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Mets to Bones

tatlyn
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2005

My Dad's lung cancer was confirmed in a meeting last week with the thorasic surgeon on a day I was away. I have very little info at this time other than that the tumor is on the left outer edges of the lung and *dangerously* close, as the Doctor said, to the rib. Results of a bone scan appear to indicate several spots, so the Doctor said. I don't know as of yet what type the lung cancer is. We are waiting for a call about an appoitment at the Oshawa Cancer center. From what my dad says he was told by the surgeon, he has only months to live and any chemo, etc. the cancer center might suggest would be pallitive in nature only. My dad is 69. Can anyone relatee their experience or knowledge of mets to the bones? Is it hopeless, as the surgeon seems to have suggested? I would appreciate any and all information anyone could help me with at this time. Thanks so much.

rpatt
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2005

My husband has stage 3B non small cell lung cancer and we were told in March of '05 that he would only have a month to live without treatment and maybe 6 with "pallative" treatment. His response to the chemotherapy and radiation was so good, we are now talking a possible remission. He is 43 years old and did not have mets to the bone, but what this whole experience has taught me is that the doctors can only give you their best guess in relation to how the majority of their patients respond, but you never know until you try. Every case is unique. We have two young children, so my husband was intially willing to try treatment in order to leave a legacy for them not to give up, but stated he would stop treatment if it looked like it was just making his life slightly longer but more miserable. However, now we are so grateful that he gave it a chance. We never would have known how amazing his response would be and I would be writing to you as a widow instead of the wife of a survivor.

crot1998
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

Hi there. Just wondering how large your husband's mass was in cm. and why he was 3b. Was there a pleural effusion. My father is also 3b and going through chemo right now. Any info. would be helpful.

rpatt
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2005

My husband's largest mass was actually 9cm in the mediastintinal lymphnode...that is now gone. The tumors in his lungs were more diffuse but seemed to take longer to resolve. He had pleural effusion in the right lung which was drained with a relatively simple outpatient procedure just a couple weeks ago. The cells were examined and no cancer was found, so that appears to have been responsive to the chemo/radiation as well. The draining was a quick procedure and gave him immediate relief in his breathing, however it seems to be coming back so he may have to go through a hospital stay and procedure that would prevent the area from filling up again. From what I understand from the doctor, sometimes just draining the fluid a couple of times can prevent it from returning, so we may try that again before he has to go through the more invasive procedure.
He was classified as 3B because he had cancer in both lungs, the pleural effusion, mets to the lymphnodes in the mediastinal, hilar, and the lymphnode by his left clavicle (we could actually feel that one, so when it started to go down, we knew the chemo was working. The doctors had kept that out of the radiation field to determine the effectiveness).
The most recent PET scan indicated no more tumors present but did show hotspots (which was explained to us as areas where growth is occuring, could be cancer, could still be recovery from the radiation, or could be an infection). Because of the hotspots, he can only be classified in partial remission. Now he is on Tarceva, which he just began taking last night, and we will see how everything is going in a few months when he gets another PET scan.
My husband has gone through treatment since March '04. He had both radiation and chemo at the same time for the first 6 weeks (cisplatin and etoposide). He then went on a combo of cisplatin and taxotere until August (every three weeks). A PET scan following this treatment indicated a huge response, but he still had a mass in his lower right lobe and cells in the pleural effusion. The doctor then put him on Alimta for three rounds. Because it now appears to be no tumors at all, he has now on Tarceva, but the doctor mentioned another chemo drug that they can try if this doesn't work, it starts with an "N", but I'll have to get back to you on that one.
Hope this isn't too much info and helps you and your family somewhat!

crot1998
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2005

Hi there, thank you so much. We are in Canada so it is interesting to hear the different treatments. Where is your husband being treated? I like having options. My Dad is doing well and is getting ready for his 5th treatment soon and then three weeks later the 6th, in the interim he is on a study drug similar to Tarceva. He seems to be responding well. Keep us posted.

rpatt
Posts: 23
Joined: Apr 2005

My husband has an excellent oncologist and radiologist here in our small community of San Luis Obispo, CA. We lucked out! I'm glad to hear that your father is responding well! I'll look forward to hearing more.

Pmox
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2006

My exhusband was diagnosed in July 2002. He was a stage three with two ribs involved. He had it all removed and then had 6 wks of radiation treatment. In August of this year he was told that the cancer was back and ravage as ever. It is now in both lungs, along his spinal column, the neck and the back. He has done chemo treatments and is now finishing the Tarceva. We go back to the doctor on the 1st of Feb. I was told by the doctor that if the testing shows any progression of the disease then she is recommending Hospice. They have no other treatments for him. He is 52 years old. Each person is different. He got his check ups regularly like he was supposed to. I just wonder at times how diligent they really are at watching.

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