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Mom (62) diagnosed Stage 4, NSCLC????


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Hi--I hope you can help me!

My mom was just dx 4-19-04 with stage 4 nonsmall cell lung cancer. She had breast cancer 5 years ago but doctor said this primary site a tumor in the left lung.

Here is the situation. In February, my dad told mom to go get her cough checked out. An x-ray showed a mass so they did a bronch scope mid-March and said 1/4 of the left lung was collapsed. The tissue sample came back as noncancerous. They scheduled a pin-prick biopsy of the lung mass the 2nd week of April. This is the part where my mom and dad had to tell us something was going on. The prick hole wouldn't close right in the lung and they wanted to keep her overnight so my dad spilled the beans. She didn't want to worry us until she knew something.

April 19th I went to the oncologist with my mom and dad. He said she was stage 4 NSCLC (didn't know what type). Said she had the primary tumor on her left lung which was causing the lung to partially collapse, there were 5 lesions/tumors on her liver (one was 4 cm), both femurs had cancer in the bone marrow, there were "spots" on her ribs, spine and at the base of her skull. He said she had less than 6 months if she did nothing but that chemo could give her some pain relief and more time.

Needless to say, we were stunned. My mom had lost a lot of weight and had really bad back pain--she said she pulled a muscle, and had bad nausea. She decided to start the chemo 2 days later. She is set up to do chemo on day l and 8 of the month and start a new cycle on the 21st of each month. He said 6 cycles would be the most she could do and that would be mid August.

She could not eat or even tolerate instant breakfast or ensure but could drink only fruit punch gaterade. I had to take her in for IV bags for the nausea because she tried 4 different nausea meds with no help.

Today she saw the oncologist but would not let me or my dad go. He scheduled her for a CAT scan in 2 weeks. He was happy with her liver numbers but said her x-ray didn't show any difference but he said CAT scan shows differences much better.

My mom has felt good the last 3 days and ate some and gotten out of her chair and seems in good spirits but she hasn't had chemo for a week.

I just don't know what to think. Is it better that the cancer shows in the marrow but not the bone and is the likelihood of zapping it better? I am

past the initial shock of the dx but I need someone to be frank with my because I want to know what I should be asking and looking for. I want to be supportive because my mom is my best friend but I also know what she considers to be quality of life.

What do you think of the dx and any suggestions?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read/answer me!


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