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Any nsclc stage 3b survivors??

crot1998
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

Hi there, my father has recently been diagnosed with nsclc stage 3b and we are looking for some hopeful stories as well as learning what treatment you had. Anything would be appreciated.

BILL914
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2005

I was diagnosed with nsclc stage 3a in Aug 2004. After numerous tests (CT SCANS, PET SCANS, etc), I was given a treatment of 6 weeks of daily radiation and 7 weekly treatments of Chemo. At first, the doctors said they were not going to perform surgery. Once my treatments were over, they were excited at how I responded to the treatments and deciced to perform surgery after all. In Dec. 2004, I had a pneumonectomy (they removed my entire left lung). Recovery took some time. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The medication they gave me to take at home took care of any pain. I went back to work part time about a month after I was home (desk job). I am working full time now and last weekend went for a 3 hour hike in the woods. I still get out of breath when I overdue it but feel good enough to get out and do things now. Hope this helps.

crot1998
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

Hi Bill914. Your info. was helpful. My dad also has a benign pleural effusion. Did you have a pleural effusion? If so how was it diagnosed? How big was your tumor? Thanks again

AuthorUnknown
Posts: 1564
Joined: May 2006

I saw you message and since I was diagnosed with 3B in November 2004, I thought I would give my experience to date. I had a pleural effusion and it did have cancer cells and I had a tumor in my right lung 4.5 cm. I was told surgery was not an option and radiation was not an option. I was give between 3 months and two years. I started Taxol/Carbo every three weeks staring in December 2004 and ending August 2005. Since I had absolutly no side effects, I was given 12 rounds. Almost immediately I showed improvement in the size of the tumor. After six rounds my blood work showed no markers and the tumor was then about 2cm. I continue to take the chemo treatments. CT scans and exrays were all in good favor. After 12 rounds I had my first PET/CT scan and it showed no markers and blood work showed the same. I then started radiation and had 6 weeks in 3 weeks. I am not sure why the doctor elected to double dose the radiation, but it is on my list of questions when I go back for a check up. I have continued to work an average of 10 hours a day and only missed work due to chemo day and did miss two days during radiation.I have had a headache for almost two months, plus sinus which the doctor's think could now be chemo related. Brain scan does not show any mets. I am in excellent health and have continue to live the life style I did prior to cancer. All doctor's seem to believe the cancer will come back. Presently I am with a doctor under US Oncology, but I will probably end up with MD Anderson. December 1 I will have another PET/CT scan and blood work to see where I stand after being diagnosed one year ago. I smoked in my early and middle 20's and I am presently 66.

crot1998
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

Wow what a story! My Dad is 67 and has exactly the same thing. There are no cancer cells in the pleural effusion. Surgery and radiation are not an option either so he is beginning the same regimen of chemo that you did, starting in about 2 weeks time. We are in Canada though and he is being treated at a Cancer Centre. I am confident in the doctors there. I am scared but hopeful. It is nice to hear that the chemo worked for you and that you did become a candidate for radiation after. How did they know it was working? Was it right away? Also how about the pleural effusion, was that gone with chemo too?

AuthorUnknown
Posts: 1564
Joined: May 2006

There were cancer cells in the pleural effusion and when they removed all but a very small portion at the base of the lung chemo toke care of that within two rounds. They knew after the second round of chemo that it was working. I will not know how the radiation worked until my December scans. From what I understand the radiation continues to work after eight weeks of the last radiation treatment. I would suggest that your Dad goes into chemo with a very positive attitude. I refused to read about of the after effects of chemo nor would I discuss it with other chemo patients. I do know that chemo seems to be harder on men than women, just from by experience in the chemo rooms. I hope you keep posting how your Dad is doing and the treatment he receives. As I think I mentioned in my past message, I have not been able to talk to another chemo patient who has received 12 rounds to Taxol/Carob without a break in the treatment. Most doctor's are suprised that any doctor would give 12 rounds, but as long as I was feeling good, I had the final input as to how many I thought I could handle. Please keep your faith and prayers during this time and it's great that your Dad has you there while going through this. Please keep me posted.

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi, This is a copy of a post to other "newcomers". I think it applies here. In May, '01, at age 67, I was diagnosed with nsclc, stage 3a. The tumor measured 4.5 x 5.8 x 7.7 cm. I was "inoperable/incurable". Long story short, I had neoadjuvent treatment, meaning concurrent chemo and radiation. After the treatments, the tumor had shrunk by 75% and surgery by the thoracic surgeon took care of the rest. I m 4 years out, with no signs of cancer. My oncologist told me that after my next six-month checkup on 10/6/05, and one more at a year. Then there would probably be "no point" in seeing me after that. Don't believe everything you read. Have faith, both in God and in the doctors. Believe that this can be beaten. Try to have a positive attitude. There are many of us here with stories of survival. You are in my prayers. Please keep us posted. (My personal web page is on this site, titled "Grateful Survivor".) Ernie

crot1998
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

Ernie, thanks so much for your story, I have been to your web page and you have inspired me and I have passed your story along to my father. I wish I wasn't so overcome by fear but the support and stories on this site is unbelievable. I will keep everyone posted and please keep my father in your prayers, it is very much appreciated.

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi, I happened to be browsing again, and I came upon some information re: pleural effusion. If you need a better understanding of the condition, go to www.pulmonologychannel.com/pleuraleffusion/. It gives a good explanation. Best wishes and prayers to you and your dad.

crot1998
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

Thanks Ernie. Just to keep you posted my Dad received his first dose of Taxol/Carbo on Friday the 14th and is already breathing much better. Although he has a pleural effusion, when it was tapped it showed that it was benign. I am not sure how many times this test needs to be done. He tolerated the chemo very well, we were all in positive spirits. We are still praying for the best, I know he will be better. Thanks for everyone's support and thanks for the web site info. on pleural effusion. Please continue to keep my father in your prayers, his first x-ray is nov. 01 just before his second cycle so I am not sure if it will show much. All that matters is that he feels great now.

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