MIL Diagnosed with Brain & Lung Cancer

My MIL had a grand-mall seizure on Saturday. She was unconscious/out of it for a full 15 minutes.

The CAT scan showed two quarter sized tumors in her brain that caused the seizure. An xray of her lungs also showed several masses of cancer. Her lung collapsed as doctors attempted a biopsy of one of the lung massed.

Today, the doctor gave her 30 days without radiation of the brain tumors, four to six months WITH the radiation and chemo.

Yet, today she INSISTED on going outside in her hospital gown for a freaking smoke!!! She has smoked for near 50 years. I suppose she has nothing to lose at this point, but her daughter and several grand children went with her for their own smokes!

I tried really hard to bite my tongue. I find myself more than a little angry at my MIL for not looking after her health but MORE SO for having so little regard for her own off-spring’s health. OMG what twisted logic is this?

I promised my husband that I wouldn’t lecture, but dang it how do you just stand by and watch the people you care about kill themselves?

Trust me, you’re not the only one biting your tongue. I see a lot of women smoking when pregnant, when breastfeeding, around their children. I see mothers with kids out on the sun when it’s 35C degrees without a hat or something. I think sometimes that people need to get a license to become parents. I guess people always think it won’t happen to them…

OMy, hang in there- it won’t be easy to stand by… hugs for you

How awful for you and your family. That’s not a very encouraging prognosis. It must be very scary for your MIL.

Maybe her daughter/grandkids will see the damage smoking can do–but maybe for now, they were just needing to be close to your MIL.

As a reformed smoker, I can attest to how hard it is to quit.


[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3][COLOR=green]Sorry you all have to go though this. I’ll keep you and your family in our prayers…:pray:[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3][COLOR=green]My Mom lived for 8 months after she was diagnosed with cancer. And I’m a cancer survivor… [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3][COLOR=#008000]I too am a reformed smoker. And it is hard to quit… After 3 years I still crave one…[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

I am sorry to hear this, but I have to tell you, when my grandmother found out she was going to die, she kept smoking too.

Her logic? She was going to die- and soon- and smoking was something she enjoyed. Why struggle to give it up just before you die, especially if it won’t prolong your life?

However, my Dad (her son) quit smoking right away and has never started again. He was a smoker for 30+ years at that point.

It hasn’t been all that long that we have really known just how bad cigarettes are, and I have seen ads from the 30’s that showed endorsements from DOCTORS about smoking being good. I imagine if you start when you are very young thinking they aren’t that bad… you are just way too addicted to be able to stop. It takes a lot of willpower. If it didn’t there wouldn’t be so many issues about that.

As for her kids, well, I would like to think that at least one of them will quit from seeing what their mother/grandmother goes through.

I guess what I am saying is they already know how bad smoking is- no one these days can claim otherwise. Your bugging them to quit will help no one. They need to do it for themselves and they won’t quit until they can do that, so just let it go and enjoy the time you have with her.

Hugs for you… This stuff is so hard to see.

It must be very hard to see something like this. Being healthy is, when we think of it, not that difficult. If you eat well, exercise, don’t smoke, don’t have too much alcohol and wear your seat belt in a car, you have good chances of a long life. Of course sometimes diseases and accidents happen to people who are responsible with their health, and that’s very unfair. But yet so many people don’t do these very simple things… and then complain about doctors and nurses not being able to save them. :rollseyes:

I can understand to some extent her logic though. She will die, stopping now won’t make a difference. If it’s the only pleasure she can have, why not… Still, I definitely understand your frustration. :pout:

I can kind of see where she is coming from. Like mum2caden said, she figures she might as well have something she’s going to enjoy since she is sick now. It seems though that maybe with this prognosis her family would be a little more concerned with their own smoking habits and re-examine this a little. I’m sorry that your family is going through this, and I wish you all the best at this tough time.

And on another note, I work in a hospital and its just so hard to believe how many patients (and nurses!) stand outside hooked up to their IVs puffing those things all day long. It still amazes me everyday when I see this, especially with the nurses who should know how bad it is!

your family is in my prayers! it is difficult with people’s habits are s o detrimental to their well being… you can’t change that…


HUGS :hug:

{{{{HUGS}}}} For you and your family.

:hug:What an awful time for you =( A colleague has just found out that his mother has lung cancer. At the end of May he got married, he is Canadian and living in London. Not long before the wedding he got a call to say she had had a heart attack. He was shocked as hell but not hugely surprised as his father has cancer and has been undergoing radiotherapy for it. He suspected it was all too much for his mom and thats what happened.

Anyway they said it was a small attack. He was worried she wouldn’t make it to London for the wedding but she did. She had some x-rays before she flew to London. When she got home they told her it was a shadow on the lung. Further investigation found 1 lung not functioning at all and the other only partially functioning. She has a matter of weeks left. After the heart attack she was prepared to quit smoking and alter her lifestyle. Within a matter of weeks, she realises she has nothing left to lose and she enjoys smoking so she still smokes.

He flies out tomorrow to go home.

I know how hard it is to watch someone you love and care for seemingly appear to continue to kill themselves, and not encourage others to not follow their path. Its a hard time for you and for them. Let them smoke for now. I’ll bet they give up when all is said and done at the end of the day.

The stress of my father’s cancer and other stuff put me back to smoking. A year later he died. 3 Years after his death I finally gave up for the last time. Its permanent, I’ll never smoke again, but through all the hell of watching my dad die, smoking was a comfort to me.

I hope you all manage to come through with strength and resilience. :muah:

My sister passed away March 2006 from lung cancer. Yes, she smoked and once she was diagnosed she cut back, but never did quit. Her husband smokes, one of her sons does, and myself and several of my siblings do. One sister has managed to quit, and I have been trying for the past 6 months - make it about 1 month, cheat a little, get back on them…throw them away, last about 1 month, repeat, repeat. BUT, I haven’t given up and will keep trying.

When I was with my sister during her last week (she was in a hospice) the stress was so high that although I KNEW that cigarettes were the cause of all this I jsut couldn’t, emotionally, give them up. Please understand that smoking is a form of venting for many…you light up when you are stressed, or tired, or angry (all things your loved ones are going through right now). Because a person smokes doesn’t make them a bad person - as said before, for so many of us we started smoking when we were very young, before we knew the health hazards, and it was just “cool”. It is a very hard habit to break and involves many emotional issues as well as physical ones.

Right now your family needs love, support, and unconditional acceptance. Save the attitude about not smoking for later when they may be better able to deal with it and perhaps actually use your advice/support to quit. The worst time to express things that may be a “hot button” is when emotions are running high and people are feeling fragile.

My heart goes out to you all in this difficult time…Chris

Thank you, everyone, for responding and putting up with my rant. I can only blame stress for this angry post. In addition to this, we’ve sold our house, been hunting for a new place daily and packing. If it weren’t for stress … :wink:

MIL went home yesterday and will start radiation tomorrow. She’s had several tests to determine the spread of the cancer. So far, nothing else has showned up.

Since I can’t lecture her, I’ll do it here. :doh: She has no heart disease, cholestral is great, her weight is good – in other words she is perfectly healthy other than cancer. Smoking has taken a good 10 to 15 years off her life. Okay - lecture over

I know how hard it is to quit, I did it in 1996. But, since my weak self did it, I know it can be done. :slight_smile: Keep trying those of you who want to quit.

:hug::hug::hug::hug::hug: My thoughts are with all of you :hug::hug::hug:

My heart goes out to you and you will be in my prayers. I lost my grandmother just 5 wks after she was diagnosed with lung cancer and she was NOT a smoker. She was perfectly healthy, living by herself in a huge house, driving, climbing out on the roof to clean windows etc etc. One day my mom called to talk to her and she sounded really out of breath so she drove up to check on her and take her to MD (gram always told us she went and never really did) thinking it was bronchitis or something. Something turned out to be lung cancer, she chose to go home and we lost her 5 wks later.

I’m so sorry to hear of your MIL’s situation and of all the stress you’re going through. Hugs and I hope things will get easier for you soon.

After reading this topic, I feel that I have to say something about smoking in general.

I quit smoking 3 months ago and I can say that although I still have cravings once in a while, I NEVER want to smoke again. My husband and I used the Commit nicotine lozenges for a month to ween ourselves off the chemical addiction and it REALLY helped – I recommend them to anyone who is looking to quit.

The second thing I will recommend is a book called “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” by Allen Carr. If you are a smoker, or if you have smokers in your family, I implore you to buy this book. It costs about $10 and it simply puts smoking into perspective for the smoker – there’s no gimmicky tricks or anything like that; it simply makes you [I]want [/I]to quit. If you don’t take my word for it, then check out the Amazon reviews here: It’s a quick read at 200 pages. I highly recommend it!!!

Recommendation #3:

Tobacco addiction is a strange thing. People start smoking because it seems “cool” or because it “relieves stress”. People start smoking because they see other people doing it, and it looks cool or interesting or whatever. But the irony is that the people who smoke would really rather [I]not[/I] smoke. Ask any smoker you know, and he or she will generally say, "Oh, I’ve tried to quit X-amount of times, but I got stressed out and started smoking again (or: I missed it/I really enjoy smoking/etc.). [B]Smoking makes you [I]think [/I]that you’re “enjoying” the cigarette, but all you’re really enjoying is the relief from the withdrawals that the PREVIOUS cigarette caused![/B] It’s a vicious cycle and the prospect of quitting can terrify a smoker.

It was not easy to quit, as any of you who’ve quit can surely testify. But it is SO worth it. I have SO much more energy now, and I honestly think I have actually lost a few pounds since I quit (maybe my metabolism is resetting itself?). My husband is also feeling better and more empowered every day.

Thank you, gamerchik, those are great suggestions and links. It IS possible to quit.

MIL has had the spot-beam treatment for the tumors over the past week. The spots in her brain have responded well and have shrunk considerably.

She was to begin chemo today. Last night, hubby found out that she had canceled chemo. We took over some food and stayed to visit. It turned into a not so nice visit with hubby accusing her of giving up.

The doctors said that the average survivial at this stage without chemo is four weeks. Chemo, however, is harsh on one’s immune system with no guarantees that it will work. MIL said she doesn’t want to live “like that”. She’d rather have a few good weeks than months of miserable. It’s understandable.

It’s a very difficult situation. My husband is at odds with his sister as well. SIL feels it is MIL’s decision and they should support her instead of attempting to badger her into chemo. My husband just wants to keep his mom here longer. Also understandable.

SIL has arranged a final hurrah/vacation in Vegas in a week or so. MIL’s sister and brothers will meet us there as well as their children. I have a feeling it will be more sad than celebration.

Just an update.

My MIL died Tuesday, July 10th – the day after her first chemo treatment. The prevailing thought from doctors and the EMTs was that she had a blood clot come loose. I guess it’s a common side affect from lung cancer.

The silver lining is that she didn’t have to suffer through the final stages of cancer. She was up, got a cup of coffee, and then laid down on her bed. My husband took her her medication not 10 minutes after that and she was gone.

We also moved on Friday the 13th – and the day lived up to it’s myth. It’s a long story, but the movers showed up 5 hours late and it was too dark to finish the job that night.

We finally got internet on Monday. We found out that DSL isn’t available at this new location AFTER we bought and moved! So, we’re signed up with the cable company.

It’s been a long two weeks. I need a drink and a vacation!