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carguy

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Just wanted to say hello to everyone here. A bit about me:

Name: Rob

Loc: Chattanooga

Age: 38

Family History: none available

About one month ago I went to the ER with terrible pain. Turns out THAT is a kidney stone. No biggie - however, during triage I mentioned that for the last month or so I had a slight cough. When asked about smoking I replied that I had just stopped two weeks prior (yeah really). The good doc went ahead and ordered a chest xray and later informed me that the person who read it saw something on it but she 'the er doc' couldn't see anything there. Ended up doing a CT scan that same day and found a 1.5cmX2.5cm non calcified/spiculated tumor in my upper right lobe, that 'must be considered malignant until proven otherwise'. Followed up with my GP the next day, he orders a PET scan for the next day. Three days later I'm seeing a lung specialist who reviews all the photos and blood work, he tells me that I'm fortunate to be cought early stage and I should be 'fixable' by surgery. I only lit up the PET scan in that one place so we are thinking it's isolated to the upper lobe. I had my last chest xray a couple years ago and there was nothing there. The lung doc referred me to a Thorassic Surgeon who I see tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, I've had a complete series of lung tests and found out that even tho I smoked for 15 years I still have almost 90% of my expected lung capacity and the stress test shows my heart in good condition and fine as a surgical candidate.

It's really been an emotional rollercoaster over the last few weeks. The nights have been crazy with my thoughts and the days at work I'm unable to find my 'stride' and be the successful highly competitive person that I normally am. Living alone I think makes this even tougher to cope with. Thus, I find myself here in the wee hours of the morning while hooked up to my coffee IV.

From what I've been told by my pulmonologist a preliminary biopsy really isn't needed in this situation because of the appearance of the growth and when it's removed it will be checked out to confirm anyway. Anyone else ever hear this, that it's better to just do the surgery than the biopsy first?

I stated earlier that I have no family history. That is due to an adoption, however I lost my adopted father a few years ago. He had colon cancer and at the two year out mark it re emerged in his bones, spread to his lungs and brain and I lost him rather quickly.

I'm having a hard time with the realization that this particular cancer hit me. Yes, I smoked but other than that I've always been healthy. Only 38 years old - 6'5" and 250lbs. I've taken care of myself and always eaten right. It's just not right that someone so far out of a demographic for a disease comes up with it. I guess life really is just a crap shoot anyway.

Why I bought that Aflac Cancer policy a year ago - I'll never know. But I'm glad I did.

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Welcome Rob, glad you found us. Lots of caring, sharing and support here. Your very fortunate you are able to have surgery, so glad for you. Stay positive, focused and grounded. Attitude is everything. Keep us posted. Rich

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Welcome Rob, how fortunate to have found this early, very curable at this stage. They tried to do a needle biopsy twice on my husband and could not hit the tumor. It makes sense to me to get that darn thing out.

Also, consider chemo after the surgery. Lots of information that even with early stage cancer, it has advantages.

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Welcome Rob. Boy your Dad must be watching over you. That tumor could have been there a long time and growing without any symptoms!

Sometimes Doctors feel it is better to take the tumor and send to pathology than taking the risk of biopsy too.

We will be watching and waiting for how this all pans out. Best Wishes, Donna G

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Hi Rob,

Your history sounds a lot like mine. I'd like you to know that I had the surgery with removal of one lobe of my left lung. There was no biopsy first--the surgeon would not do one. He said the risks outweighed the benefits and that thing had to come out anyway so we went right to surgery.

Neither the PET nor the eventual surgical removal of about 15 lymph nodes showed any other malignancy, but my mass ended up being 3.1 centimeters even though it showed 2.5 on the x-ray and CT. I was staged at 1B and had adjuvant chemo afterwards.

Saw my surgeon for a chest x-ray every three months for the first two years, and am now on an annual exam schedule with him.

My pulmonary function was also 90% before surgery and I did exactly what they told me to get back into shape and it worked, just like my surgeon told me it would if I listened to them.

I walk 3 miles at least 3 times a week, and more, if time permits. I lift weights, play golf, do yardwork, and live a very normal physical life.

I understand the anxiety that goes with this....I saw a therapist for about a year and had medication for about a year too. It helped a lot, and now, I'm in a place where I'm fine without it, but I'd be right back there if necessary.

I quit smoking when I got the phone call that confirmed a mass in my lung. My surgeon said that the very best thing I could do for my health going forward is to continue to not smoke. I am now coming up on 3 years of not smoking, and cancer issues aside, it's the best thing I've ever done.

Getting too long here, but my best advice to you would be to get yourself the very best thoracic surgeon you can get to, continue to not smoke, and do all the rehab they tell you to do after surgery. There is life after all of this, although it seems pretty overwhelming right now.......

Keep in touch.

Cindy

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wow - I must say I'm overwhelmed with the quick multiple responses that I've received here. Now that I'm in the office I have my papers here and can more accuratly relay what the ct had to show.

"Heart and mediastinal vascular structures are normal. There is an approx 2.2x1.2cm non calcified spiculated nodular opacity in the right upper lobe. Remaining lungs are clear. There is a single borderline enlarged mediastinal node andteior to the distal superior vena cava. Some small ipsilateral hilar and mediastinal nodes are also seen."

anyone know what the last sentance means?

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Welcome Rob. I have had two surgeries and the second was without a biopsy first. There will be someone on here that can answer your questions. It is a rough ride but the support here is fantastic. Stay with us and let us know how we can help you. Take care,

Nancy B

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Hi, Rob,

Firstly: I must tell you that my husband was, also, a car guy......................'56 Chevy (pics upon request)

Secondly, aren't you glad to find us in the wee hours???

this is a great group. Sorry you were looking, but glad we are here for you.

all the best,

Pat

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Hi Rob,

Welcome. I too was pretty young (42) when diagnosed, and have always been a health fitness nut. Additionally, in my case I never smoked, so it just goes to show you this is not just a "smokers disease".

I too had surgery without the biopsy because as they said "whatever it is it needs to come out". Pathology confirmed the diagnosis. Mine was 2.7 cm with spicualted margins as well. I am going on 2.5 years and am doing just fine. I have some very small "nodules" that we are watching closely but truly am feeling great. I run 3-4 times a week at distance of 3-5 miles each run. I am training for a 10k in the end of May.

Try not to get too caught up in the statistics or what you read -- there are many long term survivors here, and if it is anything at all it looks like you caught it early. Additionally, they arer making significant advances with targeted therapies that are doing wonders for many.

Do your research but stay positive.....its important to be your own advocate.

Joe

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You asked......

"Heart and mediastinal vascular structures are normal. There is an approx 2.2x1.2cm non calcified spiculated nodular opacity in the right upper lobe. Remaining lungs are clear. There is a single borderline enlarged mediastinal node andteior to the distal superior vena cava. Some small ipsilateral hilar and mediastinal nodes are also seen."

anyone know what the last sentance means?

"Borderline node" is a lymph node that is approximately 1 cm in size ... lymph nodes increase in size for a variety of reasons but they are not considered suspicious unless they are greater than 1 cm.

You would have to ask what they last sentence "Some small ipsilateral hilar and mediastinal nodes are also seen" means. My interpetation would be it means nothing other than they are visible in the scan.

When they do the surgery they will harvest lymph nodes and send them to pathology to see if they are positive for metasasis (cancer). I have heard it is important to remove as many lymph nodes as possible.

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When my nodules was found they were suspecting a breast mets to the lung. My nodule too, was small. I had a lung biopsy that I would have liked to have skipped--it was "inconclusive" anyway, and the thorasic surgeon took it out 3 weeks later anyway. That is when they found it was lung.

I was very lucky that it was caught early. Surgery removed it and the lobe, and all 27 nodules were clear.

good luck

gail

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Hi Rob,

Sounds like you are one lucky fella. You have a good team of doctors who seem to have done and are doing all the right things. That is lucky.

I agree with Joe about the ipsi and mediastinal lymph nodes. Just a statement that he/she can see them. Nothing more. They are unremarkable or he/she would have remarked further. ie. normal appearing...all good.

Hope to hear more from you and it would be an honor for us to help walk you through this. Many good folks here who care.

Cindi o'h

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Hi Rob,

I'm so glad to see you found this wonderful support group. Welcome!!!!!

It is a great place to come with all the questions that you may have.

We're here for you...praying that your doctor appointment tomorrow will bring good news.

Please keep us posted.

Warm Hugs,

Melinda

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Hi Rob and welcome. Sorry you have to be here but I didn't want to either. This site is great. A wole lot of wonderful caring people to help get you thru this. I know for me it was the worst time of my life. I had my surgery almost one year ago (April 20th). Right lower lobectomy. Surgery wasn't real pleasant but an absessed tooth is worse!!!!! The recovery process is slow. I am still somewhat sore around the scars in my back and front. My tumor was 2.1 centermeters and I was staged 1a. They said they got it all and I would not need chemo... No benefit for 1a's. I can really identify the stress. I was a wreck until the surgery was over and the surgeon told me I would be fine. One thing I would recommend is to go to a place where they specilize in cancer surgery. I live in a small town and did not trust the local dr's. I went to Fox Chase in Philadelphia and I would recommend it to anyone. Good luck and keep us posted. We care.

By the way I'm a car guy too. Had an MG, Jaguar (Old one) and finally got the ultimate one in my estimation....A Porsche 911. Fantastic vehicle. Will never be without one.

Good luck again.

Bill in PA

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The waiting is the hardest part right now it seems. I found out about this on Feb 2 and it's been 21 days since then. I'm about to come unglued. I've never wanted to be in the hospital so badly in my life. Just a place when I can START to get better and turn my mind off for a few days hopefully. I'm finding that this occupies my mind every waking hour. I just know I'll not have a day or nights peace until I'm sedated in the hospital.

I originally thought about going to have all my surgery done at Vanderbuilt University here in Tennessee however it's about 2 hours from my home and I didn't want to be away from my small support group for that long. Now I guess it's a moot point as one of the most perfect women I've ever met walked out of my life yesterday. Oh well, her loss (gotta keep that in my head). Parents are dead so I'm sorta flying solo thru this now. Dont get me wrong, I'm not gonna be alone thru this as I'm a very social person. Just harder w/o anyone whom you are 'close to'

Thanks for letting me vent..

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Hi Rob,

Well, she picked a swell time to leave. BUT you made out, you have us now... all of us!! We're here, just let us know what you need, how we can help.

Being more or less alone and going through this is kinda spooky. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time will see you through.

I'm glad you found us.

XOXOXOX

MaryAnn

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Okay, Rob,

You now have PLENTY of women to support you. MaryAnn is the first of MANY who are going to step up to the plate for you here.

You certainly are one LUCKY fellow to have this caught early and be scheduled to get in the hospital. You are just like the rest of us.....being obsessed and all. We also understand being up all night with worry.

BUT, Rob, WE are all here for you now. We'll help with the worry. Keep focused and positive.

Kasey

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Rob,

The waiting is almost unbearable so believe me I know exactly how you feel.. I found out in early Feb 05 and didn't have the surgery until April 20. I was never so stressed in my life and I thought about it every waking moment so you are not alone. And you have loads of support on this site. Good luck and keep us posted.

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