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Old 11-16-2006, 12:23 AM   #10
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 609
Janmarie2 HB User
Re: Small lung cancer in 63 year old

My mom has NSCLC stage IV and thou she has now stopped chemo and is in hospice she made it longer the the doctors gave her. Six months with no treatment maybe a year with treatment, she was diagnosed in July 2004. SCLC and NCSLC are quite different. SCLC is more aggressive but it also responds better to chemo. NSCLC tends to be slower growing but does not respond as well to chemo. I really do not know if I would choose to have one over the other.

Be ready for a real roller coaster ride as your emotions are going to go up and down and all over the place. Cherish the good times and hold strong during the bad times.

During Chemo be on the alert for infections and sometimes it will just be a low grade fever and lack of energy that points towards infection . My mom had both a pneumonia and urinary tract infection after her first line chemo and it took my pressuring her doctor to get the tests done to find both as he just wanted to write it off to the cancer. Untreated she may have become septic and died and then become another 6 month stastic.Don't be afraid to question the doctors as like you they are human and unlike you they do not know your mom and what is normal for her. If you feel something is not right listen to that inner voice as it is usually right.

Someone needs to be your mom's advocate and go to doctors appointments with her so there is a second set of ears and a second voice to ask questions. Learn as much as you can about the cancer and treatments.

Watch out for dehydration and malnutrition during treatment as some chemo changes the way food tastes and others just cause one to not feel hungry. If this happens small snacks and small sips of water throughout the day can help. My mom's new favotite is Ensure mixed with a chocolate shake from Carl's Jr. During treatment we tried to avoid sugar as much as possible but sometimes when it is all you can get into them you need to do it as Malnutrition is a big killer for people with cancer. Learn about Nutrition for cancer patient's, A good book is Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin.

Most important do not give up hope.In our case the focus of hope has shifted as my mom is now in hospice care but it is still hope. Believe in the power of prayer and do not be afraid to ask others for prayers as research as shown it does help.

"Of course, we're still in the "Maybe it will be okay" stage, which seems naive and impossible, but it's too hard to actually face the other" My friend that had Hodgkins Lymphoma made me understand it is ok to live in denial while you deal with cancer as for some like my friend and my mom it was the only way they could cope and survive.We all have different methods of survival for me it is learning as much as I can about the disease and treatment while my mom wanted to know as little as possible.

Come her and ask as many questions as you like and know there are no stupid questions or come just to vent .All of us here do understand as we have been there or are currently there. I will add your mom and your family to my prayers . Janmarie

Last edited by Janmarie2; 11-16-2006 at 12:27 AM.