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Avatar universal

Stage 4 Lung cancer

We just discovered yesterday that my husbands sister was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She never told us, we found out through another family member. I guess she didn't want to upset all of us. I would like to know, if anyone here knows about the staging? All I know is stage 5 is the worse. I am trying to think positive about all of this, but my gut feeling tells me that stage 4 is pretty bad and the prognosis probably isn't good. I have been depressed over this since yesterday and I have been keeping it to myself about how I feel, which is VERY sad.

Can anyone help answer my question.
10 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm so sorry that your sis-in-law's diagnosis.  Sorry I don't know much about lung cancer.  I suppose any cancer at stage 4 is not a good thing.  

I believe that she would appreciate more that you didn't show your sadness.  She will need all the support and prayers to help her thru this tough fight.  My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for answering. I know she wouldn't want to see me sad, so that's why I would do all of my crying before I see her again. Heaven sakes No! I wouldn't show my sadness. I know she wouldn't want that. If it were me I wouldn't want that as well.

I should have posted this in my first post, but I totally forgot because "lung cancer" has been stuck in my head since yesterday! She was also diagnosed with Adrenal gland cancer as well as the lung cancer - not only is she fighting one cancer, but two! :-(
Avatar universal
You need to be strong. To be a true support to your sister-in-law, be there with her and spend as much time in memories that do last forever. Accompany her to the next physician visit, so that she feels secure and that she has your support. Stage 4 cancer is pretty bad and it is that it must have spread to other sites too. The doctor would be tell you the exact severity. Convince your sister-in-law that being around her is very important for you. That would boost her morally. Goodluck.
Avatar universal
Thank you for that. The strange thing is she didn't tell anyone in the family right away, probably because the holidays are coming up and she didn't want to ruin it for everyone. This is the way she is. I will see her as much as possible, but I am an emotional person and when the time comes when she gets really bad, I know I will break down, but I will remember what has been said here "Be strong", so I will be.

I looked it up about the adrenal gland cancer and I see that this more than likely is from the lung cancer - so it has spread.

In the meantime, I will see her as much as I can.

Thanks again everyone.
Avatar universal
I am back again. I guess the diagnosis of this is very grim. I know I shouldn't say this in case someone else out there has the same diagnosis, but you never know, it could be beaten, anything is possible.

Anyway, I seen her the other day and she was telling me that her doctor said she could basically do whatever she wanted to do - then she lit up a cigarette. So, my guess is she doesn't have long to live :-(

She looked good, had already had her first chemo treatment and she was saying that the chemo didn't give her too much of a problem.

My question is this - having this stage of lung cancer, how much longer does someone have to live? I mean the average survival. I just want to see her as much as possible.

Avatar universal
I appreciate your concern. Great strength is indeed required to be able to be there and see someone close to you going through such a hard time.
Well as the doctor must have already explained to you a Stage 4 or lung cancer with metastasis has a very porr prognosis and low survival rate. But the exact time frame is what cannot be predicted - even by the teating oncologist.
You just need to be there to support her emotionall, let her live life as she would want to. It would be best to make these days memorable for her and the time spent with her memorable for you.
Chemotherapy would help her in some way - but the exact results vary for every individual.
Do let us know about how she is doing.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
Avatar universal
I am so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. I just lost my uncle to lung cancer this past summer and it was so hard to watch and go through it with him.  You need to just be supportive and be there for her.  Let her know how much you care and how much you love her.  Chemo is rough to go through.  My uncle felt fine after the first several treatments, but it then caught up to him and he was so weak that he could barley move.  He was diagnosed at stage 3B and only lasted 3 months after that.  I know that everyone is different.  Hopefully, your sister-in-law can put up a fight and try to survive much longer than my uncle did.  I wish you the best of luck and will pray for her.  make the most of your time together and cherish every second of it.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for the kind words.

I know that she looks and feels fine right now, but I know deep inside of her that she wants to just scream! I know I would feel this way. Heck, I just want to scream for her!

I know I shouldn't say this, but in the back of mind I know there isn't much more time for her. One of my SIL's called me yesterday (she lives out of town) and told me to call her the minute I hear anything. I knew what she meant by that, but to be honest with you I think I'm in denial - it's like this is all a dream and when I wake up it will only have been a dream (nightmare).

Again thank you for your kind words. I wish I could PM you some way so I can ask you some questions about your Uncle - Oh, sorry about your Uncle as well. Thanks for praying :-)
Avatar universal
Hi, I feel for you and know what you are dealing with.  My mom was diagnosed a few months ago with small cell-stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to her liver.  She is a heavy smoker, and has smoked for most of her life.  She has completed 3 rounds of chemo and has 3 more left.  It's been very difficult for her and she has had 3 minor heart attacks including a close one over the weekend.  She also has Shingles which is common for people who have chemo to get because their immunity is down.
Smoking-continuing to smoke during chemo and after you have been diagnosed is bad for many reasons.  Some thing well the damage is done, it doesn't matter.  Not true. Continuing to smoke during chemo treatment is very dangerous, not so much because of cancer but because chemo is hard on the heart (and everything else). Smoking plays a large part in heart disease and if you continue to smoke while having cancer it makes a heart attack possible as well as inhibiting breathing at some point.  Please make sure your sister-in-law all of the dangers.  
You are right, prognosis is not good, we all hope for miracles.  But the cancer your relative and my mom has is not typically curable, we just try to extend their lives as long as possible.  It's important to stay positive, support them through this time, and try to understand what they are going through.
The other people are right, everyone is different and you can also look online to get a prognosis guess.  They told us 8-12 months, but who knows.  I wish you the best, keep strong and hang in there.  The whole experience is surreal, and it probably will continue to be that way.
Avatar universal
You are right. The whole experience is so surreal. You just can't believe it is happening.

I just don't understand WHY she is still smoking though, and the family respects her wishes. I know smoking is something she enjoys, BUT in my honest opinion, why bother with the chemo if she is still going to smoke? They don't see it the way I do. I guess maybe my way of thinking is wrong. I know if you know you don't have much longer to live than you are going to want to do the things you like to do, but smoking? C'mon!
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