A Mother's Bravery Through Cancer
- Army wife Vickie Cooney, 42, assumed her lingering symptoms of cough and fatigue were from battling COVID a few months ago. Then she found out she had lung cancer.
- Shortly after her initial diagnosis, the mother-of-two, described as “the life and soul of any party,” learned even more tragic news, the cancer had already spread to her brain.
- Many patients already have brain metastasis, or “mets,” when they are initially diagnosed with lung cancer. The existence of brain mets upon initial diagnosis is indicative of Stage 4 cancer. This has a significant impact on lung cancer life expectancy.
Shortly after her initial diagnosis, the mother-of-two, described as “the life and soul of any party,” learned even more tragic news, the cancer had already spread to her brain.Read More
“Vickie is just so positive, she wants people to celebrate her life not mourn her,” Sharon expressed of the Moray, England-based army wife. Her loving pals also set up a GoFundMe to help out her husband, Paul, and their boys: Harrison, 6, and Seth, 3.
In a recent comment, Vicki checked in and gave an update on her mental state, thanking all of her donors for their “mind-blowing” generosity.
“The love and kind words I receive on a daily basis make me smile so much,” she wrote. “I am doing OK at home I am in high spirits and still ordering everyone around and making a high list of demands. Who would of thought. I am not in any pain, and my best medicine is seeing my boys at home playing.”
“Paul is absolutely amazing and he continues to to blow my mind with how amazing he is,” she shared. ” Just really wanted to say a huge thank you to each and everyone one of you.”
No matter what you’re facing, like Vickie, it’s important to maintain a support system around you. If you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to go on, seek help. Your physician can recommend support groups or other professionals that can help make your journey easier.
Advanced Stage Lung Cancer
Late stage lung cancer means that the disease has spread to other organs. The goal in these cases is to treat the whole body, destroying all the cancer cells. There are several options for how to approach treating stage 4 lung cancer.
Lung cancer metastasis to the brain is common. A cohort study found that approximately 16% of lung cancer patients develop brain metastases within 5 years of diagnosis.
The lifetime risk of developing brain mets after a lung cancer diagnosis is estimated to be ~50%. Many patients already have brain mets when they are initially diagnosed with lung cancer. The existence of brain mets upon initial diagnosis is indicative of Stage 4 cancer. This has a significant impact on lung cancer life expectancy.
The lung cancer type, genetic mutations, and metastasis to other parts of the body, especially the lymph nodes, are risk factors for developing brain metastases from lung cancer.
There are two main types of lung cancer:
- Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
Although SCLC is the less common lung cancer type, it has a higher occurrence of cancer spreading to the brain than NSCLC. However, this may be due to the fact that SCLC is usually in the later (severe) stages by the time it is diagnosed. NSCLC is often diagnosed earlier in the progression of the disease, before brain metastasis has had the opportunity to likely occur.