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just diagnosed stage 2/maybe 3 lung cancer.

bbanner70
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2007

Hi all,

I was just diagnosed with stage 2 border line stge 3 lung cancer. It seems so far I am very lucky that they have caught it so soon and I am very thankful. I am just putting out some feelers so far to see what to expect from the chemo. I do not have my first treatment scheduled yet, but it will probably be within the next 2 weeks. My main thoughts are whether I will be able to work a desk job while on the chemo. I know this is a very personal thing. However, I am looking for a little personal insight from people on whether I should try to keep working or play it safe and go with short term disabaility until I know what to expect. What have other people done?

On a side note I am now on day 4 without smoking and I feel better with a 2 inch tumor blocking 1/2 my left lung than I ever did as a smoker and both lungs fully operational. Go figure.

MadelynJoe's picture
MadelynJoe
Posts: 96
Joined: Sep 2003

Dear Banner:

I am a 2 1/2 year NSCLC survivor. Although I had Stage 1a, I know of several people diagnosed with stages 2 and 3 that were treated successfully and are many years out from diagnosis. Keep the faith!

Chemo has different effects on people. It was pretty bad for me but, I know others that were able to work through the entire chemo regimen, maybe missing a day or so after treatment. I guess you will just have to wait until you start treatment to decide about STD.

I quit smoking 2 days after diagnosis using nicotine gum and have not smoked since. If you have problems staying off the cigarettes, you may want to try the gum.

I pray for your speedy recovery.

God bless you,

Madelyn

CHG
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2005

My surgery was in July, 2005. I have had clean scans since. I was diagnosed by the PET scans as stage 2A. My surgeon after review the CT and PET scans diagnosed me as stage 3A. I had 6 weeks of weekly chemo and daily radiation. It went very well. I never got sick nor lost my hair. My oncologist did not want me working because I teach high school and kids and germs were to much of a threat. Later I had surgery which was followed by two sessions of a much stronger dose of the same chemo (carboplatinum/taxol). My hair came out and I was achy for three or four days following the infusion. I found it helped me very much to take Aleve pain pills as soon as I got home from chemo and I kept taking them every four hours until I felt back to normal. It really helps to get in fron of the pain. Also be sure to drink lots of water. Hope this helps.

Carol

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi.
I'm coming up on six years (Oct. 2) survival of NSCLC, 3a/b. I had very aggressive chemo and radiation, which had pretty heavy effects on me.
As mentioned in other replies, chemo effects vary from person to person, so it's difficult to predict your side effects. As long as you feel up to it, I would recommende that you continue working. Keeping busy has many benefits for a patient. It will help you keep a positive attitude, which is of prime importance.
Listen to your body. It will tell you what you need to know about it's need to rest, or, indeed, whether to continue working.
A major concern for you, as mentioned in another reply, is that your immune system will be compromised by the treatments, leaving you susceptible to many germs that would not normally bother you. If your work necessitates your being in close contact with other people, I would recommend not working.
I wish you success in your treatment, and I send my prayers for your complete recovery.

budders
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007

Hey BBanner - I can't tell you much more than what has already been stated - treatment IS different for everyone. But your doc should be able to give you general ideas on what to expect. I had limited SCLC diagnosed last year, was able to handle chemo and radiation fairly well. I had the infusions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and by Friday was feeling "achy/flu like" until Monday and then it was back to hauling the kids to school, grocery shopping, etc. So maybe you can schedule your treatments so that the effects will come over the weekends. Also, you will have to be extra careful around people, germs, etc. Carry the germy gel with you and uses the wipes provided at the grocery stores (those carts are full of germs!) About smoking - isn't funny how hearing you have cancer can stop you from that habit that you may have tried to stop but "just couldn't do it?" I haven't smoked since the day of my diagnosis and I was a heavy smoker. The old "triggers" just kind of went away. Now, after the first 6 months, some personal things happened and the urge to smoke came back as well as a mild depression (imagine that!) so I got on Wellbutrin which helps to eliminate the urge to smoke. You might want to keep that in mind if you need it down the road. Also, I will still have the urge at odd times but it passes so quickly (I take big, deep breaths)and I just know in my heart I will never smoke again. So if I can do it, I know you can too. Keep the faith, hope, love and trust to see you through this and keep us posted on your progress. Take it easy - Budders

budders
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007

Hey BBanner - I can't tell you much more than what has already been stated - treatment IS different for everyone. But your doc should be able to give you general ideas on what to expect. I had limited SCLC diagnosed last year, was able to handle chemo and radiation fairly well. I had the infusions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and by Friday was feeling "achy/flu like" until Monday and then it was back to hauling the kids to school, grocery shopping, etc. So maybe you can schedule your treatments so that the effects will come over the weekends. Also, you will have to be extra careful around people, germs, etc. Carry the germy gel with you and uses the wipes provided at the grocery stores (those carts are full of germs!) About smoking - isn't funny how hearing you have cancer can stop you from that habit that you may have tried to stop but "just couldn't do it?" I haven't smoked since the day of my diagnosis and I was a heavy smoker. The old "triggers" just kind of went away. Now, after the first 6 months, some personal things happened and the urge to smoke came back as well as a mild depression (imagine that!) so I got on Wellbutrin which helps to eliminate the urge to smoke. You might want to keep that in mind if you need it down the road. Also, I will still have the urge at odd times but it passes so quickly (I take big, deep breaths)and I just know in my heart I will never smoke again. So if I can do it, I know you can too. Keep the faith, hope, love and trust to see you through this and keep us posted on your progress. Take it easy - Budders

petunia777's picture
petunia777
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2005

hi, my name is carla. in my opinion would use your short term disability because you will need to focus all your strength on your illness. i am writing you to encourage you. i was diagnosed with small-cell carcinoma in 1995. my cancer was inoperable. the doctor said i had 12-18 months to live. well, PRAISE GOD here i am 12 years later cancer free. i do have copd as a result of 30 years of smoking. they treated my cancer aggressively. i had chemo and radiation together. i was preety sick. i had to carry a paper sack with me when i went somewhere in case i had to throw up. but i have a friend who went through chemo and it hardy affected her at all. if you don't mind me asking, how old are you? i am 47. was 35 when diagnosed. do you have small-cell or non-small cell? please write back, carla. i really do want to encourage you. the sickness was well worth it.

Greggriggs's picture
Greggriggs
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2006

Hi B
You read an you are scared to reply. Nobody wants to sound negative. I smoked for 52 years they found about the same tumor in my left lung. They ran a bunch of tests to see if I was a candidate for surgery. I quit smoking two months before my surgery so I would have more lung capacity. They removed my left lung complete in May 06 .In six weeks I was on my feet an walkin a mile an a half a day.
In ten weeks they started the chemo Carboplaten an Taxol.They did 4 treatments one every four weeks. The treatments took about four hours .I felt good untill the second day then I got sicker than I have ever been there was not a wrinkle that did not hurt. that lasted about three weeks then i felt ok . then back for anther round of chemo same thing happened except it took a little longer to get back on my feet. They gave me the third treatment an had to quit my blood would not take it any more. I still have not fully recoverd from the Chemo it has been a year since the last treatment . BUT!!!!! I am still here.
I was in treatment with six or seven people an no one reacted the same.The damage from the cigs is done but you will quit coughing an breath better without them.
It does bring you closer to God. An I will pray for you. As for working you are the one that will make that decision. But don't get you self over tired.
Wow one thing about a person with cancer they don't know when to shut up.
Good luck an God bless ya

cruggero's picture
cruggero
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2007

Hi, my name is Carmen. I was diagnosed in March. I went to the hospital that night, because I had symptoms similar to pneumonia. I felt bad enough to get out of bed and get myself to emergency. They found a tumor in my lung, about the size of a gulf ball. I was told by the emergency doctor, that night, that if I didn't get treatment right away, I wouldn't make it to my birthday in November. I went through surgery in April and recovered from it just fine. They took the tumor, part of the lung, and the affected lymph nodes. About four weeks later, I started chemo. I was scheduled for four treatments -- I thought it would be a breeze. I don't know why but I was tough through the diagnosis, the surgery and recovery. But chemo threw me for a loop -- I started stressing out, and it started to weigh on my heart. By now, I've had several a-typical heart episodes, and they decided to take me off the chemo after two treatments -- my body and mind just couldn't seem to take it. Right now, I am cancer free. It wouldn't make sense to continue with the chemo and cause me to have a heart attack that could potentially kill me, in an effort to fight the cancer. As you see, we all react differently to the treatment. I felt sick two days after, but I wasn't sick to my stomack (they gave me things along with the treatment to prevent that) instead, I got very disoriented and labored with language. As you can see, and in reading all the other posts, we all react differently. I would follow your doctor's advice. I worked in private and public schools for 12 years, and I know the best way to catch some germs is being around children. I tried very hard to keep myself away from situations where I could contract a cold, or flu, or anything else. I really tried to stay healthy. I am 64. My birthday is in November and I'm glad to say: it looks like I'm going to make it after all. In my case, I took early retirement; I can alway get a job later. I'm learning a lot from this ordeal, and probably the most important is: one thing at a time, one day at a time. I'll keep you in my prayers. God Bless.

mamaleo
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2007

Hi,my name is leo and was told 2yrs ago I had 5cm tumor in rt lung.When they went in it wasnt there.Now they say I have a 4cm tumor in left lung(nonsmallcell adenocarcinoma)but dont know stage yet altho CAT scans dont look good.Does anyone have experience with Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Jersy where my doc wants me to go.God bless us all.

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