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Saw Med Onco today and more confused than ever

Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2010

We were hoping that the onco will start chemo asap due to my husband is stage 4 nsclc.
He finished his 12 days radaition to 3 lymph nodes and left lung (tumor was 4cm)and gamma knife (1 tiny brain met) about 2 1/2 weeks ago, got over the side effects and is ready to take on chemo due to last CT scan before showed new tiny dots to right lungs which is not treated yet, doc also mention tumor had grown bigger but I did not ask how much. We were told that another CT scan can't be done yet for results from radiation, which is fine.

So before we saw the Med onco today she ordered an xray, and now she is saying my hubby do not need chemo as yet, she can't see anything on xray, we have to wait till 10Jan for the CT scan in order to see if we can start chemo. Does this make sense? She knows from previous scans there are a few tiny dots to the right lung which was not treated with radiation and if he had a tiny met in brain, doesn't this mean that it's in his blood stream and cancer could be in other places that needs to be treated with chemo asap?

Her words were, she will start chemo when it's needed, I don't want to doubt her, and I should take 1/2 of it as good news, but still what I know of stage 4 lung cancer, it's not putting my mind to ease. Then she said enjoy the holidays. Even though I tried to convince her to start chemo, she refuses, her nurse then said if there is no fire, we can't put it out. He will need chemo at some point but not now.

Sigh.....I am speechless. Has anyone came across something like this?

P.S it's been 3 1/2 months since he was dx.

JohnBinDC's picture
Posts: 91
Joined: Nov 2010

I am new to this and have my first Oncology appt next week, so I do not speak from the same experience many others have. That said, I would lean towards seeking a second opinion as soon as possible if I were in the situation you and your husband find yourselves. Perhaps the second opinion would confirm your doctor's treatment plan, and if so, that could at least provide you the peace of mind that your oncologist is on the right track.

I wish you and your husband the very best as you work through treatment and hope to hear much from you in the future!


Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi John, I wish you all the best and hope that everything goes smooth with your oncologist. I've thought about getting an second opinion, but it's going to take weeks and sometimes over a month to get an appointment with specialists here. We would also have to get referrals through our family doctor, by then we would be due for our CT scan. I keep looking at my Oncologist business card and trying to convince myself, if her title is Chair of Lung Cancer research, I should trust her and by all means she sure knows more than me (she looks around late 50 to mid 60 years old).

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

In my case, the original tumor was too small for an accurate diagnosis (4mm) so they had to let it grow for several months before they could even consider a biopsy. In addition, based on one CT scan, they thought I had cancer everywhere in my lungs, but a later one (three months later) proved that all of that stuff (with the exception of that one node) had been a since-cleared up lung infection.

I am wondering if either or both of these sorts of factors are involved in your situation? When the tiny dots are first detected, it can not be determined if they are growing because they were never previously seen, and if they do not grow, they may not be cancer. So they will want to wait awhile, and compare the latest scan to the last one to determine whether the dots have grown (or if they are even there).

That is just conjecture based on my own experience.

Best wishes to your husband and his family.

Take care,


Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks Joe for sharing your experience, I guess apart from having hope and humor, I also need to add a whole lot of patience to our ingredients to fight this beast.

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