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What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

20 Sep 2016 13:37

My mom was diagnosed in august with stage 4 lung cancer. It has spread to her brain in 3 spots, the tumor in her lungs is 6cm big, spread to her lymph nodes, muscle in her back, her throat, and she has a spot on her liver. No one is telling us what to expect, her life expectency or anything.

I am working full time, and am having a hard time with this. The biggest part of me really wants to be there for her, but she refuses to ask how long she has. My dad and her have been together forever, and my sister isn't really helpful. She has barely seen her since she's been sick, so my mom only really has me as my dad is taking this all really hard. She went in for a sore neck and came out with cancer, everywhere.

She still seems 100% normal, just a little tired. It is hard to believe she is sick right now seeing her so OK. The doctors have told us theyre surprised she is walking. They have done radiation and are starting chemo. She was told they didn't think she would make it to chemo to begin with. None of us know what to do with ourselves, and reaching out to people who are enduring similar situations would be much appreciated. Thank you.

The idea of living without my mom is one of the hardest things to accept, but from what I have read it is completely terminal. A lot of people have posted 4 months, but I would like to hear some more personal experiences.

What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

20 Sep 2016 17:18 in response to Thor123

Hiya Thor, my heart absolutely goes out to you, the not knowing is probably the worse part. The only advice I can offer is take each day at a time. I am speaking from experience as I lost both Dad & Mum both to lung cancer within 20 months of each other Dad was diagnosed 6mths but we had decided on no treatment for him as he was in his 80's and he had advanced dementia and never knew he was even ill. Mum was diagnosed for 10 days and they didnt offer any treatment as it was already far to advanced. My brother sounds very much like your sister, he lives in Australia so not just up the road, I felt quite isolated.

Very recently my Husband has been diagnosed with stage 4 non operable, terminal  lung cancer too, he starts his chemo later on this month, he too looks like he has never had a days sickness in his life. I too are struggling enormously with the though of spending the rest of my life without my soul mate. 

Lost is a good word to desribe how you are feeling, angry because life is just carrying on as you feel your world is imploding. I do know that many hospitals will not commit to giving time scales, perhaps sometime its better not knowing. Take each day as it comes take your lead from Mum & Dad

There is always someone on here who will listen when you have to talk, vent or rant. Im sorry if my advice is vague but I'm pretty new to this site

Much Love & Best Wishes to You & Yours x Lesley x

What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

20 Sep 2016 19:30 in response to Thor123

Thank you for your reply Lesley. With my mom being only 52 and me being in my mid twenties it is hard being a daughter know that she is going to loose her mom.

You were right when you used the words angry and lost to describe what I am feeling. There truly AREN'T any words- but those ones come pretty close.

My mom has been legally blind for years (still has vision though), and caring for her has always been something my family and I have been use to doing, but this is a new level we had never thought we would encounter, especially so soon.

Like I said previously, she went in to the doctors because she had a sore neck. What she believed to be a muscle knot ended up being an enlarged lymph node with cancer in it. From there we found out that it is primary in her lungs, and then BASICALLY everywhere else. None of us could of seen this coming. I appreciate your response so much, as I am having a hard time not feeling anxious all the time.

What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

20 Sep 2016 20:14 in response to Thor123

Hi, I'm really sorry to read about your mum. You can find out the statistics on expectancy online based on the type and stage of the cancer. Respect her wishes that she doesn't want to know, my dad didn't either. My dads consultant told me people in my dads position averaged about 8 months, I needed to know as my sister lives in Australia. This information isn't really worth knowing (in my opinion). Once you know you are losing your parent the torture starts, that's without counting down to the estimated date. My dad left this world 3 days after diagnosis.

I would ignore the 4 months people are advising you. There are always exceptions to the rules in either direction. Try and push the how long to the side and focus on the fact your mum is here now and very much alive. Go create some memories with her, take lots of photos and videos to cherish and look back on. 

If there is one thing I've learnt with cancer, it strikes when you least expect it and takes people in the blink of an eye. Take care x

What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

20 Sep 2016 22:54 in response to Thor123

My Mum has been diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer which has spread to lung, liver, bones. I am devastated like you and trying to be strong in front of her but breaking my heart when alone. When I get to bed I can hardly breathe through stressing. So difficult. I too do not know how long and in some ways I don't want to know.

What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

3 Dec 2020 07:51 in response to Thor123

Hello, I'm not sure if you will read this but I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing more of your experience? My dad has just been diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to a few other places and that is all we know. I'm constantly googling to see what happens next but can't seem to get any clarity. Like you have said, I cannot imagine life without him, none of this feels real. 

What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

3 Dec 2020 08:43 in response to loren12

Hi loren12,

Welcome to Cancer Chat. Firstly I'm sorry to read about your dad - I hope you are getting on OK.

As you mentioned, it's been a while since Thor123 was active on the forum. Hopefully you will receive a reply, but if not then you may wish to start a new thread on the forum to encourage further replies that way.

Try to avoid Googling things as this is unlikely to be helpful or relevant/specific to your dad, and it will likely only increase worry and uncertainty. I hope you're able to find out more about all of this soon from your dad's doctor.

Wishing you all the best,

Ben
Cancer Chat Moderator

What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

3 Dec 2020 08:56 in response to Moderator Ben

Thank you, I will start a new thread if I don't hear anything. I feel so helpless and like the only thing I can do is google stuff (especially as we can't see him due to covid and him being in hospital) but like you said it isn't helpful.

What to expect, mom just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

3 Dec 2020 16:59 in response to loren12

Hi Loren12,  I've replied as my husband has lung cancer and we've been dealing with it for three years so I know what can happen.  Hop onto my discussion, it's called Stay Strong, and I'll help if I can.  Carol x