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Hello all, I am looking for some guidance from people who have been here. My mother has lung cancer (Stage 3 diagnosed in Nov 2018). They gave her 3 months when she was first diagnosed. We did chemo and radiation and she did well. She started immunotherapy and after a few months she was very weak and we found metastasis to the brain, which we found in Nov 2019. Since then, she did Gamma Knife and nothing else. She is in hospice at home since February 2020 but still speaks, eats well, and is mostly alert. She does have moments of bad memory and confusion and cannot really walk anymore without assistance, and with assistance it is difficult.


Has anyone else had a loved one in this situation? I would like to know what to expect going forward. Her doctors have not been able to give me a time frame. It could be weeks or months, they say, which is not helpful. When she was first diagnosed, they told us 3 months. A year and a half later, here we are. A couple of months ago they told us weeks. And here we are. They really have no idea. They just keep telling me to take it one day at a time. I'm just looking for someone who has gone through it and is further along than us, and tell me what I could expect? Thank you.

I wish I had a helpful response for you. My father's partner had lung cancer that metastasized to the brain, was given 3-6 months, and he did die at the 3 month mark. We did not do treatment at all. All I can say is it sounds like you are doing everything "right". Use hospice as much as you can. Advocate for her to be comfortable at all times. Take advantage of good days. Let her eat whatever she wants while she wants it. Don't be afraid to ask for the equipment you may need from hospice like a wheelchair (rolling outside on a good day to sit and talk was a big deal for us), or a hospital bed (it makes getting out of bed easier for some) or the bedside commode, etc. Take it a day at a time, and keep the expectations low. A great day can be followed by a hideous day, after all. You are all doing amazing!

The end, which will come, and in some ways it isn't much different. Be there. Talk. Make sure she's clean and comfortable. Keep her surrounded by love.

I'm sorry. And you are doing amazing.
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Reply to RebeccaCP
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My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and also had immuno. The strokes is what is killing him. He’s currently at home hospice. One of the big signs that end of life is a couple weeks away I didn’t realize was him thinking we were traveling and going through airports. He also had a random spur of energy before he was in bed all day. He also slowly stopped eating and needed help walking.. Try and be there as much as you can, talk about happy memories, go through old pictures, hold her hand.
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Reply to CancerSucks
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Hi yes she is in hospice at home. She is hanging in there and has surpassed all of the medical timelines. She has good days and bad days. Her cough is getting very bad now and doesn't let her sleep, but she still has an appetite and is conscious. We take it one day at a time.
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Reply to Miamimom79
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Yes she has been on hospice for a while we are coming up on 6 months soon. Yes we are taking it one day at a time and grateful for her good days.
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Reply to Miamimom79
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The brain is very complex and it depends on location and size of tumor. My brother had mets to the brain including, lung and bladder. No one knows how long she has. Look for signs of sleepiness and inability to eat or drink. But her lung cancer, a heart attack or embolism can be the cause of death just as well. Hang tight. Your mom has been around for quite a while on hospice. My brother lasted 8 weeks from first diagnosis because a final blow of a stroke hastened it.
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Reply to MACinCT
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A couple years ago my sister died of brain cancer. The most frustrating thing was not knowing how long it would go on. The doctors don't know. They are guessing.

The morning she died, the hospice nurse told me she saw no indications that death was near. She died about two hours later. So...I don't think my answer is helpful but, in my experience, one day at a time is really your only option.
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Reply to Alicew234
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Hello yes she is on hospice at home.
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Reply to Miamimom79
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The "professionals", the people with the MD's and all the other abbreviations after their name can give a "guesstimate" but there is only one above that knows for sure how long someone has. (We trust in Him/ Her to do what is right for us.)
A friend of mine lost her sister in April after being diagnosed in November with Lung cancer that had metastasized to her brain. (she was stage 4 at time of diagnosis)
Rejoice in the days where she feels well
Comfort her on the days she doesn't
Give her all the love you can.
Tell her that you will be alright when she is gone because she raised you to be strong and independent. Thank her for that.
Hold her hand, tell her that you love her.

There are pamphlets you can read, I am sure your Hospice has given you one about what to expect. But no matter what you read it does not seem real until you are actually dealing with End of Life (EOL)

((hugs)) to you and her.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Miamimom79 Jun 1, 2020
This is exactly right. thank you.
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I'm sorry you and your mother are going through this. I don't have any info about this kind of thing. I hope you will get some responses though. Is she on Hospice? My LO is on hospice due to her decline from dementia, but, she doesn't have cancer, that we know of. It's so tough to not know. I hope you can get some answers .
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