Early in Pregnancy and Grandmother Diagnosed with Lung Cancer

Updated on August 26, 2010
R.M. asks from Dallas, GA
13 answers

Hi everyone,

I am only about 7 weeks into my second pregnancy and have had a bit of a roller coaster with this one and my doctor is still not positive that I will not miscarry. I found out yesterday that my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer and we've had a trip planned to see her in Texas over Labor Day weekend. I'm concerned about the stress the trip may put on me and the pregnancy as well as not being able to see my grandmother during this time in her life. We would be driving 9 hours for this trip. I'm just looking for some advice from any of you that may have gone through something similar and can give me some perspective. Thank you in advance.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree with Allison H. If it's meant to be it WILL be! Don't get too freaked out about what you are/are not doing--other than the obvious stuff. Go and enjoy your visit. Congrats and I wish you and your Grammy well. :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I think it depends how far along your grandmother is with lung cancer and how uncertain your pregnancy is. I would ask you doctor for his opinion of you traveling. If he says now is not a good time, maybe you can visit at Thanksgiving.

My grandmother was in the end stages of cancer when I got pregnant. I flew back and forth to help take care of her, and to then help my mom and sister with the funeral, etc. BUT I didn't have concerns at that time with the pregnancy. My grandmother was unconscious when I told her that I was pregnant. I wished I had known for sure when she was still able to understand so that I could tell her, but I also hadn't told any other family at that point.

In other words, you need to do what is best for you and your baby, but if you want to tell your grandmother, that can be done over the phone and I'm sure that she will understand a delay in the visit.

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answers from New York on

i miscarried so many times... and my mom would say you can sky dive.. and if a baby is meant to be.. it will be.... i would lay in bed.. and still miscarry... i wouldn't let it concern me... but maybe you can take the ride slowly... stop often.. sit on a pillow... and as for grandma.. don't get to upset... she may do fine.. you never know.. right now it's you and the baby you need to be concerned with.. so try and relax.. good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on


I identified with your post in several ways so I had to respond. (I just gave birth to my second child and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer while I was pregnant, and I have your name). Luckily my mom was only 2 hours away but if it were a 9 hour trip I would not have been visiting her at your point in the pregnancy. Perhaps you can call or write her a letter right now. I would recommend waiting to visit until you are past the first trimester. After the first 12 weeks or so your chances of miscarriage are significantly reduced. Your grandmother would want you to take care of your health and rest for the next few weeks. I hope everything goes smoothly for you.


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answers from Washington DC on

I know someone who miscarried on a business trip to Mexico. It was terrible for her. However, you will be with your spouse on the ground. Also, you may feel awful if yo miss out on seeing your grandmother now an dit may only get harder as the pregnancy advances so this may be one of your last chances. I think its is safe to do and won't cause a miscarriabge. Drink lots of water. Take lots of breaks and walk around. It would be awful ot have an emergency in a strange city, but I think tha tthe personal motivation for going is much more important that the potential that something might happen.



answers from Indianapolis on

Having been diagnosed with cancer myself, the next few weeks are going to be a blur for your grandmother. There's going to be staging, mapping out treatment options, etc. While she needs to have you there, you may be able to provide her the same comforts just by being home, calling or Skyping and then travelling when there is less concern.

I honestly don't mean for this next part to come out poorly, but things can be so mistaken over the internet vs. speaking directly with someone. 50% of all pregnancies naturally abort - many before the mother even recognizes that she is pregnant. Someone commented earlier that you could sky dive and have a healthy baby and be bed ridden and have a miscarriage.

Trust your OB's advice and do what your gut tells you. If this baby is meant to be (and I truly hope it is), nature will take over and give you a viable, healthy pregnancy.

It was 6 weeks after my diagnosis before my family came to visit me. They're 600 miles away, we had just had one baby and had just celebrated the other's 2nd birthday. I'd just returned from Maternity leave and there was too much going on. Having all those people there would have stressed me out, so we managed by talking daily, e-mails, etc.

Most importantly, be there for your Grandmother. Ask her what she needs. It's different for everyone, and sometimes we don't know how to tell people as cancer patients what we need. Sometimes we spend more time comforting people that we're going to be OK vs. the other way.

Good luck with your pregnancy and with your Grandmother's work-up.

PLEASE make sure she gets lots of opinions and is treated by a specialist (lung specialist).



answers from Phoenix on

I was early pregnant last year when my father-in-law was hospitalized for almost 3 months due to an emergency health issue that could have taken his life. Granted I did not have to travel far (they live where we do) we had to spend a lot of time in the hospital and had to be ready at a moment's notice to bolt if something happened (my husband and I both work full time and our daughter and now son go to daycare).

It was very stressful and hard on my husband, me, and his family. We were his mom's #1 support through all of it so I literally had to mentally charge myself up and tell myself that the pregnancy had nothing to do with my FIL's health problems, therefore, it was going to progress, be strong, and be healthy. I almost had to separate my head from my body (if that makes sense). I had to let my body take of me and the baby and my head was devoted to my family.

You have to be mindful to rest when you need to, eat when you need to, and keep up your fluids and move frequently (hospital time messes with your head and hours can pass without realizing you did not eat or go to the bathroom). If you treat yourself well you will be able to accomplish what you wanted to on your trip without a problem.

I would consult with your doctor about safety when traveling pregnant and having a doctor or contact recommended for where you are going just in case. Make sure you have a reliable outlet for your stress and emotions. Cry when you need to cry, yell when you need to yell, laugh, sleep, get exercise and be smart.

My heart goes out to you and your family.



answers from Columbia on

I sent you a personal message. I went through something similar when I was pregnant. My dad was very ill with cancer and he passed away just weeks after we officially found out that we were having a girl. We had just been there a few months prior and he was ill but we didn't think he was that bad. I had a very difficult pregnancy. If you feel you should go, go. Things will happen as they are suppose to.



answers from Atlanta on

Sorry to hear about your grandmother. Did they say what stage and how far long with the cancer is she?
With my first pregnancy, I was 6 weeks along when my grandmother passed away and had to make an 800 mile trip back home for the funeral. It was not a pretty trip..Was stopping off at least twice an hour to go to the bathroom, eating, stretching, my legs got severely cramped, even though I did most of the driving. What should have been a 14 hr ride turned into a 24 hour one..I was exhausted, not only from the trip, but from being pregnant and just iritable all around.

Since things are touch and go with your current pregnancy, I would ask my dr if its ok for travel..either that, or wait until you are past the 12 week mark to be on the safe side.
It's sad to see our loved ones get ill, but right now, you and that baby should be your concern..You can always call her up, or send her an email. I'm sure that she would be more than understanding.



answers from Charleston on

To be honest I think you should relax and go on the trip. Don't let the stress get to you. If you have to rent a van or something that you can be very comfortable in, and sleep as much as you can on the way there. And cherish every moment you have with her. She may pull through so don't go with the heavy burden of " she's going to die", b/c she may not. My aunt survived brain cancer and throat cancer. I am so sorry for the trouble you are already having with this pregnancy, but please don't miss out on seeing your grandmother.


answers from Austin on

I am currently expecting my 2nd and thought I would mention that I felt great until my 8th week of pregnancy. And then I woke up one morning feeling so sick with nausea. I didn't have morning sickness with my first, so I was caught off guard when it hit... And I was sick the whole day, until around the 12-13th week. Hopefully you won't get morning sickness, but if you do it would suck to feel that way on your trip (while your driving/in car or trying to spend quality time with your grandma). Something to keep in mind....



answers from Charleston on

Hi, I was very far along in my high risk pregnancy(twins) when my husbands grandfather passed, neither of us were able to go to the funeral as it was 14 hours away, my husband however had traveled home only a few weeks earlier to se him a last time, i also was not able to go that visit which was very hard me for many reasons, i have been in the family for most of my life and loved his grandparents as my own, also i was very scared because i was so far along and was afarid of labor at any time and was so large i could bend over and do alot of everyday tasks on my own. My mom flew in to help me while my husband was away. i have never had high BP, the weekend that he was leaving i had an appt at the dr and my blood pressure was elevated and that was the only weekend of my pregnancy i was put on bed rest, as soon as he was back home my BP went back to normal.
If you feel like you need to go then you should go because it will be just as much stress on you if you are so upset that you didnt go. make sure to rest a lot for yourself and on the drive take lots of breaks is what my Dr. told me when i traveled. Hang in there, i hope everything works out for you!



answers from Atlanta on

Hi Rhonda,

If things are that shaky with the pregnancy, I would say that you really need to take care of yourself right now. Depending on the relationship you have with your grandmother, if you would share with her what's going on or not, I'm sure she would understand why you can't come visit right now. Maybe as things progress - hopefully well - then you can change your plans and visit when things are looking better for you. That way you won't be so far away from your doctor in case you need them for anything.... I'm sorry - things always seem to happen around the same time, but my vote would be to take it easy and watch after yourself and your little bean for right now.

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