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OT-more bad news

iamlosingit's picture

The hits keep coming.

Just found out over Easter Brunch (DH and I forced to secrecy so I need to share here or I will lose it) that MIL might now have lung cancer.  She survived cervical cancer when she was younger, breast cancer within the last two years, and now she might have lung cancer.  They did a usual full body scan at her check-up and found two large masses in her lungs.  She found out via letter on the 19th (can't believe they couldn't call her at least) and they won't have the results until either this Friday or next Friday.

This comes as a very hard hit because MIL has been super conscious of her health over the last few years to the point where she has weaned herself off of her anti-depressants and all other medication, follows a strict diet to help her digestive system and overly sensitive stomach (no dairy,no meat, limited vegetables, very bland foods only), walks daily, doesn't drink.  She even cut down on smoking cigarettes and started "vaping" instead, and is on a very small methadone dose (she has cut her dose down more than half in the last year now). She makes all these changes then she gets hit by the only thing left that she still does.  She feels like she could be the healthiest person on earth and still be punished. (not justifying smoking, just sharing where her mind is at)

DH is not taking this well and has already changed his FB profile picture and background to cancer cells despite being given instructions to not share this until they know more.  (Waiting for the "vague-booking" to start again).

Given that I still have no news on my health crap, I'm going to silently withdraw from Dh and let him cope with this since there is no way he can be of any help to me when MIL is going through this (understandable).  I know I have said this before but MIL only has my DH and SIL for help, she has no other family since her skids don't see her as a mom and don't have any contact with her since her husband/their father died. The rest of her family lives out of state and would not fly here to help because they have large families of their own and there would be nowhere for all of them to stay should they come up. (some also have small children making it harder to come).

 DH is convinced this is going to be the thing that kills her due to how fast it spreads and how old she is. He doesn't think her body can handle chemo again. 

Does anyone have any experience with lung cancer? If it's early is it treatable? (not relying on Google, searching for first-hand knowledge) 

Comments

lieutenant_dad's picture

Most cancer caught early is treatable. What they will need to deduce from this is whether this is lung cancer or breast cancer that has metastasized to the lungs. Lung cancer is curable; metastatic breast cancer is only manageable.

My former MIL died of lung cancer, and it sucks just like any other cancer. She was diagnosed around Christmas and passed by the end of May the year she died. She didn't start treatment quickly, and she had been dealing with symptoms for months prior to her diagnosis. She was already Stage 4 at diagnosis, so her treatment options were really just to prolong her life, not cure her.

That was 11 years ago, though (Jesus, it doesn't seem that long ago). Cancer research and treatment has been moving at lightspeed. However, it's impossible to say anything, really, without first getting as much info as possible - what stage, what kind, if it is metastasized, if it is operable, etc.

justmakingthebest's picture

I am so sorry, yes, I have dealt with it twice in the last 10 years in family, neither a good outcome... My grandmother had it first. Non-smoker but diagnosed with stage 3 non small lymphoma. It was horrible and she did not make it. It spread very quickly to her spine and then her brain. Doctors said it probably came from when she owned horses, something in the stables.

My exFIL also had it. Same progression. They found it in his spine first, he was having back pain and had a huge tumor. He was a pack-a- day smoker and after the tumor in his spine, they realized it started in his lungs and was already to his brain as well. He went from diagnosis to passing in less than 60 days. 

I hope that your MIL has a better prognosis. Cancer is so devastating and for her to be a 2x survivor already is a miracle in and of itself. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

You have your own troubles and worries and aren’t you the one with the DuH that made horrible and insensitive remarks about your female problems?

Let him deal with his mother.

Merrywey's picture

Was diagnosed on 2012. Was a lifelong smoker and exposed to multiple hazardous chemicals was serving in the Navy (viet nam era through 2000). He underwent surgery to remove the tumor (lost 25% lower left lobe of lung) and then followed with 16 weeks of chemo and then an additional 6 weeks or so of daily radiation. He is currently clear. I am sharing this because I want you to know that there are treatments available IF this is lung cancer. Does your MIL have COPD or other lung issues? Radiation with breast cancer? These are things that can show up on a scan as a mass. Has she had a PET scan?
eep in mind that treatments have improved and some types of tumors can be treated with "biologics" I don't want to be little Mary sunshine here but maybe it would be helpful to stay outcome focused and not go immediately to gloom and doom. Your MIL is going to need emotional sustainment regardless of the diagnosis. And let the medical professionals decide the best course of treatment - not your DH.
I'll leave you with two things my husband's surgeon told us when he gave us the diagnosis. The first was, "quit smoking. Now. Today. I will not treat you if you are going to engage in a behavior that continues to harm your body". Second, "stay off the internet. You are not a statistic, you are unique. There is no sense in getting upset over statistics because unless you know how to read and understand them you cannot apply to them." Both very wise and thoughtful advise. Lung cancer tends to have one of the highest mortality rates because it is often diagnosed late stage in elderly patients. There are many factors that control how one reacts to treatment. Sounds like, vaping aside, your MIL has been trying to stay in good health. That may serve her well in the very near future.

tog redux's picture

Sorry about your MIL, that's sad news. Sad

Off topic, but how is it "healthy" to go off of antidepressants? That's like saying that it's "healthy" for a diabetic to go off of insulin.

 

iamlosingit's picture

some of the things she was experiencing negatively both health and mental health-wise she discovered were all listed as "potential" side effects of the certain medication she was on (anxiety, insomnia, etc).  Now that she is off of them she swears she feels more level-headed and "normal" than when she started them a few years ago.

Aniki's picture

It depends on the cancer. A friend of mine was diagnosed with lung cancer 12 years ago - a mass the size of a pack of cigarettes. Chemo was successful,. Yes, he's a smoker. STILL.

iamlosingit's picture

she says now that she knows she plans on quitting, the "vaping" was a way for her to wean herself off of cigarettes in general now she just has to stop vaping.