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just diagnosed with lung cancer

sweetpeabonnie
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2010

Just diagnosedd with lung cancer and I am so scared not sure what stage I need to go have a biospy done does getting one hurt and is lung cancer curable? I am 57 years old and smoked for allmost 40 years my caner cancer is 4"by3" on my right lung they allready siad they cannot operate because it is to close to the heart please someone write me back I need someone to talk to

z's picture
z
Posts: 1413
Joined: May 2009

Hi and sorry you have to be here. What type of lung cancer do you have? I know that some tumors that are inoperable can be treated with the cyberknife. Also chemo/radiation can be used to shrink the tumor then possible surgery can be used. I know theres other posters with more knowledge that what I have that I'm sure will chime in. I have you in my prayers Lori.

sweetpeabonnie
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2010

thank you I dont know what type of cancer I have I have to get my biopsy just got out of the hospital yeaterday I had cat scan and a mri so waiting for the results of the mri thanks for caring I feel so alone

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

Welcome to CSN, sorry you have to be here but you have come to the right place for advice and encouragement.

We are the same age and I also smoked for about 40 years prior to my diagnosis. First a little background - I was diagnosed in May '09 with NSCLC adenocarcinoma in my left lung, I beleive it is stage 1a and then diagnosed 2 weeks later, after a PET scan and another biopsy, with T3N0M0 SCC laryngeal cancer. I'm surprised the doctors would tell you that you have cancer before they got the biopsy results as this is the only way they can definitively tell you it's cancer. We have had a few people on this site who were told they had cancer and the biopsy proved the doctors wrong. As many here will tell you, it's not cancer until the biopsy results are in.

IF it is cancer there are many treatment options available. I was told also that the lung cancer was inoperable because it is too close to the pulmonary artery (or vein, can't remember which:). I received chemo, cisplatin, and 35 radiation treatments. I am now one year post treatment and enjoying life, I am still in remission from both cancers.

You will be anesthesized for the biopsy and won't feel a thing, it is day surgery and you will be in and out within a matter of hours. It will probably be 3 or 4 days before you receive the results, some people recieve the news faster but I have always had to wait a few days for any of my test results. The waiting is the hardest and you need to find ways to keep yourself busy so you don't drive yourself crazy worrying.

You will also find that most doctors, and members here on CSN, will never use the word "cured". It is definitely treatable and there are many long term survivors on this site that you will meet.

We will all be able to help you more once you have more information; type of cancer, stage, treatment options, chemo drug and radiation treatment. You must remember that all of us are different and our types of cancers are different so no two people have the same results or side effects from their treatment.

The first thing you must do (and this is the hard part) is BREATH, just keep breathing and relax, keep yourself busy and don't spend every waking moment worrying about something that you have no control over. Believe me, I know this is easy for me to say and hard for you to do. We've all been there and done that and are here to help you through all of this.

Please keep us posted when you have the biopsy and what the results are. It will be easier for us to help you when we have more information.

Stay calm and stay strong,
Glenna

sweetpeabonnie
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2010

ty glenna for the support I go to the dr wed and I guess he will sch my biopsy then so i am not sure what kind it is or if it is treatable all i know it is on my right lung and measures 4x3 inches i am totally paralized with fear thank your your input please keep writing

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

Being paralyzed with fear is a common reaction to this type of diagnosis, all the uncertainty and unanswered questions compounded by the waiting!!! Don't think you'd be human if you weren't afraid :)

A little advice - take someone to your doctor's appointment with you if you can because you will still be in such a state of shock that you won't be able to remember half of what your doctor said. It happened to all of us in the beginning and many of us were like this thoughout our treatment. If you have any questions you want to ask him, write those down and take the list with you because you will forget half of these once you are face to face with him/her.

Please don't take this diagnosis as a "death sentence", it isn't, lung cancer is treatable even if it is inoperable. The surgeon who did my original biopsy for my lung had me thinking I had only a few months to live...WRONG!!!

Stay in touch as there are many of us here who will help you through this but as I said, it will be easier to advise you once you know more about your type of cancer and what the treatment plan will be.

Also remember that until you have the biopsy results there is still an outside chance that this will end up not being cancer at all. Some here have been told they had cancer, before they had the biopsy, only to find out it was a bad infection in their lung. Don't give up hope yet, only the biopsy can tell whether or not it is cancer!!

I will be thinking of you on Wednesday.

Keep the faith,
Glenna

sweetpeabonnie
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2010

i will let u know as soon as I hear anything thanks so much

Dan620
Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Please take Glenna's advice to heart, there are many of us on this site that felt like you are now. believe me i was one of them non small cell lung cancer stage 3B and Dr. made me feel i only had months. Last treatment was August 2008 and still going strong. Was not easy but nothing worth while is. Stay strong you will have many members here pulling for you. ..... Dan

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

...as another person who's cancer was inoperable. Yet I'm still here, walking, talking, working, 5 years later ;-) You've had some good advice, and I'll be pulling for you too, sweetpeabonnie!
stayingcalm

medi_2's picture
medi_2
Posts: 510
Joined: Aug 2009

hey sweetpea! I was also inoperable, 2 yr survivor. You can do it!
Medi

partsouthern
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2010

am curious what is your stage..type thank you

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

I think you're talking to me, sometimes it's hard to tell on these boards =)
Non-small cell, not sure what my stage was when I began this - I had a tumor in one lung, a smaller one in the other, and what the doc called "some lymph node involvement."
I had a thoracic surgeon all ready to hack away at my lung, but when he took a second look he backed off - my lungs were in no shape to be operated on then or ever.

That same thoracic surgeon (a Castle Connelly Top Doctor, btw) was all set to give it another go when I needed an air leak sewed up, and again he backed down. My poor lungs, twice rejected!

I'm babbling! All you really asked is my stage (not sure of) and type, which is non-small cell. In my opinion, the stage is not as important as having a doctor who is willing to do everything they can for you, maybe despite the NCCN guidelines ;-)
stayingcalm

PS I just thought I'd take a look back at the Top Doctor listings and it turns out my oncologist is also listed, yayy!

sweetpeabonnie
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2010

been vomiting all most all day is it just nerves?

pkaz53
Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2005

My cancer was also inoperable,you have to stay positive, its not just words, we were all there where you are now. Glenna's advice nailed it, all of us went through our treatments scared of the uncertainty, of the waiting and the fear, you have come to the right place there are so many others that are willing to share their knowledge and experiences.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

I'm not a doctor but my guess is you are making yourself sick with fear. Please contact your doctor and explain how you have been feeling, maybe there is something they can give you to calm you down so you will stop being sick.

Fear and nerves can take a toll on your health, this is not something you need right now. IF this is cancer you have to build yourself up as much as possible before treatment.

Please contact your doctor!!!

Glenna

NayPaul's picture
NayPaul
Posts: 230
Joined: Oct 2010

I could not agree with Glenna more!

No matter what this turns out to be or not be, your anxiety is not helping you. When my wife was diagnosed with NSCLC last month.... on the heels of my mother's death we both had some serious anxiety. She and I took xanax. We have taken it on and off the last year. The anxiety of this was very paralyizing. A couple of days of small doses took the edge off enough that we could perfom. I only took it prior to her doctor appointments and it actually made me more alert and able to keep my mind where it needed to be.

In our case, we did not want/need very much. We did not want to be numb,rather we just wanted to get our mind off of the "hamster wheel" running in circles.

Lil Buddy
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2010

My Wife was diagnosed with lung cancer last part of feb confirmed in Mar., was told she had 6 months without treatment 2 yrs with treatment, I asked if she could be operated on was told thats not an option. Acted like we were putting them out with our questions. Then were told couldn't get her treatments started for 4 to 5 weeks! I told my wife or asked my wife lets find another Dr.
We went to a different county for a 2nd opinion, we went in on a Tuesday,the Doc answered ALL our questions within a hr. set up her first treatment for thursday 2 days later!! This Dr, is great shows a lot of compassion, understands that his patients are scared.
She had 20 treatments of radiation and 10 treatments of Chemo and radiation. she had a large tumor rt upper lung, and an unknown pencil eraser size spot lower lft lung.
Shes been over treatments 2 months?? Had her first after ct scan last month Dr. said he couldn't see any cancer. Before any treatment they said that it didn't look like the cancer had spread. That the large tumor looked like that was it, they hit that with the radiation, and sent the chemo in as precautionary measure, just in case it did spread and they missed it.
She is now recoverying from the treatments, she was always petite, and they want her to put on weight. which she is having trouble doing. BUT her hair has stopped falling out. And her spirits are up as well as mine.
When this first started we were both scared, still are. We knew nothing about this disease. But with good doctors ones that we feel comfy with made all the difference. Like the TV commercial says there isn't an expiration Date!!!!

hdbilly1's picture
hdbilly1
Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

I'm sorry to hear of your diagnoses. I also was diagnosed with lung cancer on jan. 29th of this year. I was fortunate that I was operable but I certainly understand needing to talk with someone. I too felt like my world had come to an end just like most other people that are hit with the words "you have cancer". I was told some things by a woman at the cancer center, that I went to, that helped me to put things into perspective. "Whether or not we have cancer, we are all terminal"."None of us are immune from the inevitable". "What is different now than the day before you were diagnosed"? "The day before you didn't know and now you do". It may sound like she was being harsh or cold but she was, in reality, being honest. She also told me that I was lucky because I had some warning as to what I was facing. She said to me "think about the poor guy that gets hit by a bus or shot while walking to the mailbox. Did they have any advanced warning as to was they were facing? Did they have a chance to say anything to their friends and loved ones or see or do anything they really wanted to do before their time was up"? Sweet pea, you still have time. Life is not over for you just because you have cancer. You just have been given a wake up call by God to tell the people that are important to you, just how important they are. Now is the time to do all the things that you've always wanted to do. When I wake up in the morning, I thank God for one more day, I live it as if it were my last and pray when I go to bed that I will be given the chance to do it all again the next day. Feel proud that God has chosen you to carry this burden. He never gives us more than we can handle so you must be a very strong individual. I know what an emotional rollercoaster you are about to ride so hold on with all you've got. You will get through this. You may find comfort, as I have, in trying to help other cancer patients by doing whatever you can to help them. I hope this helps you and you are not alone,I am always here to talk with. May God be with you, Bill Zepp

rapidrog
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2010

a biopsy does not hurt a bit..lung cancer is not cureable, but it is controllable.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1413
Joined: May 2009

Hello,

I was dx at Stage 1A and my oncologist gave me 80% 5 year survival rate. I had a lower right lobectomy and no further tx was required. So some lung cancers are cureable. Of course I just don't need it to come back. Lori

JohnBinDC's picture
JohnBinDC
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2010

Good day Bonnie. You and I seem to be in a similar boat. I smoked for a lot of years, quitting 10 years ago, and am about yopur age. I have a likely cancer diagnosis wth a mass in my left lung (yours is in the right, does that mean you are a Republican an I am a Democrat?! I think not :) and 2 lymph node hot spots. I am also scheduled for a biopsy, with mine scheduled for tomorrow. The doc plans to biopsy the lymph nodes, and, if accessible, also the mass on the lung. I had been scheduled for a lobectomy on Dec 6, but that procedure now depends on the results of the biopsy. So there is not yet a definitive diagnosis, but it appears the cancer verdict is likely, unless these hot spots end up being inflamations of a sort.

In the short time I have been on this forum, I find there are a lot of wonderful people who are willing to share their experiences and thereby provide a ray of hope in an otherwise scary and confusing situation. I am grateful this forum exists, though, like most everybody, don't really want the membership card:).

That said, I find comfort when I see the postings of people who have been in remission for a number of years and also am encouraged with the progress in cancer treatments. If I do have cancer, I am fortunate it happened now versus 20 years ago as there now seems to be so much more hope for effective treatment. I see many "winners" on this forum and decided I want to stick with those winners as we fight this disease. My brother lived for 5 years after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and that was a few years ago.

I also began reading a book entitled "love, medicine, and miracles" which was written by a surgeon in the 1980's. It talks about the recovery in what are termed "exceptional patients". It seems to be a helpful book and perhaps one you might consider reading. I hope we both do not have cancer, but if we do, I hope we will become "exceptional patients" as we fight this disease. The successful people on this board are inspirational as they seemingly put their energy into helping others. I hope I can emulate their example.

Best wishes to you for success no matter what the biopsy outcome.

Warm Regards

John

cwilder
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2010

Sweetpeabonnie stay positive. My sister was told in September that she had stage 2b non small cell lung cancer and a tumor the size of a peach in her left lung and that it was to large to remove but after two chemo treatments she just found out today that it has shrunk 25% so keep positive thoughts

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