 2 chemo's (alimta + carboplatin) and keytruda.  Like many, that cocktail of drugs took care of business.  My mom has had no evidence of active disease for awhile now.  The drugs do not come without their side effects and my mom had a tough go for the 1st 6 months, until she stopped chemo and just proceeded with Keytruda (which is what the original treatment plan called for).  

I was definitely more nervous than my mom when it came to her first infusions and radiation.  I made sure to attend all of the first appointments and then went to as many others as I could (I live an hour away from my mom).  I'm happy that you found us.  There will be lots of questions and uncertainty along the way.  Unfortunately, that's the norm when it comes to dealing with lung cancer.  But you've found a great place to find up to date information and personal experiences.  

I attempted to document most of what my mom dealt with in her first year of immunotherapy, here's the link to the discussion in case you want to read it: here.

Take care,


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Hi, Carlos. I think everyone thinks the worst when they hear chemo. Don't get me wrong - it's not fun - but it's not nearly as bad as it was 10, 15, or 20 years ago. I highly recommend a site run by the Cleveland Clinic - http://www.chemocare.com/ . It provides information on potential side effects and some ways to address those.  Make sure your mom tells her team about any issues with side effects. My team provided great anti-nausea meds and they really helped.

We're here for you and your mom. Please keep us posted.

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Thanks for that link. Unfortunately they had to put it off until Thursday since a couple of people called in to the doctor's office. And of course when I had finally psyched myself up for it. But it is what it is.

EDIT: She still went to the doctor though, and she says that they didn't find any cancerous tumors in her body but when she had fluid they found cancer cells. With that I don't know what stage she's at although they're still treating it as Stage IV.

Edited by TNChuck
Had more info after doctor visit.
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