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Hi there,

 I'm on the journey as a co-survivor with my sister who has been diagnosed with metastacized  Ovarian Cancer (now in her lungs) via CT scan on 2/4/20. She's undergone 28 rounds of Radiation for the first cancer. Her local doc told her the cough/lung problem was a fungal infection and sent her to a pulmonary specialist (an hour away) the next day who gave her the "C" news.  She was devastated, and alone.  Her biopsy won't be 'till 2/19 (due to no open OR's at hospital) which seems like an eternity (one week) away right now.  We all want to get the pathology and get on with treatment for her.   I'm finding such inspiring messages here and value the wisdom those who went before us can offer.   Thanks!

Edited by C_Jean
better wording

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Hi there and Welcome.  I understand what you’re dealing with.  I was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC in 2018 however my Mom who lives in Jersey was diagnosed with early endometrial cancer in 2016.  During a routine PET scan last year there were some spots that lit up in her lungs, thought to be metastatic disease in the lung from her primary cancer.  The medical team has taken a watch and wait because they haven’t been able to develop a treatment plan.  It sounds crazy to me but they weren’t able to get sufficient tissue from the biopsy and these small hot spots are stable, not doing anything.  
Mom had surgery and seven rounds of adjuvant Carboplatin.  She’s a bit of a hypochondriac but she didn’t complain one peep about the chemo.  
She has no symptoms and believe me is leading a very full and busy life at 76.  Nothing can keep her away from a good flea market and she’s a master of scoring free stuff (especially swanky dinners from “senior financial planners” or time shares).  
Even though cancer is a scary word and metastasis sounds even worse, it doesn’t have to knock you down.  My Mom is living large and in charge.  
The early diagnostic days are miserable for everyone however once the treatment is under way life can adjust to the new normal.  
Ask any questions there’s lots of expertise and support here.  
Michelle

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Hi C_Jane,

Welcome to our forum...a place all of us wish didn't  need to exist, but it is a great place for support, information and fellowship.  You started your post by saying you are a "co-survivor" with you sister.  Have you also had cancer?  I'm just asking to better understand how we can be of help to you.  Please feel free to ask any question you want and (trust me) someone here will have the experience you want to understand more about and the rest of us offer whatever tidbits we can add to the soup.

I look forward to learning more about you.

Lou

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Hi Lou - i used that term "co-survior" as the family of a cancer patient - read about it on the welcome page.  I've not had cancer.  

i live in OH - my sis is 400 miles away in MI.  I go there often.  I would go tomorrow IF my sis would let me help her with nutrition to boost her immune system.  I've read that this time before chemo is critical to prepare the body for what's coming.  BUT i know i have to take her lead.  Unfortunately, her DOC has said the only thing she needs to change in her (overprocessed/fatty) diet is to get hormone free meat.  I'm reading Chris Beat Cancer and would at least make her salads - which i think she would accept.  

ANY other suggestions in preparing for CHEMO would be welcome.  

  Thanks!  C.Jean

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C. Jean,

Thanks for the clarification.  It is great when we have "co-survivors" here on the forum.  It's a true show of love for their family member or friend, so welcome again.  Michelle, Tom and others have experience with chemo whereas my treatment was surgical only (a lobectomy).  I know you'll be getting some great information soon and I'll add your sister to my prayer list...what is her name?

Lou

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1 hour ago, C_Jean said:

Hi Lou - i used that term "co-survior" as the family of a cancer patient - read about it on the welcome page.  I've not had cancer.  

i live in OH - my sis is 400 miles away in MI.  I go there often.  I would go tomorrow IF my sis would let me help her with nutrition to boost her immune system.  I've read that this time before chemo is critical to prepare the body for what's coming.  BUT i know i have to take her lead.  Unfortunately, her DOC has said the only thing she needs to change in her (overprocessed/fatty) diet is to get hormone free meat.  I'm reading Chris Beat Cancer and would at least make her salads - which i think she would accept.  

ANY other suggestions in preparing for CHEMO would be welcome.  

  Thanks!  C.Jean

So sorry about your sister.   I know what you mean saying you have to take her lead, however, the more you know the better you will be able to help.  How to get all the info poses a challenge since you don't want to overstep boundaries, and your welcome when you go to visit.

First, is the ovarian cancer treatment finished?  How long ago was she treated for that?  Was it a hormone positive cancer?  (sorry, I don't know much about ovarian) If this is just lung mets she's dealing with chemotherapy does seem to be the treatment path.   It's best she is well hydrated.  She will need the following over the counter items:  Advil and Tylenol.  Senecot S (stool softner), Miralax, Immodium, Claritin (not the D-just regular), Pepcid.   The trick to having these on hand is to stay ahead of any side effects of the chemo.  If possible, see if she will add you to her HIPPA form at the Dr;.s office, and maybe you could attend the chemo class she will have before they schedule her 1st cycle.  They will give her what they call, "pre meds" which includes 2 types of anti nausea meds, and steroids before they infuse the chemo.  The day following treatment she may get a Neulasta shot.  This is to boost her white blood cell count to keep the immune system working to fight off any sort of infection(s).   This shot may give her adverse effect of joint pain.  That is what the Claritin may help with.  Take it the night before the shot and each day until it gets better.  They will also give her prescriptions for the anti nausea meds (usually Zofran and Compazine).   Everyone is different.  She may do just fine.  I wouldn't worry about the diet during chemo.  Let her eat what she wants.  Should she get nauseated then of course you will have to resort to a bland diet like rice, mashed potatoes, and anything else she is able to keep nourished with.   Would also recommend Ensure-get the highest calorie and protein one.  Of course a protein, fruits, and veggies are best.

Sorry, I'm a little long winded this morning.  I leave you with my opinion of don't put too much stock in any type book by anyone claiming to beat cancer.  My theory is everyone is different.  What worked for him, may not work for everyone else.  It pains me to see folks profit from that.  Good luck!!!  

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Thanks Lou and Diane.  

I'll start by saying the cancer seemed to start in Cindy's ovarian lining, discovered by a D&C - they did a complete hysterectomy on 10/31 followed by 28 days of Radiation (last one on 2/3/20).   I don't know if the Cancer is hormone positive.??  3 days later it was confirmed she had metastatic Lung tumors - one is quite large.  Was told they cannot operate. Chemo is only option.  Biopsy is set for 2/19 which s TOO FAR away for us - but there were no OB' s open before that.  so we wait.  

Thanks for all the info about the chemo.  I don't think she's been told anything about this by her local doc and she barely knows the oncologist.  I'll pass on some of that info to her. 

I know she will need to eat what she can during Chemo - my concern is that NOW is the time to get her body ready for the onslaught of the drugs. Try to improve immune system, etc.  She doesn't generally eat a healthy diet. Lots of high fat brown stuff - pizza - whatever is fast and comforting.  BUT i don't know how much she will let me help.  I'm 400 miles away, but would be there tomorrow if she agreed.  I may go anyway. I'll stay w/ my Mom (83) who could use the company too. :-)   They are in the same town. 

I would never tell her to change her diet completely (although I would if it were me) and I know she needs the Chemo, so that's a given.  

Thanks again for the info -- it's good to know what may be coming.  

C.Jean

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C Jean, prayers are with you.   Good luck with the biopsy 

Keep in mind, she's hardly had time to recover from surgery and radiation.  Radiation can cause fatigue. Even after treatments are done. It should get better over time.  I'm sorry you are so far away.  If there is not a husband, or good friend around, I do also recommend that she have an advocate present.  Especially at the post biopsy results visit.  That way, all can learn what it says and what she is dealing with.  Again, good luck to both your sister and you.

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I'm so sorry to hear of your sister's diagnosis.  Be sure to ask about biomarker testing in case there could be more treatment options available for her.  Here is the link to Lung Cancer 101 to give you as much information as possible.  https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/lung-cancer-101

If she is interested in nutrition, there is also INA which is a personalized nutrition assistant and available at no cost.  https://lungevity.org/search/node/INA

Thinking of you both!

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Hi C Jean and welcome. 

I'm pretty familiar with gynecological and lung cancers since I've had both.  In 2011 I had a Stage 3 cervical/endometrial cancer- clear cell, which is a rare and aggressive type more often found in ovarian cancer. For that one I had a radical hysterectomy plus radiation and chemo. I was having routine CT scans to watch for  possible metastasis. In 2016, something showed up in my lung. I had a lobectomy (lower right lobe removed). Post-surgical biopsy showed that it was a new primary lung cancer and not a metastasis from my earlier cancer.

The biopsy that your sister is having will confirm whether the cancer in her lung is a met from her ovarian cancer or a primary. lung cancer. Lung is a common location for ovarian mets. The pulmonologist may be able to predict from the appearance on the CT what the biopsy will show--my pulmonologist did accurately predict what mine was--but you won't know for sure until your sister gets biopsy results.  If it's a met or mets, it's not considered a lung cancer , it's still ovarian , and some of the info you'll find on this site won't apply. For example it probably won't be classified as non-small-cell or small cell and the biomarkers are likely to be different. The type of chemo will probably be geared to ovarian rather than lung although some chemo drugs are used for both.  If your sister doesn't have a gynecological oncologist involved in her treatment, she could consider getting one if the cancer in her lung(s) is confirmed as mets.

If she is confirmed as having ovarian cancer mets (rather than primary lung), you're still welcome on this forum. A lot of the info you've gotten from others already, like that about chemo and drugs for side effects, are relevant for any kind of chemo. I often share here my chemo experience from my gyn cancer here for just that reason. A lot of info about how families and caregivers help and cope is the same too.

I hope you'll keep posting and let us know how your sister--and you- are doing, as well as what questions you have and how we can support you.

Bridget O

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Hi C Jean,

I have to say you’re an amazing sister, willing to step in and help.  In terms of pre-chemo, you’re correct in that it’s nutrition, nutrition and nutrition.  Dr Andrew Weil recommends an anti inflammatory diet.  
My Mom has a similar fast food type of diet, she was very motivated and made some unbelievable changes to her diet pre- chemo. Not everyone can do that though. At a minimum, removing fried foods and sugar would be a good start, then the “white” foods.   
One of the hardest things to do as an caregiver at a distance is to respect choices. I was internally horrified when I went home this summer to discover my parents eating pancakes from Burger King.  We kept our traps shut. At 76 it’s her call even though I take a totally different approach to fighting my cancer ultimately it’s those flea markets that make her happy which is the most important thing.  
 

After chemo starts sometimes the diet gets tossed out the window in favor of mashed potatoes and ice cream just to mitigate the weight loss.   
 

Keep us posted as you can. Hugs,

Michelle

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Hi C. Jean..

this is something I took and take ... it may help

Multi-Nutrients 5  by Vital Nutrients

Multi-Nutrients 5  caps by Vital Nutrients is a high quality and high potency multivitamin supplement which is designed to potentially help provide a nutritional source of vitamins, minerals and trace elements for improving overall health and well-being. Multi-Nutrients 5 by Vital Nutrients comes in a citrate form and is hypoallergenic and gentle on the stomach for most sensitive people.

Multi-Nutrients 5 by Vital Nutrients is specifically designed with no boron, copper, or iron for general nutrition and immune support. Multi-Nutrients 5 by Vital Nutrients was formulated by Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

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Thanks everyone for the kind words of encouragement! 

  You're right, Michelle,  i can't force my sister to eat like I would (total whole food) in this case, but she IS trying to eat better. I can't seem to convince her white bread is not a good thing.  Her local doc is not helpful here.    I've given suggestions, but ultimately, it's her call.  

I'll look at the Multi-Nutrients and maybe order some for her, THANKS Tomm.  It may carry more weight for her since it was formulated by a Cancer Center...

 I appreciate all your thoughts so much.  I know you know the journey ahead won't be easy, but we will get thru w/ God's help. 

c.Jean

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Hi Eveyone.  Thanks for all your wonderful advise and info!

 My sis had the CT diagnosis of tumors in her lungs the first week of FEB.  Here is is the end of the month and still NO precise Pathology.  SO frustrating.   She had a biopsy on 2/19 (had to wait TWO weeks for an open OR room!)  they couldn't tell a type of cancer due to the aggressive mutation.  They sent samples to Univ. of MICH for further study on 2/21 - ONE week ago - we are hoping to hear today, but Pulmonary doc said it could be until WED next - 3/4.  ugh.  My sister still hasn't seen an oncologist.  They've assigned one but can't get her scheduled yet. She needs to have the port set.  And get some instruction.  

She will get a PET this SAT 2/29 and a Brain MRI on following SAT 3/7.

I sure wish she had let me take her to UofM at the beginning.  She wanted to give the local docs a "chance".   So we wait and pray.  

She's trying to eat a little better and drink more water/tea. She's on oxygen now.  finally. 

I'll try to post when we get the pathology,. 

  Thanks again! 

  C Jean

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