Dec 30, 2009 - 11:25 pm
We are on a roller coaster ride and I am hoping to figure out what to do next. My father in law is currently (just today) diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer though the diagnosis started at stage 3A four months ago, then went to stage 2. Bottom line is he is on a roller coaster ride and all I can do is wonder where we can find "the" best Dr and treatment. I have always felt the Mayo clinic in Minnesota was the "top"? Has anyone been there for lung cancer and what was your experience?
A bit about our story- 4 months ago he went in to his regular Dr becuase he started coughing up blood. He was a smoker for 50 years so of course was concerned. His Dr referred him to another local Dr in his area. That Dr did tests and determined he did have a mass, it was cancer, and also noticed a mass in a nearby node in the same lung. He Becuase of the spread, he said my father in law was not a candidate for surgery and that chemo and radiation should be started.
My hubby decided to get a second opinion. He found the top Dr at the University of Chicago cancer clinic and scheduled a visit, then further testing. This Dr found that the secondary mass the 1st Dr found was in fact not cancer- only scar tissue. They did formal testing on this.
This news from this new Dr felt like such a blessing. The diagnosis was now only stage 2 and he SHOULD be a candidate for surgery- the cancer was only one main mass in one lung, NO WHERE else. The Dr wanted two rounds of chemo done to shrink the cancer, then would re-evaluate for surgey- chances should be very good after the chemo that we could get the cancer removed.
So, he went through the chemo (not an easy feat in itself considering he had a minor stoke during chemo treatment) and just today, they went down to get the test results from the Dr expecting good news (that the cancer had shrunk) and hoping he would approve surgery.
Instead, they found out the cancer in fact did not shrink AT ALL and in fact, is now in various distant areas i.e. various nodes, adrenal glands, etc- and the Dr now wants to see if it's in his brain becuase that may have been what caused the stoke.
He is now told he's at stage 4!! How could he go from stage 2 to stage 4?? Has this happened to others? It is usual for a Dr to misdiagnose by THIS much?
This news today was worse then the news we got of him having cancer in the first place. Only all of you can imagine the tears and heartache we've experienced today.
On top of it, my husband now feels it's all his fault becuase he's stalled the 1st Dr's plan to do chemo/radiation- and by doing so the cancer has spread. He says this mistake will remain with him for the rest of his life- my husband is only 32 years old- that's a large burden for him to be placing on himself. Of course I did my very best to pull him out of this but I can't stand that all of this is happening and there's only so much you can do to make someone feel better.
I just wonder who to trust. Who to go to. This is probably the million dollar question all of you are asking but... I have heard Mayo clinic is the elite and will take the most aggressive approach at this point? Can anyone comment? Has anyone been there for lung cancer? Or should we just go back to the 1st Dr?
Thank you all so much in advance for anything you can offer. I have been reading through a lot of stories on here and feel for all of you so SO much.