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Shocked---nodule found

Scared-anxious
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2013

Have had a 30th anniversary trip scheduled since December. We leave Sunday. Got sick this week and went to dr. with what I thought was respiratory infection. Dr. thought it might be pneumonia so off I went for xray. Imagine my shock when before I even made it home I'm getting a phone call that I don't pneumonia but they found a nodule in left lung and have scheduled me for a CT scan Friday. called today and asked for copy of report from X-ray which in part says---- 18mm modular density in left lung base. 18mm left basilar pulmonary nodule. This could represent primary or metastatic neoplasm.

I'm lucky enough to have a niece who works for a surgeon so she showed him the report. he told her to schedule me to see him as soon as we got back from trip. So I see him Monday the 22nd at 9:30 am. Now I'm just trying to convince myself to quit worrying, get packed and go enjoy our trip. Anyone dealt with similar diagnosis? What are chances it's cancer?

Scared-anxious
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2013

Wow thought this looked like a good place to get first hand experiences but guess I was wrong. will hunt elsewhere I guess.

Accen28
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

If it isn't cancer, all it cost you was some worry. If it is, they caught it while it was small enough to remove surgically or treat and get rid of it. Too many people don't find out they even have cancer until it's so far along that surgery isn't an option. Like me. I went to the ER thinking my chest pains might be a heart attack. Five hours later, the doctor comes in and tells me, "There's nothing wrong with your heart. But you have lung cancer." A month later, the test results are all back and I get the news that it's stage 4 adenocarcinoma. A couple of weeks after that, they tell me I have mets to my brain and one rib. Finally, I got some good news, though. The test results came back positive for a mutation which meant I could take Tarceva instead of regular chemo. Yay. I got a rash and it turns out that means the stuff is working. Another yay! Plus, after less than a month on the Tarceva, one of the brain tumors disappeared and the other shrank. I just had it zapped with a Cyberknife, so it's all good in the hood. I'm tired a lot but optimistic I can beat this thing.

dennycee
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2011

Scared and anxious, this site is not monitored by anyone at any particular time.  Sometimes it can be a day or two before you get an answer.  We are all patients and caretakers who answer as soon as we can.  

That said, know that it is not cancer until the biopsy says its cancer.  There are many things that can cause the nodes to become enlarged including colds, bronchitis, allergies, pneumonia, inflammation from exposure to chemicals or paint and paint thinners.  It is more likely that it is one of those than cancer which is why most surgeons will not perform a biopsy until the nodule has shown growth over a period of 2-3 months.

yours is large enough to warrant a biopsy and I hope it is negative.  Make sure he takes enough tissue for mutation testing.  It is important to understand that this is no longer a death sentence.  The published life expectancies do not accommodate the successes of the new targeted therapies.   

elerouge
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2013

I would like to direct this to dennycee because I read a few of her answers.  I was diagnosed by CAT scan on 11/27/12 with a 12-millimeter nodule.  I had a later PET scan that described it as an area of intense activity with a SUV of 2.7.  This month. April 3, 2013 a subsequent CAT scan described it as 13-14 millimeters.  I saw a surgeon in January, and I declined surgery right away.  I'm trying to get a followup appointment with him as we speak.   My primary care doctor knows about all this and has not given me any informatoin about the surgery or what will happen or anything.  He said to talk to the surgeon.  I will, but I would like feedback from people who have had their left upper lobe removed, how the surgery went, how the recovery went.  I have no inkling at all about what will happen to me.  I'm self-employed and if I stay out of work for a couple of months I will have no business to support myself with, and cancer surviving won't do me much good if I'm living under a bridge.  At this point I'm just about to give up even thinking about such a surgery and just keep on living and supporting myself and enjoy the time I have left.  I don't want to have the surgery, when I could die during the surgery or end up in such a mess that I won't even be able to crawl away and put myself out of my misery.  No answers at all from my doctors.  Who am I supposed to ask?  The doctors seem to think that I'm supposed to just jump up on the surgical table and whatever is left of me will be my problem.  One nurse told me, "I'm not a social worker.  How you recover is not what I do."  Is this right?  Please respond.  I need some feedback from somebody who's been through this.  The surgeon thinks it is best to just bypass the biopsy thing and just remove the entire lobe.

 

dennycee
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2011

Please make an appointment for a second opinion with a thoracic surgeon who specializes in oncology.   Talk to them about doing a wedge or the lobectomy. You shouldnt have to lose the whole lobe If there are other options.  Know this- if they are talking about surgery they are talking about a cure.  surgery can save you from a painful death and allow you to live out a normal life expectancy.    Patients with advanced cancer-stage four- are not offered that option.  If something has to suck what you are dealing with is looking like the least awful.   As someone else here said- it's not cancer until the biopsy says its cancer.  

There is a new less invasive type of surgery for removing the lobe called a video assisted thoracotomy or VATS.  Sometimes they go in planning a vats but have to switch to a standard thoracotomy.  The recovery time on both are greatly reduced And should be less time than you imagine.  Because I am stage four this was not an option for me.   Maybe start a new thread titled something like lobectomy experiences please.   Also visit inspire.com.  

Hopefully, that nurse was having a bad day.   She should have referred you to the oncology social worker.  The SW can help you find a survivors group where you might meet someone who has experienced this.  the SW can also talk to you about what to expect.  There is a program that sets up new cancer patients with a phone buddy.  I will try to find it and put it in this thread or the one you start (if you do).  

You may want to report that nurse.  

 

dennycee
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2011

The dreaded double entry.  

katenorwood
Posts: 1802
Joined: May 2012

Hello there !

I'm usually on the head and neck site, but have come to this board for questions and concerns on my lungs.  My dx is adcc of the large saliva gland.  I had a 4 cm. nodual removed with a wedge resect done last Dec. as with my dx, this cancer loves to spread to the lungs.  But thank heavens the biopsy of tissue came back just dead lung tissue.  And I will say, yes until they say it's cancer it's just a suspious area.  Please keep us updated...and we are here for you !   Katie

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