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Hi all,

I've been lurking for months, absorbing all the positive vibes and decided that it was my turn to tell our story. I hope it conveys the the love of a daughter for her Mom and family and the hope I have that we will all have better days.

My Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2003 following a protracted bout of pneumonia and an earlier mis-diagnosis. On December 18, as I happily wrapped Christmas presents, I got a phone call from my younger brother telling me that I might want to drive to home as Mom had a malignant lung tumour and what they presumed were bone mets. I sat there on the floor stunned and then cried like a baby. You will all remember that defining moment, I'm sure.

I drove back to my home town late that night and saw my Mom first thing the next morning. She put on a brave smile and tried her best to be cheerful for me. It was the beginning of our new journey together. I grew up in a small town so the local hospital is not really equipped to treat cancer patients effectively. They ship them to another city for most treatments and given it was the holidays and what they suspected, they began to palliate her immediately. Mom spent two and a half weeks in an altered state brought on by fear and medications. They were failed biopsies and many missed opportunities. In early January, my brother and I had run into one jerk too many, so we decided to get her out of the hospital and somewhere else. Our best research indicated that one of the better oncology hospitals in Canada was in Montreal - only an hour away. My brother and I each put cold calls (ie. no referral) into the pulmonary oncology unit and within 5 minutes an appointment with a pulmonary oncologist was set up. We again cried like babies.

Needless to say, it was the best move we could have made. The specialists in Montreal not only treat the disease, they treat the patient. My Mom's oncologist hugged her during their initial meeting, listened to her fears and spoke to her of a plan of action. It made all the difference as suddenly, the light came back into Mom's eyes. They still didn't have a firm diagnosis (common with SCLC as the cells often crush in biopsies), but they were going to work away at it and get treatment going right away.

We've come a long way since those early days. Mom did pretty well in the beginning, other than some medication-related complications (wild behaviour - that with a little distance brings a bit of a chuckle) and soon began a concurrent therapy of chemo and radiation. She experienced severe throat pain at the end of her radiation (which soon went away) and a bad scare after her 5th chemo treatment (3 hospitalizations in one week), but she's held on and been determined to fight this illness with all she has. She's a real hero to me. She walks every day, plays golf in the mornings and dons a special mask to cut the grass. She's pushed herself to have as normal a life as possible and been disciplined in her approach to health care. She even started taking a protein supplement (doctor sanctioned) and I have her on a weight training program to re-build muscle mass in her upper body (not bad for a woman who might be 110 lbs now).

It's a painstakingly slow journey - with all the lows and highs one could expect. We've had to face some very difficult days, but we've managed to find a way to laugh and savour each moment. I am grateful for each day with my Mom and have come to appreciate how special she is even more. I am grateful to my brother, my dad, her best friend and all the friends and family who embraced her and never let her walk alone. Even the family dog has chipped and brought many a smile to her face! ;)

So, here we are, July 2004, Mom has responded very well to treatment, is slowly recovering from those same treatments though her hair is finally throwing in the towel (it's been incredibly resistant throughout) and we find ourselves waiting... hoping that she will keep recovering and continue her life's journey. These are difficult days, torturous sometimes, but there is also a sweetness to them that is tangible and refreshing.

Thanks for reading. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share and I thank you for sharing your experiences with me too!


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Welcome to the family. It sounds like your mother is pretty normal, has "accepted" her diagnosis and is getting on with the business of getting on. Wonderful!

Stick around and you'll never walk alone, either.

Take care,


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Wow, Kel, amazing story! You are the ideal daughter, your brother is the ideal son, and your mother is the ideal patient! A big welcome here, I hate that you HAVE to be here, but already I'm getting some inspiration from you.

This is a hard thing, but you guys all have the right attitude and will do well. So glad you got your Mom to the right treatment place.

Thank you for telling us this story, I'm getting some much needed strength from you already!

Karen C.

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I am thankful that things are working out so well for your mom. It is a story easy to tell, but we know about the ups and downs that went into getting you all this far.

Thank you for sharing your positive attitude and outlook with us. Made me feel good to know you and your family a bit better now, and very glad that things are working out okay for you all.

Would you mind coming out here and pushing me into regular muscle building and exercise? I certainly could use it!! 8)


Prayers, always


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Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. A real inspiraton. I know what you mean about that sweetness. Despite the horror of this disease, I would say these months have been some of the "sweetest" times we have ever spent together, in many ways I would never trade them. God bless you and your dear mom.


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Thank you for sharing your story with us. It was both sad and beautiful to read. I hope your Mum continues to be well with her battle against this disease. Please keep us posted on how you, your family and especially your Mum, are going.

With love



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I don't make it to this section often (tend to hover in NSCLC & General), but I am delighted that I dropped by tonight to read your story. Your determination to help your mother is so inspiring - and what a payoff! I wish you all the best in your continued battle and look forward to hearing that your mom has continued to beat off the beast.

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