Timeframes for treatment

Vulchor Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Lung Cancer #1
Let me start by saying this board is wonderful and a great resource and place for some hope.
My father went to ER 3 weeks ago with chest pains, and was found to have a "large mass" on his right lung. Biopsy #1---done poorly and biopsy #2 done 2 days later. Results caused referral to oncologist...who referred also to cardiothorasic surgeon. He saw the oncologist yesterday, who was not aware he had not yet seen the surgeon (who he saw today). Decided plan of action was to remove lung and go from there. He told the surgeon today he found a lump under his left (other side) armpit and surgeon scheduled biopsy on this for tomorrow to see if cancer has spread and if so---no surgery.

My question is....after almost a month, is this process normal? I guess from too many TV shows or expectations, I thought this would be an immediate treatment w/o so much waiting. I am angry, sad, and all the other emotions...and do not know if this is normal or if my dad is "getting the run around"...PLEASE HELP

PS---I know we are not Dr's....but would it be common to find another lump, meaning the cancer has spread, to the other side when initially the one large tumor was found?


  • Glenna M
    Glenna M Member Posts: 1,576
    Time frame...
    Vulcor, I am sorry to hear about your father's diagnosis and I would like to welcome you to the forums. You have picked the best place to come to learn from others who are going through similar experiences and treatments.

    I can understand your anger and frustration at having to wait so long for treatment to start. Unfortunately these delays are necessary for your father's doctors to run all of the appropriate tests and determine what treatment plan will be the most effective in treating this cancer. I'm assuming this is more true when surgery is involved.

    It was 2 months from my first appointment with my PCP before I started treatment. During this 2 months I underwent numerous scans, an EKG, dental check up, had a PEG tube inserted and met with both my rad and onco doctors.

    As for finding another lump - when I first went to see my PCP it was due to concerns about my lungs and it was determined that I had NSCLC in my left lung. After having a PET scan it was discovered that I also had SCC of the larynx. You asked if this was common (to discover another lump) you will quickly learn that there is nothing "common" when dealing with cancer.

    You need to stay strong for your father and help him and his doctors determine what will be best for him during his fight to beat this horrible disease. Never give up hope and try to keep a positive attitude, this is even more important for your father as stress is not good for cancer patients. It is hard in the beginning but as your father starts to undergo treatment and/or surgery he will be able to relax more and feel that he is fighting a good fight and will be able to beat his cancer. It is possible to beat this as you will hear from others on this site who are long term survivors and going strong years after treatment. I am only 4 months post treatment so I have not had as much experience as many others here.

    If you, and your father, are not comfortable with his team of doctors or the way he is being treated I would suggest you get a second opinion if possible. Trusting your cancer team is very important.

    I'm not sure if I helped you, I hope so, you will soon be hearing from others who may have a better insight as to what you and your father are going through. Surgery was not an option for me so I can not help you in that area.

    Wishing you and your father the best.

    Stay strong,
  • soccerfreaks
    soccerfreaks Member Posts: 2,788
    Patience is a virtue, even now
    It is not uncommon for OncoMan and SurgeoValdez to be out of sync in the beginning. In the beginning, dad's team is figuring out who is on the team, after all. Now that OncoMan and Surgeo are aware of one another as new additions to your dad's world, we can hope that they will now GET in sync.

    But it is not unusual for one not to know what the other is doing or when, not at first.

    It is also not unusual for the process to take longer, much longer than we believe it should. Consider first that dad is not the first person to be diagnosed with cancer; he joins a regrettably long list, and he is not first in line. His doctors have a lot on their respective plates (or dad should probably find new ones, wouldn't you think?) and so must get dad in as they can, albeit, early on they will almost certainly jump him ahead of others, even if it doesn't feel like it.

    Then there is the nature of the disease. Discovery of a 'lump' is not sufficient reason to determine that a mass is malignant cancer. And it is probably not so unusual at all for someone diagnosed with cancer in one lung to afterward discover a lump on the other side. Additionally, while we are programmed to believe that cancer runs rampant, the truth in most cases is that once discovered, cancer gives doctors time to evaluate the type and location and spread and to then treat accordingly. Please consider that the cancer was probably there long before discovery.

    I would concur with Glenna, based on information provided, that dad is not getting 'the run around'.

    This is tougher in some ways on loved ones, on caregivers, than it is on survivors, I know. And patience seems paradoxical. I know.

    It sounds as though the wheels are moving now, and you and dad will discover that once they start moving they tend to roll downhill. Before they come to another seeming grinding standstill :).

    Nature of the beast.

    Best wishes to dad and his loved ones.

    Take care,