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cheris
@cheris

Posts: 30
Joined: Oct 17, 2016

small cell lung cancer

Posted by @cheris, Jan 4, 2017

Hi, my sister received a diagnosis of small cell lung cancer in October. She has had 4 rounds of chemo with two more to go. Breathing is improving but she feels very sick and unable to eat. Her prognosis does not sound very good. She is not sure what will happen after the last course of chemo. Wish I could help her. Anyone have any experience with this type of cancer? Unfortunately she is a smoker of over 50 years.

REPLY

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

My mother had small cell lung cancer from smoking and working on ships loaded with asbestos during WWII. I’m sorry that I have bad news for you. My mother found out in May of 1995 that she had cancer and she was gone by August. She should never have had Chemo because all it did was make her extremely ill. The last few months of her like were horrible, she suffered terribly. Back then 1995, the chances of surviving this type of cancer was only around 5%. I’m not sure if the statistics have changed but for your sister’s welfare I hope so.
My mother was my best friend and seeing her go through what she went through was terrible. My sister and brothers did not want to put her in a nursing home therefore we kept her home and took care of her ourselves and toward the end those wonderful nurses from hospice.
I wish I had better news for you. Perhaps they’ve made improvements on the chemo protocol and your sister has a much better chance, As I mentioned before my mother got really ill on the chemo and I think that’s what ultimately killed her. Also my mother was 71, which doesn’t sound old to me now as a lot of people I know are turning 70 and up. What I’m trying to say is that if your sister is fairly young I’m sure her chances will be better than my mom’s.
Please kept us informed and I’ll be thinking of your sister hoping that she can beat this thing.

Leslie

It is respectful that we cherish quality of life with any illness. My quality greatly improved , even though it was very slow in the beginning moment to moment.
Having loved ones support relieves a lot of emotional and physical pain. Mayo oncology introduced me to a Paced Breathing Study by Dr Amit Sood. This study with a guided meditation taught me to breath thru my pain and grounded me both physically and emotionally.
I read work books written by Dr Amit Sood that helped me understand how the mind body connection is so important.
Dr Sood has written two very helpful books. This may sound a little crazy but my favorite is “Happiness”. Because, I was given permission to accept my cancer, tell my mind and body how to relax (not just relax) and then I began to feel relief from the fear that comes with cancer. Lung cancer became my blessing. This positive change helped me and all of my loved ones.
I encourage you to read or attend Dr Sood’s talks. The experience is uplifting!
Bless you
Linda

Hello Cheris,
 
     I am so sorry to hear of your sister’s illness.
Your sister’s journey sounds like my dad’s. Do you know what stage her lung
cancer is?
 
Terri

@lesbatts

My mother had small cell lung cancer from smoking and working on ships loaded with asbestos during WWII. I’m sorry that I have bad news for you. My mother found out in May of 1995 that she had cancer and she was gone by August. She should never have had Chemo because all it did was make her extremely ill. The last few months of her like were horrible, she suffered terribly. Back then 1995, the chances of surviving this type of cancer was only around 5%. I’m not sure if the statistics have changed but for your sister’s welfare I hope so.
My mother was my best friend and seeing her go through what she went through was terrible. My sister and brothers did not want to put her in a nursing home therefore we kept her home and took care of her ourselves and toward the end those wonderful nurses from hospice.
I wish I had better news for you. Perhaps they’ve made improvements on the chemo protocol and your sister has a much better chance, As I mentioned before my mother got really ill on the chemo and I think that’s what ultimately killed her. Also my mother was 71, which doesn’t sound old to me now as a lot of people I know are turning 70 and up. What I’m trying to say is that if your sister is fairly young I’m sure her chances will be better than my mom’s.
Please kept us informed and I’ll be thinking of your sister hoping that she can beat this thing.

Leslie

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I’m going to reply to my own reply. I noticed that I did not indicate that I did not want to put my mother in a nursing home. It was a mutual agreement between my siblings and myself.

@windwalker

Hello Cheris,
 
     I am so sorry to hear of your sister’s illness.
Your sister’s journey sounds like my dad’s. Do you know what stage her lung
cancer is?
 
Terri

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well when I asked about what stage she told me her Dr. did not give her a stage, just that it is very aggressive. By the time they realized what was wrong the cancer was very large. It was pressing on her Vena Cava and causing swelling of her face and arm. It was also pressing on her broncial tube making it hard to breath. The first two visits to the Dr. she was told she had sinus issues and given antibiotics. She was not getting better so when she went back they ordered a chest xray. She was sent to the ER and then hospitalized within the hour. Chemo stated a few days later after scans showed how bad it was. It looks like it has spread to her bones. She is being seen at a cancer center in Georgia and they seem very good. They do want to start her on a drug for her bones but she is not sure what that is all about. Both she and her husband have trouble understanding some things. I was down there for a few days but travel is hard when she is so far away. It sounds like they are hoping for remission but that the cancer will come back, no cure. She is very depressed and I am trying to find ways to help her. She is just 65 with a new grandchild due in 3 months. SHe has great support system with her daughters and close girl friends. I guess I am wondering how long I can expect her to be with us. I need to plan to spend time with her.

@windwalker

Hello Cheris,
 
     I am so sorry to hear of your sister’s illness.
Your sister’s journey sounds like my dad’s. Do you know what stage her lung
cancer is?
 
Terri

Jump to this post

I don’t like to be negative but if the tumor is pressing on some of her organs plus it doesn’t sound very promising. My mother’s was contained within her lungs and as I mentioned previously she only lasted a few months after being diagnosed and also having chemo.
I’ll be thinking of you and your sister and who knows she may beat the odds.

Leslie

Liked by cheris

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

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Is this a forum for discussion of cancer in general, or small cell lung cancer. My sister had non-small cell cancer and died four years ago. I’m hoping to connect with people who have dealt with this personally or with a family member. She barely had symptoms before she was diagnosed with stage IV; then died 13 months later after enduring chemo and radiation. She and the rest of our family were so stunned by all of this. Is this the forum where I should be or is there somewhere else? Thanks.

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

Jump to this post

Hi @sistergoldenhair, welcome to Connect. You have posted to the right place to talk with other people who have lung cancer. It is difficult to lose someone and so quickly. You may also be interested in taking part in this discussion:
– Loss and Grief in Caregiving https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/loss-and-grief-in-caregiving/

It sounds like you and your sister were close.

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

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Thanks, Colleen,

Yes, we were close. I continue to want to pick up the telephone to call her.

This started with what my sister thought was a winter cough, sometime in December, She was a healthcare professional and in close quarters at work. She saw her physician who sent her home with the usual instructions for a cold with cough. A month later she was back with severe chest pain. A chest x-ray revealed two broken ribs, and a mass in one lung. A bone scan was done to determine what caused the broken ribs, but was inconclusive.

It was January. She went through the tests and scans, and was told she had
non-small cell adenocarcinoma in one lung at stage IV with metastasis to the brain. She was stunned and so was everyone else. She was a non-smoker who pursued a healthy lifestyle. She was exposed to second-hand smoke in childhood.

She was told this cancer wasn’t curable, but was treatable. She inquired about surgery, and was told it wasn’t an option in her case. In February, she started chemotherapy, Tarciva?, I think, for the lung cancer, and radiation to the brain. Our family and her wide circle of wonderful friends and neighbors circled the wagons and did everything we could think of to support her. A few months later, the metastasis returned to the brain, and was more widespread. Her entire brain was irradiated while she continued the chemo.

In November, around Thanksgiving, her doctors told her, and she told us that she was cancer-free. Wonderful news. By Christmas, the cancer had returned and had spread to other organs. Her doctors frankly told her they had done all they could for her. Her life expectancy was estimated at about three months. She died two months later. She’d had a bad time during hospice, and her death was a blessing to her and to us when it came.

There’s more to this; I’ll hold off on that for right now. I’m interested in hearing from anyone who knows about this type of cancer, has experienced it themselves, or had a loved one with it. Thanks – Susan

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

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Bless you. It take courage to share your story. Lung cancer is deviststing. I know because this month I am so very blessed to be a 9 year non small cell lung cancer survivor. I NEVER smoked.
I truly believe the STRESS FREE LIVING
Research Study by Dr Amit Sood, helped me find acceptance & resilience to Fight
Cancer. This is now a book, I hope you read it? Then please read HAPPINESS by Dr Amit Sood. These teachings may help you feel less alone.

My favorite part of the research study and reading these books was, when I was told how to take time (5 mins) every morning to reach out to 5 people, even if they have gone before me, and let them know I love them. This lead me to looking up to the heavens when I am outside, walking, skiing or running for 30 mins. It can be a cloudy cold day …but the sun always shines through.

Keep sharing because many lives will experience the healing effects as you
reach out. You deserve a cyber hug!

Aren’t we fortunate to have mentors at Mayo connect, I often ask, where do they get their non stop compassion ? Today, I looked up and said, Thank you for these caring mentors at Connect! Thank
You!

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

Jump to this post

Thanks for your response. So you survived nine years after a diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer. Was your cancer diagnosed at an earlier stage? Did you actually participate in a research study? I/we are still stumped by the lack of definitive symptoms up to shortly before her stage IV diagnosis. I’m certain she would have jumped at the opportunity to participate in a research study, but none were being offered at the time – and we live near two respected medical schools!

I previously mentioned there was more to the story. About four years before her cancer diagnosis, I took my sister to the ER; she was complaining of headache and severe nausea. The doctors wanted to send her home, but I talked them into admitting her. On the third day of hospitalization, her oxygen saturation levels were low, and she was put on oxygen. Seemed like no big deal at the time. A nurse gave me her cell phone number so I could call during the night or next morning. I called next morning; overnight, she had been moved to ICU because she had stopped breathing. In all the confusion, no one in the family had yet been notified.

Things got worse. We saw her chest x-rays; her lungs looked like they were full of cotton candy. She was diagnosed with A.R.D.S. – Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. She was on a ventilator and induced sedation for ten days with no improvement. Her kidney enzymes weren’t good, causing us to fear her organs were shutting down. A biopsy was planned for the next day.

On the eleventh day, she started breathing on her own (therefore no biopsy). She was told she also had something called critical encephalopathy. She continued to improve, and was sent to a rehab facility to relearn some motor skills, apparently due to neurological damage. She wasn’t the same after that. To see or talk with her, you wouldn’t have noticed anything. Only those close to her knew; she had poor motor skills, was having difficulty performing her job when she returned to work, dropped things all the time…

My question and comment for anyone out there – is it possible the A.R.D.S. left her susceptible to developing this cancer? Perhaps some scar tissue from the A.R.D.S., the cause of which was never determined. Or maybe the A.R.D.S. affected her immune system. There are so many questions, and we received few answers from the doctors who treated her. They seemed not to want to commit themselves to a cause. And why so few symptoms before diagnosis at stage IV already? She wasn’t one to ignore symptoms.

I know any answer won’t bring her back; I just wish we knew more. No one was in denial; we threw a huge birthday party for her about a month into her treatment, knowing it could be her last, but not giving up hope. Sorrowfully, she died a month before her next birthday.
My only consolation is my Faith, through which I have the knowledge I’ll see her again. Thanks for reading – Susan

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

Jump to this post

Hello. I am so sorry that you lost your sister. I lost my dad to the same
illness. Lung cancer is very insidious, it sneaks up on people with no symptoms
until it reaches stage 3 or 4. It is rare to survive those later
stages. So, of course it comes to a huge shock to everyone that knows them.
I have a good friend who’s husband just got diagnosed with stage 3. He is 58 yrs
old and the light of her life. Their pain is very palpable to all that know
them.
 

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

Jump to this post

Dearest Susan:
Your journey with your sister is heartfelt. I am truly sorry for your loss and pain. And I want to commend you for your kindness, compassion and resiliency.

I very well understand your questions. This is why my husband and I founded a non-profit foundation. It is our hope that through Running Lungs Walk/Runs & climbs we can create a place where people exactly like you can share their feelings about the effects of lung cancer and understsnd the importance of early and proper lung diagnosis so they can patients can receive proper treatment.

We hope too launch a Longitudinal Healthy Lungs Research project to create lung awareness and save Lungs and lives, raise research funds for Mayo Clinic lung health, lung cancer and pulmonary research. Because all of your questions deserve answers.

And you are so right on…you will see your sister again. For now, keep taking those walks and look up…and see the sunlight of her golden hair shine on you;-) I have a feeling she wants to see you smile back!

God Bless You & thank you for sharing another very special part of your journey. Your writing helps others, more than you can imagine!

Kindest regards and big hug
Lw

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @cheris, I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It is good to hear that the breathing has improved, albeit with a side effect of feeling sick.

I see that you posted this question in Just Want to Talk, http://mayocl.in/2iLQFNz, where Kanaaz brought in a few members to share their experiences. @llwortman briefly joined the discussion, but now you have asked a few more specific questions about dealing with the side effects of chemo.

I would also like to invite @burrkay who cared for his wife who has cancer and has gone through multiple treatments and may be able to offer some advice on how you handle this as a caregiver.

@cheris, you mentioned that the prognosis does not sound very good, have other options been discussed after the last round of chemo? If you don’t mind me asking, what has your sister discussed as her wishes for treatment after chemo?

Jump to this post

Susan (@sistergoldenhair), I’m very sorry for the loss of your sister. And am especially sorry that the ICU experience was so traumatic. If you wish to join us, we have a group sharing about ICU experiences on Connect. It may be helpful to share your story with others. Please see the discussion here:

* Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) – Let’s talk http://mayocl.in/2j73pv7

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