Scared for mum

Hi My mum stopped smoking around 8 weeks ago and, Last week my mum finally went to her GP with a nasty cough she has had for over 3 weeks which has had her bringing blood up and left her tired and in a lot of pain. The doctor referred her to the hospital to have a chest X-ray where they found something but they won't tell any of us anything but there was a shadow in her X-ray. The hospital gave her another appointment for more tests in 2 weeks time but this is really hanging heavy I've my own and my 3 younger siblings heads and to make things just a little bit worse my mum is stressing out more about my sons birthday and being ok enough to see him instead of focusing on herself I don't have a clue as to what it could be in just hoping it's nothing like cancer as we recently lost my uncle to lung cancer. Any sort of help or information is much appreciated I just need to help my mum feel better


16 Replies

  • Hello Leeanne,

    I understand your fears for your Mum, and her fears too about all of you. The shadow could mean anything, it certainly doesn't have to be cancer, so try and keep her calm and take the worries off her by doing what you can and being there for her. The hospital can't say anything until tests have been completed and time will drag for you all but it will pass, and once they have results things will start moving. Your Mum will be going through a bad time anyway after giving up smoking, for it is very hard, but the best thing is she has done it, and good for her. You are sure to receive lots of help and information from the lovely people on here very shortly. In the meantime, you look after yourself and try and get some shut eye.



  • Thank you very much for your reply Jennifer this just seems to be a nightmare we can't wake up from. My mum is more concerned about myself and my 3 younger siblings and her 3 grandchildren. We are just hoping for good results. Yes I better try get some sleep got the school run tomorrow but thanks again Jennifer it's good to be able to etbtgis off my chest xx

  • I do understand.

    night night.



  • Always the worst waiting and whatever way it turns out as a loving family I know you will face it and get thru it, I know your thoughts will be racing and imagining all sorts but hopefully time goes quickly for you all and you get the answers you need, always here to listen support all of you in whatever capacity needed, stay strong x

  • Hi Leanne, it seems as if your mum is using your sons birthday as her coping mechanism as that is giving her something to focus on. You and your siblings can only do your best and try and stay positive. You will get the results fairly soon so just take one day at a time.

    Wishing you and your dear mum well. Xxx

  • hi leeanne

    Know how it feels the wait is terrible I waited 3 weeks after I had xray and my doctor came to my home unannounced to tell me they found a large shadow on my lungs and I had to go to hospital next day for ct scan then wait to see consultant for results. And after all the worry, it was a large calcium mass what a relieve so don't just think the worst there are lots of reasons for shadow on lungs. try to keep strong best of luck

  • Hi Leeanne, so sorry to hear all your problems. Please concentrate on the positives, if you can. Your Mum has stopped smoking, first step up. Second she will have Ct scan etc. the earlier the diagnoses the better.

    Let her concentrate on your Son's birthday, believe me it will keep her feeling good and help to take her mind off of her negative thoughts.

    Let her do as much for herself as she can, to help keep her feeling of independence not dependency.

    You and all family members must remember to take care of yourselves as well.

    In my thoughts and prayers.


  • I think it's wrong for the hospital to leave you wording in this way! A year ago exactly I was told 'something' was found on the scan of my kidney but within two weeks I had had further scans and told exactly what it could be. In my case I had a kidney tumour and had it removed four weeks later. I'm still recovering but I'm still here, so don't think if it is the worst that it automatically fatal. It's not nice but you can get through it. You can have shadows on lungs but it can be scared from old infections. My lungs are scared from pneumonia and asthma and I've never smoked. My Mum had TB and lived for 35 years after having half her lung removed. Sometimes when people quit smoking it's quite common for them to get chest infections whilst the body gets rid of the mucus left in the lungs from smoking.

    Please try to be optimistic for your Mum and in sending good vibes to you!

  • Your Mum stopped smoking 8 weeks ago - that is an enormous step in the right direction, although stopping frequently causes severe bouts of coughing for a number of weeks/months afterwards. Had she carried on smoking she may not have had the cough, may not have coughed up blood and may not have gone to the doctors, or had the X-ray and found out about the shadow. None of you would be worrying about it now, but it would still have been there. Try to focus on the positive side of her stopping smoking while she's waiting for the tests, and the results. It's no mean feat to stop smoking, make sure that achievement doesn't get sidelined and buried under all the worry. Keep your chin up, look after yourself and try not to worry - wishing you and your Mum well, will be thinking about.

  • Shadows are not always cancer and I sincerely hope it is nothing sinister. But your mother most look at this as a step forward. Not having any test could of made her not know what it is. Which then could mean a simple infection easily treated. However not looked at could of made it a very severe infection, and believe me as someone that had one it is not fun.

    I hope all goes well.

    Be Well

  • It really could be sooo many things. I too have had dark patches found on my lungs over the years only to discover they were innocent. So much so that now I really don't have any negative thoughts around them when they occur. Your mum won't improve things by worrying about what could be, the opposite in fact, so in focusing on something positive, something she can actually do something about, she's being sensible. It's important to respect how people wish to be treated, even when it's not the way we would choose, especially over something so important. I'm sure she knows you're there to support her and should she need to talk or question things she will. Trust is something I recommend even when life appears to be spiralling out of control as worry can become a habit if left unchecked and no amount of worry will improve your mum's condition. But focusing on all the positives in her life, such as her delightful grandson, will. You talking your fears through with someone other than your mum, as you're doing here, seems the sensible way forwatd for the time being, as, in the absence of other news, your mum seems to be handling things very well. Love to you both...


  • when you stop smoking you cough for about 6 months its your bodys way of getting rid of all the crap on your lungs x

  • Hello Leeanne, understand how you feel been in a similar situation myself a long time ago now. The symptoms your mum is getting may be the fact that she has given up smoking, shadows on the lung have to be investigated to eliminate some illnesses and confirm others, sadly the waiting can be most stressful for patient and family., especially during a period when someone has just given up smoking, there are NHS groups for smokers who are quitting all over the country try NHS Choices page on line. Guess you are very busy with your young family, take care as you need all your strength to cope and your mum may need lots more tests and treatment before she improves from quitting everyone is different. You have my very best wishes for a good outcome soon, encourage your mum to drink plenty, honey clears the lungs a little, things like ginger, cinnamon, beetroot, herbal teas all relieve the cough some.

  • I'm sorry to hear about your mum, a lot of us smokers went through a bit of a rough time when we first gave up but it does pass, I know that your mum is probably feeling very low at the moment because most of us think that you give up the dreaded ciggies and hey presto all will be well. Keep her staying positive and her resolve strong. You sound a really close and loving family which is such a blessing.

    Try not to worry about what the ex-ray showed, as this will only make your mum and all of you feel low. Take care all of you and don't forget we are hear any time you want support.


  • Hello Leeanne

    This must be a very worrying wait for results for your mum, you and the rest of your family. However, it is very important that the correct diagnosis is made so your mum gets all the right treatment available. The wait is mentally horrendous, but your mum has found a way to focus on something else for the moment and that must be of some help to her.

    About ten years ago, I was in a similar position and a diagnosis of lung cancer was rushed through, but after waiting for further tests and a bronchoscopy it proved to be pneumonia and pleurisy. I wish I could have focussed on something else while I waited, so I admire your mum for her strength in trying to think of other things/people. You may think this makes little sense, but she is doing her best to help herself cope.

    I wish you all well and have crossed fingers for good results.

    Please let us know

    Tee x

  • try not to worry too much at the moment . I have asthma and was told that for up to two years after stopping smoking I would be more prone to infections and that my chest would get worse before it got better . I suspect this is why they are making your mum wait for two weeks before doing more tests . Well done to your mum for giving up smoking . Your mum is coping the best way she knows how to . Until you get the full results let her stress / worry about what she wants to . xx

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