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Can't believe I'm cured

dadpappy
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2015

 

I,m a 71 year old male. Two months ago I had VATS surgery on stage 1B cancer in the right lower lobe. The lower lobe and a small section of the upper lobe were remove because the tumor was close to the upper lobe. They also removed 35 lymph nodes. Before surgery a PET scan was done. Between the Pet scan, lymph nodes and upper lobe no other cancer was found. The doctors tell me that I'm cured, need no chemo and will be having CT scans at several intervals. I'm feeling good and until a couple of weeks ago was happy with how everything was going. Now I,m in fear of the cancer coming back in my lungs or other parts of my body. I,m sure the doctors feel that they got all of it, but I,m not convinced. I've been told that other cancer survivors have had similar feelings and would like to know how they have dealt with this fear. I talk to my wife and primary care physician. They reassure me for awhile but the feeling keeps coming back when I'm not feeling well or get a little short of breath.

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

I too had a lower right lobe removal via vats.  This was my second cancer but not a metasis from the 1st which was anal cancer.  I completed tx for the anal cancer on 6-30-09 and had the vats on 9-23-10.  I was a stage 1a, no chemo, no radiation for the lung cancer.  I am fine and so far so good. 

I think I probably thought I had cancer again at least 100 times, and I think it is normal to feel that way when we aren't feeling well.  I will be celebrating my 5 years ned next month, but I think I will always have the thought in the back of my mind that I might get cancer again. 

I am just taking good care of myself and enjoying life I really have no control over what happens next, but I do know I have scans every year and if there is a cancer it will be caught early and I will been treated for it again.

I wish you well, Lori Cool

 

 

kazzyb
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2014

Hi. I'm so glad you posted. I went (and am still going through) the exact same thing. I had my upper left lobe and lymph system removed. I too had the pet scan with no sign of any spreading prior to surgery. I was cosnidered 'cured'. I, like you for whatever reason could not and would not believe that. So I put myself through pure hell for 6 months doing research and getting statistics on recurrence. I looked for reassurance everywhere I could find it. I was driving people crazy. I lost so much weight and was treated for post traumatic stress disorder. No sleep and horrible anxiety filled my days and nights. Then it came time for my first scan. I was convinced my cancer had returned and I had actually accepted that. But it didn't. It was a clear scan. I was stunned. I had talked myself into the worst case senerio recurrent lung cancer. So from that day forward I promised myself I would live the next 6 months entirely differently. I don't read any information or dig up statistics on the Internet. I am in therapy still working on my PTSD. Also I must say I had absolutely no support. I was alone before during and after the entire ordeal. That was so hard. You have a wife and be grateful she is there for comfort. I think that this reaction is very normal. The fear.....after all you have just been through a traumatic experience. It does get easier but it is a form of grieving I have learned. Please find some support that deals with trauma. It will help you. 

one  thing also I was told by a nurse at one of my appointments...... The doctors had no right to call me 'cured'. That I was what is called in remission. That's why we have scans every 6 months for the first 2 years. And then if something odd shows up it will be early enough to do something effective about it. I am able to live a little easier and happier for now. It's been 8 months for me. Now I'm building a little anxiety for that second scan this fall. i believe this is all very normal what you are feeling. Talk about it if and as much as you need to. I didn't have that luxury. I cried a lot and that was ok too. 

dennycee
Posts: 836
Joined: Mar 2011

The good news is that they can aim for a cure with surgery at early stages.   Most of us gcan only hope to be told that we have no evidence of disease or NED.  

There are two groups that can offer you support by supplying you with a phone buddy who has approximately the same diagnosis and matches your age.  They are LUNGevity.org and Lungcanceralliance.org.  At the first LUNGevity Hope Summit I attended in 2013 I met a man who had a 2a diagnosis who was in his 18th year of survivorship.  At the National Summit in May I met several 20-25 year survivors including a 25 year stage 4 survivor. 

Keep up with your regular health tests!  contact your hospital's oncology social worker to learn of any support groups near you.  Look for a Cancer Support Community or Gildas Club near you.  

http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/MainMenu/Cancer-Support/Find-a-Local-CSC-Affiliate

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