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Here We Go Again, Devestating Update
26 Posts
I've just gotten the results of my recent PET Scan, and the news is not good ... in fact, it's pretty bad.
My former Stage 1 lung cancer has now spread into many other parts of my body ... e.g., bones, liver, sternum, back.
I am now diagnosed at Stage 4. My radiology oncologist is going to turn my case over to a medical oncologist, so I don't know which treatments are left.
Apparently, with intervention, I may have a year left; without, it's months.

I don't know how to tell my family (especially my 8-year-old granddaughter who loves her grams). But I have always been open and honest with my family..
Of course my husband knows and is very upset, as he was still grieving his beloved dog, whom we had to put down recently.

I know there are forums and information on the CCS site that deal with terminal cancer, etc. but I would appreciate receiving any direct links.
I will try to deal with this as best as I can.

Bear 1 (Connie)
5 Replies
2061 Posts
Thank you for trusting us with this difficult news. It can be surprising how family can really come together - how resilient - how loving - in the face of a loved one with cancer. Sharing the news is maybe one of the most difficult things we do, but also the most caring. It shows that as a family we can face challenges together - that you trust they are able to handle difficult things and builds a legacy of love. We know that our own family may have difficulties down the road and its these memories that may be helpful.

I'm tagging our Lung Cancer guru - WestCoastSailor‍ as he may have some helpful links and advice.

For some reason i can't seem to link the Forum and Group - Living with Advanced Cancer - but if you check the top right menu and look under Forums and Groups - you will see the group.

Please let us know how you're doing. So glad you posted. Kim

159 Posts

I am sorry for you and your husband that your PET scan indicated the cancer has spread. I know this is difficult for both of you.

There is a Living With Advanced Cancer Group here at cancerconnection.ca:

In addition to the help and support you will receive here, I want to direct you to the online support groups at Wellspring:


Specifically, the following groups may be helpful:

Oasis Advanced Cancer Support Group

Living Without Limits Advanced Cancer Support Group

Living With Chronic Cancer Support Group

Oasis Art Expression Studio

I am going to tag Angus, WestCoastSailor‍, who may also be a helpful resource for you. We are here for you, too.

Tears. That really is horrible news.

I'm waiting for another set of PET scan results for another member of our little band of lung cancer patients on here. And waiting for my own scan results on the 14th so I might not be in the best place to give you a lot of information right now.

I just came across this poem by Samantha Reynolds, a Vancouver poet. It at least got my fingers moving on the keyboard. Sometimes a poet can say what we can't or struggle to talk about.
The gift of mortality

that we’re going to die
is exhilarating if we allow it
to remind us to live,
a thing we forget to do
when we’re just trying
to survive.

I'm guessing the radiologist didn't talk about the immunotherapy or targeted therapy that you were hoping for. That will be left to the medical oncologist. Have they done any biomarker testing on your tumour? Did they give you any time frames for the transfer to the medical oncologist? I would suggest advocating for sooner rather than later.

One last thought. A caregiver to an advanced cancer patient suggested "A Beginner's Guide to the End - Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death" by Miller and Berger. Mildly irreverent but filled with really practical advice including a chapter on Breaking the News and another one on Everyone Dies: How to talk to Kids. I'm finding it invaluable. It is more like a handbook than a book on dying.

I may come back when I have a bit more space and make some more comments. Thanks for your trusting us with your news.
1053 Posts
Bear1‍ - I can only imagine how painful this news is for you and your family. We always learn from the life experience of others and in the book, “ Dream New Dreams” by Jai Pausch who was a caregiver for her husband who had pancreatic cancer, she talked about how they would tell the kids (3 under 8)and they decided not to tell them that their dad was going to die until that time actually was near.

They did not want the kids to worry with the time he had left with them and if the time was longer than the expected time frame then it would be longer that they would worry about their dad being gone. So they would just say he was sick from his illness when he was too ill to be present with them.

When the time came to tell them their dad was dying they had relatives sit around a table with each child in someone’s lap and let the grief flow as it needed too.

Wishing you peace and joy throughout your days ahead too.

Warmest of hugs to you

26 Posts
Thank you, Trillium. That is wise, helpful advice. Rather than message you personally, I wanted to share this with others who may also benefit.
I also want to say that I sincerely appreciate the kindness and warmness of your response. There are some truly wonderful folks on this site.

Hugs back,

Connie (Bear 1)
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