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TIME TO DO BATTLE AGAIN

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1369
Joined: Jul 2010

Hello, I leaped over here from the Head and Neck boards as I think my cancer may have spread to my lungs. In short, October 20 was supposed to be my 2 year cancer free birthday, but a huge staph infection from last Sunday gave way to a CT scan of my head neck and chest. It was with this scan that 3 nodules were discovered in the right lower lobe of my lung. One of the nodules, the biggest at 1cm x .6cm was originally discovered this past march and was not of any concern then as I had a previous nodule on my right upper lobe that dissapeared after a 6 month check up.

I am to see my thoracic surgeon next thursday to see where we go from here. It was mentioned that all three nodules are too small to do a fine needle biopsy so a wedge resection would be in order, and then send the wedge of lung tissue off to pathology for review.

I am looking to hear from anyone who has been in this situation for some advice. I do not know anything regarding treatment and % of positive outcomes. I have always viewed lung cancer as a death sentence.

If someone can tell me different and educate me a little, it sure will help with the nerves and my sanity.

Thanks

Mike

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Mike:

I am a head/neck cancer (dx August 05) and lung cancer (dx June 07) and am now NED (No Evidence of Disease). For the h/n cancer I had a sizeable portion of my tongue replaced along with a nerve transplant and a radical neck dissection, followed by 33 of 35 scheduled radiation session and several rounds of chemotherapy (cisplatin). Once the steroid wore off (I was like the Tasmanian Devil in terms of energy for about 24 hours following each chemo treatment) I was lying-on-the-bed-in-a-fetal-position-in-the-dark-with-thum-inserted-in-mouth-and-bucket-beside-bed sick for a couple of days. I met with ENT regularly and with OncoMan every 3 months following either a CT scan, a PET scan, or both. Eventually this was extended to six months and then ENT man, after five years said "You know where to find me if you need me" and we were done, with some occasional visits for dilations.

I asked GP in June of 07 why I still had this nagging little cough since I had quite smoking two years prior. He immediately ordered xrays and CT scan. Now, I was seeing GP because of an infection in facial area (cellulitis?), and had begun taking an antibiotic. In any event, the reports back were not good. I've written of this extensively on my CSN profile and blog, but the bottom line is OncoMan said I had as little as 10 months to live. There were nodes throughout both lungs, all lobes. Palliative care, chemotherapy to try to prolong quality life was the one option. Then in August, following another CT to observe growth, it was discovered that all of the nodes but one were gone! Turns out the Keflex I took for cellulitis apparently also took out the lung infection that the docs had misread as cancer based on my previous history.

They put me on a CT scanner to try to get a needle to the nodule for a biopsy, trying a number of awkward positions, but my ribs were not cooperative and it was on to a wedge via VATS surgery (video assisted, less invasive). The deal was, if it was the same kind of cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) and proved to be metastasis, they would not remove the lobe, since they could not know where else it might have gone. But if it was new, they would remove the lobe (lower right). They did the biopsy while I was still under and determined it was SCC, but not whether it was mets, and so elected to remove the lobe.

Following a bout with MSSA (a relative of the staph infection MRSA), I was sent home with a man purse (24/7 picc line meds for the MSSA for a month) and regular rounds of chemotherapy to 'slay the strays'...carboplatin and taxol, nowhere as insufferable as the cisplatin, a walk in the park, in fact, by comparison.

Longer answer than you wanted, but I am NED, still.

Best wishes.

Take care,

Joe

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