Together we will beat cancer



7 Mar 2018 20:35

Today has hit me like a tonne of bricks I was secretly  hoping that we would go and they would say they got it wrong but.... no mum has lung cancer and it's spread to her spine and also they have said cancer cells are showing in her lymph nodes. We haven't had any more information now we have to wait to see specialist hopefully next week I don't know much about any of this but iv heard many times that of a cancer spreads to the lymph nodes it usually isn't a good sign at all I just want someone to be straight with me ( I know cancer isn't good anyway but this seems like it's going at warp speed already ) if anyone has any information I would be extremely grateful.


Re: Mum

8 Mar 2018 14:28 in response to Kelly1990

Hi Kelly1990

Thank you for posting. I am sorry to read about your mum’s situation. This must be such devastating news to you and the family.

I’ve been reading your post’s and from what you have explained, your mum has been told that it is not possible to get rid of the cancer completely.  This is because it has spread to another area in the body. You mention that they have said it is in her lymph nodes. I’m not sure how much you know about the lymphatic system, but I just wanted to explain that this is one of the routes in which cancer spreads. You can read more about this at the highlighted link.

As I am not involved in your mum’s care I can’t be certain about her specific situation. But from what you explain this would mean that your mum has a stage 4 lung cancer which is also known as advanced cancer. Generally, the aims of the treatments used in advanced cancer are to help shrink and control the symptoms of cancer.

In order for doctors to decide what treatment may be best, they have to take into account the following

  • Where the cancer is
  • The characteristics of the cancer, for example the exact type of lung cancer
  • A patients’ medical history
  • Their general health and level of fitness. This is also known as the performance status which you can read about here. Treatment can be hard going so they need to make sure that someone is well enough to be able to tolerate it and that it is safe to give.

When you and your mum get to see the lung cancer specialist you will have an opportunity to know more about your mum’s situation, so if you can try and be prepared with some questions.  You might find it helpful to read about some of the possible treatments that may be offered here.

I hoped this has been of some help.

Please do get back to us if you have any more questions or if you prefer to have a chat you call us on 0808 800 4040. We are here from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Best wishes


Re: Mum

10 Mar 2018 22:00 in response to CRUK Nurse Georgina

Thank you so much for getting back to me, yes they've used the word advanced I did wonder if that was stage 4 am I right in thinking that there are only 4 stages ? The thing I'm struggling with is that I don't know what's happening time wise as I struggled with anxiety and I really struggle with unexpected things I know doctors won't be able to give us times to the day but I really need some ball park time scale I'm hoping they will tell us something on Tuesday when we see the specialist.


sorry for just rambling on thank you again for getting back to me this has already helped a lot and I know it will help me in the months to come 


Re: Mum

10 Mar 2018 23:12 in response to Kelly1990

Hi there Kelly .. bless ya, l think it's harder seeing someone you love with cancer ... you must feel like your on a merry go round and can't get off ... I know it's hard for Drs to predict a time as some live longer then expected and some a lot sooner .. though hopefully you will get more info on your mum's next appointment ... write down any questions you may have ... and if you don't understand anything, ask them to say things so you can understand .. a pen and pepper come in handy as so much of what's said goes over our heads ...

My mum called me on the phone one Monday morning, about coming up my house the next day ... the last thing she said was see ya tomorrow love ... at 5.20 that same day she had massive heart attack ... there was no tomorrow. . What l would give for just one day ... to tell her just how proud l was that she was my mum .. and the best nan my boys could wish for ... 

You have time to fit in lots of memories, tell each other all that's in your heart, cry, hug, and hopefully funny things to make you smile .. and she may have longer then you think... so pack every day with love and take one day at a time... try not to look too far ahead ... and lots on here know what this cancer is like ... it wants us to give up and see us brake ... but you hold on and if you need a shoulder wer all here with you ... and our amazing nurses are so helpfull for practical things and help .. big hug Chrissie xx

Re: Mum

12 Mar 2018 15:11 in response to Kelly1990

Hi Kelly1990

I’m glad I have been able to help and you are more than welcome to get back to us in the future if you have any further questions.

You asked about time and outlook (prognosis) for your mum. Your mum’s medical team are the best people to answer this. They will base this on their knowledge and experience of looking after people in similar situations to your mum. They will also take into account your mum’s medical details to estimate her outlook.  Unfortunately, it isn’t something that can be exact, but it may be a rough guide.

I see that you are going to see the specialist on Tuesday, and where hoping they will offer information on her prognosis. Not all specialists will and it may be that they will ask your mum if or what she wants to know. So, if you are thinking about asking this (and it hasn’t been mentioned) then you may need to find this out beforehand. I say this because some people just don’t want to know. If she doesn’t, you could ask for permission from your mum to speak to the team alone and ask them separately.

Your mum may also have a clinical nurse specialist (CNS). If she does you could ask your mum to give you permission to speak to them about this too.

You have asked about the stages of cancer. There are 4 stages in lung cancer and unfortunately the advanced stage is stage 4. Staging refers to how big and how far the cancer has spread. We have information on the stages of lung cancer on our website, which you can see at this link.

Before I go I also wanted to mention another charity called the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, they also offer support and information that you may find useful. 

I hope tomorrow goes ok. If you think of any questions in the meantime do write them down, as it’s quite common to get side tracked with other questions during the appointment. 

Best wishes