My mother-in-law has been diagnosed with stage 3b NSCLC. She recently found out it has spread to her lymph nodes. She is 63 and was diagnosed in mid August. She was diagnosed due to recurring pneumonia. Since her diagnosis she has been in and out of the hospital more than half a dozen times in order to have her lung drained. The first few times they drained her lung she felt much better and would not need to go back again for a couple of weeks (each time draining between 1/2-1 liter) then she starting going in every week and a half and now every week or less. Each time they now need to drain 2 liters. She is not feeling better for very long after each time now. She had 15 radiation treatments and was just set up with a port to start chemo tomorrow. They discussed putting a drainage tube in to drain the lung and then put something in there to keep the fluid from building up but the problem is that it would take 4-5 days of very painful treatment to do this because there are so many pockets of fluid. We do not think she will be able to endure this since she suffers so much when they put her port in.
We have been told the chemo she will get has lower side effects and a 50/50 chance of reducing the fluid build up. She has stated that she will not continue with treatment if side effects get bad.
My question is what will end up happening if she does not get the stuff put in her lungs to reduce the fluid and the chemo doesn't work? My family is very scared and sad and just looking for a way to cope.
She has met with the minister and the funeral home and has gotten all final preparations set up. I know she is trying to ease our pain but it seems like she is giving up and I have heard that attitude can have a huge impact on a patients response to chemo.