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What is the name of your state? MA

Hello to you all. I just found out some devastating news. My own parents are gone, my Moms best friends are like my second family, I have no family left, just my 2 little children.

I have been thinking of them for a few months , especially alot lately so I sent them a Thanksgiving arrangement. Well, today I recieved a letter from my second Mom.

It said that they had experienced a tremendous loss. Their only daughter who was 45, never smoked, was Diagnosed in May with small cell lung cancer. I guess the tumor was inoperable. She went through chemo, radiation. On Oct 30 she passed away after she had been in the hospital for 8 days with side affects and fluid in her lungs. She has 2 small children I grew up with this girl.

What I want to know is this: She hadn't been able to breathe for at least a yr, and was very weak and tired. She went to the hospital, they insisted she had GERD. No Doctor would do any special tests. Well finally in May it was really getting to her, so she went to a different hospital. It was there they did an xray and found out this devastating news. I know the statistics with small cell LC, they are poor. BUT...........if she wasn't misdiagnosed, she may have had longer to live?? or she could of been one of the small percentage of survivors???? How could this happen so quick, she never smoked and otherwise was healthy , only 45.

Do you believe that her husband should do something about this? It just seems that so many are being misdiagnosed.

Please let me know your opinions, they have 2 small children. I'm going to the grave today, her Mom was too devastated to even let me know, and the funeral was last week. This is killing me, the heartache I have for all involved. Thanks for any opinions


Starr, I'm sure you know only a small portion of what went on and what you do know came from a mother who just lost her child.

Once the deceased's husband has moved past his initial grief, I'm sure he'll do what he feels is appropriate. Chances are great that an earlier diagnosis would have made no difference in the outcome. I'm sorry for your loss.


In cases like this, you have to see the medical records to know if in the past few years or so something could have been done. What GERD is, I have no idea, and while some on this site may look it up, I am not going to. Whatever it is sounds like a general catch all doctors fall back on when they don't know what going on. (a guess is that that acronym in some areas of the country is general environmental respiratory disease) Anyone who appears in an emergency room with a year's complaint deserves some kind of work up. From the little information your are able to provide, anyone might assume the doctors failed to come up with any diagnosis because they failed to do the simple things to make a diagnosis.
Do not allow a year to go by before your friend's husband goes to a lawyer and gets him to ask for the medical records. He should get ALL her records for at least the past ten years.


Senior Member
Star 43
enjay is correct. In our initial driven world, GERD is the term du jour for 'gastroesophageal reflux disease'. TV commericals for treatment of GERD are ever-present!

Small cell lung cancer can occur in anyone and does not require a history of smoking.

There is the possibility that your friend should have been diagnosed earlier. Even the TV commercials for GERD state that if (your) symptoms continue or become more severe, (you) should see your doctor as it may indicate a different or more serious condition'.

I believe it would have been prudent for your friend to have received diagnostic tests to rule out any other cause of persistent GERD, especially in the presence of shortness of breath.

It may be too soon after her death for the husband to see a medmal attorney, but he should do so at his earliest convenience. I am not saying that a medical malpractice claim is likely; however, if an attorney called me and related these events, I would recommend the attorney's obtaining the medical records and obtaining an expert's review of the records.

Best wishes,
Last edited:


Thanks. But my feeling about this case remains the same.


thank you

Thank you for your opinions. i realize there are no guarantees in this life, but this was a real shocker and very sad for everyone. Eventually, I hope they will get her records and see if any negligence happened on the professionals part.

I do know a few people who have survived SCLC although we all the the mortality rate is high!!

Life on earth can be so painful, I feel for the kids, her parents and husband and all that loved her...

God Bless you Lisa, you are free from pain and I hope you are in a better place............... You are in my prayers

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