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Thread: Mom, lung cancer?

  1. #1
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    Mom, lung cancer?

    A month ago my mom found herself battling extreme pain in her right lung. Xray taken and she was being treated for walking pneumonia. She is 80 yrs old. The antibiotics weren't helping her pain, so they gave her a Medrol Pack....still no relief. We went to the ER because it was quicker than waiting for her pcp to send her for a Ct scan. Hospital confirmed it was not pneumonia, and said she needs to see an oncologist, as they also see lesions on her liver.

    We saw the oncologist and she is being sent for scans of her liver and stomach. Her stomach has been hurting as well. As for the mass in her lung, it covers about 1/3 of the lung. The oncologist wanted to see the liver and stomach. When I asked about the lung and does she think it's cancer, she believes it is.

    Her reports from the hospital mentioned words like diseased and metasticized.

    If all this is cancer, is it typical to hurt so much? They gave her percs and then Tylenol 3. I am glad it makes her sleep because at least she is out of pain during those naps. Otherwise, the pk are not helping. Her pain is breaking through it.

    I know nobody here can tell me definites, but is this pain typical with lung cancer and does this pain stay with her til the end? If the oncologist is mistaken, what else could possibly cause this pain for the past month, and nobody see anything, except the mass. Biopsies are coming after some tests.

    Thanks
    Rose

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User BobInBonita's Avatar
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    Kittyluvr,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's problems, and wish I could give you answers other than vague generalities.

    Pain seems to vary, depending on the exact location of tumors in relationship to nerves. If her pain is severe, there is no need to wait for her next oncologist appointment - call and ask for a referral to a pain management specialist.

    The only way to be absolutely certain that this is cancer is with the biopsy. Radiologists almost always seem to mention the worst possible case.

    How is your mother's health, other than the recent pain?

    Please let us know what happens with her testing.

    Best wishes to you both,

    Bob
    7/12 DX stage 3 pan can (adenocarcinoma) @ 65 - borderline resectable
    8/12 - 10/12 Chemo (GTX) & Stereotactic Radiation
    12/12 Whipple - R0 margins, 2/29 nodes pos.
    1/13 - 5/16 Vaccine clinical trial - randomized to control group - vaccine showed no benefit
    2/13 - 8/13 Gemzar for 6 months
    Quarterly scans - no evidence of disease to 10/14 - spot on lung being watched - possible infection 2 months on antibiotics
    3/15 - spot larger - probable met - surgery planned
    4/15 - PET prior to surg - recurrence & lung mets - Surgery cancelled - EUS w/ FNA showed adenocarcinoma - Stage 4
    5/15 - 9/15 Folfirinox @ reduced dosage - Stopped treatment after 11 infusions due to neuropathy
    10/15 - 8/16 maintenance 5-fu every other week
    8/16 - stable disease on both CT and PET/CT - chemo holiday while other treatments explored
    9/16 - lung biopsy confirms pan can met,
    10/16 -NanoKnife to pancreatic bed -PET after Nano showed new met in hilar lymph nodes - SBRT to both lung & lymph
    4/17 - PET/CT showed significant disease progression, multiple lung mets, pancreatic bed tumor has grown
    5/17 - Started hospice care - striving for acceptance

    Stay busy and live life to the best of your ability.

  3. #3
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    Her health is otherwise good. But right now....the suffering is blowing her away. I do know you can't diagnosis it, but wondering if the pain is typical.
    This has all come up in the last 2 weeks, although she didn't share til a couple of weeks ago.

    Does lung cancer hurt? Stupid question, but I had to ask. My mommy is in severe pain and undergoing tests.....it's hard to see your mommy hurting.

    I joined this board to help me understand, as well as know what she may be going through.

    I'll be doing a lot of reading here. Don't want to lurk....hoping to get to know those who have been there and can share their stories.

    I'm so not religious...but to ask God to spare her the pain....I will do what I have to do.

    Hugs to those hurting.
    My name is Rose. Emails are welcome. ��

  4. #4
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Hello Rose and sorry to have to welcome you here but you have landed in a good spot as far as learning and understanding what may be the diagnosis.

    However, I am with Bob on this, without a definitive biopsy, it remains not cancer until pathology proves otherwise. Without jumping too far ahead, if indeed it is cancer, the varying of symptoms is wide. Yes, some experience pain, mostly due to location while other do not but can have other debilitating symptoms.

    Do not feel you can not "lurk" here. I suggest to read some of the stories here once, and only once, a diagnosis is made. Some of the stories are not pleasant to read while others are inspirational.

    Please do stop back in and let us know the results and of course, know we are a community of caring and supportive folks that are willing to guide you.

    Lisa

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. At this time we are basically testing, then the biopsies. Her pain is extreme, coming from the right lung. Seems her oncologist has all she needs to know in the lung. She needs to see what's up with the liver (Ct showed lesions and she wants a better look at it) and the latest pain is now coming through her stomach. Anything she eats makes her stomach hurt. We go in for a bone scan today. Once to get the injection and 3 hrs later for the scan. Friday is the scan of the liver and stomach. Fasting 4 hour and drinking 2 bottles of (likely) disgusting stuff. I'll keep in touch here, because if all this is cancer (what else could all this terrible pain that won't go away for a month now) I will be back to read and learn.

  6. #6
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    ****i meant to say I will lurk a lot, to learn.

  7. #7
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    Today she has had two bloody noses. I understand we need test results, once I get them, I'll be better prepared to post.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Hello Rose:

    Your Mom's nose bleeds are most likely not due to Lung Cancer. I am not sure where you reside but it could be to dry conditions in the home. This is especially prominent in cooler climates but in general, do make not of them and discuss with the doctor at your Mom's appointment.

    Also, keep a notebook with you and write down your questions as you think of them this way, when face to face with the medical team, you will have the notebook at the ready and refer back to when noting down answers to your questions. I is a good tool also to keep things organized as it is overwhelming with all the information thrown your way and all the appointments that need to be handled.

    Keep us posted Rose and know you are doing an awesome job in being an advocate for your Mom's health.

    Lisa

  9. #9
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    I started this thread about my mom's possible lung cancer on April 16th. Oncologist was more concerned about her liver. Biopsy was done but we had to wait 10 days for the results. While waiting, I set up an appointment for the oncologist so we could get results. Biopsy was on May 1st, and they made her appointment for May 21st. 20 days later. I was able to move it closer by a few days. During that time her kidneys stopped working properly and ten days of narcotics were not flushing out of her kidneys, leaving her in the hospital to flush them out. Still waiting on biopsy results during this time. Her pain was terrible, as they weren't giving her anything for the pain while flushing the kidneys. It got to a point where she was hallucinating. Still no biopsy results. Hospice stepped in to get the ball rolling on setting her up for Hospice care. The biopsy was done at the hospital she was in. Still no biopsy results after 9 days. On the 10th day we were given positive results for Stage 4 lung and liver cancer. Unsure where else, if any. Hospice took control in the hospital...basically allowing her IV pain killer, kidney flushing stopped. 36 hours later she died, the day before Mothers Day. She suffered longer than she should have, all because it took 10 days to get the biopsy results so they could treat her pain. I don't understand the 10 day wait on biopsy results. It wouldn't have mattered that much, but it could have saved her many days of pain by medicating her properly. With the exception of her last 36 hours finally getting pain meds, due to turning it over to hospice, she died of cancer without being given anything for her pain. She really suffered mentally and physically her last days, all because it took 10 days for biopsy results, which I just don't understand.

  10. #10
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Rose

    I am so deeply sorry to hear this news and the suffering your dear mom endured
    .
    It is unacceptable the biopsy results took so long and because of that, pain could not be managed. My heart goes out to you.

    My thoughts are with you and may you find comfort in those beautiful memories you shared with your mom and may they shine through as you grieve this loss.

    Lisa

 

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