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Old 10-17-2005, 08:57 AM   #1
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How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Hi all...new to this board. My mother was diagnosed last May w/lung cancer. They operated, and she went on chemo. It has spread, and is inoperable. The outlook is bad. I'm not dealing with it very well. I'm scared. She's only 63. I'm very close with her, but our family really never showed REAL emotions. I don't know what to say, or how to behave. I can't stop cleaning my house! If I don't keep my mind occupied at every moment, I think about it and start crying. On top of all, I feel guilty when I think about "what I'm gonna do when she's gone". I feel that I should only be concerned with her, and how selfish I am to think about how this is gonna effect me, when it's her with the cancer. Everything I look at or hear or dream about, reminds me of her. It's as if everything in the world has changed. Everyone looks different, everything seems different, and everything feels different. I'm going on with life, but in a fog, teary eyed, feeling like I'm faking it, or acting.

I really don't know why I'm here, telling you this...maybe just wanted someone to listen...thx

 
Old 10-17-2005, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

What you are feeling is normal. As family members of someone with Lung cancer we have all felt the way you do. 15 months ago when we learned about my mom's cancer I felt so much the way you stated .Reading your post brought tears to my eyes as that is what I went through in the early days of her cancer. It is ok to feel that way as it is part of grief and we all go through it. I use to drive home from my mom's the 2 1/2 hours and cry from the minute I pulled away until I got home consumed by my pity party.I would find myself crying at odd times and imagining all the last times we were about to have and feeling life would end when she died. I would make promises to God if he would keep her alive for X more time and as that time passed ask for extensions. My life was consumed by her cancer and the fear of life without her as then even her doctor did not expect an 81 yr old with stage IV NSCLC to survive for long. I spent alot of time talking with friends and my coworkers who are all the best and give me such great support. As time marched on I guess I came to terms with the cancer and moved on in the grief process. My mom has amazed all and thou back on chemo is going to work 2 mornings a week like she did before cancer and living a normal life .Since this new chemo she is on did not cause hair loss ( like the first ones did) you would meet her on the street and not even know she is in the battle for her life against lung cancer as she is so active and so upbeat. With Cancer you just never really know how much time one has left and how well they will or will not tolerate treatment so try to relax, come to this web site like you did to scream or vent how you feel any time you need to as we are all here for each other and we do understand. Reach out to your mom and enjoythe time you have left together make sure she knows how much you love her even if that means stepping outside of your comfort zone shower her with love! Spend time with her don't avoid her. Remember your feelings are valid so quit feeling guilty about them you are not selfish. Over 15 months I have learned to accept the cancer and the emotional roller coaster ride it puts you on.It no longer consumes me night and day and I can go days even weeks without crying now but trust me that fear of life without me mom is still there and everynow and then I let it in and have a good cry. It really comes to the surface when my mom will say something to me that implies she will be here years from now. Like when you turn 50 we will..... that is 2 1/2 yrs away. And I use to get angry with her for being in such denial but thanks to my friend/ co worker that learned she had hodgkins lymphoma last Dec and finished treatment in June I now understand that it is ok for my mom to live in denial. It beats her sitting around in a constant pity party thinking about death and how much time she has left AND it is possibly the reason she is still alive and doing so well as she is telling herself she will survive this and the mind is a powerful thing. Now when she makes such a remark I smile and think, OK as who am I to say she will not still be alive in 2 -3 yrs? As I have told others in these posts none of us knows how much time we have left as you or I could step outside in 5 minutes and drop dead of a heart attack or be hit by a car and killed and our mothers would out survive us. It happens everyday and we just do not know so yes our moms have cancer that will most likley kill them sooner then later but in reality they are just on the same playing field we are as none of us know when we will die. Hang in there and go shower mom with some love while seeking support from family, friends , coworkers and all of us as we do care . In some weird sense we are all a big family that will never meet in person but share such a strong bond of being in a family with cancer. Yes Cancer does not just effect one person it takes hold of the whole family and effects them. I will keep you and your mom in my prayers with the evergrowing list of people I have there! JanMarie

 
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:03 PM   #3
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Darlene-CA HB User
Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Hi....my Mom, also 63, is in the process of a cancer diagnosis. We are waiting for a PET scan that should tell the story, or at least part of it. I too, am devastated. I don't know what I will do without my Mom. She is my absolute best friend. I think of how much she will be going through and it kills me. I have been praying more than I ever thought I would for this test to come back negative, but in the back of my mind I'm ready to hear the worst. When she told me they had found something on her chest x-ray, I literally cried for two days.....I sleep, eat, and work "cancer". It is always there on my mind.....ready to make me cry....at church, at home, in the car, anytime I think of the "last" things we might do together also. I have read some very uplifting posts here and some very sad ones as well. I responded to this one because I feel just like you do. If you'd like to e-mail, let me know. I believe support is essential, and no one can know what we are going through if they aren't experiencing it for themselves. I will pray for my Mom, your Mom and everyone else suffering.......

 
Old 10-18-2005, 05:04 AM   #4
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rwatson908 HB User
Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

My wife is 51 and she is my best friend. She was diagnosed with NSCLC, stage IV this past April. Now she is in remission and we are greatful.
The people within this site are very helpful and reassuring, visit often and post your concerns and questions. IT has helped me more than I can say.
Your feeling and thoughts, we have all experienced. Be supportive for her and yourself, she will need you to be strong. my prayers are with you both, Ron

 
Old 10-18-2005, 04:53 PM   #5
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Robbins HB User
Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Thank you all so much...I thought that it might be only me who felt this way. My heart goes out to you all, and your post's made me cry, but the comfort in knowing I'm not the only one is helpful. I will keep the faith, she just had another scan today, and will know much on Nov 1st. I'm feeling much better today, but this seems to be how it goes...one day totally wiped out and not able to keep it together, the next I'm able to think clearly and rational. I don't know how I will wake up each day. She has not contacted me as frequently lately. She was emailing alot before, didn't call so much due to her voice. But now, I even emailed this morning, I haven't gotten a reply. Am I expecting too much? Does she not want to talk or email? I don't know whether to call or let her be today. I want to give her time, but how much is there really? We don't know yet. I feel like I should be with her day and night. As I type this, I realize that the only way I feel rational and clear, is to not think about it at all. Then it comes back like a freight train. Breathing seems hard, or should I say catching my breathe. I'm so NOT used to this, and feel guilty moving on with my life, while she's suffering.
Thanks for listening again!

 
Old 10-18-2005, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Darlene-CA...I hope the results come out negative...My mother had pnemonia (sp) and had a chest x-ray. They found a spot. We all nervously laughed about it, cuz she had a tooth pulled years ago, and the dentist lost it. We were hoping her tooth was just sitting there, near her lung, wanting to get out. Talk about the things you grasp for when faced with this kind of situation. I too, like Janmarie2 have been bargaining with God. Giving Him options to take luxuries or just basic things that aren't needed for my life, away. Promising to be a better person, or basically, would do whatever He wanted, just to make her okay. I'm not very religous, but do believe He has a plan. I've had her for 41 years, she lost her mom to cancer too, but at 16. I realize that my life with my mother has been a long and wonderful time. I've been very lucky to have a great relationship, as well as 41 years with her.

The one thing I've found myself thinking, which I'm not proud of, is that if we didn't have a good relationship, I wouldn't feel so sad, helpless, or out of control. I do understand that IS NOT what I want, and am happy to have the time I've had and will have with her, but it has been a passing thought. So many thoughts, good, bad, sad, confusing, hurtful, angry, happy, and just numb have passed through this mind of mine, I'm physically exhausted. They come and go like lightening and don't know when. I can change from happy to sad at the drop of a hat. I have explained some of my behavior to my daughter. She's 9 and know's Grandma has cancer, but doesn't know how bad it is. Until we know for sure, I don't want to worry her unnecessarily. I've have explained that it's hard for me to watch my mommy going through the chemo, and sometimes I may be sad or quiet. She got mad a few time's cuz she's talking to me, and I don't hear her. I'm just so deep in thought, that I can't hear. I've explained that I'm not ignoring, just in my own little world, thinking...she actually said she wanted to be in that little world of mine in my mind too...what do ya think I did...yep...cried...I love her so much.

Last edited by Robbins; 10-18-2005 at 05:37 PM.

 
Old 10-18-2005, 08:40 PM   #7
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Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Robbins - So much of what you say hits home. I have had my Mom for 38 wonderful years. She is, to me, the best Mom in the world. She also lost her Mom very young, when she was just 18. I would also give up any luxury imaginable to make this go away. It's funny because we, as daughters are kind of in a silent torture. Our families can not imagine what we are feeling. My husband (we are currently separated, but working things out) has a very distant relationship with his very healthy parents. He can not fathom the relationship I have with my Mom, it's almost like a jealousy thing. Now, I'm silently mad at him thinking he will get his way if something happens to my Mom. Even though I know he doesn't want anything bad to happen. I have two daughters, 7 and 11. They know Grandma is having issues, my youngest says the dinner prayer and asks Jesus to "lay His hands on Grandma"....every evening......they don't really know that it might be cancer.....they don't even know really what cancer is. My Mom told me tonight that she is trying to get all of her "projects" finished....in anticipation for not feeling well. It just makes me sick all over.....I feel so bad for being so moody to my family, but like you said, one minute you can be happy because maybe, just maybe, you forget for an instant, then it hits all over again. I know that cancer will be something I will think about now, every day, for the rest of my life........Take care, hang in there, we have no choice but to appear strong, I know you are not a religious person and I'm not one to preach to anyone, but I'd like to share something with you that always make me feel better...... "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God ~~ Philippians 4:6

Goodnight

 
Old 10-19-2005, 04:50 AM   #8
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Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Oh my gosh Darlene-CA...we have so much in common at this time in our lives. Thanks for your prayers and I'm becoming closer to God everyday. What really hit me about what you said, is that your mom is getting her "projects" done before she doesn't feel well. My mom did the same thing, in anticipation of all the bad that comes with chemo. She actually handled the "prescribed" chemo good. Especially, the three days right after. She took steriods for 3 days after each treatment, and would excercise, clean the house, talk a mile a minute, and was very happy, then by the 4th, she would drop like she had the flu for a few days, then okay till the next treatment. It was pretty predictable for a while, which in a weird way was comfortable after a few treatments. Now all hell's broken loose. If your husband doesn't have a close relationship with his parents, I don't think there is anyway he could really understand. I am lucky that my ex, who is a great person, has a good relationship with his mom and my own. He has never been very emotional, or understanding, but he seems to get this and knows what kind of relationship I have with my mom. Some people will surprise you in this journey, should it turn out to be one you don't want to take. He, as well as my father, have turned out to be nothing that I expected. They are helpful and understanding, which if DEFINATELY not in their traits as a person. I'm looking for any good in the world right now, and holding on to it with all my might. If there is one blessing so far, it's to see what people have inside, and my father, and my ex, have proved their compassion beyond a shadow of a doubt.

My child didn't know anything, except Grandma had the flu, until she started chemo. We saw/see her alot, and once she started, she lost her hair. She had already made herself scarfs and ordered wigs before the chemo, just in case. She is beautiful bald and doesn't need them, but if it makes her happy....

Last edited by Robbins; 10-19-2005 at 05:41 AM.

 
Old 10-19-2005, 05:14 PM   #9
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Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Like I have done with my wife, just let her know you are there for her. Call her and let her know how you feel about her, leave messages, email her, go visit when you can. Does she have someone to go with her to the Doctor, Chemo or other treatments, these are scary and being alone is LONELY.
As for as yourself, this is a long road to travel and your emotions are endless, but you must face each day with a fresh outlook and talk to someone. Again, this site is great, its too bad we can't have a group session-live. My best to you and your Mother, Ron

 
Old 10-19-2005, 08:43 PM   #10
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Darlene-CA HB User
Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

rwatson, If I can, I have a couple of questions for you, as you seem to be somewhat educated on this subject. First off, how is your wife doing now and how did she handle her treatments, and what were they? I think it was you who suggested a second opinion from the National Cancer Institute?? I found one about an hour and a half from our city and plan to set up an appointment for my Mom. Did your wife have treatments from there? Sorry for the "50 questions".....but honestly I could ask so many more. Thank you for your words of encouragement to all. I too, wish we could have a live-session.....

 
Old 10-20-2005, 05:49 AM   #11
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Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Thanks for the support Ron. Today, was one of the days, I woke up and made a decision to be positive and try to have a good outlook. Had to take my daughter to the orthodontist early. All was great, until we had time before school started and went to the drugstore. While looking at face cream, trying to pick the best to keep my skin young, I thought of how my mom taught me to take care of my skin when I was young. What a great lesson and now so treasured, I thought, still feeling good and proud to have a mom like mine. The time she spent just being a "girl" with me. Then a song came on, which brought me back to the reality of cancer...I almost lost it in the store. But I got a grip, if not for me, for my daughter, and pulled myself out of it. I have started to feel anger, but it's given me some strength. I want to fight this for her, and be strong. IT IS NOT HOPELESS YET, as far as I know. I will not stop till the hope is gone. Nov 1st is a big day for her and all the family. I have decided to try to keep it together until then. If the news is the worst, then I will allow myself to crack, but till then, I will take any happiness I feel and embrace it. Today, hopefully, will be a good day.

Thanks to you all...and my prayers to all.

 
Old 10-21-2005, 03:01 AM   #12
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Re: How do I go on? Mom has lung cancer

Darlene-CA, I am humbled by your request. I became educated with the cancer issue via the internet, depending solely on the "official" sites only. My wire is currently in partiel remission and feeling good, but scared. No she were treated locally with chemo of carboplatin and taxol, 6 rounds every 3 weeks, after each treatment she was more and more ill from the treatments, ASK for pain meds and stool softeners, VERY important. For her spine ca, she recieved 9 treatment of radiation, back is still sore and she recieves Iritia (sp) to aid in bone formation. Feel free to ask whatever will help, If I can't help we have many friends here. God Bless, Ron

 
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