Jump to content

Ann Cronin

Members
  • Content Count

    49
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    3

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to PaulaC in 1st visit with the Oncologist   
    Good morning Ann, no you’re not crazy it’s been truly painful. I’ve felt better everyday but the soreness is still happening. I would be concerned except I can tell it’s healing. 
    Here’s to a better day!
    Paula
     
  2. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from Tom Galli in Follow up with confirmed stage   
    Good afternoon, all,
    Had my follow up and got post surgery biopsy results. They found that one of the dozens of lymph nodes they took did come back positive. This makes me stage 3a. The lymph node was at the base of my esophagus. I'm bummed to be stage 3 - it had been thought that I was stage 2 - but I am very grateful that they got all the cancer.
    That being said, I've been advised to go through chemotherapy - 4 sessions every 21 days just in case there is a stray cell or two floating around. They have also advised me to have radiation after chemo to sterilize the area where the positive lymph node was found.
    Not looking forward to these treatments but I trust the professionals and will follow their advice. Their goal is to cure me of cancer, I'm on board with that! Mass General has been amazing, so grateful for the care I've received thus far. In spite of the stress, fear and crazy pain I am feeling full of gratitude. Grateful to have been born in a country with such amazing healthcare professionals. Grateful to have come down with pneumonia so this disease was caught perhaps in time to be cured. Grateful for this forum and all you wonderful people who listen, give advice and hope. 
    Met with the oncology team at Mass General but going to have my treatment closer to home. I have an appointment today with my oncologist, I assume to discuss when chemo will begin etc. I will be posting updates and I'm sure will have questions! For some reason, today I don't have a bunch of questions...... I know I will soon enough!
    As always... love you guys!
    Ann
  3. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from Susan Cornett in Follow up with confirmed stage   
    Good afternoon, all,
    Had my follow up and got post surgery biopsy results. They found that one of the dozens of lymph nodes they took did come back positive. This makes me stage 3a. The lymph node was at the base of my esophagus. I'm bummed to be stage 3 - it had been thought that I was stage 2 - but I am very grateful that they got all the cancer.
    That being said, I've been advised to go through chemotherapy - 4 sessions every 21 days just in case there is a stray cell or two floating around. They have also advised me to have radiation after chemo to sterilize the area where the positive lymph node was found.
    Not looking forward to these treatments but I trust the professionals and will follow their advice. Their goal is to cure me of cancer, I'm on board with that! Mass General has been amazing, so grateful for the care I've received thus far. In spite of the stress, fear and crazy pain I am feeling full of gratitude. Grateful to have been born in a country with such amazing healthcare professionals. Grateful to have come down with pneumonia so this disease was caught perhaps in time to be cured. Grateful for this forum and all you wonderful people who listen, give advice and hope. 
    Met with the oncology team at Mass General but going to have my treatment closer to home. I have an appointment today with my oncologist, I assume to discuss when chemo will begin etc. I will be posting updates and I'm sure will have questions! For some reason, today I don't have a bunch of questions...... I know I will soon enough!
    As always... love you guys!
    Ann
  4. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from Mally in Follow up with confirmed stage   
    Good afternoon, all,
    Had my follow up and got post surgery biopsy results. They found that one of the dozens of lymph nodes they took did come back positive. This makes me stage 3a. The lymph node was at the base of my esophagus. I'm bummed to be stage 3 - it had been thought that I was stage 2 - but I am very grateful that they got all the cancer.
    That being said, I've been advised to go through chemotherapy - 4 sessions every 21 days just in case there is a stray cell or two floating around. They have also advised me to have radiation after chemo to sterilize the area where the positive lymph node was found.
    Not looking forward to these treatments but I trust the professionals and will follow their advice. Their goal is to cure me of cancer, I'm on board with that! Mass General has been amazing, so grateful for the care I've received thus far. In spite of the stress, fear and crazy pain I am feeling full of gratitude. Grateful to have been born in a country with such amazing healthcare professionals. Grateful to have come down with pneumonia so this disease was caught perhaps in time to be cured. Grateful for this forum and all you wonderful people who listen, give advice and hope. 
    Met with the oncology team at Mass General but going to have my treatment closer to home. I have an appointment today with my oncologist, I assume to discuss when chemo will begin etc. I will be posting updates and I'm sure will have questions! For some reason, today I don't have a bunch of questions...... I know I will soon enough!
    As always... love you guys!
    Ann
  5. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to LaurenH in Recovering from surgery   
    Thank you for posting an update, Ann. We'll be thinking of you and hoping for good results on your pathology report! Hope you feel better soon!
    As always, we are here for you.
    Lauren
    --
    Digital Community Manager
    LUNGevity Foundation
  6. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to Steff in Finding hope in my mom's cancer journey   
    Hi all,
    I've been a member for a few months but haven't done a "full" post about my mom as I felt I would jinx the possibility of good news (desperate times call for desperate measures!)  I want to write this post to share my mom's journey and possibly relieve someone else's anxiety, while gaining hope and info from all of you.  So, here's her story:
    Overall health: 63 years old, obese, diabetes controlled with diet, sleep apnea, rheumatoid arthritis
    November 2015 - initial lung cancer diagnosis - NSCLC, stage IIIA. She had shortness of breath which lead to the discovery of a few small nodules.
    January 2016 - upper right lobe removal - we had to wait so long because my mom has Rheumatoid Arthritis and the meds she was taking at the time had to be out of her system.  Surgeon found a few lymph nodes that were involved as well, unable to remove it all.  She recovered from surgery quite well. She continues to have pain at the incision site, which we are told is normal.  Overall breathing was better than it had been in years (she had a lot of emphysema in the lobe that was removed).
    February 2016 - 6 weeks of weekly chemo (can't remember which kind) and daily radiation - lost hair, pretty bad acid reflux which became controlled with meds. Some fatigue.
    Scans & more scans - she received the 1 year "all clear" in April 2017.
    We thought everything was going well.  My mom's pulmonary specialist left, so she met with a newly established specialist.  He was looking over her old scans because she was having trouble breathing.  He suggested he scope her bronchi and he saw a concerning area he wanted to biopsy.  Long story short, she has cancer on the back of her trachea that is hard to see in chest x-rays and CT's.  We are thankful someone actually saw it, but frustrated it wasn't found sooner.  They are calling it a recurrence, but several doctors aren't convinced it wasn't there the whole time and just did not respond to treatment.
    Possibility of repeat radiation???  This was an important question I wanted answered because I had seen differing answers during my research.  About half of the new mass on her trachea is in the original radiation area.  The radiologist says that he can do radiation again in the same area since enough of it is out of the original radiation zone but the likelihood of having severe side effects is very high. I asked about radiation seeds and internal vs. external beam therapy - he said they can all have the same result of increased side effects.  He is one who believes the mass was there the whole time and did not respond to treatment in the first place. So he suggested radiation as a last resort if other treatments did not work.
    July 2017 - trachea stent put in to open airway (mass had airway closed 70%).  Surgery was a breeze, she can breathe well.  Mom was in and out of hospital after surgery with severe mucus build up. Still has mucus build up.
    July 2017 - Treatment plan - 8 rounds of Keytruda (she has the PD-L1 mutation), the first 4 with chemo - alimta carboplatin, every 3 weeks.  New treatment info: Adding chemo to the Keytruda at the beginning of treatment is having better results than Keytruda alone. This information was released in June 2017 at a national cancer conference.  It supposedly brings the effectiveness from 30-50% up to a flat 55%.  We will take every small piece of help we can get!!!  CT scan will be after the first 4 treatments to see how things are going.
    Keytruda and Rheumatoid Arthritis:  her oncologist is unsure how her RA will react. Her RA has never been under control, so she deals with a lot of pain anyway.  They are assuming she will have major flair ups.  We will deal with those when they happen.  Large doses of steroids and all RA meds can reduce the effectiveness of Keytruda, so we will have to get creative.
    July and August 2017- My mom is on her 2nd treatment.  The biggest side effect is total exhaustion.  However, she began her 1st treatment 1 day after spending nearly 3 weeks straight in the hospital.  Her oncologist feels that the extreme fatigue is more likely due to recovering from her stent surgery and all of the hospital visits.  She still has a lot of mucus and her pulmonary specialist is keeping it "sucked out".  She coughs a lot and does not have a voice.  We will learn more as we go but so far she's surviving and we feel things will get better with her breathing and fatigue.
    August 4, 2017 (a day we can (mostly) breathe) - PET scan results show that cancer has not spread (cue happy dance!!).
    So what now??? We live day by day. I take part in these forums to find support and to give support. After finally receiving the first bit of good news in several months (the cancer had not spread), yesterday was the first day I didn't break down bawling.  We are finding our new "normal". She is being silly and laughing more. And in October, we are going to see Jimmy Buffett for the millionth time!
    I plan to update this post periodically with information that I think is important to share for those looking for information and when I need some advice or a bit of support.  I appreciate each and every one of you for your kind words to all that reach out and for fighting to live so we all can have a little more hope at the end of the day.
  7. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to Susan Cornett in Recovering from surgery   
    Ann,
     I'm sorry surgery was so tough but I understand. I had the open lobectomy as well.  I had a feeling like I'd been kicked in my upper shoulder and side for quite some time.  My surgery was two years ago and I still have some nerve issues.  My first chemo was almost 30 days after surgery.  It's a big surgery and the body needs to recover.  
    Hope you start feeling stronger soon.
  8. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to Susan Cornett in Great article!!   
    This link is to an article in O Magazine.  I am beyond thrilled to see a mainstream publication pick this up.  
    http://www.oprah.com/health_wellness/new-treatments-helping-lung-cancer-patients-live-longer
    Every day is good.
  9. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to LexieCat in Recovering from surgery   
    Hi, Ann--good to hear from you!  I'm sorry surgery was so rough on you.  I, too, had a much easier time of it, but sometimes they just don't know until they get in there.  I'm glad the pain is starting to let up a bit and hope that continues.  Be sure to do your breathing exercises, even when it hurts.  They will help get your breathing back to normal, which will help you get moving when you're ready.  The right kind of exercise (mild at first) will help, too--ask your doctors and nursing staff for suggestions on that.  
    Hang in there--hope you get good news on the pathology report!
  10. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to Laurel in Recovering from surgery   
    I had a lobectomy, upper right, on February 16, 2018, at M D Anderson. The surgery was VATS (video assisted thoractic surgery.....robotic surgery). It is less invasive. I did not have the complications you had. Surgery was Friday. On Sunday, chest tube removed, released to hotel. Home on Monday. The first two weeks went smoothly, using pain meds, except Tramadol. The last 2 1/2 weeks were tougher. As pain meds lessened, pain along right back and at chest tube site increased. I allowed the pain meds to lessen....thinking I needed to be tougher. I have since learned from my primary doctor that this pain could continue for a year. I needed to monitor my pain level. I am now taking gabapentin, 200 mg, am and afternoon. I take 300 mg at night. I take extra strength tylenol as needed. I use Salon Pas patches as needed. Warm showers ease the pain also. Now, I am feeling comfortable enough to do the breathing exercises, walk the dog and do work around the house. I have to be careful not to overdo it and let the pain come through.  I go back to M D Anderson this week to meet my new oncologist for a treatment plan, meet with my surgeon, and a nutritionist. You have a right to be as pain free as possible. Talk to your doctors.
  11. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to BridgetO in Recovering from surgery   
    Wow, Ann! Your surgery was really difficult. My lobectomy, with 27 lymph nodes removed was a piece of cake by comparison. We're really all different. Best wishes for your continued decrease of pain. Hang in there.
    Bridget O
  12. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to Tom Galli in Recovering from surgery   
    Ann,
    You had a rough go I surgery and some of the complications will indeed increase your recovery time. 
    Depending on your overall health, post surgical chemo is normally 30 to 45 days after surgery. 
    Unfortunately, the sings and numbness are normal. Let us hope they abate as you recover.
    Good to hear from you and....
    Stay the course. 
    Tom
  13. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from LaurenH in Where to find grace through this   
    You all are so kind, thank you for that!
    Bridget - it will be open lobectomy, unfortunately. The surgeon stated that in his opinion, in my case, it is the most full proof way to get all of it, not leaving anything behind. I've definitely not had the "why me" thing going on. I learned a long time ago that bad things happen to good people all the time. I do rely on my faith, don't even think I could live an uncompromised life without it! 
    I went to Barnes & Noble today for some books on coping with this disease. They really didn't have much but I went with a list and placed an order..... gotta just keep swimming! In the last two days I've made a point of being my "normal" self with my granddaughter. What used to come so natural has been a struggle and I hadn't realized how my blues would effect her. She actually looked at me like "there you are, Nana, where have you been?!?" I already see a change in her little almost 5 yr old self... she was getting the blues too, poor peanut!! 
    Love you guys!!!
  14. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from LaurenH in Pet Scan Results   
    Agree............ the slow part, where we are all "Urgent!!" it seems the folks controlling/directing our path are anything but urgent. While I understand they see this every day, the newly diagnosed do not! 
    Best of the best to you in your next step!
    Yes, we do have this!
    Ann
  15. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to Mally in Mally   
    Well im back from my holiday and had a fantastic time and tried very hard to block out my cancer and for the most part i did and was pleased i had no discomfort while flying and have never climbed so many stairs and didnt feel out of breath and now back to reality of treament yesterday with opdivo and thats the third dose and happy that bloods are all good and no side effects still and hope that doesnt mean its not working 
  16. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from Steff in Finally had my PET/CT done, the Good and BAD   
    Good morning, Mike.... John?
    I'm a newbie as well so I can't speak to all the medical lingo described from your PET scan. I feel like I've learned quite a bit on some topics since Jan 14th (my D day). Unless I'm completely misinformed, many things can cause areas to "light up" on a PET scan. Infections can cause lymph nodes to swell and light up. I've also learned that the only proof positive way to diagnose cancer is with a pathology report of an actual biopsy.
    With everything you describe in regards to your GI issues/procedures I would almost expect the PET to reveal something going on related to GI.
    In just 7 weeks I've learned that even though scans are used as tools in diagnosing cancer and other things, they should not be used as confirmation for cancer. They can confirm suspicion, that's it. I've also learned that once a cancer suspicion rears it's ugly head, many medical professionals can't open their minds to anything else. It's ALL about the cancer. In my case, I had pneumonia due to a lung infection. They didn't treat the infection, it was all about the cancer. (I'm fully aware that an antibiotic isn't going to cure cancer)  After 4 weeks I finally, basically begged for an antibiotic to treat the infection (I was in pain and coughing up crap). I was told "Well, your symptoms are probably caused by the mass in your lung". Finally prescribed an antibiotic and In 12 hours I felt amazing... after 3 days I felt completely healthy again. No more pain, no more coughing up crap.... 
    I've had some trying times in my life, a crisis or two that I thought I'd never get through..... but this??? Yeah, this is some serious emotional turmoil. I can only advise based on my own experiences. I have to draw close to God in good times, since my diagnosis I've had to crawl into His lap and stay there. 
    I've already read several books related to dealing with this ugly disease and they've helped quell the feelings of despair and loneliness. As I mentioned, I've been through some rough times but nothing has made me feel so lonely as this damn disease. I have a good support system, 10 supportive people could walk through my door and it wouldn't put a dent in the lonely. My faith lifts me out of the loneliness but I have to be honest, I've been on a rollercoaster........ emotional chaos. I'm hoping once I get past the newness, shock, raw truth and get a final diagnosis and treatment plan in place, the rollercoaster won't have so many steep hills and deep pitches.
    I expect you'll get some good responses here from some awesome folks, the moderators are truly special folks with a ton of knowledge and insight.
    I can tell you this with complete confidence, you are NOT alone!!
    God Bless,
    Ann
  17. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from Tom Galli in Finally had my PET/CT done, the Good and BAD   
    Good morning, Mike.... John?
    I'm a newbie as well so I can't speak to all the medical lingo described from your PET scan. I feel like I've learned quite a bit on some topics since Jan 14th (my D day). Unless I'm completely misinformed, many things can cause areas to "light up" on a PET scan. Infections can cause lymph nodes to swell and light up. I've also learned that the only proof positive way to diagnose cancer is with a pathology report of an actual biopsy.
    With everything you describe in regards to your GI issues/procedures I would almost expect the PET to reveal something going on related to GI.
    In just 7 weeks I've learned that even though scans are used as tools in diagnosing cancer and other things, they should not be used as confirmation for cancer. They can confirm suspicion, that's it. I've also learned that once a cancer suspicion rears it's ugly head, many medical professionals can't open their minds to anything else. It's ALL about the cancer. In my case, I had pneumonia due to a lung infection. They didn't treat the infection, it was all about the cancer. (I'm fully aware that an antibiotic isn't going to cure cancer)  After 4 weeks I finally, basically begged for an antibiotic to treat the infection (I was in pain and coughing up crap). I was told "Well, your symptoms are probably caused by the mass in your lung". Finally prescribed an antibiotic and In 12 hours I felt amazing... after 3 days I felt completely healthy again. No more pain, no more coughing up crap.... 
    I've had some trying times in my life, a crisis or two that I thought I'd never get through..... but this??? Yeah, this is some serious emotional turmoil. I can only advise based on my own experiences. I have to draw close to God in good times, since my diagnosis I've had to crawl into His lap and stay there. 
    I've already read several books related to dealing with this ugly disease and they've helped quell the feelings of despair and loneliness. As I mentioned, I've been through some rough times but nothing has made me feel so lonely as this damn disease. I have a good support system, 10 supportive people could walk through my door and it wouldn't put a dent in the lonely. My faith lifts me out of the loneliness but I have to be honest, I've been on a rollercoaster........ emotional chaos. I'm hoping once I get past the newness, shock, raw truth and get a final diagnosis and treatment plan in place, the rollercoaster won't have so many steep hills and deep pitches.
    I expect you'll get some good responses here from some awesome folks, the moderators are truly special folks with a ton of knowledge and insight.
    I can tell you this with complete confidence, you are NOT alone!!
    God Bless,
    Ann
  18. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from PaulaC in Finally had my PET/CT done, the Good and BAD   
    Good morning, Mike.... John?
    I'm a newbie as well so I can't speak to all the medical lingo described from your PET scan. I feel like I've learned quite a bit on some topics since Jan 14th (my D day). Unless I'm completely misinformed, many things can cause areas to "light up" on a PET scan. Infections can cause lymph nodes to swell and light up. I've also learned that the only proof positive way to diagnose cancer is with a pathology report of an actual biopsy.
    With everything you describe in regards to your GI issues/procedures I would almost expect the PET to reveal something going on related to GI.
    In just 7 weeks I've learned that even though scans are used as tools in diagnosing cancer and other things, they should not be used as confirmation for cancer. They can confirm suspicion, that's it. I've also learned that once a cancer suspicion rears it's ugly head, many medical professionals can't open their minds to anything else. It's ALL about the cancer. In my case, I had pneumonia due to a lung infection. They didn't treat the infection, it was all about the cancer. (I'm fully aware that an antibiotic isn't going to cure cancer)  After 4 weeks I finally, basically begged for an antibiotic to treat the infection (I was in pain and coughing up crap). I was told "Well, your symptoms are probably caused by the mass in your lung". Finally prescribed an antibiotic and In 12 hours I felt amazing... after 3 days I felt completely healthy again. No more pain, no more coughing up crap.... 
    I've had some trying times in my life, a crisis or two that I thought I'd never get through..... but this??? Yeah, this is some serious emotional turmoil. I can only advise based on my own experiences. I have to draw close to God in good times, since my diagnosis I've had to crawl into His lap and stay there. 
    I've already read several books related to dealing with this ugly disease and they've helped quell the feelings of despair and loneliness. As I mentioned, I've been through some rough times but nothing has made me feel so lonely as this damn disease. I have a good support system, 10 supportive people could walk through my door and it wouldn't put a dent in the lonely. My faith lifts me out of the loneliness but I have to be honest, I've been on a rollercoaster........ emotional chaos. I'm hoping once I get past the newness, shock, raw truth and get a final diagnosis and treatment plan in place, the rollercoaster won't have so many steep hills and deep pitches.
    I expect you'll get some good responses here from some awesome folks, the moderators are truly special folks with a ton of knowledge and insight.
    I can tell you this with complete confidence, you are NOT alone!!
    God Bless,
    Ann
  19. Like
  20. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to PaulaC in Pet Scan Results   
    Ann, I bought the book and it came today! I’m excited to read it. 
    We’ve got this!
    Paula
  21. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from LexieCat in Initial appointment with oncologist.   
    Sounds about right but be sure to let them know you’re available if they get a cancellation! That squeaky wheel got my PET rescheduled 7 days early and also got me scheduled for this second biopsy a whole month sooner...                                   Just keep swimming!!
  22. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from PaulaC in Initial appointment with oncologist.   
    Sounds about right but be sure to let them know you’re available if they get a cancellation! That squeaky wheel got my PET rescheduled 7 days early and also got me scheduled for this second biopsy a whole month sooner...                                   Just keep swimming!!
  23. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to Lisa66 in Where to find grace through this   
    Hi Ann,
       I am a mother of three grown boys that are still my babies, so I do understand the need to protect. When you wish to vent I would be honored to listen, and these guys  in this forum are so knowledgeable and helpful. They will listen when it is to hard to share with your family. 
    I will keep you and all here in my thoughts and prayers.
    Lisa
  24. Like
    Ann Cronin reacted to PaulaC in Initial appointment with oncologist.   
    Ann,  like you I’ve never been what you call pushy or a  pest. I’m turning into one !!  I don’t have anyone in the family in oncology but I lost a brother and sister to cancer and have another sister fighting pancreatic cancer.
     I know it’s going to be a long road. Just being able to vocalize how I’m feeling helps. Thanks for the support .
    We’ve got this!
    Paula
  25. Like
    Ann Cronin got a reaction from PaulaC in Initial appointment with oncologist.   
    You sound just like me, I wanted everything done yesterday!! Apparently it is normal although I don't know why. I have found that the squeaky wheel does get the grease! I was a pest, I didn't wait for calls when I thought the call should have come in already. Also, for any appointment or procedure, I made sure they knew that I wanted a call if they had a cancellation, told them I was available no matter what time they gave me even if it was last minute.
    By nature I am not like this, I'm never pushy so this is new for me. Being diagnosed with cancer gives me a sense of urgency..... geeee.... not sure why?   
    I do have family members who work in Oncology and Radiation therapy (unfortunately not in my area). My sister-in-law is an Oncology nurse and has told me to be a pest, make the calls, don't let up.... and that's what I've been doing. Unfortunately, you have to be your own advocate. 
    I can totally relate...
    Go get em'!
    Ann
×
×
  • Create New...