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Lung Biopsy Results

ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

Today, Monday Dec 10, I got the results from last week's lung biopsy. Unfortunately, the biopsy was positive for lung cancer; the cancer was squamous cell meaning that it almost assuradely had spread from the neck (larynx).

The recommendation from my medical oncologist was to watch it with a CT-Scan every 4 months. When it grows to 4 X its size, chemo will be used to treat it. He said that in general cancer cells are killed more effectively by a combination of radiation and chemo; but it is not possible to treat the lung with radiation.

To make matters worse, I have a half-dozen nodules, some of these nodules are in each lung. If all the cancer were in one place, surgery or radiation might be possible (I'm saying this).

The oncologist said that there are chemo regiments which will effectively shrink the tumor cells. However, these chemo regiments will not entirely eradicate the cancer.

I have made two decisions about going forward, and Arlene (wife/caregiver) has agreed with these decisions.

1) I am going to get a second opinion (from another medical center). I am 90% certain that I will get the identical recommendation, but I need a second opinion for my peace of mind.

2) I am going to eat an super ultra-healthy diet. This is full of fruits and veggies; and a very limited amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates.

I will post a lot more in the coming day or two or three. Rick.

VivianLee5689's picture
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

Rick I hate this for you and Arlene. It really sucks. I don't know what to say. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you.

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mar 2012

this really sucks.

The part I don't understand, is why do they wait to do chemo until the nodes increase 4 fold? Are mets sometimes too small to treat with chemo?

I agree completely about the second opinion...not only peace of mind, but a second brain looking at it with the possibilities of better ideas.

I'm truly sorry, Rick...I was hoping that all they'd find is the ground glass nodes.


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Sorry for the news. I think you and Arlene made a great decision in getting that second opinion. Reminds me of a story when my Mom was in her early 40s with 7 kids and was told she needed a hysterectomy. She went for a second opinion which was the same and then a third opinion. The third opinion was that she wore her girdle too tight. She bought a new girdle and is now 87 and never had/never needed that hysterectomy. I don't mean to make light of your very serious situation, I admire your approach and wish you the very best.

ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

Please make light of everything. Even good advice can be given with a laugh. I don't need sad faces and frowns. (However, if you are down please share your feelings and ask for support. This board is for everyone to be honest.) Rick.

NJShore's picture
Posts: 423
Joined: Nov 2012


So glad to hear you are getting the second opinion. We did that for my husband, and probably saved his life. Dr. #1, very well known and good in ENT, but even though he assured us this was curable, his plan wasn't the best option. The surgeons we went to for a second opinion were concerned that Dan might have bled out if he had gone in and just removed his tonsils, and cut a tumor in half without the right tools available to fix it, or created a mess. And his prognosis was 10-15% less with his cure, than the more radical treatment plan we chose. You just never know what you might hear. And I am praying that you have better options in your next office visit.

Wish that you would have gotten better news, and also sorry that you didn't.


ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

Not being able to carry on a conversation is a real hang up. (No Vocal Cords remember). I have not progressed far enough to carry on a conversation. I can get a phrase out; but I often need to repeat it two or three times. It is amazing how impatient everyone is. (I'm sure you would be patient.) Arlene is patient. But not medical staff, surprisingly. (I must admit that my primary care physician is very good at listening.) Moreover, a lot of the oncologists seem impatient when I bring in a written statement. The point is that I don't have any good way to explore things with the doctors. Ain't that a shame!

So: I think the situation is: I have cancer cells floating around in my blood stream waiting to appear almost anywhere. They might shrink the tumors they see, but as soon as chemo stops, the damn cancer cells will plant themselves somewhere else. They could either do chemo all the time, or do chemo when the tumors are affecting my breathing. The goal then is to have as many days without chemo as possible.

We would all agree: A day of chemo is only worth while if it leads to a day without chemo. Right? Rick.

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

That is some food for thought regarding the chemo.........
When I had my trach, my sister-in-law who is a nurse, brought me a small dry erase board from the dollar store. Have you tried one of those for your appts.? I know my doctor would get frustrated because I wasn't good with the trach and he would take my fingers and place them where they needed to be every time he came in. I think that trach was the hardest part of my surgery recovery, I was so fortunate that I came home without it. I know it has to be difficult for you to repeat your phrases. I have my vocal cords but my husband's hearing isn't the best so I am always repeating too.

Posts: 62
Joined: Jul 2012

I hope maybe a second opinion may come up better. My thoughts and prayers are with you, keep fighting and never give up.

Billie67's picture
Posts: 843
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm so sorry, I was so hoping you'd get different results. Amen for the second opinion and for having such a great attitude. I will continue to pray for you both. Wish I had the magic answer

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4320
Joined: May 2012

Hi Rick,

Sorry about the news. Second opinion, “it sucks”.

I guess this means the juicer gets pushed into overdrive. Here’s hoping for slow to no growth and treatments that work well.



ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

Thanks Matt:
Now I need a third opinion! Rick.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I was really hoping for better news....

I know that if you can beat it, it will be beat down.

Stay positive an prayers that this will turn around and give you and your wife many good years of life ahead.


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

Okay ..let me get this out of the way (STINKS) ...

Now let's see if you and I can go to SCCA and I will interpret for you (since we know I am patient) ...however, AND the good news is since you can't hold long coversations, I can't talk them to death (no pun intended).

I saw where SCCA has a nationally renowned lung cancer specialist...did you see that on the Seattle Cancer Care Allicance website....

Heck, with me and you there together...they would be sure and give us the best treatment to hurry up and get rid of us :) :) :) (more me than you I would be certain of that)....

I'm still praying by the way ..

And don't think I was joking about that duo visit!!!



Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

Wish it could have been what we were hoping for.

OK - they don't have a workable plan to win - YET.

I think the diet upgrade will probably do you a world of good - even though I don't know how bad your current diet is. I will say that when I was being well behaved, I felt better. I'm in the process now of getting ready to get ready to get back on the bandwagon.

Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

I, too, am sorry for the good news. I would do the same thing and get a second study. Also, I would ask if there are any trials for this cancer. Keep us posted.


cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012

You are a very strong person, I can tell by your words....mind, body, and soul. I know you have in you the ability to keep fighting along here. I'm glad you feel the need to get another opinion. It gives peace of mind to know someone else has looked at it and comes up with the same opinion.

The eating ultra healthy is a great plan along with a strong mind. Our doctors told us it is amazing how powerful our minds really are. Combine that with great nutrition and there's a favorable outcome.

Prayers for peace coming your way...


Crazymom's picture
Posts: 339
Joined: Nov 2011

Sorry for the difficult news. I will keep you in my prayers. Keep fighting and hopefully the healthy diet will help.


Posts: 660
Joined: Mar 2012

but you seem to be one tough dude. Praying all turns out well and some approach can be determined to help your situation..

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