My mom was just diagnosed with lung cancer

My mom was brought to the hospital for respiratory distress and they said she had pneumonia and after further tests and imaging they found a mass about 4cm on one lung and a couple smaller ones on the other. We are going to make an appt with an oncologist in Boston this week. She is 52. Smoked over a pack a day for 40 years. I am devastated. Me and my sister have 5 kids total and my mom is an amazing grandmother to them all. She's truly my best friend. I have no idea about lung cancer of what to expect or anything. I just am praying all day that she will get through this

22 Replies

  • Jess, once she is staged then you will know treatment and what kind. Take deep breaths. Get out and walk. Yes this is scary but once you know what you are dealing with you can focus on helping your mom get through this. There are good treatments out there and lung cancer isn't a for sure death sentence. Be posititive and hopeful. This is very important in your moms journey. God Bless

  • Oh, stay off of internet cancer sites. They are 50 % advertisements and the rest are outdated. Best advice my dr gave me

  • Absolutely the truth!!!!!!

  • JessM1128,

    Just like Texas64 said, take a few deep breaths, and for the love of all things Holy, stay away from the internet sites that have the cure for cancer, and proof the world is flat.

    However, educate yourself on what truly are some groundbreaking advancements in cancer treatments and therapies and visit web sites like NHI, American Cancer Society, and other reputable web sites.

    Lung Cancer is not a death sentence, but it certainly is not a trip to Disneyland either. Take things one day at a time, and just be there for your mother when she needs you.

    I am you mom's age, and have HPV Cancer in my lungs. This is my third dance with the Beast and I am going to fight until there is no fight left in me. I have been told I was terminal but I am still here trying my best to help others the best I can. So, hold your head high for your mom and be positive without being overly optimistic.

    The only thing I would suggest you stay away from, when it comes to talking with your mother, is her past tobacco use. I can tell you she is already kicking herself for having smoked and since none of us can turn back time and make better choices, the best thing everyone can do is to simply let it go. Talk about it if she brings it up, but you can rest assured she has already beat herself and will do so for the rest of her life.

    Visit here often and keep us posted, ask questions and be your mom's best advocate.

    Hang in there, you are at the start of a long journey that 50% of all Americans will eventually take during their lifetime. Be strong for your mom, and just hold out your hand when you need someone to hold it.

    Mike "Serrecko" March

    Leader of The Skyline Gaggle of Noobs

  • What a wonderful man you are Mike. Such great advice you have given to this wonderful daughter that is frightened for her mother. I too have a second bout of lung cancer and am going through chemo now. just started my second dose yesterday. Kind of like a fish out of water with what to expect. Would love to chat with you. Please respond when you can. Thank you. Jane

  • I had 5 chemo treatments and had no trouble at all until my 5th one. Had a little nausea, did not lose weight, lost hair but it's all grown back now and it is thicker than it used to be. Stay positive and eat well!!!! Praying for you. After the 5th one, I was dehydrated, had shingles, left kidney failed. But, I am fine now, 14 months later.

  • Donna, thank you so much for the encouraging words. I am now on my third treatment and doing ok. Seem to be having more trouble with the shot to get my WBC's going than anything else. Have really bad body aches and pains. Tried Tylenol with no results and Claritan with no success finally took a left over pain pill from surgery and that helped. Oncologist is going to try to lessen the dose of the shot. My hair seems to be getting thinner but haven't lost it yet. Have wigs on the ready for when that happens. I am so glad to hear that you are doing good now. Are you cancer free? Please stay in touch. I have found such wonderful people here. Thank you.

  • Wow!!! Serrecko, couldn't have said it better myself!!!!! If only you could change decisions we made when we were younger.

  • Good luck to you Mike!!!! Praying for your battle!

  • Jess, thank you for coming into our community! And please take the advice of Mike and Texas - what they say is true. Just love your Mom (as you do) and support her as she makes her decisions and moves forward. Thinking of you!

  • Jess, I agree that what Mike and Texas say is excellent.

    The one thing I will add right now is to try to be patient and to help your mom be patient as well. It takes a while to sort out exactly what kind of lung cancer a patient has - there are several different types. Your mom can expect not only a CT scan (which she may have already had), but also a PET scan, which identifies how far a cancer has spread in the body. There will be testing to determine the cancer type - among the different types are small cell, non-small cell squamous, and non-small cell adenocarcinoma. If she has adenocarcinoma, she may need another biopsy so that her cancer can be tested for mutations. Given her smoking history, I would expect that she will also be tested for PD-L1, a marker that indicates if immunotherapy might be a good treatment for her. It takes time to get all these tests done and to get the results, and her oncologist needs all those results to help your mom decide on the best treatment plan. Occasionally a lung cancer is so aggressive that the patient must get into treatment as soon as possible, but usually there is time to make sure that the first treatment is the best treatment. It took 2 months from diagnosis to beginning treatment for me back in 2014, and I'm still here.

    I'm glad to hear that she is going to Boston. It's hard to go wrong with medical care for lung cancer there - Mass General especially has an excellent reputation as one of the very best places to go for lung cancer. Just about every clinical trial that is currently available is happening in Boston, so if your mom wants to participate in a trial, there may be some excellent choices available for her.

    One last item. While you don't want to make your mom feel bad about smoking in any way, support her every way you can if she decides to quit. Cancer treatment will be more effective if she is no longer smoking. BUT she may not be able to, and if so, that will just be the way it is. Tobacco addiction is very powerful.

    Sending best hopes to your mom,


  • Hope your mom's oncologist will help her get the best options . I just celebrated my 5 yr stage 4 non small cell lung cancer, I also found out I had pneumonia and a mass on my RT LL lobe . With the new advance testing & options , the most important part is the love from the family . God bless,hugs to your mom. Esther

  • Would you please share where you got your treatment?

  • Tobacco use or not, no one deserves cancer. There's a lot of hurry up and wait in getting a cancer diagnosis and treatment plan. A favorite saying around here is that it's a marathon not a sprint. The others have covered things very well.

    Sending hope for a lower stage diagnosis.

  • Hi Jess,

    I completely understand how one feels when their loved one is diagnosed. Don't be afraid of anything. Take her to the best doc you find.

    Some people make it, some don't. But never lose heart. Give ur mom everything she needs, take her everywhere she wants to go. Praying for her.


  • Soooo sorry to hear about her diagnoses. My mother had similar situation when they found her tumor. She went to hospital due to respiratory distress and to our shock n awe she was no longer with us within 3 weeks. However my mother didn't want any intervention. Not even a biopsy. She was 81 and smoked for over 50 years. Did they do a biopsy yet or just imagining test. I'm like everyone else, there seems to be so many available good treatment plans out there. You have to be your moms NUMBER ONE health advocate getting her the absolute best cancer team you can find. She can beat this. My mom just didn't want to go through the chemo or anything else. She's RIP now. Keep us posted. Hugs for you and your mom n those precious grandchildren

  • Sorry about your Mom Imina but I can't say as I blame her. At that age, I know I will be too tired to go through that treatment. Glad she went quickly for her sake.

  • Lung cancer treatments have come a long way. Keep praying because I know there's power in prayer. God is the great physician and He still performs miracles today. God bless you and your family.

  • I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. My daughters could probably tell you more about what this journey was like for them, but I can speak from the patient's perspective. All of the advice above is excellent. As the patient I appreciated my daughter's accompanying me to all my appointments and tests. That way they could ask whatever questions they had and act as an extra set of ears. As the patient , one tends to hear only a small percent of what is said. The more ears the better. Do provide loving support, but not pity. You have a long journey ahead. Do take it one step at a time. Support each other and if you are comfortable, keep us informed, ask questions and just ask for support when you need it.

    I hope this is helpful and God bless.


  • Beautifully said, Jean!

  • Sending my prayers to your family. Tell Mom to stay strong!!!

  • I am so sorry to hear about your Mother's diagnosis. I can telling you an excellent site to visit with truthful and progressive information You will find very useful information here. I wish you and your family all the best as you venture down this new road.

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