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Divina

Newbie - Stage 3A adenocarcinoma

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I’m 59 years old and have been recently diagnosed with Stage 3A NSCLC adenocarcinoma.   I had surgery on Oct 30 (lower left lobectomy). Tumor itself is small  (2.4 cm) but 2 lymph nodes taken during the surgery tested positive. ALK and EGFR testing have been ordered but no results yet.  I’m scared of chemo and would prefer targetted therapy (if available) but my oncologist said I should have chemo first and in case of relapse, that’s when targeted therapy could be used. I’m scheduled to start chemo on Dec 28 using Cisplatin and Vinorelbine.  Are there people here who have experience with this combination of drugs? Would also appreciate if you have suggestions or comments to help me cope and fight this battle.  I have totally surrendered everything to the Lord and i know He directed me to this forum to get support and information and also to help others in their journey.  God is in total control. Keep the faith!

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Divina,

Welcome here.

My chemo cocktail was Taxol and Carboplatin.  I had a total of 18 infusions of chemotherapy (six before surgery and 12 after).  Lung cancer is persistant and if your biomarkers indicate suitability for targeted therapy, then it may be a good tactic to hold the targeted therapy in reserve.  Normally in the US, an abbreviated course of chemotherapy is administered after surgery.  This is called adjuvant chemotherapy.  Is this what you are starting on December 28th?  

Here is some information that might be useful.  My best suggestion at this juncture is embracing the attitude that you can survive this diagnosis.  It took more than 3 years of near constant treatment to attain NED or no evidence of disease.  On February 4th of next year, I will celebrate 14 years of surviving a lung cancer diagnosis.  If I can live, so can you.

Stay the course.

Tom

 

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Hi Divina and welcome.

I didn't have chemo for my lung cancer, which was 1A. I did have chemo for another earlier cancer-- it was cisplatin (concurrent with radiation) and then taxoterre and carboplatin. The idea of chemo is indeed scary, but it was part of a treatment that saved my life. I hope you'll get some responses from people who have had the same combo you'll be getting. This disease is survivable and chemo is survivable, too. 

One  coping strategy for me has been to get all the information I can and to ask questions.  This forum is a good place to get info and support. Hang in there!

Bridget O

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Thanks for the warm welcome and for sharing your experience.  I’m just like on a roller coaster ride right now and wish I could just turn a switch to just stay positive!  

I’m not sure if it’s adjuvant therapy but the oncologist said it is to reduce the chance of the cancer coming back.  The surgeon was able to completely remove the tumor with safe margin except that 2 lymph nodes taken out tested positive. The oncologist has ordered CT before the chemo. The plan is to have 4 cycles of chemo.  

Thanks for your support and encouragement! 

 

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Hello Divina.  I had Cisplatin and Etopiside (VP16)  and radiation before and after my Lobectomy more of the same chemo. 

One thing I did not know at the time is that you should have a port placed before having Cisplatin.  Did the Doctor tell 

you this?  I was lucky that it never infiltrated for it would have been very damaging to the tissue around the vein.

Have you got plans for a port?   Another advantage is they don't have to poke you to find a vein all the time.

Donna G

 

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Divina,

If it is 4 cycles, I am pretty sure it is adjuvant therapy and that is pretty standard (my understanding) for Stage IIB and Stage III tumor or lung resections. 

This type of chemo is to eliminate any cancer cells in your blood stream or body and is indeed insurance against a recurrence.  Donna's advice on getting a port is sound.  Chemo is all about folks trying to get access to your veins and after a while, veins stop cooperating.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Divina,

Welcome to the forum.  I had four rounds of Cisplatin, but mine was in conjunction with Alimta.  I had chemo following an upper left lobectomy.  I, too, had affected lymph nodes.  Take the port advice from Tom and Donna - trust me!  During my first chemo cycle, I did not have a port.  One session required 7 sticks to get it started.  When I had a recurrence earlier this year, the first thing I did was request a port.

I had some side effects from my chemo cocktail, but I suggest you look at www.chemocare.com for information about the drugs and potential side effects.  The site is maintained by the Cleveland Clinic and, in my opinion, provides the best chemo information.

Keep us posted.

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I agree with Donna and Susan about the port. I didn't have one and needle sticks were a pain (literally!) If I ever have to have chemo again (I hope I won't!) I'll ask for a port.

Bridget O

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Yep,  I agree with Donna, a PIC line beats multiple needle sticks and eliminates the risk of chemo drugs getting into your arm rather than your bloodstream.

Bridget O

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