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myrnalu

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Marie, you need to sit down, take some deep breaths and stop this panic attack. The begining of the battle is scary as Hell, but it does get better.

Yes, you can beat it!!!

There is no cancer that has not been cured. You will have many avenues of attack, but first you must learn what they are through your doctors. When you see your ONC ask for some medication to help your anxiety...better life thru chemistry. :D

Settle down, have a stiff drink...a good cry always helps too.

Hang tuff

jim

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Marie,

Read my signature line....and DON'T tell me that I don't have a chance! Andrea just posted that her mother is two years out now - she had the chemo beforehand and I didn't. It will be three years for me in February.

You DO have a chance, STOP PANICKING! Stop, stop, STOP! There is ALWAYS a chance as long as there is breath, it ain't over 'til it's over!

C'mon, don't be a baby. This journey ain't for sissies, buck up!

xxoo,

Becky

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Marie,

Although I am not a LC patient, my friend is, and he was diagnosed with NSCLC 111b (inoperable due to mediastinal lymph involvement.) He has the greatest, most positive attitude ever!! and though I know it's been hard for him at times, in my opinion, his fighting spirit has been crucial in getting him this far along the journey. He is 16 months out from diagnosis, and feeling great. He skateboards, hikes, rides his bike (makes me tired just thinking about it) and is such an inspiration to me to stop whining about stuff that doesn't matter in my life and take life by the horns. I hope that you are able to gather some positive energy and start kicking some ***. My good thoughts and prayers are with you.

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I was diagnosed in June of 1999. I've had the cancer spread to the lymph nodes in my chest and my right axilla (that's medi-speak for armpit) more than once. Look, maybe you won't be "cured", but maybe you'll be like me, living through multiple recurrences and the treatments for the same. I've been doing this for 6 years, 5 months, and 13 days. I've had conventional chemotherapy, radiation treatments, experimental meds as part of a clinical trial, a biologic cancer treatment, 7 surgeries to either diagnose or to remove cancerous tumors...and I'll be starting conventional chemo again in a few weeks. You have to decide if the life you want to save is worth the fight and all that entails. Or maybe you'll be like those lucky souls who have been treated and have had a complete response with no recurrences at all! Only way we're going to know how things go for you is with the passage of time. How you choose to spend that time is entirely up to YOU.

I personally believe you can do this. So my answer is "Yes, you have as good a chance of becoming a long term survivor as I did/do.

Maybe you can start looking at having Lung Cancer in the same way that those diagnosed with Kidney Disease or Diabetes look at their disease: A serious medical problem that requires them to do unpleasant things (take medications that are somewhat toxic, get lots of shots, dialysis, etc.)in order to be able to keep on living and do the things they want to do (see their kids graduate kindergarten, high school, college; become grandparents; graduate from college themselves; go on a cruise; attend a concert; fill in the blanks with whatever it is that YOU dream of doing).

You know, in the early days I would tell myself that I was probably going to die from Lung Cancer, but that I wasn't going to die from it today. I still do that sometimes. I do it whenever the panic starts to creep in.

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truly..

This is a personal decision that each of us has had to make. I asked myself the same question. I lost two brothers to this disease.

I asked myself if I were willing to go through the treatments with a huge chance that they would fail (based on my brothers' experiences) or should I dust off my bikini, go to a Greek island, drink some margaritas and wait for the end while in a state of drunken bliss?

The answer came to me. I am a scrapper. Not everyone is. But, it is something that you will need to decide for yourself. Get some input from some good resources.

Once I decided to give it my all, I set my sights on doing whatever it takes to beat this thing up. So far, pretty good.

The decision is ultimately yours. There is really no middle ground. Either you commit yourself to fighting and winning, or you decide to lay down and die. Eeenie meeenie.

Good luck.

cindi o'h stage lllb (lymph node involvement both sides of the windpipe/esophagous). No evidence of disease after THREE years.

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Hi!

I had stage IIIA and lymph node inv. and I have been clean for 26 months. Only God knows the true answer. Good luck to you and take care.

Mare

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Marie,

If you had decided there was no reason to fight, you would have had no reason to find this board. Remember, it ain't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog!

If you need to wallow in a pool of self-despair and self-pity, give yourself time to wallow - and then get up, dust yourself off and kick some butt. We all take time to lick our wounds and deal with our own demons, anyone who tells you they were never scared during this journey is a damn liar. It's okay to be scared, it is not okay to be paralyzed by fear.

I don't know exactly what it is you are looking for from us, your posts reflect sheer terror. There are facts around the disease and the surgery, it IS a big surgery, it DOES hurt, but most people live through it. There are odds stacked against you from the moment you wake up, cancer or no cancer. Today you could be the winner of the Random Beer Truck Lottery and you entered it just by drawing breath.

You need to work through the terror. It IS scary, but you need to get around that. You need to wrap your mind around it. Accept that you have cancer, it's been proven, now, what are you going to do about it? Give in and let it win without even trying to fight it?

Fifty-eight isn't old. Who told you it was? You should be "growed up" enough to not let someone else tell you what you should do and how you need to behave...

C'mon, Marie, show your grandbabies what "spunk" really is. You haven't received a death sentence, you've just been knocked on your butt. Stand up and take an active part in beating this crap! (Don't let some young whipper-snapper like me show you up!)

Take care,

Becky

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Ditto what Marie said. (That advice will truly do you well) We truly understand your fear, but you have to deal with it. Prayers.

Carol

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How tall are you, Marie?

As far as you being 58 years old...well...congratulations! I sincerely hope I have the pleasure of living the additional 7 years it will require for me to get to that age.

It isn't how old you are, Marie. I had a 74 year old roommate in the hospital for my second Lung Surgery, and she ran circles around me (she had lung surgery for Lung Cancer, too.). It is more a question of what other medical conditions you have, and how well you deal with those. I've known folks who have brittle diabetes who have had chemo and rads and Lung Surgery. I've known many, many folks with kidney disease and heart problems and all kinds of other serious medical problems who have survived both the Lung Cancer and the treatments.

If you cannot eat because of the chemo and rads then tell your docs you need help. Maybe a Gastric Tube for feeding directly into the stomach. Not the NG tube, but the one that goes directly into the stomach. I've had friends who have chosen this over starving to death during cancer treatments. They are alive today and very happy to be so.

No one said this was going to be easy, Marie. But in my opinion it is SO worth the trouble.

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Hi Marie,

I'd say that reading over all these posts should be very encouraging news to you. I just want to tell you that you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you go to the doctor tomorrow. I also wanted to make a suggestion for gaining weight that helps my husband. Adding drinks like Boost Plus, (vanilla is his favorite... I hear the chocolate is sickeningly sweet... )to your diet will help. Let us know how your appointment goes tomorrow.

Love,

Sue

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Marie,

You responded to my last post via personal message. But I think that you should have posted it here, so I'm going to respond to you here. You are 5'1", so you are small to begin with. And though 95 lbs is less than the ideal weight for you it is not as alarming as 95 lbs on a 5'6" frame. You mention that you are trying to eat all the right things. I hope that someone has told you to avoid uncooked fruits and vegetables. Your immune system is trashed right now because of the chemo. Make certain the fruits and veggies are cooked so you don't pick up any gastrointestinal bugs from uncooked produce. Avoid rare meats. And stay away from mellons, period!

Most cancer patients have bad veins. The chemo and the radiation and the cancer itself damages the veins and arteries. Some of the drugs we receive, the vomitting and/or diarrhea and resulting dehydration causes low blood pressure which makes hitting these already woody veins and arteries even more difficult. If you average 3 sticks before they get a good draw then you are about average. I have Fragile Artery Syndrome as a result of a genetic disorder, and I recently had 5 sticks before we could obtain a successful arterial blood gas sample. I know it hurts. You many want to consider implanting of a port-o-cath or picc line. The medical personnel can use the port for blood draws, exclusive of arterial blood gas samples. For that one you just have to put up with them digging around until they find an artery. Period.

I do understand you not doing well with needles and tubes (as in the gastric feeding tube). I have yet to meet a single individual on this journey who "does well" with needles and tubes stuck in their body or up their nose.

But the bottom line, Marie, is that you have implied that you are having too much difficulty maintaining adequate nutrition (your reference to your 95 pound weight). Failure to maintain good nutrition because you cannot eat and or hold down what you've eaten means you are faced with the choice of either receiving assistance with feeding, or starving.

So, let me qualify my previous answer to you....

You have as good a chance of attaining long term survivor status as I do/did if you are willing to do what is necessary to stay alive. If you are going to say "Oh no, I can't handle the needles or swallowing when it is painful, or taking the meds I need to take to keep from throwing up, or letting them put a tube in my stomach that feeds me with predigested nutrients so that I can stay strong enough to keep up with the chemotherapy or radiaton or heal from the surgery...well then, your chances of being a long term survivor are reduced. Lung Cancer is unrelenting.

I know this is difficult, Marie. I live it. I recently lost 20 pounds in a matter of weeks. I've stablized, so no more weight loss and I am maintaining my present weight with some difficulty (I have Crohn's, along with Polycystic Disease and the Lung Cancer). But I made the decision two weeks ago that if we couldn't get the Crohn's under control then it was a gastric tube for me, because no way was I ever going to heal from September's thoracotomy if I couldn't maintain adequate nutrition. I am still healing from that surgery, as the drugs I am on interfere with healing (steroids). But I take all of that into consideration when I wake up each morning so very happy to be opening my eyes on a new day.

The decision about what you will and will not do in order to have the best chance of living not only through this, but beyond it, is entirely up to you. If you want to ask questions on what we've learned about how best to cope with the awful stuff we go through then I can help in that respect. If you make the decision to stop treatment because it is the right decision for you, I can respect that and accept it because it is your life and your decision. But if you ask me an open ended question like the one you posted here then I hope you aren't offended when we give you truthful answers.

The real truth is that you may do nothing and live a very long time...it HAS happened. Not very often, but there are some documented cases of spontaneous remission. The real truth is you may throw everything but the kitchen sink at the cancer and lose your life to the disease anyway, because your cancer does not respond to the treatments as they exist today. This is heartbreaking, and it does happen. The real truth lies between those two extremes most of the time and for most people. The real truth is that many of us live through the treatments and beyond our original projected survival.

The real truth is my loved ones are never going to lie in their beds crying and asking themselves "Would she be alive if we had just done this or that?". And they are never going to lie in bed during what should be quiet hours berating themselves for pushing me into treatments I didn't want. Because I am the one responsible for my life, and I decide what and how far and how long I'll go in my quest to stay alive.

So, Marie, pick yourself up from the terror pit you're in and fight on, or don't. But whatever you decide you own the decision. And you own the consequences that result from whatever you decide.

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Dear Marie,

I have to say, Fay really said it best and truthfully. This isn't an easy cut and dried disease. It's tough and no one wants to go through the treatments and the fear that comes with them and with LC. But, if you want to live then you have to face this head on.

Have you ever found out what kind of lung cancer you have? Or what stage your cancer is? KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Taking control of your life right at the beginning of this journey is much better then putting your head in the sand.

Each and EVERYONE of us that has been dx.d with LC goes through the fears and ups and downs.(God knows they are NOT FUN) But, with the help of each other here, we have learned how to do this journey by taking some shortcuts and just by listening to others that have been through this.

This is NOT a PICNIC, but it IS doable. Read my profile. I was a stage IIIA-B and I'm still here 10 years later and cancer free. This can happen to you too.

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Marie,

You asked if you could survive this diagnosis and the replies have been interesting to say the least. The common theme seems to be "suck it up and put on your big girl pants". I am in agreement with that and I will add this:

A friend of mine died Septemeber 1st and she had a wonderfully "curable" cancer. Her CT scan report two weeks before she died was remarkable. It showed major reduction in all tumor areas, her treatment was really working. I had wished I had her cancer instead of mine, it was so "curable".

She died two weeks after her wonderful CT scan, she got sick, ran a temp that was not reducable, and infection took her over. She also had NO will to live throughout her treatment, she had no moxie, no family support and no hope.

The moral of my friends story is this:

people die from curable cancers too..I think the key to living is wanting to live..forget the diagnosis and get on with the fight. They gave Lance Armstrong a 15% chance of survival too.

Good luck, fight the fight!

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Marie today is the day you said you were going to see the Onocologist. I hope you update us.

I also am 58, I am 5'9 and at diagnosis weighed 135 which was thin for me.

I started with chemo and radiation if you notice my bio below. On Dec. 3 it will be 8 yrs since they told my I had lung cancer. I am NED, no evidence of disease. It was work, it took months, but well worth it.

Waiting to hear how your appointment went. Donna G

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went to oncologist today,non small lung cancer stage 3b.start chemo next monday once a week and radiation daily for 6 weeks,probably no surgery now.still quite nervous.not sure if im still in shock over this whole thing or what it is,but im going to do what i have to do,and pray for the best

marie

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Well Marie,

It is pretty much what it is, and all you can do is your BEST TO FIGHT AND BEAT THIS! You gotta have GRIT!!! :wink:

I hope you have cut back on your smoking while your doing chemo. They say it's not a good idea to smoke when doing chemo. Not trying to preach, but just trying to give you a heads up. Your going to do what you want and that's fine too.

Now that your no longer a NEWCOMER you can move your posts to the NSCLC Forum, being you have NSCLC. This Forum is mostly for NEW MEMBERS AND WE ASK THEM TO INTRODUCE THEMSELVES AND MOVE TO THE FORUM THAT BEST SUIT'S YOUR NEEDS. :wink:

Hang in there, We ALL know your scared, and the reason we all know that, is we've all been there!

Stay STRONG! It HONESTLY HELPS! And yes, your going to have your down moments and that normal.

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Marie,

Hang tough girl, the fight has just begun. You will survive this, I am sure. Chemo and radiation will be OK. When you have both at the same time the chemo is a "helping hand" for the radiation and it is used in lesser strengths..you will tolerate it fine.

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