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ChiMama

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  • City
    Paradise Valley
  • US State (if applicable)
    ARIZONA
  • Country
    USA
  • Gender
    Female
  • Status
    Lung cancer patient/survivor
  • Interests
    Dog Mom to a rescued Chihuahua
    Colon Cancer (stage 1) 2016, lung nodules found in first scans & monitored since.
    Ground glass nodule 1.1mm biopsied May 2020, adenocarcinoma consistent with Lung Primary. Upper Left RATS July 2020, Stage 1a. Navigating my way through this!

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  1. Interesting! Now that I've had 3 separate cancers and not a lot of cancer in my family except for my mother who's also had 3 different cancers, I've been wondering if I lived on a toxic waste site at some point.
  2. Hi Sarah - Lou's tips are the best! Also I found that I needed to sleep in a recliner for a while as even with the wedge pillow it was super painful to get in and out of bed. As has been said, she should be sure to do the breathing exercises, walk walk walk, and don't let her lift anything for a couple weeks. Sending good vibes for an easy and successful procedure! πŸ’œ
  3. Hi bang - it's natural to have your mind go to all the "what ifs" but do try to remain calm and take one thing at a time. πŸ’œ As Lexie says 6mm is TINY. I was diagnosed with colon cancer 5 years ago and it was removed, stage 1, and I have now reached the all clear point with it. At the time of that diagnosis, they also found a 8/9mm spot in my left upper lung. Like your pulmonologist has with yours, it was put on the watch list and looked at in my regular scans. Because even though lung cancer doesn't usually metastasize to the colon, colon cancer does tend to metastasize to the lungs and liver. Four years later it grew 2mm and we did a biopsy that showed adenocarcinoma lung cancer - the good news being that it it was not a colon cancer spread. That was also removed and fingers crossed I am good to go! SO. It's great you're seeking information and support! Hopefully your journey will be uncomplicated and nothing to worry too much about. Get the colonoscopy and go from there. When it comes time to do the prep, I can give you some tips to make it easier. Also there's a great support group at The Colon Club: https://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com
  4. Yikes! Several signs along the way! The first surgeon I saw said he doesn't do VATS for cancer. I already knew from being on several cancer forums that it's done all the time for cancer! If he had said, "you're not a good candidate because of where it is" or another science reason, I wouldn't have been suspicious... but "I don't do VATS for cancer" rang wrong to me. Also he was a thoracic surgeon, heart and lungs, but the only pictures and plastic models he had in the whole office were of hearts, no lung pictures or charts anywhere, so I figured he was more of a "heart guy" and not as experienced at lungs in general, specifically VATS. So I found another surgeon via my oncologist who ONLY does lungs, top doc in the field, and ended up having RATS.
  5. So glad you found a doctor you trust. My first surgical consult I just didn't like the vibe and he also said he would only do open surgery without an explanation as to why. Having the info and the why they'll do things a certain way is so important to having confidence in your team! So great to have a plan!
  6. ChiMama

    Cancer Markers

    Hi jack - I've been having my CEA tested every 3 months for almost 5 years since my colon cancer diagnosis. As I understand it, 5.9 is slightly elevated but not dramatically so. My levels have always been in the "normal" 2.5 - 3.8 range even when I had an active tumor. Once it went up to 4.9 and my oncologist went on red alert because mine are always so low. The next round, it was back down to 2.9. The test can vary widely between people - some people in a similar situation can have levels in the hundreds. So it's an indicator for some people and not as much for others, and levels can vary for other non-cancer reasons too. As far as CA 19-9, I'm not a medical professional so I don't know the intricacies, but those levels still seem high. Perhaps she could have you do both? I know quite a few people in the CC community who have both tests done.
  7. Hi Char, my nodule was similar - 9mm for a few years then it grew to 11. It's good to find it when it's that small. I had a biopsy before the PET scan so already knew it was adenocarcinoma non-small cell. I had surgery in July to remove the upper left lobe. It wasn't the funnest thing I've ever experienced but I got through it and the doctors have pronounced me "cured." So hopefully yours will be the same! One step at a time, take notes as you think of questions and bring the list to your appointments. Also see if you can record your doctor visits - My head is always in a whirl and I find being able to play back the answers helps me remember what they said and what the plan is. You got this!
  8. Welcome and sorry for the unexpected diagnosis. I had RATS upper left lobectomy in July. My Doctor is expert in RATS and VATS and said both would get the job done equally as well. He was prepared to do either based on the availability of the equipment on the day.
  9. Judy yes - they always recommend going to the same facility for your scans for "consistency" but it's always a different radiologist and I've found a lot of INconsistency. My pulmonologist looks at the actual scans but I think my oncologist just looks at the reports.
  10. My oncologist called the radiologist directly and apparently it was bruising/blood/shadow/? from the surgery or something. And the lobe they referred to was the upper part of the lower left lobe, the "mass" was in front of it. I also asked my pulmonologist and she said the same thing. I was actually freaked out seeing references to a left upper lobe that shouldn't be there anymore, my mind went wild with conspiracy theories! A subsequent CT done in October at a different facility mentioned the lobectomy and evident scarring. Also, the October CT noted a β€œStable 4mm right middle lobe nodule unchanged since 4/26/16” – but there has *never* been a mention of a right middle lobe nodule in any of my scans before that one. Yikes. Perhaps when the radiologist did the comparison they looked and saw it but it was just not put in a report before. There seems to be quite a bit of variation in how they're read and reported.
  11. Hi MBCB and welcome. Just a note about my experience with nodules on CT - Almost every Scan I've had, the measurements were different - not by a lot, but enough that I was confused by the reports. Also there was a smaller nodule that was sometimes mentioned and sometimes not. It seems to depend on angles, who does the measuring, who reads the scan, and whether what they see seems important or not. My biggest confusion came when I had a scan that noted a "3cm mass" in my upper left lobe... The upper left lobe had been removed 5 days earlier, so that really threw me for a loop! That was eventually explained but it goes to show the importance of going over these questions and concerns with your doctor.
  12. Agree with what Lexicat and BridgetO said. I had a similar situation, in a CT I had for colon cancer, a 9mm nodule was seen in my upper left lobe. I was referred to a pulmonologist and it was put on the "watch list" since CC often metastasizes to the lungs and she felt it was too small to biopsy. She said it could be any number of things, most benign, and so it was scrutinized every 3 to 6 months and remained fairly stable. After 4 years it appeared to grow to 1.1mm so the decision was made to biopsy. The good news was it was not related to the colon cancer... the not-so-good news was it was non-small cell LC so I had surgery to remove it in July. A pulmonologist should be able to tell the characteristics of the nodule and guide you for followup.
  13. TJM, Sorry to hear of your friend's husband. I had colon cancer almost 5 years ago, had open surgery, stage 1, no further treatment needed. I was lucky but will always regret not getting a colonoscopy earlier. On the other hand, the nodule in my lung was first seen on the CT done for my CC diagnosis, and that's why it was being watched and was dealt with at an early stage. And reading about "lung thangs" in the ColonTalk forum is what led me here. Downsides and upsides to the journey.
  14. Hi Cin - the waiting can be the most challenging thing, managing the emotions and worry. It was almost 2 months from my diagnosis to surgery and it was a loooooong 2 months! So, was the nodule there in your scan 15 months ago? Or was it not there 15 months ago and is a new discovery at 1.9cm now? I had a 9mm nodule in 2016 that was fairly stable but grew 2mm in early 2020 and that's what prompted the decision to biopsy it. The biopsy showed adenocarcinoma, and then the PET scan was done. Sounds like you have a good team at D-F!
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