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Salute everyone!!

Jager's picture
Jager
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi there, I am new to this website and will appreciate your comments.

I am a 38 years old mexican who was diagnosed stage IIIB (no metastatis) lung adenocarcinoma (15 cm x 12 cm x 8 cm) in the right upper lobe.
I have 3rd chemo programmed for June 16th, they are using Alimta/Cisplatin/Avastin therapy. I am doing fine with it, just weak for 3 or 4 days. Good stuff is that I work offshore on a 2 weeks rotation so I am able to take my chemo whilst on rest period and still able to work full time offshore.
The tumor according to the biopsy is completely blocking the right upper bronchio, in the CT Scan the "white" area is really big (almost all right upper lobe) but one doctor said it could be fluids accumulated because the bronchio is blocked, on the other hand, the second doctor inmediately said (without further examination) that the tumor was the size I told you before and classified as IIIB and started blood tests and Chemo.
Now, the medical services are provided by the goverment and once the medic classified you, it is a problem to get re-evaluated unless the doctor say so.
I was feeeling great and was working when they gave me this information so now that I have assimilated all these events, I have some questions that make me think I was wrongly classified.

1.- A tumor this size without metastasis?
2.- A tumor this size and still making a normal life?
3.- I know I have cancer, I am not refusing to accept that but maybe the "white mass" in the upper lobe is not a tumor but fluids?

I will take the chemo as I have cancer and if it is not as big as they think, it still attacks the tumor and next CT Scan evaluation will show reality.

I have been spitting (I dont know if it is the right word) green, dark yellow and brown jelly-like (sticky, grenaty-like, separate itself from proper saliva once spitted) stuffs that I feel coming out of my lung, they are difficult to spit out. May this be the "fluid" in the lung?

The oncologist that is in charge of my chemo is a really human being but I know she is overwhelmed and overloaded as she´s the only one medic oncologist in the hospital so still willing to be under her care.

As I said before, I will wait for next examination to confirm the stage.

ARobben's picture
ARobben
Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 2009

Did they do a biopsy or just the CT. I went into the hospital in Dec 08 with severe shortness of breath and a CT showed a large mass in my lower right lung. There was a tumor there, but a large part of what showed up on the CT was fluid. Usually, a CT can show masses in the lung, but a biopsy is necessary to properly diagnose cancer.

Also, did you have a PET scan? There is really no way to tell whether or not the cancer has spread to other locations (metastasized) without a PET.

I would definitely contact the hospital about the stuff you are spitting up. Brown fluid especially could be blood (mixed with other things). Either way, this is not a normal thing to be spitting up and you should definitely let your oncologist know. You have to be your own advocate and ask the oncologist lots of questions. They see a lot of patients (especially if she is the only medical oncologist at the hospital) and often can be rushed. So if anything is out of the ordinary, you should bring it to their attention. Also, don't hesitate to ask questions. The hospital has much better tools to answer your questions than we do here!

I would ask them how they determined your staging. Ask them if it is normal to have a tumor that size without metastes. Ask if it is possible to drain the fluid in your lungs, etc!

Thanks and I hope this helps!

Jager's picture
Jager
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2009

To answer your questions first:

Yes, they did a biopsy, analized by two different laboratories and both confirmed Adenocarcinoma.

They did a PET Scan, no brain, liver, stomach, kidney, other lung, etc. metastasis.

Still, the X-Ray and CT Scan showed all my right upper lobe completely white.

6 months before this I had had a complete examination in Canada as I went to work there for a few months and to get the permit to work you need to be medically evaluated so they did some x-ray and after finding something strange they ordered further CT Scan. I went through this and the results showed some scars and a small node in the bronchial entrance of the right upper lobe (the doctor said nothing to worry about), the suggestion in the CT results were Granulomatosis. I did get my permit to work and everything was fine.

6 months after that I returned to Mexico and started with a dry cough and started to loose weight but these were the only symptoms I had so for me were unnoticed as a warning as I was quitting smoking those days.

Family started to worry after me loosing 23 kg and ordered me to the doctor. A lot of examinations and nothing wrong but the X-ray showed all my right upper lobe completely white so the pneumologist ordered a biopsy.

He said he was not able to actually GET into my right upper lobe as it was bloqued by a tumor so he took the biopsy there and said he was not able to say what was inside the upper lobe (fluid or a colapsed lobe).

So I analyzed all these info and story and came to the conclusion that the small node showed in canadian CT Scan is actually the tumor blocking the entrance of my right upper lobe but I don´t think it can grow THAT size of all my right upper lobe in these "short" time.
What I think is that it blocked the right upper lobe and fluid started to accumulate inside and when i get another CT Scan (ordered by the oncologist this time) it showed all white. She classified me as stage IIIB as I had some linfatic nodes inflamated in my neck but i think they were like that not by cancer (not showed there on PET Scan) but because of some kind of infection caused by the accumulated fluid in my lung as they dissapeared just after first kemo.

So what I believe now is that kemo is working and shrinking the tumor so it started to un-block my right upper lobe and the fluid is draining. I don´t think it is blood because of the color, most of it is military green, mustard yellow and sometimes a little darker.

You are right about she been the only medical oncologist in the hospital and yes, she´s always in the rush so it is a little difficult to have enough time with her (goverment hospitals are really crowded here in Mexico). Nevertheless I am feeling great and healty so I know the treatment is working fine and taking it is still necessary to get rid of the tumor. After 6th kemo they will re-evaluate and if I am right, it is going to show in two months on CT and PET Scans.

So how are you doing mate? I hope you are doing fine and feeling great.

Cheers

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