Not sure how to cope with moms stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis

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Not sure how to cope with moms stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis

by kortney.m on Mon May 02, 2016 03:55 PM

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Less than a week ago, my mom went into the hospital for the third time in four months for extreme back pain. We thought it was a pinched nerve from work. We then found out it was stage four lung cancer that spread to her liver, adrenal glad, bones, and brain. She went into radiation almost immediately for her bones. Then after another MRI, they discovered it in her brain and started radiation for that area as well. So far they are saying the radiation is helping which is good. After they finish radiation they are going to start chemo to see if she's strong enough to handle it. The couple weeks or less before she went to the hospital and found out it was cancer, she was unable to walk and stuck in the recliner. The crazy thing about all this is that just before Christmas, she started experiencing back pain. Subtle at first. She went to her family doctor several times those first two months and even though my mom was telling her doctor frequently about her sudden weight loss and pain in her back and even a new weird cough she developed a month before going back to the hospital a third time, her doctor never once suggested cancer. My mom said in February her doctor had her take a test that detects cancer and diseases as well. And when we got the diagnosis, the doctor at the hospital said she's had this cancer for 6 months to a year already. So that leaves us questioning how did her doctor not detect this in that test? Should we be contacting her family doctor for questions and concerns. Her doctor hasn't been in contact with us at all either. My mom has a five year old daughter, fourteen year old son (who lives with his dad) and me, her 22 year old daughter. I currently live with my mom and my sisters dad (my step dad) while going to school online and I did have a job but I quit it a month ago to help with my mom as she become more dependent on me to help raise her daughter and help her as well. The cancer diagnosis has left me riddled with fear and honestly a little depression. I thought I had time to figure my life out. My mom was always the one to say if things didn't work out we could come back home and have infinite time to figure out our lives until we are happy. And that was something most parents wouldn't offer and I was very grateful for. Now that this is happening I'm sort of panicking trying to get my life on track before anything happens. I want nothing more than to stop my life and stay with my mom in the hospital til they figure out the next step but my sister still has pre school so I had to come back home after the weekend we spent with our mom to get back to our daily lives and its just been hard. My step dad travels for work and is gone for the next two weeks. I'm having my dad come and stay with me because when I'm hear by myself with my sister I tend to get really sad and depressed versus when I'm with others. I'm just at a loss as to what to do. I'm hoping the chemo works cause if so we will have a little more time to figure everything out. But even though nothing has been planned we've had people already make plans for us and its really too soon since my mom is still here and still has the final say so in anything. So to have all these people start already making living arrangements is just horrible and is making this a whole lot harder to handle. My mom h olds this family together so when shes not here we are going to fall apart. I just knoe it. I'm so used to having my mom healthy and home raising us kids so this is really hard on me to play mom to my younger sister while my mom lies in the hospital with cancer. Anyways what I'm trying to get at is if there is anyone around my age going through a similar situation or have gone through it I'd really appreciate if we could talk. Talking has really helped me get through this past week. Also I would really appreciate prayers as we need them and we are hoping for a miracle. 

RE: Not sure how to cope with moms stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis

by omarmirza on Mon May 02, 2016 06:51 PM

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On May 02, 2016 3:55 PM kortney.m wrote:

Less than a week ago, my mom went into the hospital for the third time in four months for extreme back pain. We thought it was a pinched nerve from work. We then found out it was stage four lung cancer that spread to her liver, adrenal glad, bones, and brain. She went into radiation almost immediately for her bones. Then after another MRI, they discovered it in her brain and started radiation for that area as well. So far they are saying the radiation is helping which is good. After they finish radiation they are going to start chemo to see if she's strong enough to handle it. The couple weeks or less before she went to the hospital and found out it was cancer, she was unable to walk and stuck in the recliner. The crazy thing about all this is that just before Christmas, she started experiencing back pain. Subtle at first. She went to her family doctor several times those first two months and even though my mom was telling her doctor frequently about her sudden weight loss and pain in her back and even a new weird cough she developed a month before going back to the hospital a third time, her doctor never once suggested cancer. My mom said in February her doctor had her take a test that detects cancer and diseases as well. And when we got the diagnosis, the doctor at the hospital said she's had this cancer for 6 months to a year already. So that leaves us questioning how did her doctor not detect this in that test? Should we be contacting her family doctor for questions and concerns. Her doctor hasn't been in contact with us at all either. My mom has a five year old daughter, fourteen year old son (who lives with his dad) and me, her 22 year old daughter. I currently live with my mom and my sisters dad (my step dad) while going to school online and I did have a job but I quit it a month ago to help with my mom as she become more dependent on me to help raise her daughter and help her as well. The cancer diagnosis has left me riddled with fear and honestly a little depression. I thought I had time to figure my life out. My mom was always the one to say if things didn't work out we could come back home and have infinite time to figure out our lives until we are happy. And that was something most parents wouldn't offer and I was very grateful for. Now that this is happening I'm sort of panicking trying to get my life on track before anything happens. I want nothing more than to stop my life and stay with my mom in the hospital til they figure out the next step but my sister still has pre school so I had to come back home after the weekend we spent with our mom to get back to our daily lives and its just been hard. My step dad travels for work and is gone for the next two weeks. I'm having my dad come and stay with me because when I'm hear by myself with my sister I tend to get really sad and depressed versus when I'm with others. I'm just at a loss as to what to do. I'm hoping the chemo works cause if so we will have a little more time to figure everything out. But even though nothing has been planned we've had people already make plans for us and its really too soon since my mom is still here and still has the final say so in anything. So to have all these people start already making living arrangements is just horrible and is making this a whole lot harder to handle. My mom h olds this family together so when shes not here we are going to fall apart. I just knoe it. I'm so used to having my mom healthy and home raising us kids so this is really hard on me to play mom to my younger sister while my mom lies in the hospital with cancer. Anyways what I'm trying to get at is if there is anyone around my age going through a similar situation or have gone through it I'd really appreciate if we could talk. Talking has really helped me get through this past week. Also I would really appreciate prayers as we need them and we are hoping for a miracle. 

Dear kortney.m

I am going to give you the facts. You have to be very strong mentally and emotionally to begin with.

1) Stage 4 cancers of any type is not a good sign.

2) The tumor has spread to other parts of the body as you have mentioned which means its going to be a challenge for the doctors to eliminate all of it. 

3) Age is another big factor. Chemo and radiation is very intense. You don't like eating, loose weight and hair.

4) The cough she now has most likely is because the lung tumor has grown into an airway, the chest wall or the membranes that surround the lung (the pleura) which is not a good sign.

5) If there is water inside the lungs, that will need to be treated.

6) Try spending as much time you can with her. Have other family members do the same. Give her hope and make sure YOU never loose it. At the end of the day, life is in the hands of God Almighty so pray a lot. Trust me it works.

7) I hate to give you this news but she most likely has 9 to 12 months left. I wish you best of luck and prayers that she recovers from this disease.

RE: Not sure how to cope with moms stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis

by edeuson on Wed May 04, 2016 09:16 PM

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Hi Kortney,

My heart is aching for you and your family, as I pray for God's love and compassion to hold you up. I was diagnosed with stage 3b non small cell lung cancer in November, so I know a little bit about your fears and concerns. My cancer center has a great deal of resourses for patients, and their family. I encourage you to get some professional help to help you deal with this very serious situation. You have a great deal to deal with, now, and in the future. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Blessings,

Elizabeth

RE: Not sure how to cope with moms stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis

by sandy26 on Thu May 05, 2016 12:44 AM

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Dear Kortney,

I lost my husband to lung cancer stage IV on 12/23/2015. He was diagnosed on 7/2/2015. My husband died 5 months after his diagnosis. He also had some back pain and a cough but nothing else. His cancer was in his lungs and liver.My best friend got lung cancer stage IV on 2/20/2010.  My best friend's cancer was a small tumor in her lung and it spread to her brain. She lived for 4 years and 3 months after her diagonsis. So, you really do not know - no one can put a time frame on your mom's life. My best friend also did radiation and chemo. If the doctors are not calling you then you need to call the doctors or have someone in your family help.You and call them. Call her oncologist. I want you to keep praying for a miracle and tell all the doctors you see you need help.You are taking on a big load for a 22 year old. My kids are 35 and 33 and they would not be able to handle what you are going through right now. Ask relatives for help.

I will pray for you and your family and most of all your mom. Try and be strong - I know it is hard to do.

Sandy

RE: Not sure how to cope with moms stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis

by eternalife on Thu May 05, 2016 12:53 AM

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Hi Kortney,

I am like Omar, will agree with his facts... my husband was diagnosed with stage iv esophageal cancer and I have worked in the field , so when the docs told me since I wanted confirmation.. it all played out as was expected.

For the patient, it depends if they want to hear the truth, it can't be forced.. and you are very young.. I lost my father to brain ca at age 28 and decided to get in the field to prepare myself for other such cases.. well wouldn't you know my husband became another cancer victim. I don't say this is easy... my faith has kept me strong and prayers never hurt.. be near your mom, talk to her and say all that is in your heart, have no regrets.. you will get through.. I think it is harder on the caregiver than the patient, so take care of yourself.

Best and keep posting, there are many good people on this site and they are here for you.. stay clear of negative energy and people who do not understand .. they never will. Ignore the know it alls.. they know nothing.

Sending cyber hugs...

RE: Not sure how to cope with moms stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis

by Wifeofmichael on Thu May 05, 2016 01:33 AM

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Dear Kortney, I am so sorry you are in this situation. My hubby was DX'ed with brain cancer a few years ago and I sat at the kitchen table crying my eyes out. Life was over for him. Then the stress of being his caregiver began. That combined with my crying jags anywhere, anytime about put me in the loony bin and I didn't have time to do that! His cancer treatments, temp. Living arrangements, finances, insurance issues were all waiting on me to deal with them. I got an anti anxiety med because I couldn't remember my or his name some days. It's all so hard and bewildering but I have actually found more wisdom, know,edge and practical advice here than even the best social worker. The docs are trying to keep him going but they can't help like folks here can. Use every resource you can think of. I have this and other sites, my counselor, our parish Priest, I correspond with a few religious sisters,the social workers and his cancer treatment" herd of doctors"' Hang in there, you are doing a good job but it's exhausting, sad and scary. Life sucks sometimes but God is right there with you. He will never forsake you. Take care.

RE: Not sure how to cope with moms stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis

by Kalashnik on Sat May 07, 2016 12:57 AM

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Sorry about Mom  Ask her doctor to prescribe a drug called Sutent.  There has been a lot of success with this drug.  Also a lung cancer drug that have doctors raving about is called Opvido. It was just approved in Canada in March. Great promise with this drug

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