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Mom with Extensive SCLC

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My Mom who will be 90 in 2 weeks was diagnosed on 3/28. They are treating her right now with Carboplatin and Tecentriq. She just had her second treatment, 4 weeks instead of 3 after her first 1 due to low counts. The Oncologist may  or may not add a 2nd chemo drug depending on how she does. Her only side effect so far is exhaustion.  She is just wiped out. She had more energy after having a heart attack last November than she has now. She is starting to appear frail to me which just breaks my heart. She’s always been so strong and independent and a “tough old bird”, her words, not mine. The (only) reason she agreed to go through treatment is she’s determined to see my daughter get married in October. I want so badly to believe that she will be here to see her get married but am so afraid she won’t. I’m so paralyzed by fear that I can hardly function. It’s getting harder and harder to put on a happy face. I know this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and I have to pull it together to stay strong in order to take care of her as this progresses but damn this is hard. And I feel guilty because at 63, I’m so lucky to still have my mom and there are so many who lose their moms to this beast at an early age.

Thank you for letting me pour this all out. I know I will get through this but right now I wish I was 5 years old again and could just throw myself on the floor and kick and scream.

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I completely understand how you feel.  I was thankful that my husband worked graveyard shifts during the time my mom was diagnosed with her lung cancer recurrence.  I would mostly keep myself composed while at work, but would come home and scream and cry until I went to sleep.  Luckily, my husband is none the wiser otherwise he probably would have committed me.  Lung cancer is a roller coaster, one we are unfortunately stuck on.  

One thing I would like to share is that when my mom was going through chemo for her lung cancer recurrence, she got so weak and sick that I was scared we would lose her.  She was hospitalized a few times for a few days each and once for 2 weeks, all within a 6 month period of time.  It was heartbreaking to see her go through this.  But my mom persevered because she is a tough old bird too.  It sounds like your mom has the fighting spirit needed to push past this.  I wouldn't be surprised if your tough old bird was at your daughter's wedding in October.  

I hope you are able to find an outlet for your emotions, even if it is throwing yourself on the floor while kicking and screaming (just do it in a place where no one sees you! lol).  I hope we are able to provide some support that you need.

Take care,


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Thank you both for your responses, I do appreciate it. It’s nice to know there are people out there that understand and will “listen”. The really sad part is I’ve been down this road before. My dad died of SCLC in 1991, 5 months & 4 days after being diagnosed. Although I was there , it was different, my mom took care of him so I didn’t feel the responsibility that I feel now.  Just so many things are “wait and see” and beyond my control. I (obviously) don’t do either very well. I have to figure out how to refocus on the positive and remember how lucky I am to still have her here. 

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