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So many questions

Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2004

I have felt very bad for about a year. I was just diagnosed w/ lung cancer but don't know stage yet. I wonder how fast does lung cancer grow? Being sick for a year, does that mean I am probably in an advanced stage by now? Also, I would like to know if those of you who also experienced severe fatigue and flu like symptoms, did you ever get to feeling good again, after treatment?

Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2007

In response to your question asking how fast does lung cancer grow, it all depends on what type of cancer you have. I had non-small cell lung cancer, adenocarcinoma, which was a slow moving cancer. I had numerous lung nodules for three years. One of the nodules started out at around 1 cm in size. By the third year it had grown to 3 cm, so that was a fairly slow moving cancer. The surgeon removed my left upper lung lobe and removed numerous lymph nodes for biopsies. After all the biopsies came back negative, he declared me cancer-free and now my lung doctor says I need CT scans every 6 months to keep a check on things. I did not require chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

So being sick for a year doesn't mean that your cancer is advanced. Try and stay calm until they tell you what type of cancer and what stage you are at (easier said than done, I know). As for the symptoms of fatigue and flu, every day I feel a little stronger. I don't know if you are going to have surgery or are going to get other treatment, either way, try and stay optimistic. There are so many people on this site who have beat so many odds. Look up "The Survivor" on the internet. It is a movie about 3-4 minutes long about people with cancer talking about how you have cancer, but cancer doesn't have you. It's very encouraging and I think it will do you some good.

Good luck, and hang in there. This disease can be beat. Keep us posted on your progress. I'll be keeping an eye out for your personal web page.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

It took awhile to recover from the surgery, but gradually my strength came back. I realized AFTER the cancer was out, that I had been tired and not particularly well before the cancer was diagnosed. I have had 2 kinds of cancer and both times I felt tired and sick before diagnosis. Both times surgery took its toll, but both times I came back. I am a firm believer in following the doctor's directions and exercising on a regular basis. I go to my local YMCA for classes 5 days a week. My overall energy level is better now than it was before surgery. A year before surgery and diagnosis, I used to walk a 12-13 minute mile. The spring before diagnosis I coughed too much and got pneumonia so I couldn't race walk. I would fall asleep right after work and had trouble keeping up in gym class. I had lung surgery in July and August of last year. I remember my mom driving me to the mall so I could walk 1/2 a mile in 30 minutes and not get too hot. I looked and felt pretty lousy at first, but I kept at my breathing exercises and kept walking every day. This month it's more like 15 minutes for a mile. Right after surgery I could not help out much with the housework or the garden. Today I pulled 3 wheelbarrels of weeds, trimmed my hedges and my neighbor's 5 bushes, and did 2 loads of laundry. Then I went out for Chinese food and now I'm relaxing at the computer. So yes, you do get to feeling good again after surgery when treatment is working. Good luck!

Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2004

Thanks for the replies, it feels good to connect to someone who knows what I am going thru. However, I am not at all afraid. I am 50 years old and I can deal with it if I must. My family is more worried than I am. Anyway, I have appt. tomorrow with Resp. Specialist to get results of biopsies (he took several). I think he is going to be sending me to a surgeon, that is what he indicated the last time I saw him.

Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2007

I was diagnosed with Stage IV Extensive Small Cell Cancer on 8/1/06, only 4 days before my 50th birthday, after several tests and biopsy. At that time, the cancer had spread to both my lungs, liver, lymph nodes and bones. My doctor believed it had spread way too far and my life expectancy was very limited... without chemo 1-3 mos. and with chemo maybe 6-9 mos. Surgery was not an option due to the cancer being so wide-spread. I had 2 cycles of chemo and then another ct scan. All my growths had shrunk more than 50%. Then, 2 more cycles of chemo. After another ct-scan, the results revealed only a spot on my liver. I went 4 months with no treatments before, once again, having a ct-scan, I learned the cancer was once again in my liver, one lung and lymph nodes. I once again began chemo, 2 cycles, and I'm now awaiting yet another ct-scan next week. I continue to stay positive, which is very most important, that these results will also be good. I can only wait patiently (yeah right!) for the results on 7/24. I will then probably need another 2 cycles of chemo but that's ok. Most importantly, I've beaten the 9 mon as I was originally medically told I'd live. I've only a few weeks from being at my 1st anniversary!!! My plans are to live years longer. As far as pain, I've had very little pain other than where the cancer has ate "holes" in my spine and legs but I continue to walk just as much as I'm able without any assistance. As of yet, I haven't needed any pain meds. I've learned just to lay down and rest and that seems to work wonders. I was lucky enough not to be sick from the chemo treatments since they now have excellent anti-nausea meds. I am much more fatigue during the last chemo cycles but doctors say that's normal due to my body not returning to normal between cycles. All in all, I feel the best I have in well over a year! I can only pray and keep my faith that I will conquer this illness. Staying strong and keeping your faith in our Almighty Lord is most important!!! I will keep you in my daily prayers.

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