DragonKing

Just diagnosed with lung cancer...

25 posts in this topic

Hello, my name is Dave but that was taken so call me DragonKing. I love dragons, thus...

I am a retired retired US Army veteran. I am also a Vietnam vet. I am suffering from agent orange. I have COPD, acid reflux, gerd, hernia, gout, PTSD, (a few other things too hard to describe), have had 5 heart attacks, 7 stents plus a pacemaker/defibrillator. I've survived so far, no complaints just take life easy, enjoy it one day at a time. Then I got knocked for a loop. 

Just this past week I was diagnosed with Squamous cell (non-small cell) Carcinoma of the left lung. The growth is quite large and 'abuts' the aorta. I'm scheduled to see an oncologist this coming Tuesday. Surgery is not an option. The treatments I am to receive consist of radiation 5 times each week and chemotherapy once a week about 6 to 8 weeks. I've fought in a war and have fought off to the best of my ability whatever illnesses that came my way. I'm not in tip top shape but I did exercise and walk and I have outdoor hobbies. 

Now, this scares the he** out of me. Cancer is scary.

Would appreciate some feed back from any one fighting cancer and any ideas and suggestions or any kind of help. Are there any special diets, vitamins, exercises, things that will help me survive this. If you have any questions for me, just ask.

Thank you for taking the time and reading this. 

DragonKing

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DragonKing,

Welcome here. I'm also a retired-retired Army guy and we share a diagnosis except my cancer was in my right lung. I also had 5 day radiation and weekly chemotherapy and that was 13 years ago. I'm still around and if I can live, so can you. 

As you start treatment, you'll likely have questions and this might be a good place to ask them. As for a special diet recommendation, it is to EAT!  You'll likely have side effects that challenge your digestive system and radiation takes a lot out of you. So, you'll need appetite and calories. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Hello, my name is Dave but that was taken so call me DragonKing. I love dragons, thus...

I am a retired retired US Army veteran. I am also a Vietnam vet. I am suffering from agent orange. I have COPD, acid reflux, gerd, hernia, gout, PTSD, (a few other things too hard to describe), have had 5 heart attacks, 7 stents plus a pacemaker/defibrillator. I've survived so far, no complaints just take life easy, enjoy it one day at a time. Then I got knocked for a loop. 

Just this past week I was diagnosed with Squamous cell (non-small cell) Carcinoma of the left lung. The growth is quite large and 'abuts' the aorta. I'm scheduled to see an oncologist this coming Tuesday. Surgery is not an option. The treatments I am to receive consist of radiation 5 times each week and chemotherapy once a week about 6 to 8 weeks. I've fought in a war and have fought off to the best of my ability whatever illnesses that came my way. I'm not in tip top shape but I did exercise and walk and I have outdoor hobbies. 

Now, this scares the he** out of me. Cancer is scary.

Would appreciate some feed back from any one fighting cancer and any ideas and suggestions or any kind of help. Are there any special diets, vitamins, exercises, things that will help me survive this. If you have any questions for me, just ask.

Thank you for taking the time and reading this. 

DragonKing





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Dragon King,
Forgive me, this is my first post here. I hope it works right.

My husband will be a three year survivor of stage IV Adenocarcinoma Lung cancer in July and Tom's advise of just EAT is spot on.

We couldn't believe he had gotten severely dehydrated by not eating enough. Get nausea medicine from the doctor and don't be afraid to take it. If it makes you sleepy, ask for a different one. My David took one that just made him sleep which defeated the purpose.

Hope this helps.
Vivian R


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Well I finally start my radiation treatments starting next Tuesday and they will be 5 times per week for about 7 weeks. Today I got my 3 tattoos and Monday morning I'll get another tattoo. The oncologist sounded very optimistic that with both treatments, that we may be able to eradicate this cancer.

My chemotherapy appointment scheduler should be calling me anytime. That treatment is for only 1 time per week. I've been told that this is the treatment that will make me sick, nauseas, and weak and of course, lose my hair. We shall see.

There seems to be signs of cancer in one of the lymph nodes, but due to my heart condition, surgery is not an option. I'm scared but very optimistic about everything that will be happening to me. I'm going to fight this thing. I'll keep updating. Need positive input and any healthy suggestion for exercise or diet to help me fight this thing.

Dave (DragonKing)

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Dave,

Understand your fear completely. My diagnosis and first line treatment (name for what you are having) was frightening in the extreme!  

So, radiation is the inverse of March. It comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion. At first I thought this is no big deal. Then week three happened and my strength departed. My first line chemo (taxol & carboplatin) was weekly but reduced strength. I didn't loose my hair, except my gray hair. My before and after treatment photos showed no gray!

Chemo side effects were also less than full strength chemo. I know this because I experienced 12 more infusions at full strength after recurrences. That brings up an other important point: lung cancer is persistent, suite up for the long game. Recurrence are frequent. 

I found chemo side effects to be somewhat controlled by medication. I experienced an unusual side effect of extreme joint pain but thankfully after chemo side effects are predictable starting almost the same time after infusion. Because of this, I could take my pain meds about an hour before my pain started and minimize the symptom. 

You'll have many more questions. Ask away because you'll likely find answers from the tee-shirt designers the experts wear.

Stay the course. 

Tom

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Tom just wondering if your nausea got worse the further along the chemo trail ? I felt pretty good for the first couple of months but now taking anti nausea tablets more often and my hair has thinned more in the last 2 weeks and i have 2 more doses of chemo left to go and lucky for me ive had no pain like you did .

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Mally,

No my nausea symptom remained constant. It set in about 18 hours after my infusion and I learned to start my nausea medication about 17 hours after the infusion. Thus, my symptoms were controlled. 

But, about a week into second line (full strength) chemo, my hair departed. It thinned quickly to gone!

Stay the course.

Tom

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I get the steroid meds after my double bag of chemo and after that its maxalon or ondansatron for nausea but both dont seem to cover it well but now im on my 2 week break things usually settle down untill the next dose

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Well, here we go. Tomorrow starts my first radiation treatment. It'll be five times per week for ten minutes. Chemo will be every Wednesday for 3 hours but only once a week.

Will keep posting to my progress.

Dave (DragonKing)

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Well Dave - Tuesday has arrived.

Hope all goes well with the radiation starting today, and with your weekly chemo tomorrow.

That is how I started my treatments.   Later I was able to have surgery and then more chemo.

I am still here nearly 20 years later  (diagnosed December 1997).  Keep us posted.

 

Donna G

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Hi, Dave,

How did your treatment go? Please post an update when you can. We are here for you!

Lauren
--
Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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Hey, Dave! You have a few newbies following in your treatment plan and we (I) have made the military travels that you have, so please stay in touch!

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Well, I did have my first radiation treatment last Tuesday. It lasted 10 minutes and was a piece of cake.

Then again Wednesday but then right after I went to chemo. That was different. I got a shot, anti nausea, they said, then there were 2 little bags and 1 large bag and it took 3 hours of sitting in a very cold room. No pain going in.  A few hours after I went home, I started having severe pain in my chest. I do have morphine for that, a slow acting pill I take every 12 hours and fast acting that I can take 4 times a day in addition as needed. And I needed it. My cancer is touching my artery and thorax (I think that's what it's called) and I have a hard time swallowing food or even drinks. I've lost 35 pounds in less than 3 months since this all started.

Okay, then Thursday again my radiation, piece of cake.

Then Friday rolled around, no radiation - it seems the machine went down. So now I have to wait until Tuesday and start the week all over again. So far there's been no changes, nor have they taken any test, so I'll keep posting on that. I'm still positive about the outcome. Just wish it didn't hurt so bad, I had always been told cancer don't hurt, don't believe it, mine hurts like being malled by a few bears. May because of the location of the cancer, haven't been told yet why I have the pain.

Will keep posting, still need to know there are others out there who went through it too. Still scared, but no longer of the treatment, more about the outcome.

Happy Memorial Day to all my Soldier Brothers out there!

DragonKing (Dave)

 

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Hey Dave! Thank you so much for the update, it is really important to me as a Cancer rookie; but also because you are a "brother in arms". Additionally, I will be starting my chemo/radiation therapy shortly.

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The best of luck to you bigheart and anyone or all of you who will be starting with radiation and chemotherapy. If the doctors and staff explain everything, you'll feel better knowing what is going to happen. It's scary but this too will pass. If you do have questions, always ask because you need to know as much as you can about your cancer.

I had another session of radiation today. Met with the PA. She said that it would be about 3 months after my treatments before they would do any tests to see if the cancer has shrunk. Also, I'll probably need some kind of spray for my throat to make it feel better.

Tomorrow will be my second chemo treatment. Will keep you posted.

So far I still feel okay. Still need the morphine for the pain but that has nothing to do with the treatment.

DragonKing (Dave)

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Thanks, Dave for the update. I know that you have probably had many folks tell you that you have been through tougher things than this, the problem with that is I was 18, 19, and 20 years old when I was going through it! But now I am 69 years old and I am wondering where all of that "get up and go", "got up and went!"

Thanks again for the update and take real good care of yourself.

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Well, things have been going along fine. Had radiation everyday this past week and chemo on my scheduled Wednesdays. I really haven't felt any effects yet except possibly a bit of a sore throat from the radiation.

I've lost over 40 pounds now and that makes it difficult to do anything, no energy. Try to eat, but can't keep it down.

Actually, I have severe pain and I have been getting morphine for about the past month and a half. It helps the pain somewhat. I had been getting oxycodone and it didn't do anything for the pain. I actually started complaining about the pain in my chest starting about 2 to 3 years ago. But since I have all the wonderful side effects from agent orange such as heart disease, copd, acid reflux, they removed a tumor on my stomach about 10 years ago, it was benign, PTSD, diabetes insulin type and so on, any pain I had they always looked for the heart first and found nothing out of the ordinary considering I've had 5 heart attacks, 7 stents and a pacemaker/defib. I'd go to the hospital and complain about chest pain and that was a couple of years ago and then they would do a stress test and keep me for a few days and say my heart is fine but wouldn't find out what was causing the original pain.

Starting last year, the pain started increasing even worse. The doctors said that it couldn't be cancer because there isn't any pain usually with it. Well after so many tests, and blood tests, endoscopy, colonoscopy, ct scan, pet scan and the finally since I'm a heart risk, the VA docs decided to do an needle aspiration and even with that, there was no reason that they could find why I was in pain. Starting about this January, I got so that I couldn't keep food down, it was becoming hard to swallow and I started losing weight.

I finally asked my VA doc to do an X-ray and there it was, two, not one Squamous Cell (non-small) Carcinoma of the left lung. One was about 7 cm and the other was 3 cm, I think that was the measurements they used, in other words quite large.

So now here I am, a cancer patient that has been in pain but not due to the therapy. Go figure. Now I'm just waiting to see if all this is going to do anything for me. I'm a heart risk so operating has already been ruled out. So, it's a waiting game, though they finally know what is wrong with me.

So as far as the treatments, I have noticed a little hair loss and I just had my third treatment.

I'm in it to win it, so I'm not giving up, but I do find it hard to fight being so weak.

Thanks for listening, and I'll try to be more prompt with my daily experiences, but I felt I was just repeating the same thing.

Good luck to you all who are fighting cancer too.

Best regards, DragonKing (Dave)

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Dave
Hang in there. I just finished the same treatment plan you are going through. I am waiting for a pet scan this month to see if things have improved. My level of pain has increased and am only taking Percocet. Not helping much. It does take the edge off. Swallowing got the worst in the 5 th week of radiation. It improved a couple weeks after.

Best regards

Denny


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Hi, Dave,

Thanks for posting an update. Sounds like you've been handling everything like a...Dragon King! Stay positive. We are here for you.

With gratitude,

Lauren
--
Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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Well another week has gone by. Not enough goes on to post updates everyday so the once a week thing is working for me. The days go by so slowly. It's hard to stay busy when you don't feel good.

Another week of daily radiation treatments and the once weekly chemo. The chemo and radiation seem to have really kicked my butt this week. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were the worst days of pain I've had so far. Stomach all nauseas but I got stuff for that, kinda works. 

I've had 4 chemo treatments so far and 17 radiation treatments. I should be half way through by now, at least that's what they told me when I started. Got some stuff that numbs the throat so I can swallow and eat. Just can't really tell if something is very hot or very cold. Throat is raw so I still can't eat much.

Well im thankful I have my morphine. I still have the pain in the chest and all my energy is gone.

Well, I guess I will post again next week.

Good luck to all you who are going through cancer treatments. I kinda am partial to living a lot longer so I'm not giving up anytime soon. Take care everyone,

DragonKing (Dave)

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Dave,

Glad you are able to handle the treatments.  Expect your throat discomfort to increase somewhat.  Do you have coughing symptoms?

Stay the course.

Tom

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