Yes, faith and hope are very real components, but do allow her to be scared, angry, and sad. She will most likely need to grieve even if she has a great response to treatment. There are few who aren't unchanged by this diagnosis.
Please let us know if you can share her status, treatment, and outcome. We have lots of virtual support to offer.
(photo: me in '61)
Female never smoked, 52 at diagnosis, otherwise healthy
09/08: false cardiac event = finding of 3 cm tumor upper right lobe plus two .5 cm nodes elsewhere on chest x-ray at ER
09/08: CTScan with IV contrast confirms.
10/08: Pulmonary referral for EBUS - bronchoscopy - confirms NSCLC - adenocarcinoma, with bronchoalveolar features
10/08: PetScan - further confirmation, classified T1N0MX (false negative) VATS scheduled.
11/08: full open surgery - revised to T4N2MX with positive spread to 2 lymph nodes, removed upper lobe with 3 cm tumor and partial mid lobe with (1) .5 cm tumor, 3 lymph nodes on trachea - 1 lymph node and margins negative.
5 night hospital stay.
12/08: Port-a-cath implanted
12/08: Brain MRI and hearing test - good other than minor high end loss in left ear
12/08: start (4) 21 day cycles of chemo - day 1 cisplatin and gemcitabine, day 8 gemcitabine alone, day 15 off - tolerated it pretty well - a little hair thinning and follicle inflammation, some ringing in ears and vertigo, much fatigue, and nausea. Kept my taste-buds almost intact.
02/27/09: completed 4 cycles of chemo!
03/03/09: removed port-a-cath
03/27/09: tattooed for radiation
03/30/09: start radiation (IMRT) 5x/wk for 6 weeks - fatigue, moderate esophagitis
5/08/09: completed treatment
9/18/09: Recurrance in the liver and scattered in lungs. No symptoms. Rx Tarceva.
9/25/09: start Tarceva
11/20/09: clear lungs, shrinkage in liver.
2/24/10: still good on Tarceva
6/3/10: graduated to 6 month scan
12/9/10: new 6 cm tumor in liver
12/28/10: stop Tarceva
3/11/11: scan after 3 cycles 72%ish met reduction, stay the course
5/26/11: scan after 6 cycles, stable.
5/31/11: begin Avastin maintenance.
8/17/11: met growth, stop Avastin. Start Alimta.
10/25/11: met growth, stop Alimta. Wondering what to do next?
1/24/11: start hospice