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33 year old husband has Non Small Cell Lung Cancer - Please Help...

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Hello - My husband is a 33 year old non smoker and has been diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer in March 2012. He was not feeling well for a few months with a dry cough which turned into flu like symptoms. His PCP prescribed numerous meds and thought he had pneumonia. He came home from work one night and was complaining of blurred vision, fever & chills. I took him to the ER and he was admitted. The following morning he met with a pulmonary doctor who performed a bronchoscopy. From here, we were told that my husband had mold in his lungs. He was placed on medication for this. A month later he had a follow up with his doctor who informed him that mold was NOT in his lungs. My husband was sent for a CT scan & was told the following morning that he had a collapsed right lung. A chest tube was put in immediately & a right lung biopsy was done. This came back as cancer. We went for a second opinion & cancer was confirmed. My husband underwent a few surgical procedures & has 2 tumors in his right lung, right lymph nodes & "suspicious" spots in his left lung. He also has a spot that showed on his PET scan under his left armpit. A tumor broke in his right lung and the surgeons are concerned that cancer has seeded in his pleural cavity. He has just began his treatment with Carboplat, Alimta & Avastin. During this diagnosis period I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with our first child. Our son was born on April 18, 2012 and my husand started chemotherapy on May 1, 2012. I am very emotional as well as my husband. We have attributed our lives to God & keep faith that He will provide healing. I just wanted to see if anyone can give advice of these drugs or if anyone has a similar story. Please keep us in your prayers. Than you.

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello Costello-----I hear and feel your story.....33 is young but it happens more than we think...as well as non-smokers are about 20% of LC patients. I have similar issues but am going on two yrs! We have to accept that it is what it is. Its more tough without your God.

If there are "too many" tumors they will just do chemo unless a tumor is pressing on an organ causing immediate pain, then they might do some surgery and radiation.

Keep us updated...

Best wishes...
Dave
Stage IV nsclc rl and lymphs, and brain mets

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

We are just having such a hard time because of his age and the fact that he is a non smoker.

His treatment plan changed a few different times. We were told that he would be getting radiation in addition to chemo. This changed because of the tumor that burst. His oncologist was concerned this may have spread so she said the chemo given alone would be able to be received in a higher dosage than with radiation. She is assuming that with this higher dosage, any cancer that has spread through the body will have a better chance of beaing treated right out of the gate. Their plan is to hit hard with chemo, possibly radiation if needed, then surgery. We pray everyday this goes as planned.

Good to hear about you going on 2 years! I will say a prayer for you :) Thank you!

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 268
Joined: Mar 2011

... when you get news that your body has gone haywire like this, especially at a young age.

Similar here in the advanced stage (IIIB, lymph node involvement), never-smoker, and the "You have A,B,C ... oops, no you don't, you have cancer" sequence, which isn't that uncommon, especially for a non-smoker.

Hopefully he will get good results out of the chemos. Then maybe they can try some other things, e.g. targeted radiation, to put an additional hit on it, if needed.

Two years past diagnosis for me, and no recurrence identified as yet. There is room for hope.

All the best to you both.

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Exactly!! We only heard CANCER. We just could not get past the awful word. No matter what staging, it is still cancer and terrifies us. We are praying for good results also. Their plan is chemo, then possibly radiation in addition to another round of chemo, then surgery if all is shrinking enough. We pray everyday! I will keep you in our prayers also. Glad to hear of your two years!

Thank you :)

ColoradoDani's picture
ColoradoDani
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

I'm so sorry. It wasn't that long ago that my husband and I went through the roller coaster ride of diagnosis, too. He's a non-smoker and 47. Has your husband been tested for gene mutations in the cancer (EGFR and ALK)? If not, ask for these. There's a much higher likelihood that he'll have one of these mutations considering his age and smoking status, which would enable him to try targeted therapies. My husband has EGFR mutation and is on Tarceva, which he began after recurrence after 6 months of being NED (no evidence of disease) after chemo and radiation. The news may not get better, but somehow things begin to calm down and you'll eventually find moments of normalcy that stretch longer and longer as you all adjust. I know our life is pretty much normal now, but every so often, we remember that cancer has invaded, then have a little meltdown and resume life.

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

I am sorry for you also! His oncologist mentioned the genetic mutations & I believe she was waiting on these results to come back. I will mention at our next appointment to make sure. Any little bit of leadway helps! I agree with finding normalcy any way that you can. I have been trying so hard to somehow continue to do normal things that we used to do before cancer came into our lives. You manage, but it is always in the back our your mind. We have our good days and bad. It is just so hard waiting and not knowing what will come next. Thank you for responding. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers.

ColoradoDani's picture
ColoradoDani
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

double post

Tigger1962
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2012

My prayers are with you and your family.

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Thank you very much.

djchaves
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2012

I'm sorry to hear about your husband, my prayers are with you. I have two young children and know how hard it is being a new mom. Stay strong and stay positive. Most importantly enjoy your little son and always remember that it gets better. Please rely on family friends for help with both your husband and son.

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Thank you very much. Our son brightens our hearts each time we look at him. I think he is the reason we are going strong. Our family & friends have been wonderful. So far after my husband's first chemo treatment he has not had any side effects. We continue to pray and remain positive! :)

mexloc
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2012

Hello Costello,

So sorry to hear about your husband. I was diagnosed 6 months ago with stage IV nsclc. I'm a non smoker. I must say it takes a while to get over the initial shock. Still some days I think its just a bad dream. I pray that God strenghtens the both of you as you continue on your journey with this aweful disease.

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Hi Mexloc

Very sorry to hear of your diagnosis..We feel the same way about this being a bad dream. Thank you for your kind words. May I ask what your current treatment plan is and if you have received any results? We are new at this and have only been to one chemo round so far. My husband's next scan is early June so we are hoping to see that everything is shrinking...

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Hi Mexloc

Very sorry to hear of your diagnosis..We feel the same way about this being a bad dream. Thank you for your kind words. May I ask what your current treatment plan is and if you have received any results? We are new at this and have only been to one chemo round so far. My husband's next scan is early June so we are hoping to see that everything is shrinking...We will keep you in our prayers

mexloc
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2012

Hi Costello,

I started chemo right after I was diagnosed in November 2011. I had 6 rounds of chemo with Cisplatin and Alimta. I had a treatment every 3 weeks. Unfortunately I could not be treated with radiation or surgery. I had a pericardial effusion (fluid around my heart)and I've been told this is the reason why they could not radiate or remove the tumor. My 1st round of chemo went well and after my 2nd round the side effects started kicking in. I had a CT scan after my 2nd round and already they had seen improvement of 25% shrinkage of the the tumor in my right lung. March 2, 2012 I finished my 6th treatment but no changes from the 25% improvement. The plan was to continue on a maintenamce Alimta every 3 weeks indefinetly. I decided to take a break from the chemo and strenghten my body. 3 weeks ago I started coughing similiar to when I was first diagnosed. My last CT scan showed some activity and the tumor grew to almost the same size as when it first was discovered. I had a biospy 2 weeks ago to see if I carry the gene to qualify for the EGFR and ALK New approved drugs for lung cancer. I hope and pray that I am a canditate. If not then the plan is for more chemo. I also with the help of my husband have started to look into clinical trials. I hope and pray your husbands treatment shrinks everything too. Stay strong and I will keep your family in my prayers.

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Hi Mexloc,

It is bad enough having cancer but having the pericardial effusion too!!! I have also heard of others that have suffered and are not surgical candidates because of this. You mentioned that your side effects started kicking in after your second round. I am afraid this will happen with my husband. The first round went so smoothly we were anticipating sickness or many other side effects that were mentioned. I pray he continues with no side effects. He is also having a CT scan after his 2nd round. I can not believe that it grew so aggressively in such a short period of time. I agree that you did the right thing by strengthening your body. Those drugs sure take a toll. God does answer prayers as we have been accepted into a clinical trial. We pray that you qualify as well. Stay strong and continue to be positive!!!

Rosi's picture
Rosi
Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2009

With God all things are possible, remember costello that God is always with you.
love.
rosi

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Thank you Rosi! We believe this & pray to God every day! So far with two rounds Mark has not had any side effects besides fatigue. God has blessed us in so many ways thus far and we know he will not fail us. Bless you!

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello All....I dont know if it really matters if a person is a smoker or not, drug addict, prostitute...whatever....I would not wish cancer on anyone.. but anyone can get it !!

Best Wishes
Dave

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Hi Dave...We would never wish cancer on anyone either however, I guess you could say that we were not educated with lung cancer and the facts that anyone can get it: even non-smokers. We are learning as we go with this horrible disease that even the healthiest of people are not immune. I can't help but feel angry that even though my husband never polluted his body with awful toxins he still has cancer.

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Costello....my sister in law has a rare nose cancer....she never smoked but her Docs say bartending for 30 yrs with all the second hand smoke was probably her issue. Some kind of Sinusoidal Cancer.

Thanx.....keep the chin up !!!

Dave

machja
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2012

My 71 yr old exsmoker (quit 21 yrs ago) mother as diagnoised in Febuary of this year with Stage 3b nsclc. She was not a candidate for surgery or radiation because she has COPD and emphazyma. We started taxol/carbo. After her diagnosis, I immediately looked for clinical trials. I found a Sun Farm Soup trial out of Mt Sinai in NYC. It is for stage 3/4 lung cancer patients diagnoised w/in 2 months and undergoing no more than 1 chemo treatment. My mom fit that, emailed the doctor and she was a candidate. The dr also told me that we could stay home and purchase the soup ($750/month) which is what we chose to do. Enrolling in the study wouldn't ensure she didnt the a placedbo. She continued w/ 4 rounds of chemo - the 1st one kicked her butt but she started the soup 3 days after the 1st treatment and has not missed one single day since. She just received her latest PET scan results and tumor has shrunk 70% after 4 chemos. She is now a candidate for both radiation and surgery!! I know it is very pricey but we truly believe (as does the radiologist we met with) that the soup has made the difference. We also pray everyday and have 'shrines' in each of our homes for our mother. Something is going right. Something to look into. May God bless you as he has us. I know we still have a long road ahead, but we are all very positive!!!

ViewSonic
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2010

machja,
What is this Sun Farm Soup you speak of?

costello782,
I am sorry you must go through with this ordeal. It is a difficult, tough, and hopefully will be a long journey for you and your husband. I know what you are going through with the utter disbelief and shock that someone so young and a non-smoker could be inflicted with a disease that is usually reserved for the elderly and smokers. Unfortunately, lung cancer can inflict anyone of all ages. My wife was 30 when she was diagnosed in Oct/Nov 2010. She has been battling the cancer for the last 18 months. However, she is currently losing this battle. We went thru all the avenues of treatment (chemo, radiation, GammaKnife, clincial trials) and unfortunately, the doctors have given up on her due to her brain mets. She is no longer a candidate for radiation or GammaKnife since it was confirmed that the cancer has metasized to her brain lining. My wife was immediately taken off Crizotinib/Xalkori and was recommended in-home hospice care. We obtained 2nd/3rd opinions and each time, the docs all stated the same thing. My wife has been off of any cancer treatments for the last 2 months and is currently at home in-hospice care. Her health is slowly declining and it is heart breaking to know that I can no longer help her. All I can do is make her comfortable, and shower her with my love. All my family can do now is pray and believe in our faith. We have done everything that we can to fight this battle for the past year and half. I am thankful that I was able to have that extra time with her.

Every story is different, hopefully your husband's journey will have a better ending. Have faith and hopefully everything will work out for you.

arlekim's picture
arlekim
Posts: 47
Joined: Mar 2012

View, I remember when my fathers dic's told us that there was nothing they an do for him. It tore me apart.. But like u I showered my dad w/ all the love I had never showere him w/. I have also been diagnosed w/ stage 1a lung cancer in early Jan of this yr. I will keep u n ur wife in my prayers...

Dino's Los bendiga

Marcia

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

ViewSonic,

Thank you for your kind words. I am very sorry to hear of your wife and her losing battle. My heart breaks for you to have to watch this happening and knowing there is nothing that you can do. I am sure your wife is so gracious with the love and comfort you are providing her. Not all cancer patients are lucky enough to have a support system. We also have a large support team with friends and family that have helped in so many ways to make this somewhat easier. My husband has not gotten sick from his treatments so far, however, his mind is on one mode: CANCER. It is hard to see him with such a blank stare in his eyes where I used to see the strongest man in the world. My husband is a police officer so I am used to this hard exterior attitude and now I only see how terrified he is. We continue to remain as positive as we can be however we do have our bad days too. Our relationship has changed in so many ways, for good and bad. You realize what is important... God bless you and your family. I will keep you all in our prayers!

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Machja,

What wonderful news that her tumors have shrunk!! Even though that is a little pricey, I feel that there is no amount one would spend on a loved one. God will always make a way. I am so happy that she is now a candidate for radiation and surgery. Those words must have been everything you have been waiting to her. My husband is in a clinical trial out of North Carolina. The drug Avastin he is receiving has shown such a positive response in smokers that they are anticipating an even higher response rate in non-smokers. Mark will have a CT scan on 6/7/12 to see if he is responding after just 2 treatments. We will hear the results on 6/12/12 which is his next treatment. We are praying to hear good news as well. God performs miracles everyday...

Take care & keep in touch!

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Just wanted to provide an update: My husband got the results of his CT scan on Tuesday. The tumor in his right lung has shrunk by 50% and the tumor in his left lung is almost completely gone. All of his right lymph nodes that were cancer have been resolved. God is truly working a miracle and his oncologist is so surprised as Mark has been the topic of all of her conferences. She has described him as a rare case in the way he has responded to chemo. He has one more cycle on July 3rd (day before his birthday) and then he will have a maintenance regimen. He is still considered a surgical candidate at this point even though he has stage IV! We are so happy and wanted to share our good news to help others to keep the faith!!

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

That's Great News....that's about the best anyone could expect, really.
What will he have surgery on?

Dave

JimmieDT2
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2012

My God honey, I guess after reading your story I have nothing to complain about. I was diagnosed with 3B Lung cancer back in March and almost flipped out and lost it. I went through chemo and radiation and on July 6th will have an upper right lobectomy,and you know what, Im scared to death and Im 57 years old to think its all going to change after this, but I see your situation and my heart breaks for you and your young husband and your newborn baby....if I could give him all that I have left I would. Just knoow that all of us in here will be praying for you and your family and keep up the fight, we are with you.
May God be with you.

costello782
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2012

Hi Jimmie! Thank you for your support. We are doing very well and staying positive through all of this. Our little guy is what makes us get through each day. I know God is putting us through this for a reason only he knows why. We just have to trust in him. I will keep you in my prayers for your procedure. No matter how old someone is cancer is just as scary. Take care and keep us posted!

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