A website for discussions about any type of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, laryngeal cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and others
Closed Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Need advice - Mom has stage 4 lung cancer and is still smoking

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4

    Need advice - Mom has stage 4 lung cancer and is still smoking

    She was diagnosed with lung cancer and bone cancer in late February. Was in the hospital for a week, and then started chemo because the tumor is inoperable. She had blood transfusions every 5 days for a few weeks, and had a PET scan last week. We go to get the results of that this Thursday.

    We thought she had quit smoking, but I saw her smoking outside this past Sunday. I did not confront her - was too angry and afraid of what I would say. At first I thought it was a one time thing - assumed she had gotten just one from a neighbor. Then my sister in law told me that she saw her smoking while she was driving by her house last week. So this isn't a one time thing. I am so angry I could scream. I feel I need to confront her about it before the doctor appt on Thursday. My Dad will be there, and he doesn't know. (yet) I want to tell the doctor because I want him to tell her just how bad this action is! Why is she going through chemo?? Why bother? I am so angry and sad right now. I am afraid to try to confront her because I am shaking just thinking about this. Maybe chicken out with a text message? Any advice welcome, please!

  2. #2
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    202
    Kermit3, first I am sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis. I just lost my own father last week to this disease. Your mom and your family will have a few ups and downs through this process. Please do not take what I am about to say the wrong way. But, your mother obviously loves to smoke, she will be going thru an awful lot over the next few months. My advice to you and your family would be to let her continue to do what she loves to do. My father smoked up until 4 days before his death, his oncologist was well aware that he was smoking and pretty much agreed with my dad, at the point he was at with his cancer quitting would not have saved him. My dad was diagnosed on 2/2/2012 also with Stage IV lung Cancer (Adeno carcinoma) with mets thru out his body. I chose not to argue with my father about his smoking. He smoked for 61 years and I wasn't about to take the one thing he really enjoyed away from him.

    I'm hoping the PET Scan results you receive on Thursday show that the cancer has not spread. All I could do was support my dad thru out his remaining time with me and my family. My biggest battle was not the smoking, but his constant need to move around and be independent. But even then, I realized that this was my fathers way of coping with what was happening to him.

    I am very glad my father enjoyed his last few months spending time with me with no judgement at all from me or my brother and sister for his choices. I'm not saying you are judging your mom, so please don't think that. My suggestion to you would be to try and calmly talk with her to see why she want's to continue smoking. That habit is a very hard one to break, especially if the person smoking has been smoking for many many years like my father had.

    All I can do now is encourage my oldest son to stop smoking himself. He's 20 years old and watched what this illness did to his grandfather.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take Care.
    71 year old Father diagnosed 2/2/2012 with Stage IV Lung Cancer NSCS with METS to the Brain, spine, bones, Adrenal Glands, Lymph Nodes, Liver, Pancreas, omentum.


    Heart Attack 2/19/2012
    Whole Brain Radiation and Radiation to the Spine 2/27/2012 completed 15 sessions on 3/16/2012
    Heart Attack 3/10/2012

    Passed away 3/26/2012[/B] I love you dad, you will be missed.

    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...IV-Lung-Cancer

  3. #3
    Top User emilyloveslime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    627
    You know, I've never been physically or emotionally addicted to anything (except food...I can't stop eating, haha), but I now that it is hard for some people to stop addictive habits, especially smoking. She may be smoking out of stress- a cancer diagnosis is really stressful! Think about it from her standpoint. You're assuming a lot of things right now, that she's smoking "on purpose", has smoked more than two cigarettes or doesn't care about her life. Maybe she does, but she's so stressed she can't stop. Maybe she's smoked only those two cigarettes! What do you know? Nothing, until you talk to her.

    I wouldn't "confront" her about it. Totally wrong way to approach it. I would *ask* her about it. Bring it up to her and tell her that you care about her and would love to see her quit smoking entirely. Give her care and give her love. She's a cancer patient. I am just a caretaker (of sorts) but let me tell you, cancer sucks.

    And if she really doesn't want to quit, you know what? Its her life. She can decide what to do with the rest of it. If she's one of those people that will continue to smoke throughout her disease, you can't really do anything about it than to support her the most you can through this journey.

    Emily
    Boyfriend, 25, dx'ed Stage IV NSCLC 6/29/11. Malignant pleural effusion, liver/spine/lymph mets. Adenocarcinoma w/unknown primary! So confusing.

    Jul '11: 2 cycles Carboplatin/Alimta (failed)
    Oct '11: Docetaxol/ramucirumab/Xgeva/Neulasta
    Dec '12: Liver met growth
    Jan '13: 10+ brain mets, 2 wks of WBR
    Mar '13: CDK 4/6 inhibitor trial (failed)
    May '13: Tested ROS1+
    June '13: Xalkori clinical trial for ROS1+
    Aug '13: Liver mets gone, lung spots gone. Doing great so far!
    Mar '14: Leptomeningeal progression. Ommaya reservoir put in for intrathecal methotrexate.
    May '14: Tolerating chemo, hoping for good news...

    Blog: http://ros1positive.wordpress.com/

  4. #4
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    Wow. Thank you both for your words of wisdom. Exactly what I needed to hear! lalle09, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. And how quickly it went for him. Very sad. And you are right - I AM judging her!! Just didn't see it that way until you pointed it out. Emily, same thing. Even the word "confront" tells you how mad I am. And that isn't the right reaction. I realized that I am angry, and I've been angry for 6 years. She was told 6 years ago that she had COPD, and if she didn't quit, she would get lung cancer. When she was first diagnosed, she said to me "it's my own fault", and I said to her "No one deserves cancer". Thought I was so noble and compassionate at the time! Not so much now...but much better after reading what you both wrote. So a HUGE thank you for taking the time. It is truly appreciated and made a big difference to me.

  5. #5
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hamden, CT
    Posts
    19
    Welcome Kermit3 though I am sorry that you need to be here! This disease is not easy as I just lost my mother a few weeks ago after only a few short months of diagnosis. Fortunately, my mom had actually switched to e-cigs about 3 months before the diagnosis and quit cold turkey the day of after over 40 years. I understand your frustration as I would have been furious if my mom continued. However, the previous posters are both right. This is one hell of a stressful thing to handle and if that's your mom's niche, for now, let it be. Unfortunately at stage 4, her quitting won't change a terrible amount, though may better her quality of life. I would also say ask her about it when you are calm and suggest alternatives like an e-cig. Don't fight with her though. If it will keep her spirits up and she feels like its the only way she will get through this - support her. The best thing you can do is support her. After you ask her about it, tell her you are behind her. Maybe having that support will help her quit. Best of luck!
    Mom, aged 52, was diagnosed 12/2011 with stage IV NSCLC large cell (eventually re-daignosed as squamous). She under went 3 rounds of chemo (carboplatin/taxol and then switched to etopiside/cisplatin). She unfortunately lost her battle 3/15/12. Now we have an angel looking out for us.

  6. #6
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Posts
    9,203
    I totally agree with the others. I am a smoker so I can relate to your mum. Many, many kudos to you for taking on board what the others have said! I certainly wouldn't quit as it would help me de stress as I have had that crutch for 40 years. Bit hard to quit at the most stressful time of life.
    I was rather gob smacked when I found out my cancer diagnosis has no causal link to smoking.(I felt I would have "deserved"that. Yes I know, no one deserves to have cancer.
    Hugs from Australia.
    Aussie, age 57
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011.
    Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.
    Still NED Nov 2012. On to yearly bloods now.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma. A lump in otherwords, nodule if you wish to be specific.

    CancerForums User Policy

    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...picture-policy

    Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,547
    Hi Kermit3, Welcome to our Forum but truly sorry that you need to be here. Don't be too hard on yourself....I know you have her best interest at heart but very glad you were open to other suggestions on ways to handle your Mom's smoking. I can share my experience with you. My Dad was also diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer with a met to his brain. Stage 4 is not operable. My Dad only had radiation to try to shrink the tumors. He smoked for over 60 years. I also smoked for over 30. My Dad was given a 6 month prognosis but as the eternal optimist...he figured he could at least get a year. We were all hoping for that as he was a very fit, active 82 year old. About month after the diagnosis he said to me..."We should both quit smoking" I reluctantly agreed. My Dad had moved in with me and I was stressed to the max. I was petrified of what was to come but at that point, I would have done anything for him. So the next day we both quit. It was really hard, especially with everything going on. About 2 weeks after we had quit, my Dad called me from my brothers to tell me he had some bad news...he had started smoking again. He said he didn't want to quit but if I started again, he said he would quit again to prevent me from smoking. It was one of his final gifts to me and mine to him. I told him that he had already done about as much damage as possible and likely wouldn't make any difference to his outcome. I, on the other hand had every reason to quit. There had to be at least one good thing to come from what he was going through. I stayed quit and he continued to smoke just a few cigarettes a day. It kept him calm during a very stressful time...at time when he was preparing himself to die. My big strong 82 year old Dad did not even make it to 6 months. He only lasted 10 weeks from the time he was diagnosed til the time we lost him. I am so glad that he found just a little comfort in whatever way he could during that time. I don't think I could have lived with myself if I had made him feel guilty on top of everything else he was going through. We had those final weeks together without secrets and for that I am grateful today. I'm guessing that your anger is mostly about you all having to face this disease and not so much about your Mom's smoking and that's natural. I'm glad you have found this forum and I hope we will be able to help you through as you help your Mom. God Bless.
    Irish
    Irish,
    Caregiver to my Dad, who was diagnosed in June 2010 with Stage 1V NSCLC with single met to brain,
    He sadly lost his battle in August 2010 and we miss his smiling Irish blue eyes terribly.
    My Dad's story:
    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...th-how-he-died.

  8. #8
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mexico City
    Posts
    15
    I lost an uncle recently to lung cancer, he smoked for over 50 years, even after getting the news about his lung cancer tumor was inoperable he kept smoking until a few weeks before his death and nobody in the family tryied to stop him from doing it, I'm by no chance an expert on this but I understand how do you feel.

  9. #9
    Experienced User fighting4dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    67
    This is such a difficult topic to discuss, especially with someone you love going through such a stressful time. I understand your frustrations 100%. Every one is different and handles life differently. I will just share my story:

    My dad was diagnosed with extensive SCLC back in February, and he was a 35 year smoker. He quit cold turkey after finding out the diagnoses. However, for my dad I think it was more the guilt and fear that forced him to quit. Now my mom is following suit (a lot more slowly I might add), but I think she is doing it for my dad. They have always done everything together. Growing up, I was always trying to get my parents to quit smoking and it took a LC diagnosed to be the final straw. I am frustrated, angry, pissed, etc, but I can't change anything that has happened now; I can only deal with the the present and move forward.

    Everyone is different and if your mom wants to quit, it will be on her own terms. Just be there to support her. Good luck to you both.
    Diagnosed 2/25/2012 with Extensive Small Cell Lung Cancer

    My very loving father passed away on 8/11/2012. I love you so much, Dad.

    Jeff A Coplan
    Loving Husband, Father, and Friend
    03/06/1957-08/11/2012


    My Dad's Journey

  10. #10
    Top User Spouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    795
    I can understand how frustrating it is to have someone still indulge in something that could be affecting their health so negatively. But, adults (including patients) still do have choices. Try to release yourself from the negative thoughts about THEIR choices regarding THEIR health and treatment. It is their decision, after all.

    But one thing that should be considered by smokers ... cancer victim or not, is how smoking can affect anesthesia. Here is one article that gives some basic info, worthwhile speaking to the smoker's physician/surgeon about prior to considering surgery.

    Smoking: Should I Quit for Surgery and Anesthesia?
    http://www.anesthesiologyinfo.com/articles/12012003.php

    Good luck, peaceful thoughts to all.

  11. #11
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    You guys are fantastic! I just had to post again to thank you all for sharing your stories. Although her smoking still bothers me alot (her doctor told her the chemo won't work if she smokes), at least now I don't feel so alone. I did go over to talk to her about it, and that same day my Dad had caught her smoking and read her the riot act. I was much more understanding, even used some of the things people here said (it's the most stressful time of your life, being one). I felt just like Dad before reading some of these posts. She says she isn't smoking now, but I am pretty sure she is. But at least if she has to hide it from us, she is smoking less. She has a cat scan this week to see where we are with the tumor. I just keep thinking about some of the people on this board who have already lost someone, and I don't want any regrets when she is gone. So I keep trying to be as supportive as possible. Anyway, thanks again for the posts. They are helping more than you know.

  12. #12
    Top User Spouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    795
    This thread bring to thought that some people decide to NOT do any treatment at all for their cancer. Do others have the right to try to over-ride their personal decision? Or do we respect their decision, even if we do not agree?

    So, perhaps you can think about your Mom's smoking in the same way. She is making a decision to smoke, instead of quit (which her oncologist has explained is necessary for treatment). Do you just need to respect (ie accept) her decision, even if you don't agree?

    People who smoke are making a decision about their health. But I am sorry you are caught in the sadness and frustration of her decision. But, you can still support her in 1,000 other ways, even if you cannot control her smoking decision. You can be at peace with yourself that you are there for her, to help in ways that work for her.

  13. #13
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    13
    Very good thread. I can certainly understand the frustration of watching someone seemingly commit suicide by continuing to smoke. I even posed the question to my Dr. "So did it really do me any good to quit smoking 4 years ago?" His answer was well, I would rather have you not smoke, it isn't of course good for your treatment, but in your situation some people choose to continue on and I really don't read them the riot act about it. It's a personal decision and I make them aware that it probably isn't the preferred option. However quite a few tell me that their stomachs feel better, their energy stays more even... etc etc." So You express yourself, but you have to realize that as a former smoker, nobody but nobody was going to get me to quit, a smoker has to WANT it on a very personal level. And they may be just flat out downright afraid to do so. Offer your help, point out that most states have a free quit program and then you must let the person decide for themselves.

    Hugs,

    Sharon

  14. #14
    Newbie Regular User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    11
    My mom quit smoking a year or so before she got diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. She had tried before, had quit for every one of her 7 pregnancies, but the habit always found her again. She still, almost three years later, sounds sad when she talks about smoking. She said it was like losing her best friend. Cigarettes got in trouble with her in high school, they kept secrets from her parents with her, they saw her through her older brother's lung cancer and subsequent death when he was only 32 and had 4 young children and a bipolar wife to leave behind. She quit for almost a year, but when her mother had a stroke, she found the cigarettes again and could never let go the same way until the doctor told her it was either quit smoking, or get on oxygen.

    It's like a security blanket for her, and to make it worse, she was petrified of gaining weight if she quit. Now, she won't even take the medical marijuana she could be taking for pain and loss of appetite, because she's afraid smoking will feel so good, so friendly to her, that she'll take up cigarettes too. It took her not being able to breathe for long stretches of time to be able to say, "Ok. I'm not ready, I'll never be ready. I'm going to HAVE to quit, though." She still talks about how if she ever finds out the day she's going to die, she's smoking a pack or two the night before.

    Your mom has had everything shaken. Her sense of immortality, the "that can't happen to me" feeling. She's losing her LIFE, her right to BREATHE again ever, it's a huge deal. And on top of that, she sounds like she's got a massive guilt boulder on her chest, feeling like all of the pain and fear and uncertainty around her is HER FAULT, and she's not even going to be around to comfort everyone once she's gone and they're hurting more? That's a heavy burden. I'd pick your battles, honestly.

  15. #15
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    My husband quit smoking after his diagnosis in October of 2011; then a few weeks later we were told it had metastasized to the bone (he still didn't start back), during the course of radiation on his shoulder he went back to smoking (total quit time 8 weeks); he keeps saying he ought to quit again but I don't think he will.
    I threw a major fit when I saw him with a cigarette for the first time. I cussed like a sailor, I yelled, I cried all to no avail...His sister in law told me something I would never forget, "Your husband is a grown man and if you love him for good & the bad, take each moment as it if were the last and then leave it in the Lord's hands". I live by that daily now. He doesn't always do what the doctors tell him to do, but he's is a grown man, capable at this time of making his own decisions, and I can't live his life for him. I can't make the decisions for him, I can only advise and help him to make the right decision at any given moment.

  16. #16
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    I wanted to update anyone who is reading this post. My Mom passed away on July 14, 2012. I won't go into all the details, other than to say it was peaceful and she was at home. Luckily we had Hospice help us bring her home. Hard to believe that this fight is over. But the thing I wanted to post relevant to smoking is this: she ended up with brain cancer, and it gave her some dementia like symptoms at times. She would go in and out of being "with it". Once when she was definitely not with it, my sister was trying to get her to drink something through a straw. She grabbed it out the of the drink and started pretending it was a cigarette. She also was holding my hand, and brought it up to her mouth and tried to smoke my finger! After watching this, it really hit home to me that there was NOTHING we could have done to get her to quit smoking. I don't have any guilt that we didn't try hard enough. My father said that if he knew how it was going to turn out, he would have let her smoke. But it is so normal to want to do everything you can think of to help them fight the disease. It just amazed me how focused she was on smoking right until the end.

  17. #17
    Top User april51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    1,830
    Kermit, Though I'm very sorry your mom passed, I grateful it was a peaceful one. Her smoking had nothing to do with how much she loved you or life itself. a
    May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour. Born 1960. Diagnosed 4/2011 with one tumor, LUL, NSCLC. Tumor size 1.1 inches. Thoracic surgery 6/1/2011. No action taken. Eight weeks of radiation and chemo. Carbo and Taxol. Follow up with four rounds of Carbo and Alimta.
    December 2011 CT scan shows all clear.
    April 2012 CT scan shows all clear. July 2012 had several x-rays taken at the chiropractor for shoulder pain. Took them to the onc and nothing suspicious noted. See them again in Oct.
    October didn't work out. Pain in the left shoulder continued to worsen and lymph nodes in the supraclavical swelled so I called the onc and they bumped the regular scan up to September 19 and we went for the results on the 24th. The tumor is back and the spread is extensive. Option 1: Try targeting chemos that may work and then on to clinical trials. These would give me about a year or so if the cancer responds. Option 2: Do no treatment and let nature take its course. This will give me six months give or take. As good as I feel right now, Iím going for door #2 and will continue to live well and enjoy myself until I donít. Iíll keep you posted. Live it up everyone!

    7 months into hospice and palliative care. It has been a very good relationship with the organization as a whole with a minor glitch. April 2013 spent the night at hospice facility, PICC line inserted for morphine drip. I said I wouldnít but, had a hospital bed delivered. Started 10 rounds of palliative radiation to shrink the neck tumor. Busy month for me!

    I've taken a couple of nasty falls this last week. (first of & mid-May) Right on the cancer shoulder. So I have a life alert necklace on me now. I wish I could get my hands on a small scooter!

    There is another node swelling on the other side of my neck. Still small.

    April51's (Jody) daughter posted that her Mother's journey in this world had ended on July 8th 2013.You touched so very many lives. Soar high Jody!

  18. #18
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    202
    Hi Kermit, I am so sorry for your loss and am grateful as well that it was peaceful. My dad smoked up till 4 days before he passed, the only reason he stopped is because he slept his last 4 days and was never conscious to ask for one, otherwise I know he would have been asking for his cigarettes. Smoking is a horrible horrible habit, my dad started when he was 10 years old (1951). He tried quitting 2 times, 1 time after his own mother passed from lung cancer and the 2nd time after he had a major heart attach 15 years ago. Both attempts were unsuccessful, he would say he just enjoyed it way to much to give it it. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Take care and God bless. Laura
    71 year old Father diagnosed 2/2/2012 with Stage IV Lung Cancer NSCS with METS to the Brain, spine, bones, Adrenal Glands, Lymph Nodes, Liver, Pancreas, omentum.


    Heart Attack 2/19/2012
    Whole Brain Radiation and Radiation to the Spine 2/27/2012 completed 15 sessions on 3/16/2012
    Heart Attack 3/10/2012

    Passed away 3/26/2012[/B] I love you dad, you will be missed.

    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...IV-Lung-Cancer

  19. #19
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    62
    I am so sorry for your loss.

  20. #20
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Antioch, CA
    Posts
    455
    Hi Kermit
    So, sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Thanks for sharing your story and allowing us a look into your life at this most difficult time. God Bless.
    Caregiver to mom, 64 Ovarian Cancer Remission since 1997.
    6/19/12 Annual blood work - CA125 came back elevated.
    6/21/12 CT abdomen, RUL 2.8cm spot, LLL 5mm spot, lt. adrenal gland mass 8.3cm, rt. adrenal gland mass 4.6 cm.,
    6/28/12 Brain MRI-Clear,
    6/29/12 Lung Biopsy=Stage 4 NSCLC.
    7/11, 8/3, 8/23, 9/13/12 Chemo (Carb/Alimta).
    CT Scan 10/4/12 1 of 4 tumors decreased. 20% Kidney function. Blood transfusion
    10/9/12. Mets to liver.
    12/11 chemo (carb/taxotere) continued thru March.
    March 27, 2013. Told no more chemo, cancer now in the brain, to call out Hospice. Set up hospice March 31, 2013. Mom passed April 12, 2013. She will always be in my heart, never forgotten and always loved. May we reunite soon....after only a temporary separation!

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Need some advice - Stage IV Lung Cancer
    By DaughterinlawinCA in forum New Members' Introductions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-20-2013, 07:03 PM
  2. Mom has Stage IV Lung Cancer, advice please!!!
    By MrsFaulds in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-15-2011, 01:49 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-26-2010, 01:57 PM
  4. My non-smoking mom has been diagnosed with lung cancer..
    By kf4qhk in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-13-2009, 05:21 PM
  5. Lung Cancer and Smoking Cessation
    By gdpawel in forum Lung Cancer Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-26-2005, 02:25 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts