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Still Lucky - Thanks to this group

Tom K

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The past week has been one heck of roller coaster ride. However, I do want to thank everybody in this group who urged me to consult with an oncologist despite the advice I was receiving from my surgeon, pulmonologist and PCP. I think you may have saved my life.

Taking this group's advice I met with an oncologist for the first time last Thursday and we reviewed all the records including the PET scan taken on 1/18/06 which shows 2 lymph nodes lit up near the right mediastinum. He was pretty sure it is a false positive because it is inconsistent with the original pathology report and it was taken less than 6 weeks post surgery. He consults with the surgeon who agrees to do a mediastinoscopy. On Friday morning I was called at work and told that the PET scan taken 12/13 also showed lymph nodes in a similar location as the 1/18 scan has suspicious for cancer. We were aware of this, but had assumed the surgeon had removed those 2 specific lymph nodes. Imagine my surprise when I was told the surgeon had explored the mediastinum and did not see any abnormal lymph nodes so he only “sampled” the region. During this call I was also told that the Pathology report had been “revised” (I don’t know if they redid the examination or just changed the report) and that one of the lymph nodes removed during surgery now had indications of cancer. Furthermore, I was told my case was presented to their tumor board and they now agreed that the PET scan on 1/18/06 probably did represent active disease. I was encouraged to come in the office ASAP to begin chemo therapy. The oncologist seemed truly concerned that so much time had been lost and we needed to move quickly.

Well after that call I contacted a friend who is a physician and he said the same thing, let them get the medicine in me quickly and I can change to another Medical team later if I am still uncomfortable with this team. On Monday I met with the Oncologist team again and they clearly understood my misgivings. They started me on Taxol/Carbo once a week for 6 weeks. Today I met with the Radiation Oncologist and he will start me on 30 shots of radiation as soon as he can complete all the models (probably next Monday). Both of these teams assured me they would pay special attention to my case. This facility does handle the most lung cancers in Jax but I will be getting a second opinion tomorrow from another Oncology team in another facility.

If I had merrily accepted the advice of my doctors and not sought out an Oncologist opinion I might have been in a lot worse situation in a few months. Bottom line, I think the advice of this group may have saved my life. So in a way, my good luck is holding up. Thank You.

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Wow what an encouraging story.

I am so glad they started you on chemo. Carbo/taxol is doable. Your side effects should not be too bad. My husband and handled it really well. He was fine until about the 3rd day after the treatment. Then it affected his legs (felt like the flu) That lasted a couple of days, then he felt fine. He took pericets for the pain and that helped him. He started to lose his hair so he buzzed it. He did not have any nauseau. But if that happens to you, they have good medicine for that. There is also good medication for low white accounts that can happen when taking chemo. Joel was lucky as his stayed pretty normal.

I am so glad you are starting treatment. Good luck and keep us posted.

By the way since we kinda saved your life, do you have a first name... :roll::?:

Keep us posted!!

Maryanne :wink:

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